Learning & Development

Eliminating Employee Lawsuits with Software—Fantasy or Reality?

On a showroom teeming with HR professionals, The Glasshouse Report claimed it has created a product that can “eliminate employee lawsuits.” The question is—besides, of course, whether eliminating lawsuits is even really possible—can The Glasshouse Report deliver on its claim?

Many new and interesting HR tools and techniques were showcased at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition, held recently in Las Vegas. Today and tomorrow, we’ll showcase a few that caught the Daily Advisor’s eye:

The Lawsuit Eliminator

Can The Glasshouse Report’s claim actually be true? Can it eliminate lawsuits? Spokesperson Kathleen McArdle told our sister publication, the HR Daily Advisor,that none of the 49 clients that have been using the company’s system for a year has had a lawsuit.

How It Works

On a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, The Glasshouse Report sends a message toevery employee, “reminding” them to answer Yes or No questions on:

  • Harassment, Discrimination and Violence
  • Wage/Hour Issues
  • Workplace Injury
  • Safety Concerns

If the employee has no incidents to report and has not witnessed any incidents, answering the questions takes about 60 seconds, the company says.
If an employee reports an incident, The Glasshouse Report e-mails and texts management or HR, allowing them to address the issue immediately and isolate problems or disruptive individuals.
All employee reports and resolutions are encrypted and stored on The GlasshouseReport’s secure servers. Nothing remains on the employer’s premises. This makes it impossible for curious eyes to view, edit, erase, or rewrite employment history.

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If there is an employee dispute, management can easily retrieve each employee’s complete employment history (paper trail) from The Glasshouse Report software. That paper trail makes it difficult for an employee to bring a suit if he or she has submitted weeks (or years) of reports indicating no problems. Furthermore, employees’ “I have not witnessed an incident” report virtually prevents employees colluding with others to backdate or support false claims, the company says.
The key to avoiding litigation is documentation, and most employment attorneys will tell you the fatal flaw in almost all workplace litigation is the lack of a detailed paper trail, from the initiation of an incident to its resolution. The Glasshouse Report eliminates that fatal flaw, the company says.

6 Background Screening Predictions

Background check firm First Advantage offered the following trends to watch out for in the coming year:
1. Class Action FCRA. The number of lawyers looking for “Class Action” Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violation opportunities will increase in 2015 and 2016. Review your FCRA compliance. Lawyers know that FCRA requirements are tricky with notification and deadlines at every turn. And if you’ve failed to follow the rules with one candidate, you’ve probably failed with many or all—and that equals class action.
2. Ban the Box. Look for Ban the Box rules to increase in 2015 and 2016. “Ban the Box” refers to a campaign against application forms that require applicants to indicate whether they have a conviction in their backgrounds. First Advantage says remove criminal record questions from applications. Also, carefully check your procedures and practices relating to arrest and conviction records, especially if you routinely reject candidates with such histories.
3. Criminals on the Move. Although Ban the Box is a problem, criminal background checks are common, and First Advantage warns that criminals are on the move. They recommend using a national criminal search. In fact, they say 37% of hits found in their national criminal file service are from states other than where the applicant lives.

Employment Law Guide in Your State — 2015. This guide will provide you with the latest state and federal employment laws and regulations necessary to ensure that you are in compliance. Knowing the proper way to handle HR issues is the only way to protect your organization.

4. Bright-Line Rules. Challenges and litigation will grow over anyone having “one-size-fits all” or “bright-line” rules. For example, the National Labor Relations Board objects to bright-line rules that prohibit criticizing supervisors online. In general, agencies want individualized analysis.
5. Employment Verification Discrepancies. Employment verification difficulties have spiked in recent years due to so many businesses closing as a result of the recession. This should level off this next year, First Advantage says.
6. Credit Search Request. These requests will continue to decline, says First Advantage. The company recommends removing these requests from your background search orders, where they are not necessary.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, more software innovations, including new self-onboarding and performance management programs.

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