Is My Employee Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?


Even in a pre-pandemic world, this is a question that I have been asked frequently. Usually, there is not a clear answer, as there can be a variety of factors in play. My answer often starts with “possibly,” which isn’t always what someone wants to hear.  

State laws differ from each other in a lot of ways (especially in states with more employee-friendly laws like California and New York). For the most part, states may have similar types of requirements. Oftentimes, an individual will have to earn at least a...


When HR Is the Last to Know

If you’ve worked in employee relations for any length of time, you’ve probably been asked to help a manager terminate an employee. And, of course, it needs to happen, like, yesterday.

Sometimes these situations involve ongoing medical leave and the manager didn’t tell HR, which resulted in the employee’s remaining eligible for job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). So, we must now, for example, designate FMLA leave and add another 12 weeks to whatever length of time the employee has already been out. This will certainly frustrate managers even more and can lead to that all-too-familiar...


Are Yoga Pants Appropriate for the Workplace Post-Pandemic?


Are yoga pants appropriate for the workplace post-pandemic?

Well, it’s that time of year again. The sun is shining brightly, the birds are singing, and the weather is warm. It’s also a time for addressing summer attire. Employees have become lax in dressing for the workplace, especially now that many are coming back to the workplace post-pandemic.

I received a call in the SHRM HR Knowledge Center the other day regarding employees who had been working remotely and now are coming back into the office. The SHRM member...


Ask This Question Before Transitioning Your Team to Long-Term Remote Work

Ask the Question: What is the End Goal?

I’ve been thinking recently about the proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That came to me because I keep discussing with our clients the impact that COVID-19 has had on the way companies are doing business. When COVID-19 hit, virtually any company that could operate on a work-from-home (WFH) basis did so. And now that companies are planning their return to pre-COVID operations, some are finding that there may be benefits to maintaining some forms of WFH for their employees.

I keep...


Skills Provide an Objective Data Foundation and a Common Business Language

When it comes to discussions about skills in the workplace, it can feel very much like an all-or-nothing proposition. You either get it right and reap the rewards or you get it wrong and never have another opportunity to solve the skills puzzle. I’m hoping the following parable helps illustrate how that’s simply not true.

A ceramics teacher stood up in front of her classroom and told the students they would be competing on a pot they would make. The teacher split the students into two groups: 

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How to Tell Fluffy and Fido You’re Going Back to the Office

Perhaps you’re one of the many people who adopted a pet during the pandemic or added to your menagerie. Or maybe you and your existing BFF(s) got closer while you worked from home and you both experience separation anxiety when apart. Now your boss insists on seeing you in the office. WHAT. DO. YOU. DO?

If you’re a pet lover like me, giving up a pet is not an option. And pet guilt can be just as real as parental guilt when we feel like we aren’t being the best...


Employee Request: ‘Can I Work Remotely from …?’

As travel restrictions start to ease up, I have received several questions about employees requesting to work remotely from another state or country. In fact, I recently saw an ad from Puerto Rico looking to entice employees to come and work remotely at a “workation.” The advertisement, hoping to help weary workers address COVID-19-related burnout and their well-being, had a beautiful picture of a beach villa; the article also mentioned staying in a floating villa—I could almost feel the gentle breeze and soft waves crashing on the beach. The advertisement highlighted the...


8 HR Policies That Should Be Less Complicated (And How To Change Them)


What is one process you have changed or will be changing to make a workplace process or policy less complicated?

To help HR professionals uncomplicate some of their policies, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best insights. From automating onboarding processes to using workflow management software, there are several strategies that may help you adjust complicated HR policies and processes for years to come. 

Here are eight HR policies that should be less complicated: ...


Ending Natural-Hair Bias in the Workplace


I have noticed over my career that when we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, we often forget how biases or perceptions of professionalism can apply to employee grooming habits and hairstyles. It is not uncommon to hear stories from African-American professionals expressing concerns about going on interviews or showing up at work with traditional hairstyles like locs, braids, or twists.

As a SHRM HR Knowledge Advisor, I often receive questions on whether employers should address cultural hairstyles and grooming habits in their dress codes or include grooming...