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Friday, March 31, 2017

Highly Effective HR Habits (April Fool’s edition)

Fake nail through finger prank - April Fools' Day
By: Thomas Eden

Habit 1: Discriminate, retaliate, harass — have a ball! There’s a new sheriff in town, with a more employer-friendly, compliance-assistance-oriented U.S. Department of Labor (we think) and the nullification of burdensome regulations like the Fair Pay Rule. That means you can go wild. What are your employees going to do about it?

Habit 2: “Opaque” is not just for black tights. It’s good to keep your employees in the dark about things like their how their pay is determined, your company’s business, your criteria for evaluating performance or for bidding on vacant jobs. If they know what’s going on, they’ll just complain and use it against you.

Habit 3: Play favorites. Favor employees based on their race, ethnic group, religion, or age. But don’t stop there. Choose your “pets” based on anything — who they’re related to, who is the best looking and give them all the breaks.

Habit 4: You’re in a right to work state, so fire at will! The law says you can fire an employee for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. If somebody looks at you wrong, boom. They’re gone.

Habit 5: Downsize safety. Personal protective equipment, safety rules — heck, do you know how much a Safety Manager costs? Then you have those oppressive rules about lock-out/tag-out that require employees to wait until a machine is turned off and the power disconnected before they can reach inside to tighten a screw. All of that “waiting” is time, and time is money. De-emphasize safety, and you’ll save a bundle.

Habit 6: Be arbitrary and capricious. Follow your whims! Let your gut be your guide! Hire the first person who walks in the door because he told a good joke in his interview. When you’re making compensation decisions or doing performance evaluations, go with the mood you are in.

Habit 7: Replace troublemakers with people who appreciate you. Do you have an employee who complains that his pay is too low? Or that the company doesn’t treat people equitably? Maybe the employee has filed an EEOC charge. Who needs this aggravation? Replace ’em all with people who would jump at the chance to work below minimum wage.

Habit 8: Life is too short for wage and hour. Don’t fritter away your life with details about “exempt” and “non-exempt” classifications, or nitpicky timekeeping requirements for employees who answer emails, take work-related calls, or perform other work outside their regular work hours. Life is so much easier if you “simply” assume everybody gets paid for 40 hours a week.

Habit 9: Be well, or be gone. Enough with these employees who were hurt on the job, or need “reasonable accommodation” for disabilities or pregnancy, or need time off to go to the doctor. People who aren’t “100 percent” should stay home and collect disability benefits, not from your company because that would make your premiums too high.

Habit 10: Pay no attention that yesterday was April HR Fool’s Day!

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law He can be contacted at or 334-246-2901. This is condensed from the Constangy Blog post of Tommy’s Law Partner, Robin Shea.