Legal “Ease” for the Staffing Professional

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February 9, 2010
There is nothing more daunting as an Indianapolis staffing company than keeping up on all of the updates, changes, obligations, nuances and complications around employment law.  Being in the staffing industry requires you to become an expert not only about hiring trends and Indianapolis job openings, but also on employment law.  Now, for some this can be quite burdensome as the technicalities alone can kill you.  However, for some of us "geeks", it can offer an ongoing source of new information that presents itself as a puzzle to be worked out.

There are a number of resources thrown our way on a daily basis about this topic and you can literally drive yourself crazy just keeping up with all of it.  I prefer to focus on a few key information sources and I have found that I pretty much get what I need (or what I can digest) to keep me informed but not dangerous. 

I have found that the resources I use offer insightful information in an interesting and sometimes provocative manner – this keeps what can be a very dry subject interesting.  Sometimes, this information comes from unexpected sources that you might follow for a variety of information.  For example, as an avid listener to National Public Radio, I heard this very interesting interview while driving to work the other morning.  It addresses questions such as "Did you know you could be fired for not removing a political sticker from your car — or even having a beer after work?"  Good stuff – I learned something that morning without even trying.

Another resource I enjoy following is Mark Toth from Manpower (yes, as an Indianapolis staffing company I DID just give credit to a competitor), but really, you cannot help but appreciate the refreshing, and very funny delivery of a not so exciting topic that Mark offers.  He also makes the complicated very simple and couple that with his intimate knowledge of our industry and employment law, I always learn something new.  Recently, Mark posted a story called "19 Million Reasons to Follow the Law" where he tells us that "One of the best ways to stay out of court is to (1) keep tabs on what the EEOC is suing employers for and then (2) don’t do those things."  See, keeping it simple even when $19 million is at stake.  Good stuff.

I am currently studying to re-certify for my CSP (Certified Staffing Professional) designation through the American Staffing Association and this requires some focused reading time as I work back through he Employment Law Handbook.  Now, while a little dry and complicated I have to admit that it has been extremely helpful for me to be "forced" to go back and review the legal fundamentals as they effect our industry.  The ASA is also a great resource for legal updates and information.  As a corporate member, we have found the direct access to key guidance and advice for our industry to be comforting and valuable.

As a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a board member of our local chapter (IndySHRM) I feel like I have a great network of knowledgeable HR professionals and resources right at my fingertips.  This too is very comforting as the rules seem to be always changing and as Mark Toth says above, watch what others are getting sued for and don’t do it.  The SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification I received through this organization has prepared me with the legal fundamentals I need, but it also requires me to keep up my certification credits by participating in ongoing education.

While there are many, many additional resources at our fingertips on this topic, these are the main resources that I stay on top of to manage the inflow of information – helps avoid information overload.  At That’s Good HR, we incorporate this expertise into every placement we make to ensure that we are protecting ourselves as well as our clients because I don’t know about you, but we do not have an extra $19 million to spend on employment law mistakes.