What's New

Apr 1, 2005
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HR Magazine, April 2005 Equal Employment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced that the new employer training guide, The ABCs of EEO for Small Businesses and Supervisors, is now available for purchase either in paperback or CD-ROM version through the agency’s web site at www.eeotraining.eeoc.gov. The ABCs of EEO focuses on the HR management and EEO issues that employers and HR professionals face every day, such as hiring, harassment prevention, evaluations, promotions, discharges and job references. The book features easy-to-read explanations and guidelines on how to comply with the complex federal regulations that govern these workplace issues. For example, in the chapter on workplace harassment, the guide discusses employer liability for harassment that can be created by supervisors, employees, contractors and even customers. The publication also includes guidelines on what employers need to do when job applicants or employees file discrimination or harassment complaints. The book includes a glossary, checklists and an expansive list of helpful EEO resources.

Compensation And Benefits

BeneSync Corp. has launched a new online software tool called AutoBen that allows employers and insurance brokers to create in-house benefits statements quickly. This new software tool is designed for smaller businesses and insurance brokers who produce benefits statements on a per occurrence basis. The interactive program guides users through a three-step process that automatically creates an easy-to-read benefits statement within minutes. AutoBen also allows users to upload employee data easily from spreadsheet software to help create accurate and up-to-date statements.

HR professionals now can sign up to receive a new free monthly newsletter, called COBRApoint Timely Topics, at www.cobrapoint.com. The newsletter will focus on one current COBRA-related topic per month; past issues of Timely Topics are also available on the site. Web site visitors will find a comprehensive resource center with up-to-date information on the federal regulations governing the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and several other workplace-related laws. The resource center also features an extensive library of articles that focus on COBRA and other health insurance topics.

Health Care

Employers now can manage health benefits programs more effectively and efficiently with a new software tool developed by Medstat and IE-Engine Inc. The online benefits management solution is called Medstat Vendor Relationship Manager and allows users to centralize their health care data and documents in an online database. The new software is designed to automatically collect health care vendor information, compare vendor and health provider performance data, and maintain and store summary plan descriptions and documents.

IncentOne Inc. has launched Employee Power, an integrated incentive software tool designed to help reduce health care costs by improving employee participation in corporate wellness programs. Employee Power can help employers reduce costs by developing incentives that reward employees who adopt healthy lifestyles and become better health care consumers. Employee Power not only can help employees change specific behaviors to reduce health care costs, but the software also is designed to help employers organize, manage and track the activities in their wellness programs.

HR Information Systems

Ascentis Corp. has developed and released HROffice 6.0, a new HR management information tool designed to streamline and automate an organization’s HR functions. The new software features a report wizard to generate EEO-4 and beneficiary reports. A new remittance report also has been added to help support consolidated billing. HROffice Payroll Connect, a new interface function, allows users to connect online with payroll service vendors, while improved employee and new hire tracking allows users to keep employee data up-to-date by accurately tracking their hire dates, performance review dates and benefits status.

HR Outsourcing

A Job Well Done (AJWD) is a new consulting firm that offers virtual HR services and support to smaller-sized employers via the World Wide Web. Some of the virtual HR support services include placing job advertisements, creating job descriptions, sourcing/screening resumes, scheduling interviews, checking references, writing and sending nonacceptance letters, researching and benchmarking benefits plans, and creating employment manuals. With its unique array of HR-related services, AJWD gives smaller businesses the opportunity to get the additional help they need but without high overhead costs.

Immigration

A new online software tool developed by i9Check Inc. is designed to help smaller businesses comply with the complex federal immigration regulations that require all employers to verify the eligibility of employees to work in the United States. Federal immigration law also requires that all employers maintain and update I-9 immigration forms for each worker. The i9Check software tool is designed to simplify the recordkeeping process by guiding users with helpful tips, drop-down menus and sample documents. The end result is an accurate I-9 form that complies with all federal immigration regulations. As a web-based tool, i9Check software is accessible from any desktop computer with Internet access without having to deal with complex and time-consuming software installation and upgrades.

Staffing

Employment Screening Resources Inc. has developed a new web-based job interview tool designed to help employers create structured interviews and printed interview guides. By using a structured and printed interview guide, employers can ensure that hiring managers stay focused and on topic and that all job applicants have consistent and nondiscriminatory job interviews. The interview generator also includes five integrity questions aimed at screening out applicants with inappropriate qualifications. The questions can be asked during preliminary interviews and are designed to encourage applicants to explain inconsistent information about their qualifications as well as any unexplained employment gaps.

Training And Development

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has released an updated version of its best-selling publication, Human Resource Management at Work: People Management and Development. The latest edition combines practical approaches with the latest research to help employers better manage their HR-related issues and is designed to help students improve their knowledge and HR management skills. The new edition includes new and improved features such as reference tabs to help students and tutors locate topics and identify relevant sections more quickly. Chapter summaries give quick and easy-to-understand reviews of HR topics, while a tutor support site provides slides, notes and sample chapters to help instructors prepare lessons quickly. Expanded case studies including international examples help students better understand content.

CyberU and PLI-Corpedia have joined to launch the training course “Recognizing and Preventing Workplace Harassment” online. This brand-new two-hour sexual harassment prevention training is designed specifically to meet guidelines set by California state law that require employers with more than 50 employees to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisors and managers. This online training tool was developed by PLI-Corpedia with the help of employment law attorney Tyler Paetkau, with the law firm of Bingham-McCutchen LLP, and is available to any employer through CyberU’s Cornerstone OnDemand software; it allows users to integrate third-party or custom training courses with their current online or electronic training applications.

Workplace Management

CyberMatrix Corp. has released version 2 of CyberMatrix Timesheets, an easy-to-use time-and-attendance software. The new version of the software features several important improvements and upgrades designed to help address the needs of all workers and line managers. The software is available in standard, client/server, enterprise and web versions. The standard version of CyberMatrix Timesheets records a week’s worth of a worker’s data in one sitting, while the client/server and enterprise versions capture more detailed information. The web- based version of the software allows employees to fill out time sheets and receive attendance data from any computer connected to the Internet and using any operating system.

Unitime Systems Inc. has developed a new module for its Unitime Automated Timekeeping System that automatically calculates and tracks employee time-off benefits as part of the company’s time-and-attendance tracking functions. Benefits Manager is designed to help employers maintain accurate information on employee vacation, sick leave, personal time and other leave benefits. This new benefits module is fully integrated within the latest version of Unitime’s time-and-attendance software and is designed to help companies avoid the extra step of importing data from separate payroll or HR functions.

Product manufacturers and developers provide information for What’s New. Inclusion in this sample of products does not necessarily imply endorsement by SHRM or HR Magazine.
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