As if the HR profession isn’t hard enough to keep up with after all of the recent legal amendments and proposals, some of us may be hearing some new HR terms that we’ve never seen before (and might not be able to pronounce!). We’ll take a look at four of today’s HR terms that all HR professionals should be familiar with.
Definition: a usually temporary layoff from work
This word seems to be popping up more and more in this time of economic recession. Employers can use a furlough as an alternative to layoffs, offering and sometimes mandating employees to take an unpaid leave from work. Sometimes employees welcome this idea as an alternative because it may give them time to take an extended vacation or pursue a passion or interest that they haven’t had time to pursue in the past.
Northeast Ohio-based was recently mentioned in a Crain’s Cleveland Business article mentioning companies that are utilizing furloughs.
Definition: someone shirking their duty by feigning illness or incapacity
In layman’s terms – someone faking a sickness to work the benefit system. According to BLR, “The best you can do to control them is to watch carefully, track their hours, and take advantage of all your opportunities for recertification.” For more information, check out the BLR article with some tips on how to manage a malingerer.
Def: In a seniority system, the rights of workers with greater seniority whose jobs are abolished to replace (bump) workers with less seniority so that the worker who ultimately loses his/her job is not the worker whose job was abolished.
(Source: Department of Labor)
With so many reductions in force these days, some organizations are coming up with a written plan for how they might deal with it. Duke University went as far to publish its Rights of Staff affected by a Reduction-In-Force, which includes its rule on bumping.
Card Check [card chek]
Def: Commonly known as majority sign-up, card check is a method for employees to organize into a labor union when a majority of employees in a bargaining unit sign authorization forms, or “cards,” stating they wish to be represented by the union.
This issue has recently been in the news because of the Employee Free Choice Act. According to Christopher Beam of Slate, a general-interest web magazine, “The essential change of the EFCA would be to allow the employees-rather than the employer-to decide whether to hold a secret-ballot election. If at least half of the work force signed cards saying it wanted a union, there would be a union-without the rigmarole of a full-blown election.”
For more information on the “Card Check Clash”, check out the recent Washington Post article, Clash Over Labor Rights Bill Appears Likely.