6 Human Resources Myths Busted

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Over the years, the human resources department has evolved. For a number of HR concepts, the truth has been twisted, negatively impacting employees and the company as a whole. We bust 6 common myths associated with the human resources department.

Myth #1: When New Hires Fill Out the I-9 Form, a U.S. Passport Is Required as Proof of Identity and Work Authorization.

Truth: To verify identity and work authorization, employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each new employee at the time of hire. However, new employees are not limited to using a passport as proof of their identity. The I-9 includes a list of acceptable documents. The employee can choose from several options to meet the identification and work authorization requirement.  

Myth #2: A Human Resources Manager’s Only Job Is to Hire Employees.

Truth: This is probably the most widespread myth about the human resources department. The truth is that HR managers wear many hats. They don’t just oversee the hiring of new employees, they handle the employees’ entire employment cycle from hiring to retirement.

That’s not all. They must base their hiring decisions on how the job role will affect the performance of the company, recruit to find the perfect candidate for a specific job role, administer benefits for all employees, and even ensure appropriate job training.

 

Myth #3: Human Resources Should Always Be the Judge and Jury.

Truth: Many people assume that the HR department is solely responsible for recruiting new employees and for any firing decisions made in an organization. This isn’t always the case.

Hiring and firing decisions aren’t always carried out exclusively by the HR department—the decisions are usually a mutual effort by the company’s executives, team managers, external recruiters, and, of course, the HR department.

 

Myth #4: Reclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors Is a Great Way to Save Money.

Truth: People often assume that by reclassifying employees as independent contractors, an employer’s major responsibilities, like minimum wage and overtime requirements, payroll taxes, and employee benefit obligations, are no longer their problem. The truth is that the number of workers who qualify as independent contractors is quite small, and misclassification can result in penalties.

The law clearly states that a worker is an employee unless he or she meets certain criteria put in place by federal and state tests. Any employer looking to classify employees as independent contractors must ensure that they act in accordance with the law or pay the price.

Myth #5: Human Resources Managers Don’t Have to Do Everything by the Book.

Truth: Many people think that because HR managers make major decisions concerning employees in an organization, they have the power to set rules and regulations as they see fit. It doesn’t work this way. Every single decision made in the HR department must be in accordance with set rules, regulations, and guidelines. Acting unethically or carrying out illegal operations may not only result in huge penalties but it can also damage the reputation of a company, not to mention attract legal cases.

Myth #6: To Reduce the Abuse of Sick Leave, Human Resources Managers Must Demand a Doctor’s Note for Every Sick Day Used.

Truth: While most laws allow employers to ask their employees for documentation stating their need for leave, there are certain laws that impose restrictions on the issue. The company’s policy must apply equally to all employees, and the documentation cannot violate the privacy of the employees.

Most of these myths regarding HR seem like a good idea at first, but with a little research and experience, it’s clear these myths are busted.

If you are a small business owner in need of human resources services, benefits administration, or insurance, Mercado Insurance Services is here to help. Give us a call today.