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Did you know that it is National Disability Employment Awareness Month?

New-ODEP-Logo-Vector-Cropped2National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“We all have a role to play in — and benefit to gain from — increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities. This year’s theme encapsulates this in three powerful words. It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring. It’s about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step on this continuum is expectation,” said Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/odep/.

If you have specific questions regarding Employment Laws and Regulations regarding Disabilities in the work place our HR/Client Services Department is here to assist you.

Clients call us today at 770-339-0000.

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Employee FAQs about Child Labor Laws

The following Frequently Asked Questions are from the Georgia Department of Labor’s Website. For more info, you can contact HR Strategies at 770.339.0000 today!

Q: Do I need a work permit if I am a minor working as a volunteer?

A: A work permit is not required if you are not getting paid or receiving compensation for your services.

Q: I work in a restaurant and have a 12-year old daughter. I do not want to leave her home during the day on non-school days. May I take her to work with me? Can she clear tables and sweep/mop floors as long as she is there anyway?

A: Child labor laws do not apply in simply bringing her to work with you. It is strictly up to the “boss” if you are allowed to bring your child with you. However, she may not do any work at all.

Q: I am 16 years of age. What time does the boss have to let me off in the evenings on a school night?

A: There are no restriction on hours for minors 16 years of age and above. (No cutoff hour; no maximum number of hours per day).

Q: Where do I get a work permit?

A: A minor can get a completed work permit from the school the minor attends. If a minor does not attend school OR if the school does not maintain a supply of work permit data sheets, one may be obtained from the county school superintendent’s office. A minor will need to take a copy of a certified birth certificate to have a completed work permit issued.

Q: Can I start a work permit online?

A: Yes, the work permit data sheet can be started on-line. Use the link below to access the online work permit system designed to allow completion of the work permit data sheet by Minors and Employers and the issuance of work permits by authorized Issuing Officers. Online Work Permit

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Out-of-the-Box Ways to Give this Holiday Season

This article from savingadvice.com has some excellent ideas for giving this holiday season!

Consider these 10 out-of-the-box ways to effortlessly incorporate charity into your daily routine this holiday season:

Jump aboard the daily deal train

Websites, like Groupon and LivingSocial, have made daily deals a new phenomenon in consumer savings. But, why not add a charitable twist to make the whole transaction more meaningful? Sharing Spree is a new daily deal site that donates between 10-15 percent of every deal sold to non-profits or schools. Sharing Spree works with a number of well-known causes such as the American Cancer Society and Meals on Wheels. It also works with small, local charities that are always in need of a boost in donations.

Give for the future

Looking for a way to give back in the office or promote team solidarity? Turn charity into a team project. Whatever your company is passionate about — technology, innovation, cooking or arts — create a custom scholarship program and award students in need who best fit the criteria. Investing in even one student’s education is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

Be a kid in a toy store

There is no better time than the holidays to reignite your inner child. Grab family, friends or co-workers and head to the local toy shop for a shopping spree that gives back. Check out Toys for Tots, a program that donates toys to children in need, to ensure that every last girl and boy has plenty of goodies under the tree on Christmas morning. There’s likely a collection in your hometown.

Help a friend dress for success

In the state of today’s economy, chances are you have an acquaintance that’s unemployed and back on the terrifying job-hunting grind. As any head honcho can attest, the first step to nailing that dream gig is looking professional at the interview — but not everyone can afford appropriate attire. Consider donating to Dress for Success, a program that donates gently used professional clothing to needy job-hunters across America. Your closest could probably use a good cleaning anyway.

Light up the season by going local

Whether hitting the grocery store before the influx of holiday house guests or braving the mall on Black Friday, there are plenty of ways to shop with purpose. Why not patronize stores and retail websites that sell handmade gifts or support small businesses? Buy local and buy American — the economy and the environment will thank you.

Make mom proud

As any mommy-to-be or young mother knows, expenses can get pretty steep when it comes to the new little bundle of joy. Why not help cut nursery costs this holiday season? The Help a Mother Organization is accepting donations of diapers and baby wipes that go to single moms in need and gives instructions on how to host your very own diaper drive and make a party of it.

Give the gift of life

Did you know the Red Cross needs about 1,000 units of blood each day to keep up with demand? Donate this holiday season to give the gift of life — in less than an hour. Read up on this great cause and locate a blood drive in your area by visiting Red Cross Blood.

Bring wish lists to life

The holidays are all about family, right? Look no further than the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program to make a big difference for families in need during the holiday season. Simply sign up online, select a local family of preferred family size and receive personalized wish lists from each member of the family soon thereafter. Learn more here and explore options in your hometown.

Benefit breast cancer research – and look good doing it

Shop Pink and fight breast cancer. With retailers from Sephora to Ann Taylor to Cuisine Art donating proceeds of sales to research, there’s a gift for everyone on your list that benefits the cause The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is able to direct $0.90 out of every $1.00 donated to toward breast cancer research and awareness programs — imagine the good you can do with a little retail therapy.

Spread the love overseas

Attention, proud patriots: it’s easier than ever to give back to our men and women in the armed forces this holiday season with Operation Gratitude. A quick online donation of any amount contributes to care packages sent to men and women overseas defending our freedom during the Christmas season.

There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to help those in need. So, why not keep the holidays stress-free and give back while doing it? Happy holidays, and start spreading that goodwill today!

Dana Free is director of non-profit relations for Sharing Spree.

To read the full article, click here.

To find out how HR Strategies can help your company, call us today at (770) 339-0000.

Is it time to “Spring Clean” your HR/business functions?

Each spring many of us spend time purging and sprucing up our homes, cars, and even offices.  We rid our spaces of cobwebs and items that we no longer have a use for; we even update outdated items.  Doing so can give us a feeling of revival of energy after a long winter. This concept of Spring Cleaning through purging and updating may be just what some of your business functions need to revive your employees and your company itself.

When was the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures?  This may be a great first step in “Spring Cleaning” for your business.  As we enter recovery from the great recession, you may find your business in the position to acquire new talent.  As you review your policies and procedures, take the time to do a comparison against other companies to ensure that you are competitive in the hiring process.  Are your handbooks up to date? Or do they need to be updated with new policies and procedures from when they were first created?

To remain competitive in hiring new employees, maybe it’s time you looked at your benefits package?  Are you offering the best package you can? When attracting new employees, a good benefits package can be just as important as salary.  HR Strategies can help you offer a premium benefits package to your employees, while keeping you in compliance with benefit regulations.  Speaking of being in compliance, when was the last time you looked to make sure that all of your Notice of Employee Rights and other postings, required by law, were up to date? “Spring Cleaning” is a great time to do so!

The recession brought about many changes in job duties for many of us. Some employees took on additional roles, some moved up in the ranks, and some have moved down in rank.  “Spring Cleaning” is a good time to review your written job descriptions, to make sure that they are accurate.  While taking the time to do so, why not also review compensation policies. With new job descriptions written out, do you see where an employee/job may not be compensated properly? Does an increase need to be in the works? Or have the job duties decreased, and a decrease in salary needs to be implemented?

HR Strategies provides all the solutions and consulting you need to be able to “Spring Clean” your business HR functions. Give us a call today; so that we can start ridding your company of HR cobwebs!

People’s Choice Award 3rd Place Goes To…

Coming in 3rd place, this article concerns a hot topic in today’s society. The week of October 4, President Obama signed this Act in hopes of bringing needed relief to the nation’s struggling small businesses.

Attention Business Owners: We can help stabilize your business’ costs and help you grow your bottom line. Want to know more about a PEO? Click Here. If you think your business could benefit from our services, please call one of our knowledgeable professionals at (770) 339-0000 ext. 129 for more information! Call today to receive a Free HR Proposal!

If you are a small business owner, this 3rd place article should give you some hope for 2011. 3rd prize in our People’s Choice Award of 2010 goes to…

New Bill Brings Aid to U.S. Small Business

Contact us today to find out how we bring aid to small business!

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