Introducing Kelcey Castro, Human Resources Manager

Kelcey Castro Profile Picture

It is our pleasure to extend a warm welcome to Kelcey Castro, who joins us as our Human Resources Manager. Kelcey brings with her a wealth of experience and an unwavering dedication to fostering inclusive and supportive workplace environments.

With a robust background in HR, Kelcey excels in policy development, handbook creation, employee recruitment, and fostering positive workplace cultures. Her expertise extends to conducting internal investigations and implementing training programs focused on harassment prevention, ensuring that our organization maintains a safe and respectful atmosphere for all team members.

As we welcome Kelcey to our team, we eagerly anticipate the contributions she will make in elevating our HR practices and fostering a workplace culture that celebrates diversity, teamwork, and mutual respect. Join us in extending a heartfelt welcome to Kelcey Castro as our new Human Resources Manager, as we embark on this journey of growth and success together.

HR Chronicles: Unveiling Insights & Lessons

What Would You Do? A Potential Drug and Alcohol Issue

HR Chronicles is a periodic look at real-life situations for which our HR experts have provided client guidance.

Workplace Compliance and Purpose

A Company’s objective is to maintain a drug and alcohol-free work environment that is safe and productive for Employees and others doing business with the Company. The use, possession, purchase, sale, distribution, or being under the influence of any narcotic substance and/or the misuse of legal drugs while on Company or client premises or while performing services for the Company is strictly prohibited and violates Workplace Safety standards.

achohol and pills

Companies also prohibit employees from reporting to work or performing services under the influence of alcohol or consuming alcohol while on duty or during work hours. Companies prohibit off-premises abuse of alcohol and controlled substances, as well as the possession, use, or sale of narcotic substances, when these activities adversely affect job performance, job safety, or the any Company reputation in the community.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

The concept of the term Reasonable Suspicion is a belief or hunch, that an Employee is under the influence of drugs and alcohol and is adversely affecting job performance.

The Employee poses a threat to themselves, others, or the Company. This evidence might come from observations made by co-workers, and information shared during meetings or training sessions.

Potential Scenario

A 45-year-old nurse has worked for the Hospital for three years, but you have been a supervisor for only six weeks. This morning, as you are making your “rounds”, you noticed the Employee was not walking straight and was muttering. You checked the patients’ records and you noticed the Employee is behind schedule.

You approached the Employee and asked how it is going. The Employee’s complexion was flushed, eyes were red and tearing.

When you asked the Employee again if there are any problems, the Employee looked at you and seemed unfocused. The Employee was distant and mumbled an incoherent response.

Ask the Employee to accompany you to your office or other private area. Ask if the Employee is okay; solicit a coherent verbal response. Identify and confront the Employee with your observations. Explain that a Reasonable Suspicion test will be conducted.

  • flushed complexion
  • red, watery eyes
  • unresponsive to verbal greeting
  • unfocused, distracted eye contact
  • incoherent, mumbled speech

Reasonable Suspicion testing might be necessary. Both an alcohol and drug test maybe warranted since signs and symptoms are consistent with either drug or alcohol use.

If your company is experiencing similar issues, contact us for a confidential consultation. All employee-related matters will be help in the strictest confidence. 

Women in HR

CHR Spotlight: The Women Who Make Our HR Department Tick

Karen Roche, our executive vice president of human resources and general counsel, leads the all-female HR department at CHR. With a client-centric focus and attention that goes above and beyond daily HR activities, Karen and her team—Kelcey Castro, HR manager, and Ivonne Wareka, HR coordinator—ensure each client who engages with them always feels strongly supported.

Engagements with CHR cover an array of human resource activities, from administrative to advisory, tailored to each employer’s needs. These include reviewing employee handbooks and policies, drawing up contracts and agreements, handling disciplinary actions, customized coaching, and conducting employee training on different types of workplace situations. Regardless of the level of engagement, the team’s mantra is to always take care of the client in a highly personal way, which clients truly appreciate.

“Depending on what each client needs, we can be a resource for their in-house HR team or function as their outsourced HR department,” says Karen, who joined CHR in December 2022 after many years as an in-house labor attorney for private and public employers, and in private practice.

Customized engagements, client-first approach

“Our HR team’s approach is deep into soft skills that put the ‘human’ in human resources,” says CEO Brian Boffa. “We’ve had clients contract with us for HR support because they’ve heard from colleagues about the high level of attention Karen, Kelcey, and Ivonne provide.”

In addition to Karen’s employer-first mindset which infuses her team, clients also appreciate that they always have access to her expertise and guidance. “Everything that falls under employment law, I am here to help,” she says.

Karen assures all new clients that she is available as their labor counsel. She makes sure employment policies are in place and always adhered to, that employers are compliant with all state and federal regulations, and that they receive full support when a workplace situation arises. This support is provided on the phone, by email, or at their office. And when clients call CHR and Karen is not available, Kelcey responds to their needs. “Our level of accessibility and responsiveness sets us apart from other firms,” according to Karen.

Kelcey says one reason why she joined CHR in December 2023 is the team’s hands-on, client-centric approach, “As HR professionals, we believe you have to deal with the law but also show understanding, empathy, and patience with clients who are looking to us for assistance.”” As soon as we get details from a client, we always thoroughly research the issue to ensure the client remains compliant, fair, and consistent with regulations and the client’s standards and policies”.

Ivonne, who has been with CHR for 19 years, originally worked as a payroll specialist at CHR. She moved to the HR department and still works with some of the firm’s legacy clients she has helped for many years. Today, she coordinates all the documentation and client workflow, oversees daily operations, handles background checks, helps with application walk-throughs and system software, and trains employers and employees to use the onboarding portal.

“Clients tell me how much they appreciate Ivonne’s experience and knowledge as well as her ‘hand holding’ through their transactions,” says Karen. “Long-term clients are delighted to be able to continue working with her in this capacity.”

Bilingual in Spanish, Ivonne provided a Spanish translation of the firm’s sexual harassment training video and sometimes leads the training live in Spanish at clients’ offices. She also provides translation services if an employee needs it during an employer-employee situation.

HR team as the hub

Ivonne notes that “the HR team is the hub that can connect clients to other CHR areas we cover. We love to connect them with whatever they need to support their operation.”

If your organization could use some white glove treatment and personal attention to your HR matters, contact us for a free consultation.