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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. […]

HR Chronicles: Unveiling Insights & Lessons

Work-Place Safety & Hostile Work Environments

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

The Situation

An Employer had two Employees who started arguing aggressively and yelling in front of the other Employees in the workplace.

One of the Employees felt uncomfortable and physically threatened. The Manager was called and informed of the situation.

There are steps the Manager could take in a situation like this – some are more appropriate than others. The Manager can:

  • Investigate and collect all information and details of the situation. This would include interviewing both individuals and collecting witness statements. Then review all information and determine the type of disciplinary action to implement.
  • Terminate both Employees without an investigation.
  • Continue with normal operations and ignore the situation.
  • Suspend both Employees, pending an investigation.

Depending on the severity of the altercation the Employer may choose to suspend both Employees (to be fair to both) pending investigation and investigate and collect all information/ details. The Manager should interview both individual’s and collect witness statements, then review all information and determine the type of disciplinary action to take.

In this case, the investigation determined:

  • On several occasions, Employee #2 has made offensive racists remarks and inappropriate jokes towards Employee #1. In addition, Employee #2 frequently block’s Employee #1 movements around the workplace. Employee #1 has asked Employee #2 to stop this behavior; this behavior occurs in front of numerous coworkers.

A hostile work environment is one where the words and actions of a supervisor, manager or coworker negatively or severely impacts another employee’s ability to complete their work. Any employee can be responsible for creating a hostile work environment. Hostile words and actions include:

  • Repeated offensive remarks
  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Racists remarks
  • Discrimination of any kind
  • Obstruction of someone’s movements, such as blocking them from any movement throughout the workplace.

  • The intended victims of the harasser.
  • Bystanders, co-workers and/or vendors who witness the offensive conduct.

Important to note: The intended victim should make it clear to the harasser that the behavior is unwelcome and should stop.

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

Introducing Karen Ehrenberg, Our New Director of HRIS & Operations

Please join us in welcoming Karen Ehrenberg as our Director of HRIS & Operations. In this role she will play a key behind-the-scenes role overseeing our HRIS and Payroll functions. Karen comes to CHR with considerable experience in the payroll and tax fields. She has developed and implemented payroll systems for small to large-scale enterprises. […]

Hire the Right Talent Faster with CHR’s Applicant Tracking System

Let’s streamline your talent acquisition process.
Busy HR professionals know that recruiting and hiring the best talent takes time and money. CHR’s Applicant Tracking System is designed to streamline the entire talent recruiting process with Automated job posting, Candidate communications, Custom screening questions, and Tag & keyword matching.
Get our helpful ATS Guide!

Department of Homeland Security Provides Certainty For I-9 Employment Verification

On July 21, 2023, the USCIS gave employers a new option for verifying employment eligibility. Effective August 1, 2023, employers have an alternative procedure by which qualifying employers may inspect employees’ Form I-9 documentation virtually as opposed to performing a physical verification. This physical examination was required for all new hires until the COVID-19 exception […]

Federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Due This Month

Federal employment law is about to give birth to some long-overdue requirements. As of June 27, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees must provide pregnancy-related accommodations to employees and applicants under the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). Below we will refer to employees and applicants collectively as “employees.” Pregnancy Related Accommodations Under the […]

Workplace Harassment: Who Is Affected?

Workplace harassment or discrimination is not limited to employees or direct victims of the act. Other people who can be affected by verbal, physical, or other harassment include anyone in the work environment who perceives the behavior as hostile. These may be co-workers who are sitting nearby and are bothered by it or a visitor […]

What is Workplace Bullying?

Sad to say, many people are victims or witnesses to workplace bullying. As defined by SHRM, workplace bullying is “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more people by one or more perpetrators.” This persistent, pervasive, inappropriate behavior—direct or indirect—falls into several categories. What is workplace bullying behavior? Threats, intimidation, or humiliation Verbal abuse such as […]