Religious Accommodations: Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

Employers typically should assume that a request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief. However, if the employer has a valid and objective reason to request more information from an employee or to doubt the validity of a request, they may ask additional questions, tailored for the individual assessment being conducted.

The EEOC identified the following factors that might undermine the credibility of an employee's claim:

  • The employee has acted inconsistently with the professed belief. However, the EEOC said, "employees need not be scrupulous in their observance."
  • The employee is seeking a "particularly desirable" accommodation that is likely to be sought for nonreligious reasons.
  • The timing of the request is suspicious. For example, the employee may have recently requested the same benefit for secular reasons and been denied.
  • The employer otherwise has reason to believe the accommodation is not sought for religious reasons.

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How To Conduct A Proper Termination

Last week, several clients did what sometimes needs to be done:  they terminated an employee’s employment.

Some of the reasons for last week’s terminations included:

  • Attendance issues; refusal to adhere to their job description.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse on company property.
  • Complaints from team members and clients about the employee; creating a toxic work environment.

Some points to remember when terminating an employee:

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Congratulations to Lisa!

Lisa 002

HR Partners is thrilled to announce that Lisa Zerbe, one of our most senior Human Resources Advisors, has taken and passed the Society for Human Resource Management - Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification examination.

The SHRM-CP examination contains two types of multiple choice questions:  stand-alone knowledge-based items that assess a candidate's knowledge and understanding of factual information, and scenario-based situational judgment items that assess a candidate's judgment, application and decision-making skills.

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Post Pandemic Job Description Review

Job descriptions affect multiple aspects of employment. An effective job description should accurately reflect the essential duties and responsibilities of an employee’s position. For many employees, job duties have fluctuated as a result of the pandemic. Employees have cross-trained and absorbed additional duties when co-workers were out of the office due to quarantine or other COVID related reasons. It is important and necessary for employers to review job descriptions and update criteria where necessary.

Accurate job descriptions are instrumental for recruitment, Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) administration, American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) interactive process facilitation, annual performance evaluations, and Department of Labor Audits.

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New W-4 for 2020

The IRS updated the Form W-4 with significant revisions designed to make accurate income-tax withholding easier for employees in 2020. For your convenience, we have attached the new Form W-4. Additionally, to help employers navigate this change, we have compiled a list of the top five (5) changes employers should know about the new 2020 Form W-4:

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What our clients say...

Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers

Kevin Holland
Vice President 
Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers

"We started working with HR Partners when we had staffing changes in our Accounting and Human Resources department. HR Partners has been there to assist us in that transition and has become a resource that we plan to continue to utilize.

Everyone in their office is professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and always very prompt. HR Partners has been able to provide advice and guidance on numerous HR topics and provided a mandatory Workplace Etiquette for our employees. They have also updated our personnel manual in order to provide clear and consistent polices for our employees. HR Partners would be an asset for any company looking for assistance with any human resources needs."