Why Should I Invest in a Human Resources Department?

Dr. Ryan Giffen

As a small to mid-size business, why should I invest in a human resources (HR) department?  Well, I argue this question by expressing the same reason why I need an Accountant.  It is all about being PROACTIVE and not REACTIVE!

The likelihood of my advisory firm going under an IRS audit is unlikely.  However, when (not should) that day come, I want to ensure I have the reports and documentation needed to limit my corporation’s liability as much as possible.  As such, I find value in having a proactive investment of an accountant.  HR is similar.  The likelihood of a government official such as OSHA, CAL-OSHA, DIR, ICE, etc.… beating down your door is unlikely to happen today.  However, it will…in the future, likely triggered by a disgruntled former employee.

In California, there is a web of legal entanglement that you should be concerned about.  You are required to ensure you are compliant not only with Federal employment laws but several other laws under the State of California.  For example California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Labor Code, IWC Wage Orders, California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the Private Attorney’s General Act.  Never mind the full-time legislature and the 37+ employment bills likely going to the Governor’s desk for signature this August (Ebbink, 2018), you must also understand Case law and how the courts have established precedence that impacts California businesses.  Are you knowledgeable about these laws? Pending bills in Sacramento?  Case laws passed down by the State courts?

As a business owner focused on delivering superior service or moving product off shelves, it is best to work with an expert who is knowledgeable in their product of delivering proactive compliance to eliminate exposure of violation in employment laws.

Don’t wait until it is too late.  It takes only one current/former employee to file a complaint with any of the several federal and state agencies to trigger a lawsuit or administrative hearing.  A triggered complaint can cost your organization thousands or possibly millions of dollars in penalties.   Are you prepared?  Be proactive in managing your business and your employee’s.  Not only does it make ‘business sense’ but it is the right thing to do for you, your company, and your people.

Ebbink (2018, February).  Your comprehensive guide to 2018 proposed California legislation.  Retrieved from https://www.fisherphillips.com/california-employers-blog/your-comprehensive-guide-to-2018-proposed-california

About Dr. Ryan Giffen

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Ryan Giffen is an expert in human relations and business culture. His career began in hospitality, leading operations and human resource departments for Fortune 500 companies and the like. Not long after, Ryan found his passion for teaching and consulting. He earned a Ph.D. in Hospitality Management with a Human Resources focus from Iowa State University and now works as an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach. For over a decade, he continues to research and speak on organizational culture, relationship intelligence, and leadership effectiveness. Ryan is also the founder of Inospire, a company helping bosses and employees build stronger relationships with one another.  Lastly, Dr. Giffen is producer and host of the Corporate Shadow Podcast. a show helping everyday employees overcome workplace nonsense.