HR Lessons From the 2012 US Presidential Election

by | Nov 7, 2012 | Blog

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

Keep Calm and Call Integrity HRNow that the 2012 US Presidential Election is over, we can all rejoice for the end of political commercials. Hip Hip Hooray!

Whether your candidate won or not, now is the time to take a step back and ask, “How is this going to affect my business?”

Undoubtedly, things are going to change. There are going to be some challenging issues that employers are going to have to face in the near future.

But just keep repeating our new post-election slogan—Keep Calm and Call Integrity HR.

Our mission has been and always will be to provide HR solutions to small, medium and large sized organization to create more productive, profitable and successful organizations. And in that spirit, today we’re sharing some important HR Lessons From the 2012 US Presidential Election.

HR Lessons From the 2012 US Presidential Election.

HR Lesson #1: Be Proactive and Protect Your Company

There are some things we know for sure:

  • Health Care Reform: This is going to have significant financial and administration implications for most employers. There will be a mandated responsibility of the shoulders of employers, and while most of the action begins now, the bulk starts in 2014. We’ll keep you posted.
  • Investigations: Over the past four years, regulatory agencies like the EEOC and Department of Labor gave increased staffing. More staff means more investigations and more litigation when companies do not comply with regulations.
  • Immigration Reform: Sources familiar with the issue say that President Obama will push harder to pass a comprehensive reform package during his second term. Since nearly 70 percent of Latino voters supported Obama in the 2012 election, Republican leaders may be more amenable to working with the president and Democrats on enacting reform legislation.
  • Workplace Discrimination: President Obama and Democrats in Congress will continue to push equal pay for women in the workplace. The President also supports passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against workers based on their sexual orientation; however, with the House remaining in Republican hands, these issues will most likely struggle to advance. .
  • Workplace Leave: Since 2009, President Obama and Democrats have been strong supporters of measures to create more leave options for employees, such as a federal paid leave act. The Obama administration has explored expanding leave options under regulations that govern the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employers should expect to see more attempts to pass legislation and new proposals to expand and extend leave options to workers.
  • Labor Relations: President Obama supports the long-stalled Employee Free Choice Act, which would reform the election process for union representation. Again, in a divided Congress, the act may not advance. The President has appointed members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), also, who strongly support workers’ rights to organize. After the NLRB issued several controversial rule revisions and new regulations, the Republican-controlled House passed several measures intended to block the changes and limit the board’s authority. Political observers agree that employers and labor organizers should expect more of the same in 2013.

So what can you do? Know where you stand on best practices. Be proactive and protect your company from tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Do you know where your company stands when it comes to compliance requirements?

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If you don’t, now’s the time to conduct an HR Audit and/or Operational Review. This comprehensive, confidential audit of all HR practices, procedures and policies will tell you exactly where your company is at risk and how to fix it.

Download our Free HR High Spot Compliance Review to get an idea of what areas you may have exposure.

HR Lesson #2: Present a Clear and Consistent Message To Your Employees

This election reminded us that people get confused and often lose faith when the message changes. Business Owners and HR Professionals need to present a clear and consistent message to all employees during this uncertain time. As we mentioned above, things are going to change. There will be more government reviews and more employment issues and your employees are going to ask more and more questions.

So what can you do?

It is important to share expectations of jobs, performance and policies. As the employee problems arise, let your team know that you are concerned and are ready to respond. The best way to keep employees up to date on all of your policies and procedures is to present them with an Employee Handbook. Perhaps now would be a good time to have a refresher course inside your business to cover the details of this infamous book and answer any questions your employees might have.

HR Lesson #3: Promote a Respectful & Tolerant Workplace

Things have gotten pretty ugly over the past few months. Family, friends and complete strangers have argued over Facebook statuses like hyenas fighting over zebra carcasses. (Great image, right?)

We hope that no fights broke out around your water cooler during this election season. Things will soon get back to normal around the office as the emotion of the event because old news. But the impending employment legislation is bound to get everyone riled up again.

So what can you do?

Remind your employees to be conscious of the fact that everyone holds different views. This is simply a matter of diversity. Explain to your employees that your company supports diversity; therefore any discussions that make people feel left out, disadvantaged or discriminated against will not be tolerated. You have a business to run, so put it in perspective with a zero tolerance program.

Promise your employees that you are doing everything you can to look out for their welfare while following the government mandated policies and procedures as well as those in your own business.

One way you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect your company and your employees is to have an adviser and sounding board in place to support you during these challenging times. That’s where we come in. To support you, the business professional, reducing risk, improving performance, and getting great results so you can rest easier and work more efficiently.

So remember: Keep Calm and Call Integrity HR!


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