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Some Workplace Perks Are More Fun Than a Barrel of Lawsuits

Posted on: April 10th, 2013 | Category: Events, Government Regulatory & Compliance Issues, HR Training Programs, Human Resources, MODERN EMPLOYER, Our Blog

“Hey, Andy. Can we have an on-site happy hour with our employees?”

“Can we bring our dogs to the office, Andy?”

“Andy, can we have a group yoga session in the conference room over lunch? Please?

Andy’s eyes grew wider with every question.  On the one hand, he was thrilled that his managers were such a positive, motivating force for their teams.  It was actually hard to imagine a more engaged and collaborative group – they’d eclipsed their sales goals by almost 200% last month, and they truly seemed to have a great time working together. “Good problem to have, right?” Andy thought.

But in the back of his mind he knew there had to be some hidden legal risks to these activities his managers were proposing.  It was all fun and games—until it wasn’t—and if anything happened, there could be policy ramifications, worker’s comp. claims, possibly even lawsuits involved.  He’d seen it happen with his best friend’s company. The well-meaning “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” resulted in an allergy attack, an urgent care visit, and an ADA accommodation…and there went the pet-friendly workplace! How could he strike that balance between encouraging efforts to increase employee  motivation and being the office party pooper?

Andy was pleased that he had started to “think like an HR person” when he brought hireVision to the office for a customized “HR Essentials” crash course.  After getting a clear and concise low-down on the basic HR laws and best practices for hiring, disciplining, documenting, and firing, Andy felt much more comfortable about his efforts to keep his company in compliance when looking at the day-to-day management tasks. Still, these questions about happy hours, dogs at work and yoga classes that came his way, he didn’t know what to do with them!

Luckily, Andy’s outsourced HR Manager at hireVision Group did. Through his annual HR DirectLink partnership, she explored the ins and outs of the office happy hour, the pet-friendly workplace, and the lunchtime yoga session ideas, and then she helped Andy make the decisions that were right for his workplace culture and in line with applicable laws.

As Andy sat at the break room table for their weekly Friday afternoon pot luck, he thought to himself, “Sure, an office happy hour sounds awesome, but with the risks involved, I’ll happily settle for our weekly all-you-can eat taco bar.”  It was a compromise that allowed for a fun workplace, yet helped Andy sleep better at night knowing his legal risks had been minimized.

Learn More About “HR Essentials for Management 1.0” at Our MODERN EMPLOYER Workshop

This 3-hour workshop provides an essential overview of current (and critical!) HR laws, policies, and processes for managers and leaders. (Let’s put it this way: if you’ve got employees, you need this information.) We’ll cover employment laws, hiring and recruiting, performance management, termination and off-boarding, to name a few. You’ll leave armed with information and tools to develop standardized and legally compliant HR practices.


  • A 3-hour, interactive small classroom session

    These HR tools alone are worth more than the price of admission!

  • Certificate of completion

  • A ready to use tool kit of templates, resources, and checklists


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Have a question about our workshops? Check out our 2013 MODERN EMPLOYER workshop page, or contact us.


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myHR Partner’s periodic publication, MODERN EMPLOYER, is created for business executives, owners and HR professionals who want to maximize their human resource functions using progressive hiring and HR strategies. It’s informative, fun and practical. Oh, and it’s FREE too!

You’ll discover:

  • Tips on hiring, screening, and interviewing
  • Creative ideas to help retain your best employees
  • Ways to put the “human” back in Human Resources
  • How to perform effective reference checks
  • New HR regulations and how they affect you and your employees
  • How small changes in certain processes can have big results
  • How to tell when partnering with an outside provider is in your best interest
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