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Vendor Management

Holiday help for HR professionals


Here’s a round-up of HR advice to heed as the holidays roll around. Click on the links below for answers to holiday questions posed by our readers, as well as a slew of tips to keep things festive without finding a subpeona in your stocking:

Fired driver files suits over false-positive drug test


A recent Illinois case illustrates how employers can get into expensive litigation if their drug-testing vendors don’t follow proper procedures when conducting random drug tests.

What’s the new law? Must we now provide health insurance to employees’ adult children?


Q. I understand that Illinois has passed a new law requiring certain employer-provided insurance policies to cover an employee’s dependents who are up to age 26 (or up to age 30 in some instances). Which employers and which policies are affected by the new law?

New mental-health parity rules kick in Oct. 3


The high-voltage debate over health care reform has consumed headlines in recent months, but employers shouldn’t overlook a more immediate change: The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act that takes effect next month will mandate new coverage limits—and potentially lead to higher costs.

DOT rule calls for direct observation of drug tests


If you have transportation workers in safety-sensitive jobs, take note: New U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rules kick in Aug. 31 that affect return-to-work drug tests given to employees who previously tested positive or underwent drug rehab.

Use 7-point checklist to choose an employee assistance plan


The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which takes effect Oct. 3, has more employers worried about rising health insurance premiums—and looking to employee assistance programs as a way to keep costs down. The law prohibits group health plans covering 50 or more employees from imposing extraordinary coverage caps on mental health and substance abuse treatment.

New health insurance rules for employees’ dependent children attending college


A new federal law that takes effect Nov. 8 extends eligibility for group health insurance coverage to certain dependent children over the age of 18 who are enrolled in institutions of higher education.

Hacked! Limiting employer liability for breaches of employee data


Imagine this nightmare scenario: You’ve contracted with a vendor to enter personnel data into a new computer system, including employees’ Social Security numbers, addresses, names of dependents, health records and bank account routing numbers. Then the vendor notifies you that employee data was somehow stolen or lost. What do you do?

10 keys to negotiating your HR budget


Ever had the C-Suite rubber-stamp your HR budget with nary a question or challenge? Neither has Valerie Grubb, who spent most of her career building and justifying budgets in large manufacturing and entertainment companies, most recently NBC Universal. Here are her 10 tips for negotiating with those who make the final budget decisions.

Develop the 3 business skills that CEOs want most


More than ever, top execs are seeking HR professionals with business skills to help shape organizational strategy. Here are the top business skills that experts and surveys say executives want in HR professionals …