Last week we discussed the common warning signs of domestic abuse victims. If you suspect an employee of being abused, below is a recommended course of action.


  • Express concern and ask if something is wrong
  • Listen
  • Offer help through contacting your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a local shelter/counseling center.
  • Notify the police if threatening messages are received at the office, or the  employee’s spouse poses a threat to your workplace


  • Wait for the employee to come to you
  • Judge
  • Pressure the employee for an explanation or answer
  • Threaten the employee’s position
  • Give advice


If your employee does not want to share information with you, you are still obligated as their employer to minimize risks in the workplace under OSHA.  In some states, employers are allowed to obtain restraining orders against employee’s spouses, to keep them away from the workplace. However, by doing this you could be doing more harm than good for the victim.

We recommend that you immediately contact an HR Advisor or your local domestic violence hotline/help center before taking action on your own.  As an employer, you are not in a position to provide direct help, or offer advice on their specific situation. You should always do the best you can in getting them the help they need, and ensuring that your workplace remains safe for ALL employees, not just the victim.

Victims of domestic violence and abuse are everywhere, yet we often inadvertently overlook or excuse our suspicions, especially when the suspected victim denies any such case.  Do you suspect that an employee of your workplace is a victim?

Join us for our two-part HR Shield series as we review the employee warning signs of domestic violence, and an appropriate action plan for employers.

Domestic abuse is not always physical; often it’s psychological, which can make identifying various warning signs much more difficult. As an HR Professional or employer, you have the responsibility of protecting your employees within their workplace.  You may never know what goes on behind closed doors, but if you suspect domestic violence, your best course of action is to ACT.

If one employee is in a dangerous relationship, it could quickly escalate to a much larger problem, for not only your employee, but your entire team.  In extreme situations, an employee’s abusive spouse could eventually show up at the workplace.

Employee Warning Signs:

  • The employee seems afraid or anxious around their partner… perhaps you have had a chance to meet their partner at a company outing, or they have stopped by the workplace on occasion.
  • Frequent check-ins at the office. Is your employee’s spouse constantly calling the office, or is your employee taking short breaks to “check-in” all of the time?
  • The employee has mentioned their spouse’s temper, or jealousy.
  • The employee has unexplained injuries.
  • Frequent sick days/ or last minute call-ins.
  • Suspicious wardrobe choices. For example, long sleeves or turtlenecks in the warmer months.
  • A sudden change in confidence.
  • Never wanting to participate in or attend employee outings or workplace festivities.
  • Exhibiting depression or anxiety.

These are just some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness any warning signs of abuse surrounding an employee, take them very seriously. Next week we will be reviewing an employer’s action plan.

For immediate advice, please contact an HR Shield Advisor.

Additional Resources: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Happy Boss’s Day to all the bosses out there!

What is Boss’s Day?

The United States and Canada have been celebrating Boss’s day since it was first registered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958.  Originally, the date chosen was October 8th, but four years later it was changed to the 16th.

It wasn’t until 1979 when Hallmark started selling a Boss’s Day card that people started learning of this “holiday.” In 2007, Hallmark significantly increased the size of its Boss’s Day card line – which makes you wonder, are bosses becoming much more popular amongst their employees?

What Exactly Makes a “Good Boss?”  

HR Shield believes that all good bosses demonstrate the following 5 attributes:

  1. Confidence: But not too much of it, making others feel inept. In order to lead, a boss needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role.
  2. Trustworthiness:  A good boss needs to be trusted and be known to live their life (and job) with honestly and integrity.
  3. Passion: Employees respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication.
  4. Patience: Don’t ever underestimate the importance of patience! A good boss will take the time to explain a task and clarify all issues until processes are streamlined and bottlenecks are resolved.
  5. Fairness & Loyalty: Great bosses genuinely care about their employees and want to watch them grow. Bosses are fair in providing opportunity and loyal to their dedicated employees.

How Do You Celebrate?

Well, that’s simple. Thank your boss for being kind and fair throughout the year!

HR Shield is committed to positive working environments and best practices for employee management of all kinds.  Call and meet your HR Advisor at (877) 636-9525 to streamline your human resources administration or click here to learn more about HR scenarios that HR Shield can assist you with!


We live in a very digital world today; you no longer need to visit the Casino or host a Friday Night Poker match at your home to engage in gambling. While engaging in some online fun may seem harmless, the ease of gambling on the Internet has brought forth a challenging dilemma for HR professionals and employers.

Most companies state clearly in their policies that gambling is not permitted at the worksite, and up until the past few years or so, gambling remained a relatively private matter. Online access to gambling has enabled employees to gamble on the job… literally, if their employee handbook forbids it, they gamble their jobs, not just their money.

So, what do you do if you catch an employee gambling on the job? First off, the employer should always confirm that their practice of uncovering the employee’s gambling habits were compliant and not an invasion of privacy. If you were monitoring the employee’s computer use, does your existing policy state that work computers are employer property and therefore monitored? Did the employee receive a copy of your company’s policy when they were hired?

Before approaching the employee it is recommended that you consult with a licensed HR professional to ensure you have met all compliance standards.  You’ll likely need to issue and document a warning or violation to this employee, unless the situation is severe enough for employee termination.

Assuming the issue is to be handled with an employee warning or violation, your next concern is the employee as an individual. As an employer, you should ensure the well-being of all employees in order to continually support a healthy working environment. The person you have just issued a warning to may in fact have a gambling problem.

Companies need access to resources in order to issue effective responses to workplace problems, and HR Shield can help, from providing helpful resources to individuals with gambling addictions, to developing and enforcing clear company policies.

Gambling in the workplace negatively affects everyone. It results in productivity loss for both the employer and the employee and can cause disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social and vocational.

For additional resources, visit the National Council on Problem Gambling or Gamblers Anonymous.  To immediately speak with an HR Advisor, contact HR Shield at (877) 636-9525.

This past week on the Clark Howard show, we learned that 3 million jobs in the United States are unfilled. With more than 12 million unemployed individuals searching for work right now, what seems to be the problem?

Well, there’s an apparent disconnect between the skill sets of the unemployed and current job openings.  Does your company currently hire people for the following positions (top unfilled positions)? Are you having trouble recruiting qualified candidates?

  • Petroleum engineers start at $85,000
  • Senior landmen start at $55,000
  • Software engineers start at $60,000
  • Electrical engineers start at $60,000
  • Mechanical engineers start at $55,000
  • Software developers start at $55,000
  • Financial analysts start at $50,000
  • Communication coordinators start at $35,000
  • Marketing coordinators start at $35,000
  • Certified public accountants start at $45,000

***Data provided by  

How HR Shield can help!

HR Shield makes hiring employees easier with recruitment assistance, employee training advice, job interview tips, and more. Through our comprehensive online library, we also make sure you have access to new-hire forms necessary throughout the hiring process.

Not only will HR Shield advise you on finding the best and most qualified candidate for the job, but if that candidate is not located within an ideal geographic radius, our team can also help you compose an attractive yet conservative relocation package.

Now, perhaps your position requires a specific academic background. Still can’t find anyone qualified for the job or with the preferred academic resume and training to support the position?  HR Shield advisors are skilled at putting together “out of the box” compensation and benefits programs that transform your existing employees into qualified candidates for a new position.

So whether it’s a schooling reimbursement program, sourcing various training opportunities, or putting together better benefits packages to inspire your employees to grow, HR Shield can assist you. We all want to contribute to bettering our country’s unemployment rate, but great candidates for unfilled positions may be right in front of you: your own valuable employees. With the right opportunity, an existing employee can be re-qualified or trained for a new position, opening up the entry level positions within your organization (which are traditionally much easier to fill).

Get on board by signing up now online, or contact us for more information!