CAI Reveals the Top 10 HR Topics Affecting Business Leaders

Results Include Performance Management Issues and Compliance with Wage & Hour Laws

Raleigh, NC, March 28, 2012 --( CAI, a North Carolina employers’ association that specializes in HR, compliance and people development, recently released the top 10 topics its Advice and Counsel Team discussed with North Carolina employers in 2011. Answering an average of 650 questions per month, CAI’s team received more than 9,000 inquiries from employers in 2011.

Federal and state employment laws and regulations leave room for interpretation. CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team helps employers decipher how those laws and regulations apply to their specific circumstances, and works to help them improve employee engagement to increase productivity and reduce employee turnover.

Advice and Counsel’s Top 10 Topics Discussed in 2011:

- Wage & Hour Compliance (1,165 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were proper classification of exempt versus non-exempt employees, factoring bonus pay and deduction of wages.

- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Compliance (773 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were designating FMLA leave, proper FMLA paperwork and the steps that follow once FMLA time is exhausted.

- Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) (453 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were accommodation requirements under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), OFCCP audits and sexual harassment investigations.

- Immigration (374 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were invalid Social Security cards, E-Verify requirements and audit preparation of I-9 documents.

- Termination (305 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were reviewing termination notices, the importance of proper documentation and laying off versus terminating.

- Unemployment (255 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were determination and duration of benefits, responding to unemployment claims, and severance, separation and vacation pay.

- Performance Management (190 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were evaluating employee performance, issues with drugs and alcohol, and performance improvement plans.

- Workers’ Compensation (179 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were on lost work time for medical treatment, accident investigations, and planning for hearings and mediation.

- Recruitment (134 inquiries received)
Key issues discussed were offer letters, rescinding job offers and creating job descriptions.

- Disciplinary Action (133 inquires received)
Key issues discussed were inappropriate activity on social media, the appropriate level of discipline and dealing with employee arrests.

“The current business climate challenges many companies to do more with less regarding their employees and potential job candidates,” said Renée Watkins, HR advisor and Advice and Counsel Team member. “On average I responded to 10 to 15 calls each day from employers calling for compliance assistance, help for creating positive employee relations, and a review of their liability options when their only choice is to provide discipline through direct expectations and defined consequences.”

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About CAI:
CAI is a trusted resource for HR, compliance and people development. With locations in Raleigh and Greensboro, CAI is a membership-driven organization that helps North Carolina employers maximize employee engagement and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, news, survey data, public policy advocacy and consulting services. For more information, please call (919) 878-9222 or visit

Anjelica Cummings
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600
Patty Briguglio