When to Ask for Advice

“The problem I have is knowing when to use my own instincts when something happens and when to ask for advice.”

Your HR Survival Tips

You’re not alone in not knowing when to ask for advice, whether it’s from senior management, HR, or an attorney. We see this confusion frequently. People in management like to believe they know the answer to everything, but they don’t.

There are levels of knowledge. You (hopefully) know your role in the company. You may know a lot about your employees. You may know the thought process of senior management or the owner. What most people in management do not know is current employment law and how to apply it to the daily work environment.

Unless you are absolutely positive about the answer or how to deal with the situation, ask for advice. Here are a few examples of when to ask for HR advice:

  • An employee has been out sick for 2 days and it doesn’t sound like they’ll be back tomorrow. — Advice is needed on Paid Sick Leave and California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
  • An employee has just informed you that s/he is expecting a baby. — Advice is needed on Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), Paid Family Leave Insurance, and CFRA.
  • An employee is taking too much sick time off. — Advice is needed on Paid Sick Leave and, possibly, CFRA.
  • An employee isn’t responding to your suggestions or directives about how to improve or change their behavior. — Advice is needed on coaching, documentation, and disciplinary options.
  • An employee has informed you they are moving out of state but will continue working remotely as usual. — Advice is needed on your company policy, out-of-state payroll, and employment laws in other states.
  • An employee doesn’t follow your policy for requesting or reporting time off. — Advice is needed on your company policy, documentation, and disciplinary options.
  • You have an employee who was hired to work in-house but has been remote for a couple of years and is resistant to coming back to the office. — Advice is needed on company versus employee rights.
  • You’ve just started thinking this employee may need to be terminated in the future. — Advice on your company policy, documentation, and disciplinary options.

California never lets a year go by without adding to your compliance headache. Practice saying “let me get back to you” instead of feeling the need to respond immediately. No one is expected to know everything. The more questions you ask, the more you are building your knowledge and understanding of the many possible answers.

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