HR Stories Podcast - where the Lesson is in the Story

John Thalheimer and Chuck Simikian, SHRM-SCP

Welcome to the HR Stories Podcast! Our Storytellers - John Thalheimer and Chuck Simikian are the team behind HR Stories - providing small businesses and organizations the confidence they need to successfully handle employee issues and build strong employee practices to be in compliance with employment laws. Both are successful entrepreneurs who help businesses through human resources consulting, training, and coaching leaders. In the last year, they have coached and trained thousands of HR Professionals as, Business Owners, and Leaders to prepare them for the future. When the Coronavirus stopped America, John and Chuck wanted to share their knowledge. They realized that the stories they shared in their seminars were the perfect vehicle to teach the principles of human resources management. In short, there is a lesson in every story. John is the Founding Director of True Star Leadership™, which focuses on helping managers and leaders learn the principles of performance management. Chuck is the Founding Partner of Alliance HR Partners, which provides human resources consulting and training to businesses across the country. Together they have over 40 years navigating the challenges of human resources. read less

HR Stories presents - Major Mess Ups With Minors Working
Jan 23 2023
HR Stories presents - Major Mess Ups With Minors Working
While there have been many laws instituted and policies established, there are still many instances of minors working inappropriately. In today’s episode, Chuck and John dive into multiple situations where minors were hired to work in situations that were unlawful. This can relate to hours worked or assigned tasks. Beyond the procedures you need to think about when working with minors, what should you be aware of when working with a staffing agency? Listen to find out.Chuck and John also discuss level-setting and discussion expectations with small business owners and CEOs around what they expect from HR. They go into how to approach conversations around what you, as an HR professional, are there to support. Additionally, how to make sure HR is “at the table” rather than “on the table” during important strategic discussions.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories Presents - Workplace Violence...."There's nothing we can do"
Jan 10 2023
HR Stories Presents - Workplace Violence...."There's nothing we can do"
In this episode, Chuck and John investigate workplace violence through a story taking place in a small town at a chicken farm. A woman gets hit by another employee driving a forklift carrying a heavy load after she had reported being threatened by that employee. Is that true when they tell her there is nothing they can do? Were there opportunities to prevent what happened? Chuck and John also discuss bereavement policies and how to get HR involved in the strategic planning of your company.Trigger Warning: This episode discusses domestic violence and workplace violence. There will also be direct quotes from the court records containing profanity. Due to the nature of this story, all names of individuals and companies have been changed or removed. Coming Soon! Join us for The Ultimate HR Checklists webinar on January 25th, 2023 for a sneak-peak of the book. RSVP here!NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories Presents: The Checklists Edition - Getting HR Right and Avoiding Costly Mistakes
Jan 2 2023
HR Stories Presents: The Checklists Edition - Getting HR Right and Avoiding Costly Mistakes
In this episode, Chuck and John share 4 stories of HR missteps, how companies could have avoided their fate, and the importance of using checklists to ensure consistency.  Chuck and John also dive into their upcoming release of The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists.....a go-to resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs, HR teams of one, and seasoned HR professionals.  Sign up for the HR Stories Podcast newsletter to receive an invite to join the HR Stories Podcast team on January 25th, 2023 for a sneak-peak webinar all about the book so you can "Get HR Right with a Step-By-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes"!Get the book now and use the code PRELAUNCH to receive 45% off.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories Presents - Price Check at Kroger on New Uniforms Logo and Religious Accommodations
Dec 28 2022
HR Stories Presents - Price Check at Kroger on New Uniforms Logo and Religious Accommodations
New uniforms and rebranding can be a fun and exciting time at a company. That, unfortunately, was not the case at Kroger grocery stores. When a couple of employees said that a new logo was representative of something they couldn't support for religious reasons, a disagreement between employer and employee ensued. On today's episode, Chuck and John try to break the situation down discuss a wide range of topics. What should the role of a company be when introducing new branding? Can the way you communicate these changes impact the way employees receive them? How far does accommodation go and what role does consistency play? This episode is sure to spur some strong feeling on either side of the issue.  Chuck and John also discuss current HR issues including building rapport as an auditor, questions we should avoid when interviewing, and how to HR without an HR department. If you find yourself wondering how to HR without HR, download our guide here. NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories presents - Nurses - employees or not? A story about Classifications.
Dec 11 2022
HR Stories presents - Nurses - employees or not? A story about Classifications.
At Steadfast Medical Staffing, a group of nurses filed complaints with the Department of Labor that kicked off an investigation into the classification of employees.  The investigation will take the listeners on a journey through checkpoint after checkpoint that companies should consider. Who classifies as an independent contractor? Who classifies as an employee? Through this HR story, Chuck and John will break down the different checkpoints that the Department of Labor look at in these situations to determine if employees are being classified correctly. Chuck and John also discuss current HR issues including - the Department of Labor increasing the salary basis for exempt employees, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and fair pay. NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories presents - Sleeping on the Job...not a bedtime story.
Dec 7 2022
HR Stories presents - Sleeping on the Job...not a bedtime story.
Danielle Clark worked for Charter Communications Regional Operations Center in Dallas, Texas. Her job was to monitor computer displays tracking the network’s status and to immediately dispatch technicians in the event of an outage. But, she had trouble staying awake during her shifts due to narcolepsy. This tale combines ADA Accommodations with Essential Job Duties. How the company handled the situation, what Danielle ended up doing, the twists and turns, and ultimately the surprise outcome all make for another great HR Story!Chuck and John also discuss current HR issues including - company holiday party concerns and dealing with Generations...specifically Generation Z.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
HR Stories Presents - One Phone call cost the company 7.2 Million Dollars
Nov 12 2022
HR Stories Presents - One Phone call cost the company 7.2 Million Dollars
In this episode, John and Chuck dive into how a single phone call costs a company 7.2 million Dollars in back wages and penalties. If you didn’t know, there is a worker shortage in the United States, and more and more companies are trying to be creative to ensure they meet their customers’ expectations. One option small businesses are turning to is hiring independent contractors to do the work. However, it can cost the company millions of dollars if done wrong. Tune into this episode of HR Stories, where John shares a story where a company misclassified their workers as independent contractors and ran afoul of the law. NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
"I want to go to bed with you", said her boss. - Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson...the original Sexual Harassment Supreme Court case
May 28 2021
"I want to go to bed with you", said her boss. - Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson...the original Sexual Harassment Supreme Court case
In this episode, our hosts John and Chuck tell the behind the scenes story of Mechelle Vinson....a 19 year old Bank Teller and how she was coerced into having a sexual relationship with her boss in order to save her job.In May of 1975, Mr. Sidney Taylor, Branch Manager at a local bank takes his employee, Bank Teller Mechelle Vinson, out to dinner at a Chinese Restaurant after work. Years later, Michelle  recollected the story of the Chinese restaurant dinner with the Washington Post…in her own words…she said… ‘I don’t want to go to bed with you,’ And he says, ‘Just like I hired you, I’ll fire you. Just like I made you, I’ll break you, and if you don’t do what I say then I’ll have you killed.’ … And that’s how it started.”As we continue our HR Stories of Court Cases and Laws that made HR today we look at the very first case that eventually reaching the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19, 1986, Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson. It was the first of its kind to redefine sexual harassment in the workplace. It established the standards for analyzing whether conduct was unlawful and when an employer would be liable. The court, ruled unanimously (9–0) that sexual harassment that results in a hostile work environment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans sex discrimination by employers. The Court also established criteria for judging such claims.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
"Are you wearing shorter skirts yet”?  - Ellerth vs Burlington Industries
May 5 2021
"Are you wearing shorter skirts yet”? - Ellerth vs Burlington Industries
Kimberly Ellerth was 23, fresh out of college and recently married, when she landed a prized marketing job with Burlington Industries in its Chicago office. But eventually her dream job became unbearable, she said, after a boss began making sexual advances toward her.As we continue our HR Stories of Court Cases and Laws that made HR today we look at the second case in 1998 that the US Supreme Court saw in regard to sexual harassment. The case of Ellerth vs Burlington Industries continued the question in the Faragher case….whether a worker has a legitimate sexual harassment case if he or she neither submitted to the boss nor suffered any tangible detriment because they said no.Kimberly was a real person....but she became infamous when her last name was tagged in one of the most famous employment law cases of all time. Listen to this episode of HR Stories Podcast and find out why!NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
Sexual Harassment and Beth the Lifeguard - Faragher vs The City of Boca Raton
Apr 16 2021
Sexual Harassment and Beth the Lifeguard - Faragher vs The City of Boca Raton
Beth Faragher was a 19 year old college student Lifeguard for the City of Boca Raton in Florida. But after years of constant sexual harassment by her male supervisors, she quit, filed a lawsuit, got heard by the US Supreme Court, and changed everything for companies across the United States.  Companies and organization today conduct sexual harassment training and education based on two court cases that came out of the summer of 1998. In this episode we dive deep into the landmark case - Faragher vs The City of Boca Raton. Studied by law students and certified HR professionals alike, this case determined that an employer is liable for the actions of its supervisors. Listen and hear about Beth Faragher's story in details unlike any other examination of this case.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
Temper Tantrum Tom Cruise - Profanity and yelling at your employees in the workplace
Feb 14 2021
Temper Tantrum Tom Cruise - Profanity and yelling at your employees in the workplace
In December 2020 an audio leaked with actor Tom Cruise yelling and screaming at his production crew because of their lack of following COVID-19 protocols. What makes this different is that Tom Cruise was not only an actor on set....he was technically their employer. As Executive Producer, this was his project and they were his employees.Chuck and John explore this situation, listening to a clip of Tom's rant and then exploring the implications in the workplace.Don't make the same mistake this company did. This episode of HR Stories Podcast is sponsored by www.GetHRHelpNow.com. They can provide consultation, coaching, and training for you and your team....virtually or live in-person.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
Baby Bump and Dump: Pregnancy Discrimination.
Dec 3 2020
Baby Bump and Dump: Pregnancy Discrimination.
It should be one of your happiest moments when the doctor tells you you are pregnant. And for Rosario Juarez, it was, yet she was afraid of how she would be treated at work. And for a good reason, the New York Times reported that over the last decade, tens of thousands of pregnancy discrimination cases have been filed. In this story, we learn what happens when Ms. Juarez tells her boss and how the company's missteps ended with one of the largest jury rewards in California's history.  Don't make the same mistake this company did. This episode of HR Stories Podcast is sponsored by www.GetHRHelpNow.com. They can provide consultation, coaching, and training for you and your team....virtually or live in-person.NOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
Accommodation Tales - All He Wanted Was to be Treated Equally
Oct 15 2020
Accommodation Tales - All He Wanted Was to be Treated Equally
We all have to attend meetings, but what if you couldn’t understand what is said.  For the deaf community in the United States, this can be a daily occurrence.  In this episode, we tell the story of Mauricio Centeno and UPS Supply Chain Solutions and how all he wanted was to be treated equally.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act require employers to provide individuals with a disability reasonable accommodations, not only so they can do their job but also so they can enjoy the certain benefits and privileges of employment.Don't make the same mistake this company did. This episode of HR Stories Podcast is sponsored by www.GetHRHelpNow.com. They can provide consultation, coaching, and training for you and your team....virtually or live in-person.Have an HR Story to tell? We may feature it in an upcoming Podcast. Email mystory@HRStoriesPodcast.comNOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.
The Tale of the Beard and the Applicant - EEOC Religious Accommodation
Oct 1 2020
The Tale of the Beard and the Applicant - EEOC Religious Accommodation
An applicant walks in....you want to hire him...he has a beard...you say he has to shave it...he says no, because of his religion. What happens now?Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion. This includes refusing to accommodate an employee's sincerely held religious beliefs or practices. Understanding what that means and how Title VII protects personal religious expression can save you and your company a lot of money in legal fees. In this episode of the HR Stories Podcast, John and Chuck explore the Tale of the Beard and then break it down so you can learn from other's mistakes.Don't make the same mistake this company did. This episode of HR Stories Podcast is sponsored by www.GetHRHelpNow.com. They can provide consultation, coaching, and training for you and your team....virtually or live in-person.Have an HR Story to tell? We may feature it in an upcoming Podcast. Email mystory@HRStoriesPodcast.comNOW AVAILABLE - The Ultimate Book of HR Checklists – Getting HR Right: Your Step-by-Step Reference for Avoiding Costly Mistakes. Go to HRChecklists.com Join the HR Team of One Community on Facebook or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com and sign up for emails so you can be the first to know about new things we have coming up.You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok at @HRstoriesPodcast Don't forget to rate our podcast, it really helps other people find it!All views expressed in the presented Stories are not necessarily that of Chuck and John. The stories are shared to present various, real-world scenarios and share how they were handled by policy and, at times, law. Chuck and John are not lawyers and always recommend working with an employment lawyer to address concerns.