Houston Human Resources

UniqueHR offers a number of Human Resource services for companies and employees in the Houston area, and produce on-site and online Human Resource Training programs. We create custom employee handbooks and procedures for each company. We provide verifications including the Department of Human Services, Attorney General, Social Security Administration, and more. In addition to these services, we also handle background checks, employee status changes, and pre-employment screenings.

houston human resources

Houston, Texas is the most populous city in the state of Texas. Houston is home to the Houston Astros, the Houston Rockets, and the Houston Texans. Along with attending sporting events, Houston visitors and residents can visit NASA’s Space Center, The Houston Museum or the Houston Zoo. Houston serves up a variety of shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities. Surrounding cities include The Woodlands, Pasadena, Beaumont and Galveston. Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States.

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Benefits Administration

Our Benefits Administration offerings in Houston include Major Medical Group Health Insurance, Dental Care, Vision Care, and Health Savings Accounts. We also offer life insurance, short term and long term disability. Healthcare regulations are constantly changing and it’s hard to keep up. Unique HR uses their experience to help shoulder your compliance burdens, stem the paperwork tide and reduce the risk of noncompliance.

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Retirement Management

Planning for retirement is important to most employees. The hurdle for most businesses is to put together a 401(k) plan that is up-to-date, easy to use and cost effective. UniqueHR overcomes these hurdles for our clients with plan design, investment performance and service which are second to none. We offer a number of services that help you with retirement benefits.

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Staffing Houston

UniqueHR clients have the added value of turning to Unique Employment Services for a cost-effective manpower solution for their direct hire, executive search, and temporary hiring needs. Our staffing agency has been serving South Texas with excellence for nearly four decades. UniqueHR can help you with all your staffing needs in Houston. We work hard to provide individuals with the best employment opportunities available.

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Payroll Services Houston TX

UniqueHR’s payroll services include preparation of payroll, payroll registers and billing reports for Houston area companies. We offer secure web-based time reporting, online access to earning reports, and year end W-2 forms. We complete the processing of wage garnishments and wage assignments. We prepare job costs and certified payrolls at no additional charge. We also provide a shift in liability for all state and federal tax compliance and reporting.

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Workplace Safety

At UniqueHR, we have Worker Safety experts that assist and educate clients with a number of different programs. Our safety programs include Safety Program Development, Safety Manual Development and Implementation. We also offer Safety Meetings and Training, with specific training certifications. We also provide job site inspections and audits.

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Workers’ Compensation Houston TX

There are many benefits of partnering with UniqueHR for Workers’ Compensation. We offer $1,000,000 Coverage, with excess limits up to 15 million if required. We provide workers’ compensation administration and claims management. We also offer exclusive remedy protection under workers’ compensation regulations. We also offer no premium down payment and relief from annual audits, adjustment of payments, and hearings by state.

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FAQ’S

Q: DO I NEED TO KEEP TIME RECORDS?

A: Yes, the U.S. Department of Labor requires time records to be kept for at least three years to verify employees have been compensated at least at the minimum wage. Ask us for a payroll worksheet, if needed to comply.

Q: I’M PAID ON SALARY. DOES THIS MEAN I AM EXEMPT FROM OVERTIME?

A: No. The manner in which an employee is paid does not determine exemption from overtime. The employee’s job description determines exemption status.

Q: DO I HAVE TO PAY OVERTIME IF I HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH MY EMPLOYEES?

A: Yes. The Department of Labor does not recognize agreements that are contrary to the United States Fair Labor Standards Act. The law states that employees must be paid at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a seven day period regardless of the total hours worked in a bi-weekly, semi- monthly or monthly pay period. The employer may choose the seven-day period as long as it remains consistent.

Q: I PAY MY NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES COMMISSION OR PIECEWORK. DO I HAVE TO PAY OVERTIME?

A: Yes. Non-exempt employees paid on a basis other than hourly are entitled to overtime pay. Note that regular hours and overtime hours need to be reported as a part of payroll.

Q: CAN I HOLD AN EMPLOYEE’S PAYCHECK BECAUSE OF THEFT?

A: No. Wages cannot be held because an employee is suspected of theft. The law considers the suspected theft as a separate matter that must be pursued through the court system.

Q: CAN I TERMINATE AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FOR AN ON-THE-JOB INJURY AND IS TAKING TIME OFF UNDER THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)?

A: No, termination under this circumstances is strictly prohibited by state & federal law. FMLA can take effect with as little as three-day absence.

Q: DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE BREAKS?

A: No. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to give breaks. However, if breaks are given, rest breaks of twenty (20) minutes or less must be compensated. Uninterrupted lunch breaks of at least thirty (30) minutes need not be compensated. Certain state laws may be more stringent. We encourage you to contact the Wage and Hour Board for specific state requirements.

Q: WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR AN EMPLOYEE?

A: 14 years of age. Minors under the age of 18 can work in non-hazardous occupations, determined by the Secretary of Labor, with certain restrictions. These restrictions generally prohibit a minor from operating power driven machinery as part of their job duties. Many states also restrict the permissible hours of work for minors. Violations of child labor laws can result in fines of up to $10,000 per violation. Please contact the Wage and Hour Board for any clarifications you need.

Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR INITIATES AN INVESTIGATION OF MY COMPANY?

A: You will be asked to supply each employee’s name, physical address, Social Security number, hire and termination dates, and I-9 and payroll records. Please contact our Human Resource Department for help with these matters.

 

Q: WHAT ARE THE FEDERAL LAWS CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY?

A: Employers must comply with decisions involving termination, promotion and refusal to hire under three main Federal laws. They are:

  • Title VII 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991, which bars discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. You must enforce equal opportunity within your company. You must post and maintain an EEOC statement. You also must keep all procedures non- discriminatory. Included in the HR Appendix is UniqueHR EEO statement for you to use.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects qualified people with disabilities from employment related discrimination. Qualified individuals must be treated fairly when being considered for hire, pay increases, promotions or any other condition of employment. Under certain circumstances, employers also must provide reasonable accommodations that permit a disabled employee or applicant to perform the essential functions of a job. An example of this might include in- stalling a telephone hearing assist device for a hearing-impaired employee.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination of applicants and employees who are 40 years old and older. Age-based discrimination in hiring, promotions, training, pay rates or any other condition of employment are all included under ADEA. Some states have their own laws that prohibit age-based discrimination at a much younger age. The best practice employers can have is to hire, promote, pay and train individuals based on their skills, abilities and work performance.

Since these are complex laws, whenever there is a question about an applicant or employee who may have a disability, please contact our HR Department at 361.852.6392. Please refer to the HR Appendix for laws governing Equal Employment Opportunity.

You must also consider state laws. Most states, including Texas, mirror the federal laws regarding discrimination and leaves of absence associated with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Some municipalities provide protection of marital status, sexual preference, parental status or other categories. You must have basic knowledge of employment dis- crimination issues. Business owners cannot discriminate against any worker or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.

Company owners must create a workplace free of harassment on the same basis. In the HR Appendix of this manual you will find our Harassment Policy. We can provide you a brochure for each employee that fully states this policy. Along with you as co- employers, we must be committed to a workplace free of harassment or discrimination of any kind. To protect your company from liability claims in this area you must distribute the Harassment Policy, enforce it, follow the complaint procedures, and provide training to your employees if possible. Recent Supreme Court Rulings have made two things very clear when a company faces an employee suit on these matters. First, you are liable for the actions of your supervisors and managers regarding discrimination and/or harassment. Second, the “good faith” effort you make in pro- viding a policy to the employees, enforcing it, taking action on claims, and training the employees will mitigate or reduce your exposure to liability. Our HR Department can provide training on the policy.

Q: WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE FOR INTERVIEWING APPLICANTS?

When interviewing, you should get answers to three questions:

  1. Is the applicant capable of performing the job? (Is the applicant at least capable of learning to carry out the essential responsibilities of the job after receiving training for a reasonable length of time?)
  2. Can the applicant be trusted with the responsibilities associated with the job?
  3. Is the applicant the best candidate for the position?

When interviewing, be tactful and careful. Under State and Federal laws, individuals are protected from discrimination at the application and interview stage of pre-employment. You only need enough information about an applicant to satisfy the requirements of the position. You must be careful not to ask any possible discriminatory questions.

Become familiar with the tips and questions in this section. Have them ready for quick review during the actual interview.

Interviewing Tips

  • Prepare for the interview. Become familiar with the job requirements and the applicants resume or application.
  • Always verify past employment history
  • All questions should be job related
  • Look for signs of achievement. Generally, the best indicator of future performance is past performance.

Consider using these, or similar interview questions. Ask open-ended questions which let the applicant do the talking, such as:

  • Tell me about your favorite job.
  • Tell me about your last job
  • What new skill have you developed over the past few years?
  • Tell me about a problem you overcame in your last job?

Probes, which clarify facts and attitudes. Examples are:

  • Do you enjoy talking to people on the phone?
  • How well do you react to direction from supervisors?
  • Would you object to wearing a uniform?
  • How would you feel if your supervisor asked you to do additional tasks?
  • How would you react to being asked to work overtime or on weekends?

Close-ended questions, which pin down an applicant’s response. These might include:

  • Are you able to work overtime whenever necessary?
  • Would you be able to accommodate a change in your work shift?
  • Does driving in inclement weather bother you?
  • Have ever punched a time clock before?

Assessment questions evaluate and applicant’s ability to manage themselves or others. Examples are:

  • Have you been given two jobs to do at once by different supervisors? How did you accomplish this?
  • Has a co-worker’s lack of skills ever interfered with your accomplishing a job?
  • What situation in your career made you the angriest at the time it occurred? Describe the situation and how you handled it?