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Monthly Archives

September 2011

HR AND THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

By Your Employee Matters | No Comments

One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve read it a couple of times and listened to the audio book more than once. It offers unique insights. Ruiz believes that we have been “domesticated” — to the extent that we base much of our thinking and activity on the story that we’ve been handed or have developed without full awareness. To live to our fullest potential, we need to avoid disempowering agreements by empowering ourselves through the Four Agreements.

I’d like to give my insight on how each one of these agreements can affect the HR function.

1. Be impeccable with your Word. It’s a gift from God. How we use our Word defines our lives. It’s not just about what we say, but who we are. We can use our Word with others as well as with ourselves. Unfortunately, such factors as fear and greed can have a negative impact on our Word.

How can we be impeccable with our Word when it comes to HR? Begin by clarifying expectations for ourselves. Do we really want to be great HR executives? Have we committed our Word to this fact? Do we have the integrity to follow up and keep the promises we make to ourselves and to others? Are we willing to expose those who are less than willing to have integrity?

2. Don’t take things personally. Ruiz tells us this is the main reason for conflict at home, work, and on the world stage. It dovetails with my scenarios concerning Victims, Villains and Heroes. When we play Victim, we can’t wait to take things personally. When we take things personally, there’s always the potential of turning a molehill into a mountain. Of course, the person that we attack or blame will begin with their justifications, launch a counter-attack — and then the drama really begins! Here’s my question: Where are you taking things too personally? Are you taking the lack of support for the HR department personally? Do you take things the owner or managers say to you personally?

3. Don’t make assumptions. You know what the word “assume” means. However, we’re assuming all the time. It would be hard to run your life without making some assumptions along the way. For example, we assume that when we step on the gas that the car will move forward. We also assume that when the light is green nobody will be traveling through the intersection from the cross street. If we move blindly forward with our assumptions, we might be hit by someone who ran the red light. We have to watch the assumptions or stories that we place on people or circumstances — often without even knowing them. I have an assumption about this person, and they’re upsetting me by not living up to the assumption. As the fox said in Aesop’s fables, “I was just being a fox.”

Where do you make too many assumptions? Do you assume that you have your HR act together? Do you assume you have the best possible employees on every seat of the bus? Do you assume that the recession is now history, and we won’t have to worry anymore about layoffs or RIFs any time soon?

4. Do your best. This is all we can ask of ourselves and anyone else. Do your best and then let go. Of course, the question is are you doing your best or is something else happening? Are you really making an effort to improve your value to the company or are you stuck on auto-pilot? Are you willing to take a risk and do something new, or will you remain rooted in your comfort zone? Doing our best requires us to stretch ourselves and make mistakes, like toddlers who fall down repeatedly before they learn how to walk and run. So, here’s my last question: Where can you honestly say you’re not doing your best? Where are you trying to ignore, bury, or deny the fact you’re not giving it your best? How will you feel when you’re finally “found out” about this known area of weakness?

Do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy or audio book of The Four Agreements. You’ll be glad you did!

DECISION-MAKER’S LIE LEADS TO LOSS IN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

By Your Employee Matters | No Comments

For an employer embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit, summary judgment is usually the last opportunity to get the case dismissed before going to trial. A decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals demonstrates how lying about the reason for an adverse employment action can torpedo an employer’s defense to a claim of discrimination on summary judgment and allow the case to proceed to trial.

The Case: In Colbert v. Tapella, a 30 year-old African American female employee of the federal Government Printing Office sued her employer for race and gender discrimination after she was passed over for two different promotions that were filled by white males. The decision-makers for the positions did not interview the candidates. Instead, they evaluated each on their written applications, respective qualifications, responses to a questionnaire, and any personal knowledge of the candidates’ work performance. During the initial EEO investigation, one of the decision-makers told the investigator that he did not select the plaintiff, in part, because she “wandered.” When the decision-maker was later deposed, he admitted that he did not tell the truth when he said that the plaintiff wandered. Despite the employer’s attempt to downplay the admission, the decision-maker’s stated rationale for passing over the plaintiff was called into question.

The Ruling: The D.C. Circuit overruled the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer, finding that the lower court erred when it required the plaintiff to prove both that the employer’s reason for not promoting her was pretext, and that race and gender bias was the actual reason she was passed over. The Court of Appeals held that “a jury can conclude that an employer who fabricates a false explanation has something to hide; that ‘something’ may well be discriminatory intent.” Although a plaintiff cannot always avoid summary judgment by showing that the employer’s explanation to be false, the evidence in this case demonstrated that the employer’s proffered non-discriminatory reasons for the non-promotion was unfounded. The court found that the evidence in the record did not support the decision- maker’s statements that the plaintiff was less qualified and lacked the same experience as the white male applicants who were selected for the positions. The Court further noted that there was insufficient, independent evidence that no discrimination had occurred. Instead, the decision-maker’s lie about the plaintiff wandering, his lack of knowledge about the plaintiff’s actual experience, and the employer’s record of failing to promote minorities, provided enough evidence of discrimination to defeat the employer’s motion for summary judgment.

Lesson Learned: An employer must base its reason for taking an adverse employment action on a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason that should be supported by facts and not change over time. Changing the articulated reason for taking the adverse action only reveals that it might not have been the real reason for the action. Bear in mind that the people who evaluate your responses might have a different perspective from you. What you might see as a benign misstatement can be perceived by a jury as evidence of a malicious, discriminatory act. It might be trite, but honesty is always the best policy.

Article courtesy of Worklaw® Network firm Shawe Rosenthal (www.shawe.com).

THREE OLDEST EMPLOYEES SELECTED FOR RIF FAILED TO PROVE AGE BIAS

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that an employer had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for laying off its three oldest employees through a reduction in force (RIF). The Court found that the employees, who sued their employer for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), failed to prove that the employer’s stated reason for the RIF and the criteria it used to determine which employees to let go were pretextual.

The Case: In Rahlf v. Mo-Tech Corp., Inc., after a manufacturer of molds for the automobile, medical, consumer products, and computer industries laid off its three oldest employees as part of a RIF, the employees sued for age discrimination under the ADEA. The employer claimed that the RIF was necessary due to a change in client needs and anticipated reductions in workload and profitability. The employer further explained that technological advances in the mold-making process reduced the company’s need for manual mold makers such as the plaintiffs. To determine which mold makers to lay off, the employer ranked each based on several factors, including their proficiency with the new computerized manufacturing process, general mold-making efficiency, and management’s personal knowledge of each employee’s work performance. Based on these criteria, management agreed that the three plaintiffs should be let go.

The Ruling: The Eighth Circuit upheld the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer, rejecting the plaintiffs’ claim that the employer’s stated reasons for the RIF were meant to conceal the real, discriminatory reasons for their terminations. The employees argued that the RIF was not necessary because within a year after they were fired, the employer hired five new employees. The court, however, noted that none of the new hires were mold makers. Rather, the new employees filled lesser skilled positions or were skilled in the computerized manufacturing process. The court also held that the fact that the remaining mold makers were busy and the company’s sales increased after the three employees were terminated did not support an inference that the RIF itself was pretextual. The court ruled that an employer does not have to demonstrate financial distress to justify its RIF decision, and then rejected the employees’ attack on the employer’s methods to determine which mold makers to terminate.

The employees contended that the employer’s failure to review positive performance evaluations and its reliance on the subjective evaluations of management were evidence of pretext. However, the court noted that given the small number of mold makers considered for the RIF (11) and management’s close involvement with the daily operations, subjective knowledge of each employee’s work performance and skills was relevant to the ultimate termination decision. Moreover, the employer relied on both objective and subjective criteria. The company measured each employee’s productivity and profitability objectively, based on whether hours budgeted for particular jobs were met or exceeded. The employer also consulted a computer program that assessed each employee’s performance. As for the employer not considering positive performance reviews, the Eighth Circuit held that it was not required to consider them in making its RIF decision because it had many other relevant factors under consideration. Finally, the court dismissed the employees’ argument that the employer provided inconsistent rationales for the layoffs, where there was no evidence to support the claim. Indeed, the Court of Appeals found that the employer maintained consistently that the reason for the RIF was shifting client needs and an anticipated decrease in workload and profits.

Lesson Learned: Because reductions in an employer’s workforce often give rise to litigation, it’s important to establish legitimate, business-related reasons for the move in advance. Although using objective criteria provides the best defense against a discrimination claim, the Rahlf decision shows that subjective factors can also be relevant. Whatever your reasons for doing an RIF, identify them clearly and base them on documented facts in case the reduction leads to litigation. See the RIF Checklist and Report In HR That Works.

Article courtesy of Worklaw® Network firm Shawe Rosenthal (www.shawe.com).

WHAT WE FEAR MOST…

By Your Employee Matters | No Comments

Things can look great on the surface. However, dig a bit deeper and all of us share at least some of these fears:

  • The fear that we won’t live up to our expectations of ourselves.
  • The fear that we won’t live up to expectations of someone else.
  • The fear that while we are successful, we’re doing the wrong thing. As the saying goes, we might have climbed to the top of the ladder, but it’s leaning on the wrong wall.
  • The fear that no matter how successful we might be now, it’s still not enough.
  • The fear that we aren’t always a good person.
  • The fear that we aren’t attractive or well liked.
  • The fear that we’re disconnected with ourselves.
  • The fear that we’re disconnected from family members and other loved ones.
  • The fear that there has to be more, but we’re not sure what it is.
  • The fear that we might fail.
  • The fear that our “secret” might be disclosed.
  • The fear that we have to do it all alone
  • . The fear that we’re exhausted and out of balance.
  • The fear that people will leave us.
  • The fear that we’ll waste what we’ve accomplished because we have no loved ones with whom to share it.
  • The fear that we’re out of control.
  • The fear that our time and health are slipping away.
  • The fear that we’ll become obsolete and put out to pasture.
  • The fear that our children would rather have more of us than the money we earn or, conversely the fear that they would rather have our money instead of us.
  • The fear that our greatest successes lie in the past.
  • The fear we won’t be able to afford retirement.

Although I focus on the word “fear,” the term “unfair” also applies. What feels unfair to you? Why is that the case? What is it that you fear related to the unfairness? For example, if an employee doesn’t hand a project in on time, this feels unfair. However, it goes deeper than that. What lies behind the unfairness is fear that the employee is incompetent or doesn’t care, that you have misjudged or mismanaged them or will end up doing their work, or that your customer or client will misjudge you.

What does this have to do with management and HR? Absolutely everything!

Here’s the point: Nobody escapes feelings of unfairness or fear. Dr. Deming preached that one of the 14 Principles of Management is to drive fear out of your company. Acknowledging the fact that something feels unfair and then finding the fear behind it can be a powerful source of revelation. In my experience, the answer is to remain grateful and find the lesson that you need to learn. This is the ultimate responsibility; the source of growth that gives you the opportunity to let go without guilt and move on, knowing you’ve done your best. What more can you ask for?

TAKE NOTE

By Your Employee Matters | No Comments

Confidentiality Provision in Employment Agreements. In NLRB v. Northeastern Land Services, a non-union temporary staffing agency terminated an employee in violation of the confidentiality provision in his employment agreement after he complained to a client of his employer about the amount of pay he was receiving for the use of his personal computer for work.

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the NLRB’s decision that the confidentiality provision, which prohibited the employee from discussing the terms of his employment, as well as his compensation with “other parties,” was overly broad and a per se violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA. Section 8(a) (1), which bars employers from interfering with employees’ right to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with others. The NLRB had found that employees could reasonably understand this provision as prohibiting from discussing their compensation with union representatives.

The First Circuit held that the NLRB did not have to consider the employer’s justification for enforcing the confidentiality provision, which the employer stated was to prevent employees from disclosing its labor costs — one of the key components of its bid to clients.

The court held that when a discipline is imposed pursuant to an overly broad rule, this discipline is unlawful, regardless of whether the conduct could have been prohibited for lawful reasons.

If the employer had not relied on the confidentiality provision, but instead on the employee’s disruptive conduct, the employer probably would have been within its right to terminate him.

However, by relying on the overly broad provision, the employer lost any defense against the termination.

EDITOR’S COLUMN: IS YOUR WORKPLACE ENGAGED?

By Your Employee Matters | No Comments

The idea of employee “engagement” remains a corporate buzzword. I find it interesting that the term “engagement” implies only a willingness to commit, without consummating this commitment. Webster’s defines “engage” as:

  • Involved an activity
  • Pledged to be married
  • Greatly interested
  • Involved especially in a hostile encounter

None of the above has anything to do with productivity. For example, you can be involved in your work without being motivated to do anything about it! Likewise, you can be greatly interested but inept. Interestingly, the word derives from the French word “gage,” which means something thrown down by a knight as a token of challenge to combat. Historically “engagement” means to be in the process of battle. True to the “at will” nature of employment, it seems that we’d rather have engagement than true commitment.

My diatribe on word choice aside, the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Award identifies these eight criteria as the foundation for generating employee engagement:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Culture
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Professional and personal growth
  • Accountability in performance
  • Vision and values
  • Corporate social responsibility

Essentially, this is a checklist of good management practices. You might as well cross out the word “engaged” and substitute “profitable.”

Noticeably absent from that list is any mention of compensation. I continue to believe that pay is the No. 1 reason why people go to work every day. However, once employees earn what they perceive to be a fair day’s wage, then these other factors come into play. Of course, another way is to look at what drives “engagement,” or its older equivalent, “motivation,” in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which focuses on the need for survival, security, belonging, ego gratification, and self-actualization.

After surveying numerous organizations and speaking in confidence with thousands of business owners and employees, I can tell you that the No. 2 concern at work is also the No. 2 concern at home: The quality of communication. Ultimately, we’re looking for some financial security at work and at home and then communication that’s clear, caring, and allows a safe place for dialogue. When you do a good job of communication, you support all the other factors mentioned.

Although all of the award criteria mentioned are great, your primary concern should be what matters most to your company and its employees. One way to learn this is to ask questions. Of course, unless you’re deaf, dumb, blind, or uncaring, you usually realize the major concerns. The question is, do you really want to do anything about it?

REVIEW YOUR LIFE INSURANCE NEEDS AS YOU PREPARE FOR THE ADDITION OF A NEW BABY

By Life and Health | No Comments

From maternity leave, parenting and maternity classes, and readying the new baby’s room, expectant parents have a lot on their plate as they prepare for a new baby. The tasks you need to accomplish can be overwhelming, but you certainly don’t want to forget to protect your child’s future financial well-being. One area you’ll want to address is your Life insurance to determine if your current coverage will still meet the needs of your soon-to-be larger family. As you examine it, you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to the following three areas:

1. Type of Insurance. Although Life insurance policies come in various shapes and sizes, most fit under either Permanent Life insurance or Term Life insurance.

Term policies will provide you with protection for only a specified period of time and these policies don’t accumulate a cash value. Evaluate term policies to determine if they will still offer a sufficient coverage to protect your growing family. On the other hand, Permanent Life insurance policies can cover you for your entire life. They also accumulate a cash value that can be borrowed against for future expenses, such as your child’s college tuition. Do keep in mind that availability, options, and cost are greatly influenced by your health status and age. As a general rule, you’ll find the best Life insurance coverage and rate while you’re young and in good health.

2. Coverage. The addition of a child only exaggerates a couple’s desire and need to protect their family should the wage earner unexpectedly pass away. Do keep in mind that each parent, even if one isn’t earning a wage, should have a Life insurance policy. It’s a common misconception that a stay-at-home spouse doesn’t need to be insured because they aren’t financially contributing to the family. In reality, all the childcare, household chores, and so forth would still need to be done if the stay-at-home spouse were to pass away. These duties would become expenses that weren’t present when the spouse was alive. Having Life insurance on the stay-at-home spouse allows the surviving spouse to remain at his/her job and hire someone to perform the duties.

3. Beneficiaries. Should you pass away, the funds from your Life insurance policy become part of your estate if you don’t have designated beneficiaries. You want this money to be available immediately for the care of your child, not tied up in your estate. Therefore, it’s important for you to update your beneficiary designations soon after the adoption or birth of your child. Be sure to choose both a primary and contingent beneficiary.

In closing, insurance might not be as fun as baby shopping, but you can see how important it is to meet with your insurance agent and ensure that your Life insurance policy adequately meets your growing family’s needs and protects your child’s future financial well-being.

DO I REALLY NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

By Life and Health | No Comments

In many cases, vacations can involve thousands of dollars and months of advanced planning, organizing, and saving. So if you’re wondering if you need travel insurance, the answer is often yes. Like any other investment of this magnitude, it’s important to make sure you have adequate insurance to protect yourself should the tour operation or cruise line you’ve booked with go bankrupt, you or a family member becomes ill, or some other unforeseen event upsets your vacation plans.

Travel insurance can be purchased as a packaged plan with several different options, including travel delay, trip cancellation, baggage, accidental death, auto, 24 hour traveler assistance, dental, emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, and so forth. The five main types of travel insurance, which are trip cancellation, baggage, emergency medical, auto, and accidental death, can each also usually be purchased as an individual policy.

1. Trip Cancellation. This insurance policy protects you should certain factors prevent you from taking the trip. Look to the specific policy to determine what factors will be covered, but most will include circumstances like a tour operator or cruise line going out of business, personal or family illnesses, and the death of a family member. The policy may also reimburse you for any unused portion of your vacation should you become seriously ill or injured once on the trip. The cost of trip cancellation insurance is usually equivalent to between five and seven percent of what the vacation costs, meaning a policy for a $2,500 dollar trip would be around $125-$175 dollars.

Keep in mind that trip cancellation insurance isn’t the same as the cancellation wavier your tour operator or cruise line may offer you. While the waiver is relatively less expensive, at around $40 to $60 dollars, it must be purchased when you book your vacation. These waivers also are usually accompanied by multiple restrictions, such as not covering a cancellation occurring near the date of departure or once the trip has begun. It’s important to remember that a cancellation waiver isn’t insurance and isn’t regulated by any agency, which means it might not be worth the paper it’s printed on if the business goes bankrupt or closes.

2. Emergency Medical Assistance. Ask your health insurance carrier what type and degree of coverage you’ll have on a trip to a foreign country. If your health insurance policy doesn’t cover you at all or leaves you under-insured while visiting a foreign country, then you might consider an emergency medical assistance policy to cover any emergency medical assistance that you might need during your vacation following an injury or illness. The policy would cover medical transportation to a hospital capable of treating your illness or injury; foreign hospital stays; and, should you be seriously ill or injured, transportation home.

3. Baggage Insurance/Personal Effects Coverage. This policy covers you should your personal belongings get damaged, stolen, or lost during the vacation. It’s usually about $50 to cover $1,000 dollars worth of personal belongings for a seven day trip. Depending on if and how much insurance is provided by your trip operator and/or airline, you may or may not need this coverage. You’ll also want to determine if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers off-premise thefts before you purchase this coverage. You might consider an endorsement or floater to your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance instead of personal effects coverage if you’re traveling with high-value items like electronic equipment, sports equipment, or jewelry. Such an endorsement to cover a $1,000 necklace for a year would be about $10 to $40. Additionally, you may want to contact your credit card company to determine what, if any, travel-related coverage or services they provide.

4. Auto Coverage. A typical auto insurance policy only covers your vehicle within U.S. states and territories and Canada. You can check with your auto insurance carrier to determine how your auto insurance will apply to your vacation destination and mode of transportation – rental or personal vehicle. Should your trip include carrying your personal or rented vehicle outside the areas specified in your personal auto insurance policy, then you’ll need to purchase coverage applicable to your destination through either an insurance agent, car rental agency, or travel agency. Don’t forget to obtain both liability and physical damage if you’ve chosen to rent a car.

5. Accidental Death. An accidental death policy usually isn’t necessary if you already have an appropriate life insurance plan. Much like a typical accidental death policy, this policy provides a benefit should the insured party die on the vacation.

POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A MEDICAL DISCOUNT PLAN

By Life and Health | No Comments

You’ve most likely seen an internet, print, or television ad for an affordable health care plan that doesn’t have deductibles or co-pays, has thousands of PPO network providers, doesn’t discriminate against pre-existing conditions, has discounts on medical services of up to 60%, and so on. It may appear that such ads are for health insurance, but most of them are actually offering a medical discount plan, program, or card.

Medical discount ads are often aimed directly at individuals looking to cut the cost of health care, and while these medical discount plans can help some consumers save some money on their health care costs, medical discount plans shouldn’t be confused with health insurance. Health care plans typically cover a broad spectrum of medical services, products, and procedures with a payment either directly to the provider or insured individual. Unlike health care plans, medical discount plans don’t pay any portion of an individual’s health care costs. A medical discount plan will charge you fees to become a plan member. You’ll then be provided with a list of medical product and service providers offering you, as a plan member, a discount on certain services, procedures, and products.

Many of these medical discount plans assert that members can obtain huge discounts from hundreds of service and product providers related to everything form hospital admissions and prescription drugs to dental and doctor visits. Some of these plans indeed provide the array and degree of discounts being promised to members. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found many plans don’t make good on what they’ve promised consumers and are actually providing very little in return for the fees being charged. The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency, working to prevent deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair marketplace practices and arm consumers with the information they need to identify, evade, and stop entities with such practices.

The most important thing, regardless if you’re purchasing a medical discount plan or a traditional health insurance plan, is that you know what you’re getting. You can contact your state insurance commissioner to determine if an insurance company is registered to sell insurance in your state. If a company isn’t registered to sell you health insurance, then you might consider an alternative insurer. Likewise, you should do some investigating and questioning before buying a medical discount plan, including:

  • Check out the medical discount plan’s website. Look for a phone number or local office location so that you can obtain more information from a real life representative.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau, local consumer protection agencies, or the attorney general’s office to determine if the entity offering the discount medical plan has any complaints against them or ethics violations on record.
  • Ask for a full listing of the plan’s providers. Call several of the providers on the list to ask what discounts are offered for what services. If a medical discount plan procrastinates or refuses to provide you with a list of the providers until after you’ve made a purchase, you should strongly consider finding a different plan.
  • Check to see if your usual dental and medical providers are on the plan’s list of providers. If not, and you can live with changing from your usual providers, then you may want to ask if the plan will offer you a get acquainted, initial consultation visit with a participating practitioner before you commit to membership. Most legitimate plans will not have a problem providing such a visit to help you get acquainted with their providers.
  • Pay close attention to the plan’s fine print and refund policy. Ask questions if you don’t understand any element of the contract.
  • Some of these medical discount plans can entail an upfront, lump-sum payment; monthly fees; and/or additional per-fees. So run the numbers to determine if the plan’s total cost is more than you could ever save from the discounts being offered.
  • Keep in mind that if a plan’s representatives can’t or won’t answer any and all questions before you make a purchase, then they certainly aren’t likely to do so once they have your money in their hands.
  • You may be able to get a discount without paying for membership in a medical discount plan if your usual providers aren’t on the plan’s provider list. After all, your usual provider doesn’t want to lose your business just because he/she isn’t on a plan’s provider list. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask your providers before paying for a plan.

WHY YOU SHOULD REQUIRE LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR THOSE YOU DO BUSINESS WITH

By Personal Perspective | No Comments

Are the people you do business with insured? You might want to ask them. If a vendor, contractor, cleaning crew, gardener/arborist, or other service provider does not have insurance, you may be out of luck if they cause property damage or injury. Also, people who do not carry insurance are probably less likely responsible than those who are insured. They may not be the ideal people you would want to hire. It’s worth paying a little more to get someone who is insured.

Never just take the word of a vendor. Many who are not insured may say “yes” because it’s likely they don’t want to embarrass themselves. Instead, ask them to have their broker send a certificate of insurance. By having their broker send (fax or email) it to you, you know the policy has been paid for and has not been cancelled.

Some vendors, especially small firms, will try to convince you that they do not need insurance. Do not fall into this trap as you will be letting an amateur convince you to purchase product or service that lacks the protections an insurance policy provides. As a courtesy to existing clients, we can give you advice on any insurance certificate that is emailed or faxed to us. Suggestions on who you should request insurance certificates from:

  • Contractors who are working on a home or commercial remodel
  • Repair or installation service for your auto, home, or business
  • Service contractors, such as gardening and maids/cleaning services
  • Independent Contractors or Contract Employment
  • Professional Services, such as such as a CPA, Consultant, Mortgage Broker, Staffing Firm, Insurance Broker, Architects/Engineers, and others who provide professional services (professional liability)
  • People who rent or lease from you

Types of Insurance you should request:

  • General Liability
  • Workers Compensation – for operations that have workers on your premise
  • Commercial Auto Coverage – for those who use vehicles on the job
  • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions Insurance) – for those who provide professional services

Should you request a certificate for every purchase? It’s your call, but if someone is entering your premise or you are purchasing a bigger ticket item, you should strongly consider asking for insurance documentation.