The primary role of human resources in risk management deals with employment practices; not getting trapped in wage and hour claims, discrimination and harassment litigation, and wrongful termination lawsuits. Then there's leave management, including ADA and FMLA. Human relations can also play a key role in other aspects of managing risk for your business, such as:

  1. Workers Compensation - Insurance companies don't pay claims, they finance them. When you suffer a Comp claim, your experience modifier ("mod") increases to repay the claim during a three-year period at a high interest rate - which means that you should do everything possible to get employees returned to work.
  2. Cyber Liability - Poor employee practices can leave your information systems vulnerable. Coordinate your HR department with IT to make sure that new employees receive proper security orientation and terminated employees are managed effectively.
  3. Social Media - Risks from social media are expanding every day. HR should make it clear who owns your company Twitter account, set social media guidelines, and know how to respond to any perceived risks.
  4. Privacy Exposures - Whether it's medical records (HIPAA), Social Security information, financial information, etc., your employees can both generate exposures and be subject to them.
  5. Disaster Planning - One disaster can wipe out your company overnight. HR can help develop a plan to protect you in the aftermath of a disaster.
  6. Employee Benefits - With a growing number of ERISA claims and a rapidly changing benefits landscape, HR should be responsible for staying on top of these trends.

Perhaps the greatest risk that human relations can help with is those involved with growing your business. HR professionals can provide strategic advice about what is needed for growth, and how best to move forward. Because it can be difficult to wear all these HR hats, we'd be happy to offer you our professional advice.

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