Hey, Siri!  What are the new Nevada laws about paid time off?”

Laughable?  Yes and no.

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about technology replacing HR departments. It is certainly true that technology has been instrumental in the evolution (and revolution) of the HR world.  Anyone who has ever processed a payroll with paper time cards and handwritten checks can tell you that. And let’s not forget recruiting.  Gone are the days of calling the newspaper, requesting an ad, proofing the ad, running the ad, sorting through all the resumes (by hand) and calling to schedule interviews – which were written in our day planners. Whew!  Exhausting. We remain grateful to the technology that provides HR with payroll support, recruiting, onboarding, benefits administration, and many other processes that are now efficient through automation.

The idea that HR people are going to be replaced by technology is unfounded, though.  Unless artificial intelligence (AI) greatly improves, there isn’t any way for technology to interpret the information we find, and that is vital.

Case in point.  An HR Manager needs a Nevada handbook.  She goes to Google and downloads one. It’s free and takes about 5 minutes. A quick find and replace in Word puts the company name in, and the HR Manager thinks she is good to go.  Right? Wrong. Guess what?  The handbook is missing important laws specific to Nevada.  Google didn’t ask the user how many employees the company has, so there are important federal laws missing too. At this point, it’s just useless paper. Oops!

Informational websites are great — if you have time and if you know what you are looking for. And even under those perfect conditions, you can never know for sure.  Not all internet information, is reliable information. 

Had the HR Manager spent a little more time, done a little more research (and been a member of NAE), she would have found that NAE makes a sample employee handbook available for member organization through our Member Portal. The sample handbook gets updated on an annual basis with the latest updates to federal and/or state law so members have a Nevada handbook they can rely on. In addition to the sample handbook, NAE has sample policies and procedures, fact sheets on new laws, and more — all available through the Member Portal.

I tried my own Siri experiment.

Siri found the new Nevada PTO law for me.  But Siri could not tell me if my current PTO methods are acceptable under the new law, or what they mean by, “An employee shall, as soon as practicable, give notice to his or her employer to use the paid leave available for use by that employee.” 

As soon as practicable?  What does that mean?  A week? 1 hour? 15 minutes?  Siri doesn’t know. And if you are counting on technology alone to provide you with answers, you are running the dual risk of being uninformed as well as misinformed.

NAE has humans working on these and other human resources issues. Siri isn’t on staff, but we have a solid team with HR knowledge to help you navigate these internet waters.