A Closer Look at Phase I HR Compliance Assessment Series: Part 2 “Job Descriptions”

Why Document Employment Actions

Baby on Board: Dos and Don’ts for Accommodating Pregnant and Postpartum Employees

Training Spotlight: New eLearning Series Pilot Program!

The Role of HR in Supporting Mental Health Well-Being at Work


Kepro is now Acentra Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Unlock the Power of Knowledge this Spring with our Regional HR Trainings

A Closer Look at Phase I

HR Compliance Assessment Series:

Part 2

“Job Descriptions”

This article is the second in a series in which each component reviewed during a POOL/PACT HR Phase I Compliance Assessment is highlighted. This article covers Job Descriptions and the important role they play throughout employees’ tenure with the organization. They are a valuable tool for management in nearly all employment-related functions.

If accurate and current, the job description identifies important information about a position or class, including essential functions, qualifications needed to perform those essential functions, working conditions, and physical and mental requirements. They assist management in:

  • Determining necessary qualifications in the recruitment and selection process.
  • Measuring and monitoring job performance.
  • Establishing pay ranges.
  • Determining reasonable accommodations.
  • Assessing fitness-for-duty and light-duty restrictions for workers’ compensation claims.
  • Administering leave under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Addressing important legal issues, such as a wrongful termination, and claims of discrimination.

When conducting the Phase I HR Compliance Assessment, POOL/PACT HR reviews a sampling of the member’s job descriptions to ensure they contain certain key components identified by POOL/PACT HR, as listed below:

  • Job Title: Reflects the position’s responsibilities, is specific and common to local government, and does not use brand names.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Status: States whether the position is classified as exempt or non-exempt per FLSA regulations.
  • Safety Sensitive: Declares the position’s safety-sensitive designation regarding whether the position is subject to random drug testing.
  • Date Created/Revised: Lists the date the original job description was created and any revision date(s).
  • Definition: Summarizes the position’s major functions and responsibilities.
  • Essential Functions: Lists the necessary duties the employee must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Qualifications for Employment: States the minimum training, education, and/or experience required to provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to perform the essential functions.
  • Physical and Mental Requirements: Lists the minimum physical and mental requirements needed to perform the essential functions of the job; also serves as a basis for determining fitness-for-duty and whether reasonable accommodations can be provided.
  • Working Conditions: Describes the typical environmental conditions employees would encounter in a workday.
  • Employee Acknowledgment: Provides a place for the employee to sign stating they have read and received a copy of the job description.

Of these components, four are often identified during Phase I Compliance Assessments as requiring the most attention. These are: FLSA status, safety-sensitive designation, date created/revised, and employee acknowledgment. The components identified as needing correction/revision are listed in the “Findings” section of the Phase I Final Report which is provided to the member within 60 days of the onsite assessment. The suggested course of action to correct the identified components is outlined in the “Recommendations” section of the final report as well.

Member organizations don’t need to wait until a Phase I Compliance Assessment is conducted to have their job descriptions reviewed. Feel free to contact your POOL/PACT HR Business Partners for assistance.

Why Document Employment Actions

Good documentation aims to create a record of employment, including the facts of incidents and the steps and actions taken by the employer in an employment matter. Comprehensive documentation aids future managers and Human Resources (HR) professionals with historical perspectives, audits, and legal claims.


Reasons for Documentation


Managers can make mistakes and inaccuracies if they are solely dependent on their memory, as they may not be able to recall the details of the situation. As a result, documentation is a crucial component of an employment record. Managers also demonstrate consistency by documenting both the employee's positive and negative performance.


Documentation also informs employees of what is expected of them and the consequences if they do not meet expectations. It serves as a great tool from the performance management standpoint: being a written record to guide both the employer's and the employee's future behavior and provides the employee an opportunity to improve.

Additionally, documentation can serve as supporting information for disciplinary actions by providing the employer's viewpoint. This is especially important if an employee files a claim against the employer for an employment action.


Types of Documentation


There are a variety of forms of documentation managers and supervisors may use. The most common informal documentation types include:

  • Handwritten or typed notes from coaching or counseling sessions held with the employee.
  • Notes, text messages, or emails with specific examples that include the date, time, and details about particular situations (such documentation may be utilized during the performance evaluation).
  • Follow-up emails summarizing a performance discussion meeting with the employee, which clarifies the employer's expectations.


Supervisors may utilize informal documentation as evidence and support of the formal disciplinary actions and documentation, such as:

  • Disciplinary action forms (e.g., verbal warnings, written reprimands)
  • Performance improvement plans
  • Last chance agreements
  • Punitive action notices


Managers do well by reviewing their organization's personnel policies and consulting with their HR representative to ensure they follow both formal and informal documentation standards set by their employers. By maintaining adequate documentation, the manager will set proper expectations for employees and demonstrate consistency when following their organization's procedures for documentation.

For additional information on Documentation or facilitating training for your organization, such as POOL/PACT HR Training: Document, Discipline, and Due Process, please contact your HR Business Partner.

Baby on Board:

Dos and Don’ts for Accommodating Pregnant

and Postpartum Employees

In the U.S., August typically sees the highest number of births, increasing the likelihood of employees announcing pregnancies in the coming months. Are you prepared? Having a pregnant or recently postpartum employee triggers considerations under several state and federal laws, such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Acts (PWFA), the Providing Urgent Maternal Protection for Mothers Act (PUMP Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Navigating these can be complex, so here are essential "Dos and Don'ts" for managing employees who are pregnant, lactating, or otherwise impacted by a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.


  1. Issue written notice to new hires and pregnant employees about their rights against discriminatory practices and the right to reasonable accommodation for pregnancy-related conditions. Incorporate this into your personnel policies or use the NV PWFA poster from the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC).
  2. Extend the same considerations and benefits to medically-impacted pregnant or postpartum employees as you would to any other temporarily disabled employee.
  3. Make sincere efforts to accommodate employee requests and document the interactive process.
  4. Request medical certification for accommodations or leave related to pregnancy or childbirth.
  5. Process leave under FMLA for independently eligible employees seeking qualified leave.
  6. Provide a private space (not a bathroom!) and reasonable break time to express breast milk for employees who gave birth within the last year.


  1. Factor an applicant or employee’s pregnancy or parental status into hiring or employment decisions.
  2. Impose accommodations or light duty on an employee who has not requested it.
  3. Mandate leave if a reasonable accommodation exists to allow the employee to continue working.
  4. Deny an accommodation request without exploring all options, seeking legal counsel, and thoroughly documenting reasons why it would be prohibitively difficult.

This list outlines key responsibilities regarding pregnant or recently postpartum workers, but it's not exhaustive. Delve deeper by reading our HR Briefing, Pregnant Workers: Rights, Accommodations, and Leave, accessible on www.poolpact.com to registered users.

Training Spotlight

New eLearning Series Pilot Program!

POOL/PACT Human Resources is excited to announce a new management eLearning Series is now available. 

This new nine-module eLearning program is called Supervising, Managing, and Leading in the Public-Sector eLearning Series and is for new supervisors and managers or those who will be promoted to a supervisory or management role in the near future. The purpose of this eLearning series is to provide:

  • An overview of what it’s like to be a supervisor and manager in the public sector.
  • Information to help new managers/supervisors successfully navigate the challenges that come with being in a leadership role.
  • Provide the skills, tools, and knowledge necessary to be an effective supervisor, manager, and leader.
  • As this is our first eLearning series, we are looking for volunteers to pilot the program. The goal of this pilot is to test the navigation within and between modules, evaluate content and activities, review voiceovers, and provide feedback. We anticipate the whole program taking up to five hours. If you and/or your staff is willing to participate, please contact Jeff Coulam at jeffcoulam@poolpact.com. We are hoping to have feedback provided to us by December 15, 2023.

Training Needs Assessment Workgroup

POOL/PACT Human Resources continues to work with representatives from member organizations to identify training development opportunities that are beneficial and effective for most of the membership. This Training Needs Assessment Workgroup has focused on issues first line supervisors face on a regular basis, including:


Training Tip


If you are looking for a way to grab an audience s attention, whether at work or in your personal life, try introducing your message using one of the following tips:

  • Tell a brief and engaging story that relates to your message.
  • Provide a current and relevant statistic.
  • Share a quote.
  • Ask a question that provokes thought.
  • Do a brief demonstration that illustrates your point.
  • Share an image that stirs emotion.

Using these tips will help make your message more meaningful and memorable.

The Role of HR in Supporting Mental Health Well-Being at Work

Human Resource (HR) support of managers and supervisors in addressing employee mental health is crucial for creating a healthy and productive workplace culture.

Studies have shown that one in five Americans are affected by mental health factors, yet there is still a deep-rooted stigma associated with mental health challenges.

The upcoming holidays can add another layer of mental stress to managers and employees, so here are some ways HR can support supervisors and managers with their employees’ mental well-being at work:

  1. Build Trust Through Open Communication: Foster a supportive environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their mental health. Encourage open conversations and actively listen to their concerns. Regular check-ins, both formal and informal, can create opportunities for open dialogue. 
  2. Recognize Signs of Distress: Be attentive to changes in behavior, work performance, or engagement that may indicate a team member is struggling. Signs of distress can include decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, or noticeable shifts in mood.
  3. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance: Set realistic expectations for workload and deadlines. Lead by example demonstrating self-care practices and prioritizing your own mental health. Encourage physical activity and recognize the importance of mental health as a part of overall well-being. Communicate that taking time off for mental health reasons is acceptable and supported.
  4. Create a Positive Work Environment: Promote a positive and inclusive workplace culture. Recognize and celebrate achievements, promote teamwork, and provide opportunities for social interactions. A supportive work environment contributes to a sense of belonging and positively impacts mental well-being.
  5. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): HR can ensure that managers are aware of and understand the many services available through the Acentra Health EAP (formerly Kepro) which is available to all POOL/PACT members, their employees and volunteers.

In addition, POOL/PACT members have access to several robust eLearning courses on

Health and Wellness to provide support for mental well-being.

Through collaboration and assistance from HR, managers and supervisors can play a pivotal role in fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes employee mental health and well-being.


After last winter, I want to make sure I am prepared for this year as I heard it’s going to be just as bad. My question is do I have to pay my staff if they don’t come in to work due to snow? Last year we made them use annual leave. Is this correct?


Blizzard Blues


Dear Blizzard,

Ah, snow days! It sure is pretty when you don’t have to go anywhere… but when you do, it can be tough. So, what do you do when an employee doesn’t make it in due to icy roads or closures? Well, of course, the answer is “it depends.”

The answer is dependent on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt, and whether the workplace remains open.

Let’s start with exempt employees:

  • If the workplace remains open and an exempt employee misses work for his/her own (non-illness) reason, the employee’s pay may be deducted in full-day increments. You can alternatively allow that employee to substitute paid leave, such as annual or PTO.
  • If however the workplace is closed due to inclement weather, you cannot deduct pay, but you may require the employee to use paid leave. 

You may be wondering why this is. In order to qualify as exempt, positions must meet certain criteria including being paid on a salary basis. Generally, “salary basis” means an exempt employee must regularly receive a predetermined amount of compensation that cannot be reduced because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed. With a few exceptions, the exempt employee must receive the full salary for any workweek in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. However, the DOL does make an exception that exempt employees need not be paid for an absence from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, including inclement weather, as long as the reason is not related to sickness or disability. So, if the employee chooses to forgo coming to work due to winter weather conditions, the employer may properly deduct that employee’s full-day’s pay from the employee’s salary. It’s important to note however, that this exception only allows for full-day deductions; employers may not deduct for partial day absences. In either case, the employer may require the employee to take paid leave for the time missed as provided for in personnel policies or applicable CBA. 

Non-exempt employees are much easier to manage in these cases. The FLSA requires that non-exempt employees be paid only for hours actually worked. As such, employers are not required to pay non-exempt employees on snow days, even if the employer voluntarily closes its workplace. However, employers may require these employees to substitute paid leave as provided for in personnel polices or applicable CBA. 

For more information on the FLSA, please see POOL/PACT HR Briefings: Exempt Employees, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and Non-Exempt Employees and Overtime at www.poolpact.com or contact your HR Business Partner.

Do you have an HR question for this newsletter?

Submit it to hrtraining@poolpact.com.

Kepro is now Acentra Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Kepro EAP is transitioning to its new name: Acentra Health. Employers can continue to utilize the current flyers and contact cards until POOL/PACT Human Resources (HR) receives updated versions from Acentra Health.

The information to reach the EAP will not be impacted; the EAP can still be accessed by calling 1-833-430-6028 or via their website: EAPHelpLink.com (Company Code: POOLPACTEAP).


Also, employers can view the newly recorded Acentra Health EAP Orientation by CLICKING HERE, or via the Absorb eLearning Platform.


For additional information on the EAP, please contact your HR Business Partner.

Unlock the Power of Knowledge this Spring with our Regional HR Trainings

Mark your calendars for an enriching experience this Spring! POOL/PACT's HR Training Classes promise to equip you with the latest HR trends and strategies.

Registration opens 8 weeks prior to the first session of each series.

We'll send you a prompt email notification as soon as registration opens.

Don't miss this opportunity to invest in your career and become a leader in HR excellence. Spring into action and register early to reserve your space!

Document, Discipline, and Due Process

(Virtual January 25, 2024)

Human Resources Representative Certificate Program

(Carson City February 6, 7, 8, 21, and 22, 2024)

Advanced Human Resources Representative Certificate Program

(Carson City – March 6 - 7, 2024)

Essential Management Skills Certificate Program

(Boulder City – January 9, 10, 29, and 30; Carson City - March 13, 14, 27, and 28, 2024)

Advanced Essential Management Skills Certificate Program

(Ely – April 3 - 4, 2024; Carson City – April 24 - 25, 2024)

Influential Leadership

(Carson City April 18, 2024)

Dealing with the Difficult Employee

(Virtual May 9, 2024)

So, You Want to be a Supervisor?

(Virtual May 22-23, 2024)

For more information, please contact your HR Business Partner.

Visit our website to learn about our robust eLearning program.

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