Former Labor Commissioner Carmelo Rivera is opening his own management and human resources consulting service. The company, called HR Consulting Services, will assist employers, law firms and employee organizations in obtaining information and advice about human resource issues.
Services offered range from the recruitment and selection of personnel through employment separation.
Rivera said, "HR Consulting Service will also assist law firms in their practice with written reports, expert opinions, research and case development and other litigation support.
"If you have been in business for some time, you should know by now that managing employees is not a simple task. It requires that you consistently apply many federal and local employment laws. You also probably know that not complying with these intricate labor laws and regulations and not applying good human resource sense can get you into a bundle of trouble and costly litigation. It can even ruin your business."
Here are a few examples "of how good employers can get into hot water," said Rivera.
— Inadvertently asking the wrong questions during a job interview.
— Indicating a preference for a younger job applicant over an older qualified worker.
— Trusting too much and failing to properly check employee backgrounds and qualifications.
— Not advertising jobs and allowing equal employment opportunity.
— Being laid back and not having written personnel policies and procedures.
— Failing to comply with IDC or EEOC documentation requirements.
— Hiring your own and excluding a racial or ethnic group in any of aspect of employment.
— Not putting a stop to sexual banter or ethnic jokes in the workplace.
— Failing to keep proper employee records.
— Not properly justifying a termination or demotion.
— Showing concern the wrong way and not hiring a qualified woman because she is pregnant.
— Refusing to hire a person because of a Hispanic or other accent.
— Disciplining an employee for complaining about a safety or health issue.
— Continuously referring to women as "girls" or using other forms of belittling banter.
Rivera, a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, offers employers a wealth of experience spanning more than 20 years as an administrator and consultant. As former commissioner of Labor, Rivera was in charge of enforcing employment and labor laws and conducting compliance reviews of local businesses.
Rivera has served as a training and expert employment panelist and has provided consultation to employers, managers and employees in functional areas such as supervision and management, strategic planning, employee recruitment, performance appraisals, planning for downsizing, equal opportunity compliance, sexual harassment prevention, personnel policies, customer service and other workplace issues.
Effective human resource planning and consultation with a management and human resources expert can help prevent many of the headaches and high costs of lawsuits, penalties and back wage payments, according to Rivera.
HR Consulting Services is registered with the Lieutenant Governor's Office and licensed by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
For more information, contact HR Consulting Service by email at or telephone at (340) 692-2123. The address is P.O. Box 6665, Sunny Isle, St. Croix, USVI 00823.

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