Glossary / Business

Human Resources (HR) Glossary

360-Degree Feedback: An appraisal process whereby an individual is rated on his or her performance by people who know som
Ability: Aptitude or competence, the skill or proficiency needed to perform certain tasks.
Ability Test: An assessment instrument used to measure an individual’s abilities, mental or physical skills leve
Absenteeism: Referred to as the habitual failure of employees to report for work when they are scheduled to work.
Absolute Ratings: A rating method where the rater assigns a specific value on a fixed scale to the behavior or perform
Abstract Reasoning: The process of perceiving issues and reaching conclusions through the use of symbols or generalizati
Academic: An educator who is a faculty member at a college or university. Also referred to as Academician.
Accessibility: The extent to which a contractor's or employer's facility is readily approachable and does not inhib
Accessible Format: Materials that are designed in alternate formats such as Braille, audiotape, oral presentation or el
Accountability: The responsibility placed on an individual or group for their own or others’ actions, conduct, per
Accreditation: A process of external quality review and certification by a recognized body that evaluates individua
Achievement Test: A standardized testing instrument used to measure how much an individual has learned or what skills
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): Caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which kills or damages cells of the body's immune s
Acquisition: The process of acquiring control of another corporation by purchase or stock exchange.
Action Learning: A learner-driven, continuous learning process where learning revolves around the need to find soluti
Active Learning: The process of learning new knowledge, skills and behaviors through taking specific actions or perfo
Active Listening: A manner of listening that focuses exclusively on what the other person is saying and validates unde
Activities Of Daily Living (ADL): The personal care activities which are essential to an individual’s everyday living, including eat
Adjunct Program: A supplemental training tool that applies programming principles to existing instructional modules,
Adult Learner: Individuals who are beyond postsecondary education age, are employed on a full- or part-time basis a
Adverse Action: Any act by an employer that results in an individual or group of individuals being deprived of equal
Adverse Impact: A substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion or other employment decision that w
Adverse Selection: An employer’s selection practices or policies that result in discriminatory or unfavorable treatme
Advisory Committee: A group or panel of internal or external members with no decision- making authority, assembled to id
Affected Class: Groups of employees, former employees or applicants who have experienced and/or continue to experien
Affirmative Action (AA): Any program, policy or procedure that an employer implements in order to correct past discrimination
Affirmative Action Clauses: The clauses set forth in 41 C.F.R. §§ 60-250.4 and 60-741.4 that must be included in federal contr
Affirmative Action Plan (AAP): A written set of specific, results-oriented procedures to be followed by all federal contractors hol
After-Acquired Evidence: Used in litigation of employment discrimination disputes, after-acquired evidence is evidence that t
Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA) Of 1967: The ADEA protects workers age 40 and over by prohibiting discrimination against workers 40 and over
Alternation Ranking: A rating method used in job evaluation and performance evaluation whereby the rater is asked to sele
Alternative Assessment: Nontraditional procedures and techniques used within the framework of instructional programs to eval
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): A voluntary procedure used to resolve disputes or conflicts between individuals, groups or labor-man
Alternative Worksite: Any location other than the employer’s physical worksite where employees are allowed to perform th
Americans With Disabilities Act (AWD) Of 1990: The is a federal anti-discrimination law which prohibits private employers, state and local governme
Analysis Of Variance: A statistical method used to determine whether a relationship exists among two or more variables by
Analytical Thinking: The ability to analyze facts, generate a comparison and draw correct inferences or conclusions from
Anecdotal: Information that is based on observations or indications of individual actions instead of any organi
Annual Goal: An annual target for the placement of underutilized groups of protected class members in job groups
Anti-Nepotism Policy: An employer’s policy that restricts the employment of two or more family members at the same time.
Apparent Authority: The appearance that an individual has the authority or power to act as an organization’s agent, ev
Applicant: A person who seeks work at a certain employers' facilities who meets certain prescribed standards, a
Applicant Files: Application forms/resumes and other relevant items maintained by an employer and used during the sel
Applicant Flow Data: Records of hiring, promotion and other related employment actions used for the purpose of monitoring
Applicant Flow Log: A chronological listing that records each applicant who applies for employment or promotion. Data in
Applicant Pool: The sum total of all individuals who have applied for a position either by submitting a resume or ap
Applicant Tracking: Any paper or computerized system that tracks the organization’s data such as resumes/applications
Application Service Provider (ASP): A third-party organization that delivers software applications and related services over the Interne
Apprenticeship: A system used to train a person in a recognized trade or craft in accordance with specific standards
Aptitude Testing: A standardized testing instrument used during the selection process that is intended to measure and
Arbitration: An alternative dispute resolution method that uses a neutral third party (i.e. arbitrator) to resolv
Architectural Barriers: The physical attributes or design of a building, structure or facility that prevent individuals with
Assessment Center: A testing location where a candidate being considered for assignment or promotion to managerial or e
Attendance Policy: An employer’s written standards regarding the requirement for employees to be on time and present
Attitude Survey: A tool used to solicit and assess employee opinions, feelings, perceptions and expectations regardin
Attorney: A professional individual who is authorized to practice law and can be legally appointed by either a
Attrition: A term used to describe voluntary and involuntary terminations, deaths and employee retirements that
Auxiliary Aids: Defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as including 'a wide range of services and devi
Availability Analysis: The process of determining the number of qualified minorities and women in the relevant available wo
Baby Boomers: The term used to describe those individuals born between 1945 and 1970.
Baby Busters: The term used to describe those individuals born between 1961 and 1972.
Back Pay : A common remedy for wage violations is an order that the employer make up the difference between wha
Background Check-Investigation: Background Investigations and Reference Checks are the principal means by which employers actively c
Balanced Scorecard: A popular strategic management concept developed in the early 1990s by Drs. Robert Kaplan and David
Baldridge National Quality Award: The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses—manufacturing and
Bankruptcy: A federal law consisting of different chapters (i.e. chapter 7, chapter 11 or chapter 13) that allow
Barrier Analysis: The process of reviewing an organization’s policies and procedures to identify and eliminate imped
Behavior Modification: A conscious attempt to change or eliminate an individual’s undesirable behavior by specifying expe
Behavioral Risk Management: The process of analyzing and identifying workplace behavioral issues and implementing programs, poli
Behavioral-Based Interview: An interview technique that focuses on a candidate’s past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skill
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): An appraisal that requires raters to list important dimensions of a particular job and collect infor
Bell-Shaped Curve: The curve representing the normal distribution of a rating or test score.
Benchmarking: The systematic process of comparing an organization’s products, services and practices against tho
Benchmarks: The standards used as a basis for comparison or measurement.
Bereavement Leave: An employer policy that provides a specific number of paid days off following the death of an employ
Best Practices: Defined in a variety of ways, but typically refers to the practices of an organization that enables
Bidding: The practice of posting all job openings internally so that current employees may be allowed the opp
Bisexual : An individual physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually attracted to men and women. B
Blended Workforce: A workforce is comprised of permanent full-time, part-time, temporary employees and independent cont
Blind Ad: A job advertisement placed in a newspaper, trade journal/publication, magazine or Internet job board
Blood-Borne Pathogens Standard: An OSHA standard that sets forth requirements for employers with workers exposed to blood or other p
Blue Collar Workers: Hourly paid workers employed in occupations that require physical or manual labor.
Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ): A very narrowly interpreted exception to EEO laws that allows employers to base employment decisions
Bonus Plan: An incentive pay plan which awards employees compensation, in addition to their base salary, for ach
Boundaryless Organization: Defined as an organization that removes roadblocks to maximize the flow of information throughout th
Branding: The process of identifying and differentiating an organization’s products, processes or services f
Breach Of Contract: Occurring when an individual who is a party to a contract or agreement does not uphold or violates t
Break-Even Analysis: A measure used to determine the approximate sales volume required to cover the costs associated with
Broadbanding: A pay structure that consolidates a large number of narrower pay grades into fewer broad bands with
Buddy System: A form of employee orientation whereby a newly hired employee is assigned to another employee (typic
Budget: A numerical summary of an organization’s available resources and how those resources are to be all
Bumping: The practice of allowing more senior level employees whose positions have been slotted for eliminati
Burden Of Proof: The burden placed on an employer, as a result of a claim of discriminatory treatment, to provide a v
Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS): The principal fact-finding agency for the federal government in the broad field of labor economics a
Burnout: Physical or emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation or decreased morale resulting from an individua
Business Continuity Planning: Broadly defined as a management process that seeks to identify potential threats and impacts to the
Business Literacy: The knowledge and understanding of the financial, accounting, marketing and operational functions of
Business Necessity: A defense available when the employer has a criterion for selection that is facially neutral but whi
Business Plan: A document that provides relevant information about a company by outlining items such as the company
C-Suite: A term used to describe members of the executive team, i.e. CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, etc.
Cafeteria Plan: A benefit plan which allows employees to choose between one or more qualified tax-favored benefits a
Call Center: The area in an organization responsible for screening, forwarding and logging large volumes of custo
Career Center: An office set up within an organization to be used for the purpose of providing outplacement counsel
Career Counseling: Guiding individuals through the career planning and career decision-making process by helping them t
Career Development: The process by which individuals establish their current and future career objectives and assess the
Career Ladder: The progression of jobs in an organization’s specific occupational fields ranked from highest to l
Career Mobility: The propensity to make several career changes during an individual’s lifetime instead of committin
Career Path: The progression of jobs in an organization’s specific occupational fields ranked from lowest to hi
Career Planning: The process of establishing career objectives and determining appropriate educational and developmen
Career Plateau: Occurs when an employee has reached the highest position level he or she can possibly obtain within
Case Study: A case study uses real scenarios that focus on a specific issue(s). It looks deeply at a specific is
Casual Dress: Refers to attire such as jeans, casual slacks, t-shirts, sport and polo shirts and other apparel use
Casual Employment: The practice of hiring employees on an as-needed basis, either as a replacement for permanent full-t
Caucus: A labor relations term used to define periodic suspensions of negotiations in order to provide both
Centralization: The process of consolidating all decision-making authority under one central group or location.
Change Agent: A term used to define an individual or group of individuals who directly or indirectly cause or acce
Change Management: The systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools and resources to deal with change. Chang
Charge Determination : A letter issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to both parties involved in a
Child-Labor Law: Provisions under FLSA are designed to protect the educational opportunities of youth and prohibit th
Civil Rights: The rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal and state statutes enacted to protect a w
Civil Rights Act Of 1964: A federal statute enacted to further guarantee the constitutional rights of individuals and prevent
Civil Rights Act Of 1991: A federal statute that amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 enacted to strengthen and improve federa
Civil Union : Legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont.
Class Action Suit: A lawsuit filed by one party on behalf of themselves and other people in a group who share the same
Climate Survey: A tool used to solicit and asses employee opinions, feelings, perceptions and expectations regarding
Co-Employment: The relationship between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or employee leasing firm and an
Coaching: A training method in which a more experienced or skilled individual provides an employee with advice
Cognitive Ability Testing: A testing instrument used during the selection process in order to measure the candidate’s learnin
Collective Action : A federal agency procedure that permits the aggregation of hundreds or thousands of claims requirin
Color Discrimination: color discrimination occurs when a person is discriminated against based on the lightness, darkness,
Common Law Employment Test: Refers to the IRS’s 20-question common law test which examines the level of control exercised over
Communicable Disease: Any condition that is transmitted directly or indirectly to a person from an infected person or anim
Compa Ratio: The ratio of an actual pay rate to the midpoint for the respective pay grade used for comparing actu
Comparative Rating: A rating method that determines ratings by making comparisons between the individuals being rated.
Compensatory Time-Off Plan: The practice of giving employees paid time off that can be used in the future in lieu of paying them
Competencies: The knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform a specific task or function.
Competency-Based Pay: A compensation system that recognizes employees for the depth, breadth and types of skills they obta
Compliance: Meeting the requirements and obligations of affirmative action imposed by Executive Order 11246, Sec
Compliance Officer: An employee of the OFCCP engaged in the investigation of employment discrimination charges and condu
Compressed Workweek: An alternative scheduling method that allows employees to work a standard workweek over less than a
Conciliation Agreement: A binding written agreement between a contractor and OFCCP that details specific contractor commitme
Concurrent Validity: The means of determining a test’s or other assessment tool’s validity by comparing test scores a
Condition Of Employment: An organization’s policies and work rules that employees are expected to abide by in order to rema
Confidentiality Agreement: A contract restricting an employee from disclosing confidential or proprietary information.
Conflict Of Interest: Refers to situations when an individual has other competing financial, professional or personal obli
Consideration: A benefit or other item of value given to an individual who is asked to sign an employment contract
Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) Of 1985: Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, if an employee terminates employme
Construct Validity: The extent to which a test or other assessment instrument measures a particular trait.
Constructive Discharge: Occurs when a manager/supervisor or employer makes working conditions so unbearable or abusive that
Consultant: An individual who works independently to assist and advise client organizations with various organiz
Consumer Credit Protection Act Of 1968: Prohibits employees from being terminated for garnishments for any one indebtedness. Although two or
Consumer Credit Report: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) defines a consumer report as any communication of any informati
Consumer Price Index (CPI): An index of prices used to measure the change in the cost of basic goods and services in comparison
Content Validity: The degree to which a test or other assessment instrument used during the selection process measures
Contingency Planning: The process of identifying an organization’s critical information systems and business operations
Contingent Worker: Refers to an individual employed in a job that does not have an explicit contract for long-term empl
Contractor: A contractor is a firm that does business with the federal government. A prime contractor receives $
Core Competencies: The skills, knowledge and abilities which employees must possess in order to successfully perform jo
Core Work Activities: The tasks or functions within an organization considered essential to the organization’s business
Core Workers: Employees who are considered to be vital to the organization’s successful business operations.
Corporate Citizenship: "Corporate Citizenship is the contribution a company makes to society through its core business acti
Corporate Culture: The beliefs, values and practices adopted by an organization that directly influence employee conduc
Corporate Image: The way in which an organization is viewed by clients, employees, vendors or the general public.
Corporate Values: The prescribed standards, behaviors, principles or concepts that an organization regards as highly i
Corrective Action: Correction of deficiencies identified during a compliance review of an affirmative action plan.
Cost Of Labor: The total payments in the form of gross salary and wages, bonuses, and other cash allowances paid to
Cost Of Living: The amount of money needed to buy the goods and services required to maintain a specific standard of
Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA): An annual adjustment in wages to offset a change in purchasing power, as measured by the Consumer Pr
Cost-Benefit Analysis: A means of measuring the costs associated with a specific program, project, activity or benefit comp
Cost-Per-Hire: The direct and indirect costs that are calculated to measure the costs associated with filling a vac
Counseling: Actions or interactions in one or serial form which serve to provide direction, guidance or advice w
Craft Worker: An individual employed in a profession or activity that uses experienced hands to make something. A
Crisis Management: A broad term that refers to an organizations pre-established activities and guidelines, for preparin
Crisis Planning: A formal written plan establishing specific measures or actions to be taken when responding to catas
Crisis Prevention: The process of an organization implementing specific plans and procedures designed to circumvent cer
Critical Success Factors: The key items that must be met in order to successfully achieve a specific objective.
Critical Tasks: The job tasks or functions essential to the proper performance of a particular job.
Cross Dressing : To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex . Cross-dressers
Cross Training: The process of developing a multi skilled workforce by providing employees with training and develop
Cross-Functional Teams: Work teams comprised of individuals who represent the various organizational functions, departments
Cultural Differences: The diverse behaviors, beliefs, customs, traditions, language and expressions that are characteristi
Cultural Integration: The process of bringing people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds into equal association.
Curriculum Vitae (C.V.): Used in the United States to describe, a longer, more detailed version of a resume. Internationally
Cybersmear: Using Web sites, listservs, chat rooms or bulletin boards to post insulting or defamatory statements
Daily Work Records: A daily log of job tasks being performed by individual employees over a certain period of time. Use
Damages: The amounts awarded by a court to be paid by one party to another as a result of violating a contrac
De Minimis Rule: Described by IRS guidelines as any benefit, property or service provided to an employee that has so
De-Layering: An organizational restructuring strategy meant to reduce the organization’s existing levels of man
Deauthorization: The termination of union representation over a specific bargaining unit following a decertification
Debarment: An order declaring a contractor ineligible for the award of future contracts or cancellation of curr
Decentralization: The process of assigning decision-making authority to lower levels within the organizational hierarc
Decertification: Allows members of a particular bargaining unit to terminate their union representation through a vot
Deductive Reasoning: The ability to extract certain rules based on a sequence of experiences or observations and apply th
Defamation: Injury caused to an individual’s character or reputation resulting from another individual(s) issu
Deferred Compensation: Payment for services under any employer-sponsored plan or arrangement that allows an employee (for t
Deficiency: Failure to fulfill a requirement of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act or
Defined Benefit Plan: A retirement plan that is not an individual account plan and pays participants a fixed periodic bene
Defined Contribution Plan: An individual account plan in which the employer contributes a specific amount of money into each ye
Delegation: The process of assigning tasks or projects to subordinates and clearly dictating expected outcomes a
Demographics: The physical characteristics of a population, such as age, sex, marital status, family size, educati
Demotion: A permanent reassignment to a position with a lower pay grade, skill requirement or level of respons
Department Of Labor (DOL): The federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing a large quantity of federal labor law
Departmentation: The process of dividing an organization’s labor, functions, processes or units into separate group
Dependent Care Assistance Plan: An employer benefit plan that provides employees with dependent care assistance, such as paying for
Deposition: The process of one party, accompanied by his or her legal counsel, answering questions under oath ab
Descriptive Scale: Any rating scale that uses adjectives or phrases to determine performance ratings.
Desk Audit: A review of a contractor's documents and materials to determine compliance with affirmative action p
Development Program: Training or educational programs designed to stimulate an individual’s professional growth by incr
Developmental Counseling: A form of shared counseling where managers or supervisors work together with subordinates to identif
Developmental Disabilities: Defined as a severe, chronic disability of an individual that: is attributable to mental or physical
Dimensions Of Diversity: Include but are not limited to: age; gender; ethnicity; race; sexual orientation; physical abilities
Diploma Mill: A term used to refer to an unaccredited higher education institution that grant degrees without maki
Direct Compensation: All compensation (base salary and/or incentive pay) that is paid directly to an employee.
Direct Costs: The costs directly attributed to a particular products, programs or activities.
Direct Labor: The workers who actually produce a product or provide a service.
Disability: Defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’
Disability Management: The process of coordinating efforts between employees, management, physicians, rehabilitation servic
Disabled Individual: Under the ADA guidelines, an individual with a disability is a person who: has a physical or mental
Disabled Veteran: A person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in
Disaster Recovery Plan: A set of guidelines and procedures to be used by an organization for the recovery of data lost due t
Discharge: The termination of an employee based on previous disciplinary proceedings or for violating a major w
Disciplinary Action: The means of reprimanding employees who fail to abide by the organization’s performance standards,
Disciplinary Layoff: A disciplinary measure in which employees are suspended without pay for a specified period of time d
Disclosure: The process of disclosing information to employees or the general public regarding any business prac
Discretionary Bonus: A form of variable pay where an employer provides additional cash compensation to an employee for re
Discrimination: Any policy or action taken related to recruiting, hiring, promotion, pay or training practices that
Disparate Impact: Under Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law, a less favorable effect for one group than for another
Disparate Treatment: Such treatment results when rules or policies are applied inconsistently to one group of people over
Displaced Workers: Individuals who have lost their jobs due to a plant closing, relocation, downsizing or position elim
Disqualifying Income: Commonly used as an offset when coordinating income from multiple sources.
Dissatisfiers: Factors, such as working conditions, job functions, pay and benefits or organizational policies and
Distance Learning: The process of delivering educational or instructional programs to locations away from a classroom o
Distractors: Refers to incorporating incorrect items or answers into a testing instrument where the testee is ask
Diversity: The collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes for example, individual and org
Diversity Management: A comprehensive organizational and managerial process for leveraging diversity and achieving inclusi
Diversity Training: A fundamental component of a diversity initiative that represents the opportunity for an organizatio
Documentation: Refers to written notices, records, forms, memos, letters and so forth used during disciplinary proc
Domestic Partner Benefits: Benefit plan provided by an employer that recognizes individuals who are of the same or opposite sex
Downgrading: The practice of moving an employee to a job that has a lower pay grade or level of responsibility or
Downshifting: Refers to employees who choose to accept or remain in lower level or lower paying jobs in order to s
Downsizing: The process of reducing the employer’s workforce through elimination of positions, management laye
Dress Code: An organizational policy or rule to be used by employees as a guideline as to what is considered app
Drug Abuse-Substance Abuse: Habitual and excessive use of a drug for purposes other than what was medically intended.
Drug Free Workplace Act Of 1988: Requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free
Drug Testing: The process of testing employees to detect the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol within their sys
Dual Career Ladders-Tracks: An employee career development plan allowing employees to alternate between technical, professional
Due Diligence: A critical component of mergers and acquisitions, it is the process of conducting an investigation a
E-Learning: The delivery of formal and informal training and educational materials, processes and programs via t
Early Retirement Plan: A benefit plan offered by an organization providing incentives geared toward encouraging employees w
Early Return To Work Program: Modified work programs designed to get employees who have been out of work due to injury or illness
EEO-1 Category: One of nine broad job categories used on the EEO-1 Report. They are officials & managers, profession
EEOC Guidelines: Interpretations of Title VII expressed by the EEOC that don't have the force of law, but tend to be
Eighty-Percent Rule: Method of determining adverse impact. Selection rates for any group that are less than 80 percent (f
Electromation: Used to refer to a NLRB ruling declaring that, in nonunion companies, labor management cooperation (
Electronic Monitoring: An employee surveillance practice where items such as telephone calls or e-mail/Internet usage are o
Emergency Planning: The process of establishing specific measures or actions to be taken when responding to catastrophic
Emotional Intelligence: Describes the mental ability an individual possesses enabling him or her to be sensitive and underst
Employee Assistance Program (EAP): A work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal pr
Employee Engagement: The means of creating a work environment that empowers employees to make decisions that affect their
Employee Handbook: A written or electronic document containing summaries of the employer’s policies and benefits desi
Employee Leasing: A staffing alternative whereby employers form a joint-employment relationship with a leasing agency
Employee Polygraph Protection Act Of 1988: Prohibits most private employers from requiring employees or candidates for employment to submit to
Employee Referral Program: A recruiting strategy where current employees are rewarded for referring qualified candidates for em
Employee Relations: A broad term used to refer to the general management and planning of activities related to developin
Employee Retention: Organizational policies and practices designed to meet the diverse needs of employees and create an
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)Of 1974: ERISA sets requirements for the provision and administration of employee benefit plans. Employee ben
Employee Self-Service: A trend in human resource management that allows employees to handle many job-related tasks normally
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP): A trust established by a corporation that operates as a tax-qualified defined contribution retiremen
Employee Stock Purchase Plan: An employer-sponsored plan that allows employees to purchase company stock below the fair market val
Employee-Driven Idea System: A type of suggestion program where employees are rewarded for being ultimately responsible for the m
Employer: Under EEOC Policy Guidelines, a person or persons engaging in an industry affecting commerce who has
Employer Information Report EEO-1: Also known as Standard Form 100, this annual report shows the representation of female and minority
Employer Of Choice: A term used to describe a public or private employer whose practices, policies, benefits and overall
Employment Agency: An organization that provides job placement assistance, either on a temporary or permanent basis, to
Employment Agreement-Contract: A formal, legally binding agreement between an employer and employee outlining terms of employment s
Employment Branding: A combination of marketing, communication and technology used by an organization intended to give it
Employment Cost Index: Conducted annually as part of the Department of Labor’s National Compensation Survey program, the
Employment Displacement: Occurs when an employee is terminated as a result of position elimination.
Employment Practice: Any recruitment, hiring, selection practice, transfer or promotion policy, or any benefit provision
Employment Practices Liability Audit: An assessment of an employer’s current policies and practices to determine potential areas of liab
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI): An insurance plan that provides employers with protection against claims of discrimination, wrongful
Employment Torts: The grounds on which a lawsuit is based, such as wrongful discharge, negligence or invasion of priva
Employment Visas: An immigration-issued document that allows aliens to obtain temporary residency for the purpose of p
Employment-At-Will: A legal doctrine that states that an employment relationship may be terminated by the employer or em
Empowerment: Enabling an individual to have responsibility, control and decision-making authority over the work h
English As A Second Language (ESL): English language training provided to individuals who do not speak English as their primary language
English-Only Rules: An employer policy or work rule that requires employees to only speak in the English language at all
Environmental Scanning: A process that systematically surveys and interprets relevant data to identify external opportunitie
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): A policy statement that equal consideration for a job is applicable to all individuals and that the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The federal agency responsible for publishing guidelines, enforcing EEO laws and investigating compl
Equal Opportunity Clause: The seven subparagraphs in Section 202 of Executive Order 11246, as amended. These paragraphs are re
Equal Opportunity Survey: This report is sent to a substantial portion of all non-construction contractors each year. It requi
Equal Pay Act Of 1963: A federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating between male employees and female employees
Equal Treatment: A legal doctrine used in discharge cases to determine whether an employer’s policies and practices
Equivalent Position: According to section 825.215 of the FMLA regulations, an equivalent position is one that is virtuall
Ergonomics: The design of the equipment, furniture, machinery or tools used in the workplace that promotes safet
Error Of Central Tendency: A rating error occurring when the rater displays a propensity to assign only average ratings to all
Error Of Contrast: An error occurring when raters assign ratings based on comparisons between individuals being rated i
Error Of Halo: A rating error occurring when the rater assigns a rating based on individuals’ positive or negativ
Error Of Inconsistency: Occurs when no established organizational standards for rating an individual exist, and raters use d
Error Of Projection: An error in rating, which occurs when raters are inclined to allow their own personal characteristic
Error Of Recency: Occurs when raters assign a rating based on the individual’s short-term versus long-term job perfo
Error Of Standards: Occurs when a rating is assigned based on impracticable standards established by the rater.
Errors And Omissions Insurance: An insurance policy providing businesses with coverage and protection against potential lawsuits fro
Essay Appraisal: An appraisal strategy requiring the rater to provide a narrative description of an individual’s pe
Essential Functions: The primary job functions or tasks that an individual must be able to perform with or without a reas
Ethical Leadership: Broadly defined , as the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions a
Ethics: A philosophy principle concerned with opinions about appropriate and inappropriate moral conduct or
Ethnic Categories: A grouping of individuals who are of the following decent: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian;
Executive Compensation: Compensation packages specifically designed for executive-level employees that include items such as
Executive Development: Training and educational programs designed to increase performance and further the development of le
Executive Order: An official presidential directive that has the same force as a law.
Executive Order 11246 Of 1965: Administered and enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Executive O
Executive Outplacement: A program designed to provide displaced senior-level managerial and professional employees with care
Executive Retreat: A team building and development approach designed for executive-level managers; conducted off-site a
Executive Search Firm: An agency or organization used by employers to assist them with the selection and placement of candi
Exempt Employees: Employees who meet one of the FLSA exemption tests and who are paid on a fixed salary basis and not
Exit Interview: An interview conducted at the time of an employee’s resignation, used to identify the underlying f
Expatriate: An employee who is transferred to work abroad on a long-term job assignment.
Expectancy Theory: A motivational theory concluding that individuals feel a sense of pleasure and gratification when th
Expedited Arbitration: A dispute resolution method used by the American Arbitration Association to resolve cases in accorda
External Benchmarking: The process of comparing an organization’s current policies and practices to that of a competitor
Extrinsic Motivator: Organizationally controlled incentives, such as pay, benefits, incentives, achievement awards, etc.,
Extrinsic Reward: Work-related rewards that have a measurable monetary value, unlike intrinsic rewards, such as praise
Face Validity: Making a decision regarding the appropriateness of a test or other assessment instrument based on ap
Facilitator: A trainer who assists a group in learning or reaching a specific goal by directing and controlling t
Fact Finding: The process of utilizing an impartial third party, not employed by the organization, to examine all
Fact-Finding Conference: An informal meeting directed by the EEOC to settle discrimination complaints between an employer and
Factor Comparison: A job comparison process involving ranking each individual job by certain selected compensable facto
Factor Weight: Used in the job evaluation process, it is the process of assigning a weight to compensable factors t
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Of 1969: The FCRA requires employers that use credit reports and that deny employment on the basis of a credi
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Of 1938: An act that covers public agencies and businesses engaged in interstate commerce or providing goods
Fair Representation: This term means that a trade union, so long as it continues to be entitled to represent employees in
Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)Of 1993: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees who have met minimum service requirements (
Family Status Change: Used to define changes to an individuals existing family standing. Typically found in health care b
Family-Friendly: A policy or practice designed to help families spend more time together and/or enjoy a better qualit
Fast-Trackers: A term used to describe employees who have exhibited strong potential for promotion and are being pr
Fat Organization: An organization with a structure consisting of several layers of management.
Feasibility Study: A study designed to discover if a business, product, project or process justify the investment of ti
Featherbedding: An unfair labor practice occurring when a union requires an employer to pay an employee for services
Feedback: Positive or negative information provided to an individual in the form of coaching or counseling reg
Fetal Protection Policy: An employer policy meant to protect a pregnant woman’s unborn fetus by excluding pregnant women fr
Field Interview: An employment interview conducted away from the employer’s actual worksite.
Financial Statement: A report containing financial information derived from an organizational accounting record.
Fitness For Duty: A document provided by a medical practitioner following a post-offer medical examination containing
Fixed Year: A term used to describe an invariable year such as a calendar or fiscal year.
Flat Organization: An organization characterized by having only a few layers of management from top to bottom
Flexible Benefit Plan: A benefit program regulated under IRC 125 that offers employees a choice between permissible taxable
Flexible Scheduling: An alternative work arrangement providing employees with greater flexibility in meeting their own pe
Flexible Staffing: The practice of utilizing temporary employees, independent contractors or part-time employees to fil
Flextime: Variable work hours requiring employees to work a standard number of core hours within a specified p
Focus Group: A small group of individuals who are interviewed through structured facilitator-led discussions in o
Forced Distribution: An appraisal rating method intended to prevent rater errors by requiring the rater to force ratings
Forced Ranking: A performance appraisal system where raters are asked to identify a certain percentage of employees
Forced-Choice: In test construction, used to define multiple-choice tests or questionnaires requiring the testee to
Forecasting: A business analysis conducted in order to assess what future trends are likely to happen, especially
Fractional Bargaining: Bargaining that takes place at a department or unit level which may lead to an unwritten consensus t
Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Of 1966: A federal law providing guidelines for access and disclosure of government documents and materials t
Fringe Benefit: Employment benefits granted to employees in addition to their current base salary or wages (i.e., ca
Front Pay : Front pay is an equitable remedy, an element of the 'make whole' relief available to victims of empl
Front Pay : Front pay is an equitable remedy, an element of the 'make whole' relief available to victims of empl
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): A value assigned to signify the number of full-time employees that could have been employed if the r
Fully Insured Plan: A benefit plan where the employer contracts with another organization to assume financial responsibi
Functional Team: A group of employees who are responsible for a particular function within the organization.
Gag Clause: Refers to the employment contract restrictions used as a means of protecting the organization’s tr
Gainsharing Plan: A group incentive plan used to enhance productivity by sharing with a group a percentage of the gain
Garnishment: A court order requiring an employer to withhold a certain percentage from an employee’s pay in ord
Gay : The adjective used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual
Gender Expression : External manifestation of one's gender identity, usually expressed through 'masculine,' 'feminine,'
Gender Identity : One's internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or boy or girl). For transgender people, t
Generalist: An individual who possesses the capabilities to perform more than one diversified function, rather t
Generation I: The term used to describe children born after 1994 who are growing up in the Internet age.
Generation X: The term used to describe individuals born between 1965 and 1980.
Generation Y: The term used to describe individuals born between 1985 and the present.
Genetic-Based Discrimination: The practice of requesting or requiring genetic testing information during the hiring process or usi
Geographical Differential: The variance in pay established for same or comparable jobs based on variations in labor and costs o
Glass Ceiling: Used to describe the invisible barrier keeping women from advancing into executive-level positions.
Glass Ceiling Act Of 1991: An act meant to raise public awareness regarding the underutilization of females and minorities in c
Global Compensation: Pay practices relating to employees who are working on assignments in international locations. A ser
Global Relocation: The process of transferring an individual’s residence from the United States to a foreign country
Globalization: The term used to describe increasingly mobile organizations that are performing their operations in
Goal: A statement outlining the long-term results, accomplishments or objectives an organization seeks to
Goal Achievement: How well a contractor has progressed toward meeting employment or promotion targets set to correct u
Goal Setting: The process of setting and assigning a set of specific and attainable goals to be met by an individu
Gold-Collar Employee: The term used to describe individuals such as scientists, engineers and other highly skilled employe
Good -Faith Bargaining: The principles applied to conducting negotiations where two parties meet and confer at reasonable ti
Good Faith Effort: The effort and action an organization puts forth to correct goals and specific problem areas.
Graded Vesting: A schedule used for vesting purposes, in which the vesting occurs over a period of five to 15 years.
Grapevine: An informal communication channel used to transmit information or rumors from one person to another.
Green Card: A card issued in accordance with immigration laws to an alien granting him or her the right to becom
Greenfield Operation: A new operation that is built from "the ground up".
Grievance: A formal complaint or allegation by an employee or group of employees made to unfair treatment or vi
Grievance Procedures: The process and guidelines to be followed by employees, management or the union when resolving diffe
Gross Product Margin: The difference between the price a certain product is sold at and the cost of producing the product.
Gross Salaries: The amount of income, exclusive of any deductions, paid to employees during the calendar year which
Group Dynamics: The social manner in which people interact with each other within a group.
Group Interview: An interviewing method where a prospective employee is interviewed by a small group of his or her pe
Group Outplacement: Used as a cost-cutting measure, it incorporates the same principles as individual outplacement benef
Halo-Horn Effect: A form of interviewer bias, occurring when the interviewer rates or judges an individual based on th
Handicapped Individual: Based on the definition provided by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, an individual is 'h
Harassment: Conduct or actions, based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, military members
Hawthorne Effect: A term produced as a result of an experiment conducted by Elton Mayo whereby he concluded that expre
Hazard Communication Standard Of 1988: An occupational safety and health standard intended to comprehensively address the issue of evaluati
Hazard Pay: A special payment made in addition to an individual’s salary for accepting assignments at location
Head Count: Refers to average number of people employed directly by the company on a full-time and part-time bas
Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA): A benefit plan designed to allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medicall
Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA )Of 1996: The Act was enacted to make health insurance more 'portable' from one employer to another. The law m
Health Savings Accounts (HSA): A tax-free account that can be used by employees to pay for qualified medical expenses. Contribution
Heterosexual : People whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to people of th
Hidden Disabilities: Disabilities which are not of a visible nature, such as learning disorders, alcohol abuse, depressio
Hierarchy Of Needs: A psychology theory ascribed to Abraham H. Maslow, in which he proposed that people will constantly
Highly Compensated Employee: For the purposes of retirement plans, a highly compensated employee is defined by the IRS as an empl
Home-Based Worker: An employee who works from a home office rather than at a physical workspace at the employer’s loc
Homosexual : Outdated clinical term considered derogatory and offensive by many gay people.
Honesty-Integrity Testing: Tests used to assess an individual’s propensity for dishonest conduct or behavior (i.e., stealing
Horizontal Integration: Also known as job rotation, it is a job enlargement method whereby employees are shifted between var
Horizontal Organization: A flat organizational structure that consists of fewer hierarchal levels. Such organizational struct
Hostile Environment Harassment: Sexual or other discriminatory conduct that is so severe and pervasive that it interferes with an in
Hostile Takeover: A leveraged purchase of a company that goes against the wishes of the target company's management an
Hot-Desks: A method of saving office space in which workers do not have their own desk but share the same desk
Hoteling: The practice of not assigning offices on a permanent basis to individuals who telecommute. Instead,
Huddle Group: A training method whereby participants are divided into small groups, given a specific problem to ha
Human Capital: The collective knowledge, skills and abilities of an organization’s employees.
Human Resource Auditing: The process of assessing HR programs and services to determine effectiveness or efficiency.
Human Resource Development: A set of planned activities intended to provide the organization with the skills it requires to meet
Human Resource Information System (HRIS): A computer database used to gather, store, maintain and retrieve relevant employee and HR-related in
Human Resource Management: The formal structure within an organization responsible for all the decisions, strategies, factors,
Human Resource Management System: A software application combining various human resource functions, such as benefits, payroll, recrui
Human Resource Metrics: Measurements used to determine the value and effectiveness of HR strategies. Typically includes such
Human Resource Planning: The process of anticipating future staffing needs and ensuring that a sufficient pool of talent poss
Human Resources: The function dealing with the management of people employed within the organization.
Hybrid Organization: An organization whose structure is comprised of both vertical and horizontal models.
Hygiene Theory: Studies conducted by Frederick Herzberg used to better understand employee attitudes and motivation
Icebreaker: A beginning exercise, game or simulation used as a means to reduce tension and create a more relaxed
Identity Theft: Regulated by federal and state statutes, identity theft occurs when a person fraudulently obtains an
Illegal Immigrant-Alien: An individual who is not a U.S. citizen and who has entered the United States without proper documen
Image Consulting: The practice of counseling and advising individuals regarding items such as personal appearance, dre
Immigration Customs And Enforcement (ICE): Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative branch of the Department of H
Immigration Reform And Control Act (IRCA) Of 1986: The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) prohibits the employment of individuals who are not le
Impact Ratio: Selection rate, for an employment opportunity, for a group of people in a protected class, divided b
Impairment: A physical or mental condition resulting from injury or illness, which diminishes an individual’s
Impatriate: Foreign nationals who are hired by U.S. employers under the H1-B visa program to fill highly skilled
In-Company-In-House Counseling: An EAP program which is conducted by a trained professional counselor hired as an employee by the em
Incentive Pay: Additional compensation used to motivate and reward employees for exceeding performance or productiv
Incentive Pay Plan: A plan providing additional compensation intended to serve as an incentive for excellent performance
Incentive Stock Option: An employee stock option plan that allows options to be granted or exercised on a tax-deferred basis
Incidence Rate: Indicates the number of workplace injuries/illnesses and the number of lost work days per 100 employ
Inclusion: Ensuring that all of organizational talent is valued, treated fairly and respectfully, and is fully
Independent Contractor: A self-employed individual who performs a service for an employer under an express or implied agreem
Indirect Compensation: Compensation that is not paid directly to an employee and is calculated in addition to base salary a
Indirect Costs: Expenses, such as fringe benefits, overhead, utilities, rent or equipment, that have been incurred f
Indirect Labor: Used to define labor that is necessary to support the manufacturing of a product, but is not directl
Induction Program: Programs designed to introduce and acclimate newly hired employees into the organization.
Industrial Democracy: The involvement and empowerment of employees in decision-making within the organization by such meth
Industrial Psychology: Applied psychology concerned with the study of human behavior in the workplace and how to efficientl
Industrial Rehabilitation: Programs designed to get employees who have been injured on the job back into the workforce and off
Informed Consent: An individual’s agreement to allow something to transpire subsequent to the individual having been
Injunction: A court-issued order requiring a party to either do or refrain from doing a certain act.
Inpatriate: These foreign national employees have been transferred to work in the home country of an internation
Inplacement Counseling: A form of employee counseling geared toward acclimating recently promoted or transferred employees i
Insourcing: Refers to the process of internally administering employee benefit plans or other programs, as oppos
Instructor-To-Trainee Ratio: The maximum number of trainees assigned per trainer.
Insubordination: The willful or repeated disobedience to an order or directive from a higher level manager or superio
Intangible Rewards: Nonmonetary reinforcing, such as praise, given to an employee in recognition of a job well done or a
Integrity Testing: A pre-employment psychological assessment tool used to gauge an applicant’s honesty.
Intellectual Property: Property which is protected under federal law, including trade secrets, confidential or proprietary
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): The measure of an individual’s cognitive abilities, as measured by an intelligence test.
Intermittent-Reduced Schedule Leave: Under FMLA, intermittent and reduced schedule leave is used to describe leave that is not taken on a
Internal Audit: The process of conducting an in-house examination of one or more of an organization’s processes, f
Internal Equity: A term used to refer to employees’ perceived fairness of a company’s pay structure as it relate
Internal Mobility: The movement of employees from one job to another either vertically or laterally within an organizat
Internal Recruitment: The practice of assessing the employer’s current workforce to determine whether or not current emp
Internal Temporary Pool Employee: A pool of former employees who are called upon and hired to fill temporary staffing needs on an as-n
Internship: A partnership between an organization and an educational institution, whereby students are hired by
Interpersonal Communications: Refers to the process of communicating with another person or group to express feelings, thoughts or
Interpretive Guidelines On Sexual Harassment: EEOC issued guidelines defining sexual harassment and the employer’s responsibility for maintainin
Intersectional Discrimination: Discrimination not just because of one protected trait (e.g., race), but also because of the interse
Interview: Used during the selection process, an interview is a face-to-face meeting with an individual or grou
Interview To Offer Ratio: The ratio of the numbers of individuals interviewed to actual offers extended.
Intrinsic Reward: Refers to an outcome received by an individual as a result of engaging in a particular activity (i.e
Invitation To Self-Identify: An invitation by an employer extended to all employees who believe they are covered by Section 402 o
ISO 9000: Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), it is a set of standards for
Job Accommodation Network (JAN): A service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN'
Job Aids: A document consisting of information or instructions used to guide the user on how to perform a task
Job Analysis: The systematic process of gathering and examining and interpreting data regarding the specific tasks
Job Bank: Refers to pools of retired employees who are used by employers to fill part-time or temporary positi
Job Classification: A method of evaluation used for job comparisons, which groups jobs into a prearranged number of grad
Job Codes: Identification numbers assigned to specific jobs or job tasks.
Job Description: A written description of a job which includes information regarding the general nature of the work t
Job Displacement: Occurs when an employee’s position is eliminated.
Job Enlarging: A method used to keep workers motivated, the process involves adding new tasks which are of the same
Job Enrichment: The practice of adding tasks to a job as a means of increasing the amount of employee control or res
Job Evaluation: Used for compensation planning purposes, it is the process of comparing a job with other jobs in an
Job Grade: The group into which jobs of the same or similar worth are placed for determining appropriate rates
Job Group: A division within the contractor's workforce for the purposes of analyzing the workforce for underut
Job Offer Letter: A formal written document that is provided by an employer to a candidate selected for employment whi
Job Posting: The method of advertising for vacancies internally by posting a notice of the opening on a bulletin
Job Pricing: The process of determining pay rates for jobs within the organization by analyzing industry or regio
Job Ranking: The process of ranking all jobs within the organization in order of importance or worth.
Job Redesign: The process of restructuring a job by adding, changing or eliminating certain tasks or functions in
Job Reference Immunity Statutes: Laws enacted in several states meant to provide employers with protection from liability when disclo
Job Rotation: The practice of transferring employees for temporary periods of time between varying jobs within an
Job Sampling: During the selection process, the term refers to the practice of observing and measuring how an appl
Job Satisfaction: Used to define how an employee feels regarding their job, work environment, pay, benefits, etc.
Job Shadowing: A temporary, unpaid work experience opportunity where students learn about a particular job (typical
Job Sharing: The practice of two different employees performing the tasks of one full-time position.
Job Title: A specific name given to a particular job which is used to distinguish that job from other jobs with
Job-Relatedness: The requirement that an employer be able to demonstrate that a particular action, policy or job requ
Johari Window: A leadership disclosure and feedback model which can be used in performance measurement and features
Joint Employment: The relationship between a Professional employer organization or employee leasing firm and an employ
Joint-Labor Management Committee: A panel comprised of management and union representatives whose purpose is to address problems, reso
Just Cause: A legal term used as the guiding principle utilized by employers whenever engaging in some form of c
Key Employee: Under FMLA statutes, a key employee is defined as a salaried employee who is among the highest-paid
Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable, specific measures of an organization’s performance in
Key Result Areas: Used to establish standards and objectives, key result areas are the chief tasks of a job identified
Knowledge Assets: The parts of an organization’s intangible assets that relate specifically to knowledge, expertise,
Knowledge Broker: The individual who facilitates the creation, sharing and use of knowledge in an organization by link
Knowledge Integration: Knowledge integration is broadly defined as the assimilation, extraction, transformation and loading
Knowledge Management: The process of creating, acquiring, sharing and managing knowledge to augment individual and organiz
Knowledge Mapping: A process used to create a summation of the knowledge an organization will need in order to support
Knowledge Skills And Abilities (KSAs): The attributes required to perform a job; generally demonstrated through qualifying experience, educ
Knowledge Worker: Employees whose job functions are primarily of an intellectual nature.
Knowledge-Based Pay: A salary differentiation system that bases compensation on an individual’s education, experience,
Labor Certification: Labor certification is a statement from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that a particular positio
Labor Force: The number of employed individuals in the civilian workforce and armed services.
Labor Law Posting: Federal and state regulations requiring employers to post in conspicuous places a variety of labor l
Labor Productivity: The correlation between a given output and the percentage of labor time used to produce the output.
Labor-Management Contract: A binding agreement governing wages, benefits, representation rights and other working conditions be
Layoff: A temporary termination of employees, or the elimination of jobs, during periods of economic downtur
Leadership: The process, by which an individual determines direction, influences a group and directs the group t
Leadership Development: Formal and informal training and professional development programs designed for all management and e
Learning Style: Learning styles are defined, classified, and identified in various ways. Broadly speaking, they are
Leave Sharing: A leave program allowing employees to donate unused sick leave to a coworker who has exhausted all a
Leave Stacking: Used to define the practice of scheduling leave under FMLA in such a manner that the employee’s le
Lesbian : Women whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to other women.
LGBT - GLBT : Acronyms for 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender.'
Libel: Defaming or harming an individual’s reputation in writing.
Life Activity: For purposes of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and ADA, functions that are limited by a perso
Life Cycle Recruiting : a comprehensive recurring process commencing with recruitment need assessment, source evaluation and
Line Of Progression: A series of related jobs in a promotional sequence generally starting with less difficult, lower-pay
Litigation: A legal proceeding occurring in a federal or state court of law to determine and enforce legal right
Living Wage: A wage rate that is sufficient for a worker and his or her family to exist comfortably.
Localization: The strategy of applying locale-specific terminology and data to a specific product or application i
Lockout-Tagout Rule: An OSHA standard helping safeguard employees from hazardous energy while they are performing service
Long-Term Care Insurance: An insurance plan that provides coverage for individuals with long-term illnesses or disabilities by
Lost Workdays: Refers to the particular number of days an employee is absent from work due to an injury or illness
Lump-Sum Payment: A fixed negotiated payment that is not typically included in an employee’s annual salary; often ti
Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award: The Baldridge Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses—manufacturing and
Management By Objective (MBO): A performance appraisal strategy in which subordinates determine and set goals for themselves based
Management Consultant: An individual who works independently to assist and advise clients with managerial responsibilities
Management Development: Training and developmental programs designed to provide new managers and existing managers with the
Mandatory Retirement Age Law Of 1978: A statute which prohibits (with the exception of exempted employees and positions) employers from ha
Manpower Planning: The process of assessing an employer’s current workforce content and composition in order to antic
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Required by OSHA, an MSDS is a detailed description of each hazardous chemical located in the workpl
Matrix Organization: An organizational structure where employees report to more than one manager or supervisor.
Mean Wage: The average wage for a worker in a specified position or occupation, which is determined by adding t
Median: The middle value in a series of values arranged in rank order.
Median Wage: The margin between the highest paid 50 percent and the lowest paid 50 percent of workers in a specif
Mediation: A private negotiation and decision-making process in which a mediator assists individuals or groups
Medical Examinations-Testing: A medical evaluation conducted on a post-offer basis by a company physician or an independent physic
Medical Savings Account (MSA): A savings account funded by employees through pre-tax contributions; can be used to pay for copaymen
Medical Savings Accounts (MSA): Savings accounts designated for out-of-pocket medical expenses. In an MSA, employers and individuals
Medicare: A health insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration which is broken into t
Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) Of 1996: Prohibits group health plans and insurance companies that offer mental health benefits from setting
Mentoring: A career development method whereby less experienced employees are matched with more experienced col
Merger: The joining of two or more different organizations under one common owner and management structure.
Merit Pay: A compensation system whereby base pay increases are determined by individual performance.
Metrics: A measure used to determine the effectiveness and value of implemented HR programs in increasing per
Minimum Qualifications: The attributes of a job description which establishes a baseline for meeting the qualifications for
Minimum Wage: The smallest hourly wage that an employee may be paid for all hours worked, as mandated by federal o
Minorities: Men and women of those minority groups for whom EEO-1 reporting is required; that is, black, Hispani
Minority Business Enterprise: A small business enterprise that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more minorities or, in the c
Mission Statement: A statement illustrating what the company is, what the company does and where the company is headed.
Moonlighting: Working one or more full- or part-time jobs in addition to an individual’s regular full-time job.
Motivation : Motivation is generally defined as the psychological forces that determine the direction of a person
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A psychological test used to assess an individual’s personality type.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Of 1947: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), passed in 1935, provides that all employees have the right
National Origin: The country--including those that no longer exist--of one's birth or of one's ancestors' birth. 'Nat
Naturalization: The process by which an alien is made a citizen of the United States of America and relinquishes cit
Needs Analysis: A method of analyzing how employee skill deficits can be addressed through current or future trainin
Negligent Hiring: A claim made against an employer based on the premise of an employer’s obligation to not hire an a
Negligent Referral: Negligent referral is defined as the failure of an employer to disclose complete and factual informa
Negligent Retention: The act of failing to take appropriate disciplinary action (i.e., termination) against an employee t
Nepotism: Favoritism shown to relatives by individuals in a position of authority, such as managers or supervi
Netiquette: Refers to Internet use rules of conduct, involving respecting others' privacy and not doing anything
Newborns And Mothers Health Protection Act (NMHPA) Of 1996: Requires a minimum length of hospital confinement in conjunction with childbirth. This requirement a
Nominal Group Technique: A consensus planning tool used to identify the strengths of an organization, department or division,
Noncompete Agreement: A contract restricting an employee from obtaining employment with a competitor within a specified in
Noncompliance: Failure to follow equal employment opportunity or affirmative action guidelines and the regulations
Nondisclosure Agreement: A contract restricting an employee from disclosing confidential or proprietary information.
Nondiscrimination: The practice of not discriminating against members of disadvantaged or protected groups in hiring pr
Nonexempt Employee: An employee who does not meet any one of the Fair Labor Standards Act exemption tests and is paid on
Nontraditional Employment: Used to define occupations or specific fields where women typically comprise less than 25 percent of
Normative Forecasting: A method of projecting future needs in order to determine what developments will be required to meet
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): An agreement reached by the United States, Canada and Mexico that instituted a schedule for the phas
Notice: In wrongful discharge cases, this doctrine is used to determine whether or not an employer gave an e
O*Net (Occupational Information Network): Administered and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration,
Objective: A specification of what is to be accomplished, the timeframe in which it is to be accomplished and b
Observation Interview: The process of observing employees while performing their respective jobs or tasks, used to collect
Occupational Groups: Used to classify specific occupations into a specific category, such as professionals, technical/hi-
Occupational Illness-Disease: Defined by OSHA as 'any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupationa
Occupational Injury: An injury sustained during the course of employment, which results in the employee requiring medical
Occupational Safety And Health Act (OSHA) Of 1970: A law setting forth standards that employers must comply with in order to provide working conditions
Occupational Safety And Health Administration: A Department of Labor office responsible for overseeing and assuring the safety and health of Americ
Off-Duty Hours: Used to define the periods of time during which an employee is totally and completely relieved of an
Office Of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP): Division of the Employment Standards Administration in the Department of Labor responsible for enfor
Offshoring: The practice of relocating business processes, such as production/manufacturing, to a lower cost int
Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) Of 1990: OWBPA amended the ADEA prohibiting all employers from age discrimination in employee benefits progra
Ombudsperson: A neutral third party that helps individuals or groups in conflict resolve disputes by mediating, co
On-Call Pay: Additional compensation awarded to employees who are required to remain on call during off-duty hour
On-Call Time: Used to define periods of time when an employee is off duty but is required to remain on or close to
On-The-Job Training: Training provided to employees by managers and supervisors; conducted at the actual worksite utilizi
Open Enrollment Period: The period of time designated by the employer’s health or other benefit plan when employees may en
Open Shop: An organization that hires workers without regard to their membership in a labor union.
Open-Book Management: A management strategy emphasizing employee empowerment by making the organization’s financial data
Operating Budget: A detailed projection of all projected income and expenses during a specified future period.
Opinion Letter: A written document issued by government agencies used to provide a ruling on a particular issue.
Opinion Survey: A tool used to solicit and assess employee opinions, feelings, perceptions and expectations regardin
Opt-Out Provision: An employer benefit plan provision that offers cash, extra benefits or additional credits in return
Oral Reprimand: A verbal warning given to an employee by a manager or supervisor as a means of correcting inappropri
Organization Chart: A graphic representation outlining how authority and responsibility are distributed within an organi
Organization Culture: An organization’s attitude and values regarding itself, employees, customers and the general publi
Organization Development: A planned organization-wide effort to improve and increase the organization’s effectiveness, produ
Organization Planning: The process of transforming an organization’s goals, objectives, philosophy and mission into pract
Organizational Behavior Modification Theory: A motivational theory suggesting that an individual will behave in a manner that helps him or her av
Organizational Design: The process of establishing and arranging the elements of an organization’s structure.
Organizational Display: An organizational display is a detailed graphical or tabular chart, text, spreadsheet or similar pre
Organizational Profile: An organizational profile is a depiction of the staffing pattern within an establishment. It is one
Organizational Structure: 0
Organizational Survey: The process of evaluating and analyzing an organization’s structure and other major components to
Organizational Transformation: Refers to organization-wide changes, such as restructuring operations, introducing new technologies,
Organizational Unit: An organizational unit is any component that is part of the contractor's corporate structure. In a m
Orientation: The introduction of employees to their jobs, co-workers and the organization by providing them with
Other Eligible Veteran: Other eligible veterans are those individuals who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground
Outcomes Assessment: A strategy used to evaluate and measure the results of an instructional method or program.
Outplacement: A benefit offered by the employer to displaced employees that may consist of such services as job co
Outreach Programs: A method of keeping employees informed of company programs and services available to them by utilizi
Outsourcing: A contractual agreement between an employer and an external third-party provider whereby the employe
Overtime: In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is the term used to define work that is p
Paid Leave Bank: A benefit program granting employees a bank consisting of a specific number of paid days that can be
Paid Time Off (PTO): A benefit program granting employees a specific number of vacation or personal days off which that a
Paired Comparison: A form of rating, in which the rater compares, one by one, the performance of each member in a group
Parental Leave: A benefit designed to provide employees with approved paid or unpaid time off following the birth or
Pareto Chart: A bar graph used to rank in order of importance information such as causes or reasons for specific p
Part-Time Employee: An individual who continually works less than 40 hours per week (standard workweek hours are based o
Partial Disability: An illness or injury that prevents an individual from performing one or more functions of his or her
Participative Management: A management style, developed by Motorola, that involves employees in the decision-making process.
Paternity Leave: A benefit designed to provide fathers of newborn children with paid or unpaid time off from work fol
Pay Adjustment: Any change made to the pay rate of an employee, such as an increase or decrease to the rate of pay.
Pay Compression: A situation occurring when only a small difference in pay exists between employees, regardless of th
Pay Grades: A method used to group jobs together that have approximately the same relative internal worth and ar
Pay Range: Associated with pay grades, the range sets the upper and lower compensation boundaries for jobs with
Pay Structure: A structure of job grades and pay ranges established within an organization. May be expressed as jo
Payback Agreement: An agreement between an employer and an employee used primarily for relocated employees, stating tha
Payroll Records: Documentation created and maintained by the employer, which contains information regarding hours wor
Peer Appraisal: A performance appraisal strategy whereby an employee is reviewed by his or her peers who have suffic
Pension Plan: An employer benefit plan funded through insurance, a trust, general assets or other separately maint
Perceived Disability: A person who does not meet the definition of a disabled individual in accordance with the Americans
Performance Appraisal: A periodic review and evaluation of an individual's job performance.
Performance Counseling: The process of improving employee performance and productivity by providing the employee with feedba
Performance Improvement Plan: A plan implemented by a manager or supervisor that is designed to provide employees with constructiv
Performance Management: The process of maintaining or improving employee job performance through the use of performance asse
Performance Monitoring: The practice of monitoring employees while they perform their jobs through the use of surveillance c
Performance Standards: The tasks, functions or behavioral requirements established by the employer as goals to be accomplis
Performance-Based Pay: A variable pay strategy that pays employees based on their individual performance and contributions,
Perquisites: A form of incentives generally given to executive employees granting them certain privileges or spec
Personal Days: A benefit designed to provide employees with an allotment of paid days off in addition to holidays,
Personal Protective Equipment: Clothing and other work accessories (i.e., safety glasses, hearing protection, etc.) designed to cre
Personality Test: A test instrument usually involving a standardized series of questions that are used to evaluate an
Personnel Records: All information pertaining to individual employees, which is collected and maintained by the employe
Phased Retirement: A work schedule arrangement that allows employees to gradually reduce their full-time hours over a p
Physical Ability Test: A test instrument used to determine an individual’s ability to perform the functions or tasks of a
Physical Examination: A medical examination performed by a company physician or an independent physician to ascertain whet
Piece Rate: A per-piece rate system that pays employees based on the number of pieces produced.
Pink Slip: A written or verbal notice given to employees who are being terminated or laid-off.
Placement Goals: Other eligible veterans are those individuals who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground
Plan Administrator: An individual or plan sponsor designated by the instrument under which the plan is operated to be re
Policy: A written statement that reflects the employer’s standards and objectives relating to various empl
Policy-Procedures Manual: A detailed written document designed to assist managers and supervisors in carrying out their day-to
Position Control: A workforce planning tool that imposes certain rules or restrictions on the creation, and filling of
Positive Discipline: A disciplinary strategy geared toward reducing and improving an individual’s unfavorable behavior
Positive Reinforcement: The process of acknowledging specific behaviors with positive feedback, such as a smile, praise or r
Post- Tax Contributions: Contributions made to a benefit plan that are subject to applicable state or federal tax withholding
Post-Accident Testing: The process of testing an employee involved in a workplace accident for the presence of drugs or alc
Practitioner: An individual who practices a learned profession.
Pre-Employment Testing: The practice of issuing tests to potential employees on a pre-employment basis in order to determine
Pre-Tax Contributions: Contributions made to a benefit plan that are exempt from all applicable state or federal tax withho
Predictive Validity: Used in the test validation process to measure the relationship between test scores and actual job p
Preexisting Condition: Any condition for which a person is currently receiving treatment, has been advised to receive treat
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) Of 1978: An amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of
Premium Only Plan (POP): Considered to be the most basic type of Section 125 plan, a POP is a benefit plan that is designed t
Premium Pay: Additional compensation paid for work performed outside of regularly scheduled work hours.
Prepaid Group Legal Plan: A benefit plan that provides employees, their spouses or dependents with assistance in obtaining leg
Prescription Drug Benefits: Typically a provision included in a group health plan designed to provide covered employees and thei
Prevailing Wage: A rate of pay determined by the U.S. Department of Labor based upon the geographic area for a given
Prima Facie Case: Latin for "at first view" or "at first appearance," a prima-facie case is a lawsuit that requires an
Privacy: Refers to information about an employee which he or she regards as personal or private (i.e., medica
Private Letter Ruling: A formal document issued by the Internal Revenue Service announcing tax decisions or changes.
Pro Forma: The term pro forma comes from the Latin phrase meaning, 'as a matter of form'. The term is very broa
Probation: Used as a form of discipline, it is a specified period of time during which an individual’s perfor
Probationary Period: A specified period of time (typically 30-90 days) where a newly hired, promoted or transferred emplo
Process Reengineering: The process of improving business practices or methods by creating and implementing new processes or
Professional Employer Organization (PEO): An organization that enters into a join-employment relationship with an employer, by leasing employe
Profit Sharing Plan: A qualified retirement plan established and maintained by an employer which enables employees and th
Progressive Discipline: A form of discipline whereby increasingly harsher penalties are awarded each time an employee is dis
Promotion: Career advancement within an organization, which includes increased authority, level of responsibili
Proprietary Information: Information associated with a company's products, business or activities, including such items as fi
Protected Characteristics: Legal terminology referring to areas protected by federal or state statutes.
Protected Class: A legal term describing certain groups, such as women, older and disabled individuals, Vietnam-era v
Psychological Test: A written, visual or verbal assessment administered to determine cognitive and emotional skills.
Qualified Disabled Person: A qualified disabled person is an individual with a disability who is capable of performing a partic
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO): An order, decree, judgment or administrative notice (including a settlement agreement) that establis
Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO): An order, decree, judgment or administrative notice (including a settlement agreement) requiring hea
Qualified Plan: A defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan covered by ERISA and IRS regulations qualifyi
Qualified Special Disabled Veteran: A special disabled veteran who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-re
Quality Assurance: Activities or programs whose purpose is to demonstrate and ensure that products and services meet sp
Quality Audit: The process of examining the elements of a quality management system in order to evaluate how well t
Quality Circle: A carefully selected group of employees who voluntarily meet on a regular basis to identify problems
Quality Control: Activities or programs whose purpose is to ensure that all quality specifications for products or se
Quality Improvement: Any system or process designed to enhance an organization's ability to meet quality requirements.
Quid Pro Quo: Legal terminology essentially meaning "what for what" or "something for something." It is the concep
Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Quid pro harassment involves expressed or implied demands for sexual favors in exchange for some ben
Quit: A voluntary resignation from employment that is initiated by the employee.
Quota System: In affirmative action systems, it is a means of attempting to achieve workplace balance by hiring an
Race: Race is a division of humankind with certain distinguishing characteristics in common which indicate
Race-Norming: The practice of adjusting employment test scores to compensate for racial differences.
Random Testing: Drug and alcohol tests administered by an employer that selects employees to be tested on a random b
Rank Order: A rating method where the performance of a group, process or product is arranged in a particular ord
Reasonable Accommodation: Modifying or adjusting a job process or a work environment to better enable a qualified individual w
Reasonable Person Standard: A standard used in sexual harassment suits, referring to conduct or behavior so offensive in nature
Reasonable Suspicion Testing: A drug or alcohol test administered to an employee due to a performance or policy infraction or poor
Reassignment: Transferring individuals to alternative positions where their talents or skills may be best utilized
Reciprocal Review: An appraisal method where the subordinate and the manager are evaluated by each other based on agree
Reciprocity: A relationship between states or other taxing jurisdictions whereby privileges granted by one are re
Recognition: An acknowledgement of an employee’s exceptional performance or achievements expressed in the form
Recordable Illness-Injury: All occupational injuries and illnesses that require more than basic first aid treatment, or deaths
Recruitment: The practice of soliciting and actively seeking applicants to fill recently vacated or newly created
Red Circle Rate: A pay rate that is above the maximum range assigned to the job grade. Employees are usually not elig
Redeployment: The reassignment of employees to other departments or functions as an alternative to laying them off
Reduction In Force: An involuntary separation of an employee or groups of employees due to economic pressures, lack of w
Reengineering: The redesigning of business and work processes, policies or organizational structure.
Reference Checking: The process of verifying information supplied by applicants on an application or resume.
Regression Analysis: A statistical measure used to discover relationships between variables such as performance ratings a
Regular Full-Part-Time Employee: An individual who has been hired by an employer to work a predetermined amount of hours per week in
Rehabilitation Act Of 1973: A federal statute requiring federal agencies to ensure that electronic and information technology sy
Reinforcement: The practice of providing positive feedback to an individual or groups of individuals after completi
Release Agreement: A type of legal written document executed by an employer and signed by an employee whereby the emplo
Reliability: A measure of the ability of a test or other appraisal instrument to evaluate what is being measured
Religion: Includes all aspects of religious observance and practice and religious beliefs.
Religious Accommodation: An accommodation made for an employee, such as time off from work, so that he or she may observe a r
Relocation Assistance: A type of benefit offered to employees who accept work assignments in new locations. Typically takes
Remedial Counseling: A type of employee counseling used to correct performance or behavior-related issues.
Remedial Training: Describes a method of teaching intended to help people who have basic skills deficiencies, such read
Remediation: A strategy designed to conquer a deficiency in an employee’s behavior, performance or skills.
Remote Employees: Employees who work off company premises and are removed from their supervisors or mangers.
Remote Managers: A manager who supervises employees who perform their work at a site other then the employer’s prem
Repatriate: The process of returning to the United States after being placed on a long-term international assign
Reprimand: An oral or written reproach given to an employee as part of disciplinary action.
Request For Proposal (RFP): A document an organization sends to a vendor inviting the vendor to submit a bid for a product or se
Resident Alien: A resident alien is a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time if he or she has be
Resolution: The disposition of a disagreement or grievance through alternative dispute resolution methods.
Restrictive Covenant: A contract clause requiring executives or other highly skilled employees to refrain from seeking and
Restructuring: Changing an organizational structure in order to make it more efficient and cost effective.
Resume: A written document outlining an individual’s work experience, skills, educational background, acco
Retaliatory Discharge: A form of discriminatory discharge that occurs when an employer dismisses an employee as retaliation
Retention Bonus: An incentive payment used to entice employees from leaving the organization. Typically employees are
Retiree Skill Bank: A pool of retired former employees who are rehired on a temporary or contractual basis.
Retirement Plan: A written qualified or nonqualified benefit plan, funded by employer and employee contributions, tha
Retraining: Training that is provided for a certain job to enable an employee to acquire the necessary skills to
Return On Investment (ROI): A ratio of the benefit or profit derived from a specific investment, compared with the cost of the i
Reverse Discrimination: Employment policies or practices that result in discriminatory treatment against applicants or emplo
Reward System: A formal or informal program used to recognize individual employee achievements, such as accomplishm
Right-To-Know: An OSHA standard providing workers with protection from hazardous substances in the workplace by req
Right-To-Sue Letter: A letter issued by the EEOC, once a charge has been recorded and processed, informing individuals wh
Right-To-Work: A state law preventing labor-management agreements requiring an individual to join a union as a cond
Rightsizing: An approach to reducing staff, whereby jobs are prioritized in order to identify and eliminate unnec
Risk Management: The use of insurance and other strategies in an effort to minimize an organization’s exposure to l
Role Playing: A training method in which each participant purposely acts out or assumes a particular character or
Rolling Year: Under FMLA regulations, a rolling year is defined as a 12-month period measured backward from the da
Rotational Training: A training method where employees are rotated among a variety of different jobs, departments or comp
Rural Sourcing: An outsourcing method that is based on transferring jobs away from higher cost urban areas to lower
S Corporation: Business enterprise allowed by the IRS for most companies with 75 or fewer shareholders, enabling th
Sabbatical: A voluntary arrangement whereby an employer allows an employee paid or unpaid leave for a specified
Safe Harbor Regulations: Guidelines regulated by the Department of Labor, which, when fully complied with, may reduce or limi
Safety Training: A teaching tool used to help employees become more safety-conscious in all aspects of safety.
Salary Compression: Pay differentials too small to be considered equitable. The term may apply to differences between (1
Salary Grade: A compensation level expressed as a salary range, which has been established for each position withi
Salary Range: A range of pay rates, from minimum to maximum, set for a specific pay grade.
Salary Structure: A structure of job grades and pay ranges established within an organization. May be expressed as jo
Sales Compensation: A compensation system designed for individuals employed in managerial sales or sales representative
Salting: Refers to paid union organizers who apply for jobs with an employer for the purpose of organizing th
Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted to increase accountability of corporations to their share
Scalability: The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume or number of
Scanlon Plan: A gainsharing program in which employees share in specific cost savings that are due to employee eff
Schedule Interview: An interviewing format in which each candidate is asked for the same exact information.
School-To-Work Opportunities Act Of 1994: A national effort to develop a school-to-work system to assist students in making the transition fro
Screening: Usually the first step taken during the interviewing process, involving reviewing prospective candid
Search Firm: An organization or individual consultants working on a retainer or fee basis who provide the service
Selection Process: Any step, combination of steps or procedure used as a basis for any employment decision, including,
Self-Directed Teams: A multi-skilled, cross-functional group of employees possessing full empowerment who share responsib
Self-Employed: An individual who has earned income for the current or preceding year from self-employment, within t
Self-Funding-Self-Insurance: A benefit plan whereby the employer assumes all the risk, paying out for claims but saving the cost
Semi-Skilled Worker: Semi-skilled workers have to be able to read, write and communicate but are usually not required to
Seminar: A facilitator-directed meeting or conference consisting of groups of individuals gathered to study a
Seniority: Status determined by the length of time an employee has worked for a specific employer, department o
Sensitivity Training: A form of individual counseling geared toward increasing self-awareness and sensitivity to others. I
Serious Health Condition: An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hos
Service Award: Part of a formal or informal recognition program that rewards employees based on length of service.
Severance Pay: A form of short-term salary continuation awarded to employees who are being terminated. Severance pa
Sex : The classification of people as male or female.
Sex Discrimination: Discriminatory conduct or actions based on sex or pregnancy, as it relates to conditions of employme
Sex Discrimination Act Of 1975: The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination against individuals based on sex or mari
Sex Reassignment : Refers to surgical alteration, which is a part of 'transition.'
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexu
Sexual Orientation: The scientifically accurate term for an individual's enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or s
Shareholder: An individual or corporation that owns shares in the corporation.
Shift Differential: Additional compensation, usually expressed as cents per hour, paid as an incentive for employees to
Short-Term Disability: A benefit designed to provide temporary income replacement for worker absent due to illness or injur
Sick Leave: Paid time off granted to employees who are out of work due to an illness or injury.
Simulation: An instructional method used to teach problem solving, procedures or operations by placing learners
Situational Leadership: A management theory stating that different situations call for different leadership styles and that
Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven methodology used to eliminate defects and improve processes
Skill: Ability to perform a mental or motor activity that contributes to the effective performance of a job
Skill Gap: A deficiency in basic writing, reading, mathematical or oral communication skills.
Skill-Based Pay: A salary differentiation system that bases compensation on an individual’s education, experience,
Skills Inventory: A list of skills or competencies possessed by an individual.
Skills Training: Training provided to employees to help them ascertain the skills and knowledge necessary to perform
Slander: False defamation expressed as spoken words, signs or gestures, which cause damage to the character o
Slow Learner: A term used to describe individuals with mental disabilities and an IQ of between 75 and 90.
Snowbird Program : A term used to describe a form of alternative work arrangement whereby employees (typically retired
Social Security: A federal program under the Social Security Act which provides for retirement, disability and other
Social Security Card: A card issued by the Social Security Administration displaying an individual’s full legal name and
Soft Skills: Skills required to perform a certain job where the job is defined in terms of expected outcomes, but
Sole Proprietorship: A business enterprise in which an individual is fully and personally liable for all the obligations
Span Of Control: A management principle expressing that a limit exists to the number of people an individual can effe
Special Disabled Veteran: A person entitled to disability compensation under laws administered by the Veterans Administration
Specialization: A principle stating that, as an organization grows, work within the organization needs to be divided
Spot Rewards: Cash and noncash awards given to employees for ideas submitted or accomplishments benefiting the org
Staff Leasing: The practice of an employer directly hiring an employee on a temporary basis for an indefinite perio
Staffing: The function within an organization responsible for recruitment, screening and selection of employee
Staffing Metrics: Measures used to determine costs associated with recruitment and hiring, time to fill/start for open
Stakeholder: Someone with a vested interest in the successful completion or outcome of a project.
Standard Deviation: A statistic used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution, equal to the square
Standard Error: Statistical estimate of possible size error present in a test score or other group measure.
Standard Operating Procedures: A prescribed written procedure outlining how recurring tasks, duties and functions are to be perform
Standard Score: A score derived from the mean performance of a group on a test, as well as the comparative performan
Standardization: Design and implementation of consistent specifications for procedures, practices, materials, machine
Standardized Interview: A form of interviewing that uses the same subject matter and identically sequenced questions, then e
Standardized Testing: A written test, the scores of which are interpreted by referencing the scores of a norm group that h
Statute Of Limitation: Laws prescribing deadlines for filing lawsuits within a certain time after events, which are the sou
Statutory Benefits: Benefits that are mandated by federal or state laws, such as Social Security, unemployment insurance
Stipend : An amount provided to an individual as a partial salary or wage and may include emoluments such as d
Stock Option Plan: An organizational program that it that grants employees the option of purchasing a specific number o
Stop Loss Insurance: A contract established between a self-insured employer and an insurance provider providing for carri
Strategic HR: The process of taking a long-term approach to Human Resource Management through the development and
Strategic Planning: The process of identifying an organization's long-term goals and objectives and then determining the
Strategic Staffing: The practice of hiring smaller core numbers of permanent employees and utilizing temporary employees
Stress Interview: An interviewing style whereby the interviewer subjects a candidate to pressure or stress to ascertai
Stress Management: The design and implementation of workplace programs and services intended to combat employee stress
Strike: Occurs when employees deliberately refuse to perform their jobs and/or form picket lines outside the
Structured Interview: A structured interview asks the same questions of each candidate, so that valid comparisons of the q
Subject Matter Expert: An individual who has expertise in a business process or specific area.
Subordinate Appraisal: An appraisal system whereby managerial employees are evaluated by their subordinates.
Subsidiary: A company having more than half of its stock owned by another company or is completely owned by anot
Substance Abuse: Defined as a destructive pattern of substance (i.e., narcotics or alcohol) use leading to clinically
Succession Planning: The process of identifying long-range needs and cultivating a supply of internal talent to meet thos
Suggestion System: A system allowing employees to voice complaints, make recommendations or submit ideas regarding comp
Summary Annual Report: A summarized report containing information on the financial status of an employee benefit plan.
Summary Material Modifications: A summary of modifications or changes made to an employee benefit plan that is not included in the s
Summary Plan Description: A written statement that contains information regarding participation, coverage and employee rights
Summer Hours : A type of compressed work week scheduling arrangement which allows employees to work longer hours Mo
Supervisory-Management Development: Training provided to employees with the potential for promotion into supervisory or managerial-level
Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB): Typically found in collective bargaining agreements. SUB pay benefits are taxable payments form a f
Supranational: Involving more than one country or having authority which transcends one country, i.e., the European
Survey: A data collection method used to assist organizations with problem identification, measuring employe
Suspension: A form of disciplinary action resulting in an employee being sent home without pay for a specified p
SWOT Analysis: A SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool used to collect and evaluate information on an organiza
Systemic Discrimination: A pattern of discrimination that on the surface appears neutral but in reality is systemic or throug
Talent Management: Broadly defined as the implementation of an integrated strategies or systems designed to increase wo
Talent Mindset : The deep-seated belief that talent differentiates organizational culture and breeds competitive adva
Tangible Rewards: Rewards that can be physically touched or held (i.e., a gift certificate, gifts in the form of merch
Task Analysis: Involves defining standards and conditions of a particular task and identifying the distinguishing f
Task Competencies: The specific activities and tasks that make up a particular job.
Team Building: A training program designed to assist a group of people to work together as a team while they are le
Teamwork: Described as the practice of individuals working together in order to bring a variety of talents and
Telecommuting: Working from a remote location (often one’s home workstation) using computers, telephones, facsimi
Teleconferencing: A conference established between two or more people or groups of people who are in different locatio
Temp-To-Perm: The process of hiring employees on a temporary basis, usually through a temporary staffing agency, w
Temporary Employee: An individual who works on either short- or long-term assignments with an employer without being tre
Temporary Restraining Order: Restraining and/or protective orders are examples of orders issued by a court restraining the conduc
Termination: Separation from employment due to a voluntary resignation, layoff, retirement or dismissal.
Termination Date: Normally the last date actually worked by an employee; however, for employers with accrued leave pro
Termination-At-Will: A rule allowing an employee or employer to terminate the employment relationship at any time for any
Test Security: An individual’s right to privacy, as it relates to information regarding test results, providing f
Theory X: States that some people have an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it whenever possible. These
Theory Y: Assumes that people have a psychological need to work and want achievement and responsibility. A man
Think Tank: A group organized for the purpose of intensive research and problem solving, especially in the areas
Third-Party Sexual Harassment: Harassment of an employee by someone other than another employee, such as a client, customer, vendor
Time Management: The discipline of utilizing time efficiently and well in order to achieve professional, personal or
Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964: Title VII is a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination in virtually
Total Compensation: The complete pay package awarded employees on an annual basis, including all forms of money, benefit
Total Quality Management: A structured system that satisfies internal and external customers and suppliers by integrating the
Total Remuneration: The amount of monetary and nonmonetary value to an employee of all the elements in the employment pa
Trade Secret: A trade secret consists of any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information used in one's
Trailing Spouse: A term used to describe the spouse of an employee who has been transferred or relocated.
Training Aids: Any form of audio or visual materials used for training purposes.
Training And Development: A process dealing primarily with transferring or obtaining knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to
Training Needs Analysis: A method used to determine what people need to learn and which training programs may be beneficial.
Transfer: Moving an employee from one position, shift or department to another within the organization.
Transformational Leadership: A systematic form of leadership focusing on change and innovation. According to Bernard Bass, it is
Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they
Transition : A complex process altering one's birth sex that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includ
Transitional Employment: Provides alternative work arrangements, such as temporary light or modified duty, for employees who
Transsexual: An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people
Trend Analysis: The process of forecasting an organization’s staffing needs by analyzing past employment patterns
Tuition Assistance: A program designed to provide financial assistance to employees taking educational courses at an acc
Turkey Trot: A term used to describe the practice of transferring problem or performance-challenged employees fro
Turnover: Describes changes in the work force resulting from voluntary or involuntary resignations.
Turnover Costs: Costs associated with a separation of employment, including items such as unemployment compensation,
Turnover Rate: The number of separations during a month, including both voluntary and involuntary terminations (exc
U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS): On March 1, 2003, service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (
Underutilization: As part of the affirmative action process, this report is used to determine whether certain members
Undue Hardship: For an employer to legally refuse to accommodate an applicant's or an employee's disability or relig
Unemployment Insurance (UI): A statutory benefit. Unemployment insurance is designed to provide workers who have been laid off a
Unemployment Rate: The number of individuals unemployed as a percentage of the labor force.
Unfair Labor Practice (ULP): An unfair labor practice (ULP) is a violation of a right protected by the Federal Service Labor-Mana
Unfairly Discriminatory: An action or policy resulting in members of protected groups becoming disadvantaged in relation to t
Uniform Guidelines On Employee Selection Procedures Of 1978: The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures address the use of interviewing, testing, tr
Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Of 1994: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA, or the Act), signed i
Union: A formal organization certified by the National Labor Relations Board and authorized to act on behal
Union Shop: A form of union security that requires employees to join the union, within a certain time after they
Unlawful Employment Practice: Any policy or practice that has discriminatory intent or effect and cannot be shown to be essential
Unretirement: The practice of hiring retired former employees whose skills or qualifications are in need.
Unsafe Acts: Any action, such as horseplay, fighting, failing to abide by a safety rule, etc., that results in ac
Unsafe Conditions: Hazards, such as faulty equipment or tools, improper safety procedures, failure to improperly guard
Unskilled Worker: Someone who is not required to use reasoning in their work: Examples: packager, assembler, laborer,
Unwelcome Behavior-Conduct: Conduct or behavior by peers, subordinates or supervisors that is objectionable or unacceptable to a
Upward Mobility: The process of preparing minorities for promotion into higher-level jobs, such as managerial positio
Utilization Management: Review and analysis of health care programs to determine cost control methods. Involves reviewing cl
V-Time: An alternative work schedule that allows employees to voluntarily agree to reduce their work time an
Vacation Buy-Back Plan: A program that allows an employee to sell back to the employer any unused vacation time balances.
Vacation Buying-Selling-Trading: A program that allows employees to buy additional vacation time from another employee or sell additi
Vacation Carryover: A policy allowing employees to transfer a portion of their current year vacation balances for use in
Validation: The study of an employer's test or selection standards that proves that they are significant predict
Validity: The general concept of validity is traditionally defined as 'the degree to which a test measures wha
Value Statement: A document outlining and representing the core priorities in the organization’s culture.
Value-Added Work: Work that increases the value of a service or product to the employer’s customers.
Variance Forecasting: A measure that utilizes a demand and availability forecast to determine whether an organization has
Vertical Disintegration: Used to describe organizations that over time shed layer after layer of full-time permanent employee
Vertical Management: A traditional organizational structure consisting of primary functions (i.e., engineering, manufactu
Vertical Organization: An organizational structure consisting of many layers of management or other positions of authority.
Vestibule Training: A form of training conducted outside of the workplace to acclimate newly hired employees with proced
Vesting: An employee’s right to receive present or future pension benefits, even if the employee does not r
Veterans Benefit Improvement Act Of 2004: An act signed into law by President Bush on December 10, 2004 that amended portions of the Uniformed
Veterans Employment Opportunities Act: This statute extended the affirmative action and reporting responsibilities of federal contractors a
Vietnam Era Veteran: Defined as an individual who served on active duty for more than 180 days, any part of which occurre
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act Of 1974 (VERA): Federal law requiring federal contractors or subcontractors with contracts of $10,000 or more to tak
Virtual HR: The use of technology to provide HR programs via an employee self-service platform. Typically includ
Virtual Mentoring: A form of mentoring whereby the mentor and mentored communicate from a distance, utilizing either e-
Virtual Office-Workplace: The work site of employees such as sales reps or other types of employees who work off company premi
Vision Statement: A vision statement is a description of what an organization wants to become or hopes to accomplish i
Voluntary Leave-Layoff: Leave without pay that is taken on a voluntary basis by employees for specified duration. Often used
Voluntary Reduction In Hours: Allows employees to voluntarily reduce their working hours as well as their pay for a specified dura
Volunteerism: Organizational support, often in the form of paid leave or sponsorship, for employees pursuing volun
Wage And Salary Administration: Procedures used for planning and administering organization-wide compensation programs for all level
Wage And Salary Survey: A benchmark report consisting of market pay data for a variety of jobs conducted either on a local o
Wage Curve: Depicts pay rates currently being paid for each job within a pay grade in relation with the rankings
Wage Differential: Differences in wage rates for similar jobs occurring either due to the location of company, hours of
Wage Gap: The difference in pay between female employees and male employees who are performing the same or com
Wage Garnishment: Usually in the form of a court order, a garnishment requires withholding a portion of an employee’
Wage Structure: Depicts the range of pay rates to be paid for each grade for various positions within the organizati
Waiver: A document signed by either an employee or prospective employee in which he or she renounces certain
Weingarten Rule: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Labor Board that employees have a right, protected b
Welfare Plan: A plan designed to provide employees with coverage for medical or hospital care and surgical procedu
Welfare-To-Work Tax Credit: The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit that encourages employers to hire long
Well Child Care: Health care benefits that provide payment for routine office visits and physical examinations, immun
Wellness Program: Programs, such as on-site or subsidized fitness centers, health screenings, smoking cessation, weigh
Whistleblower Protection Act Of 1989: Whistleblower protection is the federal law that provides protection to employees against retaliatio
White Collar Employees: Employees who are paid on a salaried basis and whose jobs do not require the performance of work of
Willful Misconduct: Willful misconduct is defined as any action, taken by an employee consciously and willfully, that is
Women-Owned Business Enterprise: A woman-owned business is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, located in the United States
Work And Family Programs: Work programs and benefits, such as adoption benefits, dependent care assistance, leave programs, fl
Work Hardening: A program, typically lasting four to six weeks, that provides workers who were injured on the job an
Work Opportunity Tax Credit: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), authorized by the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996
Work Sampling: The measurement of how employees spend their time and the number of work units being produced by emp
Work Simplification: The process of making a job easier and simpler to perform. Involves analyzing various job tasks by c
Work Stoppage: A work stoppage occurs when employees cease to perform their jobs as a means of showing their suppor
Work-Life Balance: Having a measure of control over when, where and how individuals work, leading to their being able t
Workers Adjustment And Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Of 1988: WARN requires employers (with 100 or more employees) that are planning a plant closing or a mass lay
Workers Compensation: State laws enacted to provide workers with protection and income replacement benefits due to an illn
Workforce Analysis: A listing of each job title as the title appears in applicable collective bargaining agreements or p
Workforce Planning: The assessment of current workforce content and composition issues used to determine what actions mu
Workplace Bullying: Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior or unfair actions directed at ano
Workplace Flexibility: Defines workplaces who provide employees with flexibility in matters such as scheduling of hours wor
Workplace Violence: Assaults and other violent acts or threats that occur in or are related to the workplace and entail
Written Warning: Written documentation given to an employee describing specific disciplinary infractions, such as ina
Wrongful Discharge: An exception to the at-will employment doctrine, wrongful discharge/termination is the unjust or unf
Yellow Dog Contract: An employment contract or agreement, either oral or in writing, that forbids employees from joining
Zero-Based Bonus: A plan design feature that establishes a pre-assigned class, ratio, or ranking for a specified class
Zero-Based Budgeting: A budgeting system that starts with no authorized funds as a starting point. In a zero-based budget,

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