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Word Description
Halo/horn effect A form of interviewer bias, occurring when the interviewer rates or judges an individual based on the individual’s positive or strongest traits, allowing their overall perception of the person to overshadow any negative traits. Referred to as the “halo effect” when it works in the candidate’s favor or the “horn effect” when it works against the candidate.
Handbilling The distribution of literature on or about an employer’s premises, usually by a union.
Handicapped Individual A term used in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 but replaced by "Individual with Handicaps" in 1986 amendments to that Act. See "Individual with Handicaps."
Hawthorne effect A term produced as a result of an experiment conducted by Elton Mayo whereby he concluded that expressing concern for employees and treating them in a manner that fulfills their basic human needs and wants will ultimately result in better performance.
Hazard Communication Standard of 1988 An occupational safety and health standard intended to comprehensively address the issue of evaluating the potential hazards of chemicals and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees. Such communication may include, but is not limited to: developing and maintaining a written hazard communication program for the workplace, including lists of hazardous chemicals present; labeling of containers of chemicals in the workplace, as well as of containers of chemicals being shipped to other workplaces; preparation and distribution of material safety data sheets to employees; and development and implementation of employee training programs regarding hazards of chemicals and protective measures.
Hazard pay A special payment made in addition to an individual’s salary for accepting assignments at locations where there is threat of physical danger or for performing positions that are hazardous to the individual’s health and well-being.
Head count Refers to average number of people employed directly by the company on a full-time and part-time basis.
Health care flexible spending account (FSA) A benefit plan designed to allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medically related expenses, such as medical, vision or dental exams, copays and deductibles, as well as other out-of-pocket expenses.
Health care institutions Any hospital, convalescent hospital, health maintenance organization, health clinic, nursing home, extended care facility, or other institution devoted to the care of the sick, infirm, or aged persons.
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 mandates procedures for both new hires and for existing employees who are leaving the company. Employees who are new to a company can use evidence of previous health care coverage that is provided by their former employer to reduce or eliminate the new employer's preexisting condition requirements. Employees who are leaving a company must be provided a certificate of prior creditable health care coverage to use for this purpose. The law includes other provisions regarding restrictions on preexisting conditions, special enrollment rights and privacy rights and protections.
Health savings accounts (HSA) A tax-free account that can be used by employees to pay for qualified medical expenses. Contributions do not have to be spent the year they are deposited. Money in the account earns interest and accumulates tax free, so the funds can be used now and in the future. If an employee leaves the job, he or she can take the account with him or her and continue to use it to pay for qualified healthcare expenses. To be eligible for a Health Savings Account, an individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), must not be covered by other health insurance (does not apply to specific injury insurance and accident, disability, dental care, vision care, long-term care), is not eligible for Medicare and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
Hearing examiner An individual hired by an employer to take testimony and issue recommendations to the Commission in unfair practice claims.
Heterosexual People whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to people of the opposite sex. Also called straight.
Hidden disabilities Disabilities which are not of a visible nature, such as learning disorders, alcohol abuse, depression, etc.
Hidden unemployment The unemployment or underemployment of workers that is not reflected in official unemployment statistics because of the way they are compiled.
Hierarchy of needs A psychology theory ascribed to Abraham H. Maslow, in which he proposed that people will constantly seek to have their basic needs (sleep, food, water, shelter, etc.) fulfilled and that such needs ultimately determine behavior.
Highly compensated employee For the purposes of retirement plans, a highly compensated employee is defined by the IRS as an employee who owns 5% or more of a company or receives compensationin excess of a predetermined amount. To qualify for tax advantages, retirement plans cannot be overly favorable to highly compensated employees. The definition of HCE is crucial in determining whether plan benefits are allocated to HCEs in a discriminatory manner compared to non-highly compensated employees.
Hiring hall A union-operated placement office where jobs are allotted to applicants according to seniority or rotation.
Hispanic A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
Home-based worker An employee who works from a home office rather than at a physical workspace at the employer’s location.
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 or lying).
Horizontal integration Also known as job rotation, it is a job enlargement method whereby employees are shifted between various comparable jobs in an effort to prevent boredom and boost morale.
Horizontal organization A flat organizational structure that consists of fewer hierarchal levels. Such organizational structures often rely on the use of cross-functional teams.
Horizontal union Also referred to as a craft union, refers to an approach to union organizing that seeks to unify workers in a particular industry along the lines of the particular craft or trade that they work in.
Hostile environment harassment Sexual or other discriminatory conduct that is so severe and pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s ability to perform the job, creates an intimidating, offensive, threatening or humiliating work environment or causes a situation where a person’s psychological well-being is adversely affected.
Hostile takeover A leveraged purchase of a company that goes against the wishes of the target company's management and board of directors.
Hot cargo clause A clause in union contract that allows employees to refuse to handle or work on goods shipped from a struck employer or to provide services to an employer listed on a union unfair practices list.
Hot-desks A method of saving office space in which workers do not have their own desk but share the same desk at different times during the day or week.
Hoteling The practice of not assigning offices on a permanent basis to individuals who telecommute. Instead, offices are assigned by calling in and reserving an office or workstation in advance.
Huddle group A training method whereby participants are divided into small groups, given a specific problem to handle within a short period of time (typically less then 10 minutes) and then report their findings back to the larger collective group.
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 current and future business demands.
Human resource information system (HRIS) A computer database used to gather, store, maintain and retrieve relevant employee and HR-related information.
Human resource management The formal structure within an organization responsible for all the decisions, strategies, factors, principles, operations, practices, functions, activities and methods related to the management of people.
Human resource management system A software application combining various human resource functions, such as benefits, payroll, recruiting, training, etc., into one package.
Human resource metrics Measurements used to determine the value and effectiveness of HR strategies. Typically includes such items as cost per hire, turnover rates/costs, training and human capital ROI, labor /productivity rates and costs, benefit costs per employee, etc.
Human resource planning The process of anticipating future staffing needs and ensuring that a sufficient pool of talent possessing the skills and experience needed will be available to meet those needs.
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 and what factors cause job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Also referred to as the Motivation-Hygiene theory.