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Preparing for Election Day 11.6.18

Election Day 2018 is fast approaching and with everything going on in our political landscape, it will be a record turnout at the polls.  This could have an impact on your business so it’s a good idea to review your time off to vote policies now to minimize disruption on November 6th.

As an employer, you not only have an obligation to ensure your employees can take time off to vote but it may also be mandated by state law. While there is no federal law that outlines time off to vote, over half of the states in the US have laws that do.

State laws vary from state to state, some even outline the amount of notice an employee must provide to request time off to vote, others may even require advance postings of their policy to employees.

While some states have no time-off requirements, Georgia law requires that employees are granted time off to vote, if they cannot vote during non-working hours.  Georgia employers must provide two hours of leave to vote in “any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote.”  Employees in Georgia must provide reasonable notice to their employers and to be eligible they must not otherwise have two hours outside of work to attend the polls and vote.

I’ve typically seen Georgia employers have a simple, yet clear policy allowing time off to vote, up to two hours, if employees cannot get to the polls during non-working time.  This time off request may be submitted and approved however you would normally process time off requests but shouldn’t be deducted from PTO or other time off policy balances.

Click here if you would like to receive a free Time Off to Vote policy that you can copy and paste into your employee handbook.  Keep in mind this is a Georgia specific policy so be sure to check your state law and edit as needed.  If you are unsure of your state-specific law, I’m happy to help clarify that for you or you can check with your employment attorney.

Lastly, don’t forget to communicate this to your employees, encourage and support them to get out there and vote!

Election-2018

It’s Job Fair Season…Help!​

Let the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling commence! It’s job fair season.

For many seniors, the job search is now in full swing. During the coming months, campuses around the country will be hosting job or career fairs for their graduating students.  Some may be asking:

With so little time, how would I be noticed?

How am I supposed to get noticed by a potential employer?

Let’s compare this to something you know…

For those of you going to your first career fair or applying for your first post-grad job, think of this experience as dating. You might have a conversation about your likes and dislikes during your first conversation, maybe about who you are and what you are looking for. After making a connection, you may even check out their online presence with a little internet sleuthing. After a few dates, you find out enough to know if its worth a commitment.

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It’s the same for finding that perfect candidate or job, so let’s call this “The Job Dating Process.” The connections go like this:

  • Love at first job fair: When first meeting someone you might eventually date, you are going to remember a few facts about them. At a job fair, companies remember who you are through the conversation and also, your resume! Many employers at the job fair will take notes on your actual resume after your conversation. These companies then identify those true matches and those who don’t hit the mark. So make sure to bring your resume, printed and ready to share! Be sure to include all previous work experience, especially those that pertain to the job.

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  • Social media (LinkedIn) stalking: Potential employers often check your online presence so make sure your profiles are professional!  One of the most important professional platforms is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to business connections and heavily used when recruiting professionals. Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that mirrors the resume, and that your in-person presence is the same as your online one so it doesn’t sabotage your job hunt.  Check out our prior post on this topic here:
  • “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” (based on my qualifications and background): In a world where hundreds of people apply for the same job position, what makes you different among this crowd? If you don’t know your own strengths and weaknesses, your potential employers will also not know about those qualities. Take some time before submitting applications to think about your strengths, then make sure you show them to your potential employer. Also, don’t be afraid to mention those qualities that you are improving on. A weakness is just a strength that requires some extra TLC.

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Georgia Distracted Driver Law and your employer responsibility!



Cell phones are part of everyday life, both at work and at home.  We use our phones for everything, email communication, banking, staying connected via social sites, navigation, texting and occasionally, to make calls. The cell phone has come a long way over the last 40+ years, with most almost all cell phones being considered “smart phones” in 2018.  With all of this love for technology, it is easy to become dependent on these small devices and states are no cracking down.  Beginning July 1st, Georgia’s new ‘Hands-Free Georgia Act’, commonly referred to as the GA Distracted Driver Law is in effect.  This new law will require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

What is a distracted driver?

A distracted driver is someone who has taken their eyes off the road in order to send a text, change navigation, talk on the phone, or use it in any way while driving. Using your phone in the car seems trivial. Most use their phone to play music or to navigate to their destination. As harmless as this sounds, using your phone in a motor vehicle can harness some serious consequences. In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, yikes!  That’s a lot of potential employer liability if the injuries occurred while driving and working.

What this means for Employers in Georgia:

If you are a Georgia employer, or have employees in Georgia, you need to ensure your policies and practices enforce Safe Driving. This means ensuring your employee handbook or other driving/safety policy language includes some sort of the following information:

“While driving employees are not permitted to hold or support, with any part of the body, a cell phone or stand-alone electronic device (like an iPod or GPS). That employees are further not permitted to write, send or receive any text-based communication while holding a device.

Employees are permitted to speak or text while using hands-free technology, a smart watch or an earpiece.  And may also safely use a GPS system or mapping app (assuming you are not holding this device).”

If your company has any employees that drive to work, drive for work or carry a smart phone with work email or other work-related apps, this new law concerns your business!

If you need any assistance updating your employee handbook to cover this new law, or if you would like a free Driving Policy download, feel free to download it from The HR shop:

Safe Driving

Stay safe ya’ll!

#SHRM18 – Let’s do this!

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We are super excited to be heading to the Windy City next week for the #SHRM18 Annual Conference and Expo!  This is the conference to attend for HR professionals to gain powerful and relevant training and professional development, have opportunities to network with others and stay up to date on the latest compliance and cultural trends that affect every organization.  With a mix of mega and concurrent sessions, a smart stage for snippets of learning and a huge expo to demo various products and solutions, this conference has it all!

This is also a great opportunity to hear from an impressive line up of keynote speakers like Malala Yousafzai and Adam Grant who I’m sure are great, but I am most excited to hear from Sheryl Sandberg who will be closing the conference and I’m sure going to send us off in an inspirational way!  I even re-read her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in anticipation!

Additionally, Hire Ventures will be hosting a meet-up networking event on Sunday evening for other HR Consultants, HR Business Owners, and Independents.  Every entrepreneur knows that it can be tough building a business, I wanted to have an event that would allow us to connect, collaborate and network with other like-minded HR entrepreneurs!

Initially, I was thinking this was going to be a handful of people meeting in a hotel bar, it has since turned into over 60 RSVPs!  Luckily, I have a great relationship with a certain recruiting software company who has graciously offered to help with my event.  Phew!  Either way, I’m really excited about making new connections, strengthening existing relationships and coming away from #SHRM18 ready to crush the last half of 2018!

 

Social Media; top 5 ways it can hurt your career

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Messenger, Voxer, Skype etc.

Social Media is part of our everyday life, it can be great for sharing information and staying connected.  These social apps can certainly provide countless benefits, but they can also hurt your job hunt and even hinder your professional advancement.

You are what you post…

The profile you put out there is exactly how you are perceived.  In the world of social media, perception is the reality.

Think of the last time you posted a status update or tweet.  You may have thought that only your friends would be interested in seeing that or able to see your post. But did you know that many companies include a social media check-in their reference and background screening practices?  At the very least, there is often an effort made for the hiring manager to “check out” their potential new hire.

That said, if you are on the job hunt or have plans for professional movement in the future, the obvious things are for you to polish up your resume and LinkedIn profile.  It may be time for you to think about your social profiles and the image you present to the world.  In my personal experience recruiting and hiring over the years, I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things that candidates have posted which can sabotage their job hunt.

These are the top 5 mistakes job seekers make all the time.

1.) Overly political, aggressive or divisive posts (can’t we all just get along!?)

It’s been a tough few years on the political spectrum and our country has certainly felt divided at times.  We all have our opinions but being very aggressive, accusatory or overly political especially in a negative manner, just isn’t good.  No one wants to read those posts…not your friends and certainly not your coworkers or futures boss.

Here’s a thought, instead of the aggressive, divisive and hateful posts, how about we each do our part to create a social media presence of equality and inclusion.❤

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2.) Vulgar or sexually explicit posts

Do I even have to explain?  Well, apparently yes.  I know that all over the business world right now it’s about being a badass this, or a kickass that.  But seriously, enough already.  We get it, you’re amazing but trust me, leave the profanity and overly explicit posts out of your public profile.  If it’s not something you want your grandmother, pastor, your child or your future employer to see, don’t put it out there or make it private.

3.) Partying / drinking / wild and crazy nights out

So, you want to go out and have fun with your friends, tag everyone you know and see your social status climb!  I get it, I enjoy my wine, some nights more than others. 😉 There’s nothing wrong with that now and then, but if you’d done it all the time, especially throughout the work week or even alcohol during the work day with references to calling out, you may not have a job left to play hooky from!

4.) Complaining about your boss, co-workers or employer

We all have rough days and get frustrated but it’s important to keep it in perspective. Scrolling through a candidate profile and seeing how much they hate their boss, how they can’t stand the company they work for maybe even cause harm, this won’t make anyone want to hire you.  I promise.

5.) Non-work related posts while you are at work

You’ve joined a side hustle and want to earn that passive income by sharing online, then sharing again, then again and again.  All during the 9-5 when you are technically working for another employer.

Or, you open Facebook for a quick check and get sucked into that funny cat or food prep videos and you just want to share, and share, and share again.

Or, you’re obsessed with that new .io game and can’t stop playing, little do you know that your score is repeatedly being posted as a status update with each game.  Oops!

Basically, this all just looks bad.  Moderation is key.  While at work, focus on your work.  Also, just so you know, posting and working your side hustle during the paid time from your current employer, or working that side hustle on their company-issued equipment, may be considered theft and can be grounds for termination and a breach of any employment agreements.

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Polish up those profiles, stat!

Social Media has become one of the best ways we can share information and connect with each other. We open the door for everyone to see.  But remember, there is no “delete” feature that erases a post forever.  And many employers will check out your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are.  Make sure those public profiles align with your professional goals!

Top 3 mistakes millennials make to sabotage landing their dream job.

Hey, millennials! In my last blog posts, I spoke about hiring millennials and keeping them in the workplace. Well, in this blog post, it’s all about you, my fellow attention-seeking millennial friend!

While working here at Hire Ventures, I have been focused on the marketing and recruiting side of the business. I have scheduled posts on Facebook, created new content for the website, and I have also looked at So.Many.Resumes! As both Teresa and Robin already have experienced, I have now seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, when it comes to reviewing resumes.

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Its honestly strange how even strong candidates can make mistakes that can hurt chances at landing their dream job.

Millennials, as we all know, have certain characteristics that are unique to our generations, I’ve put together the top 3 mistakes I’ve seen millennials do when applying for a new position (but trust me, non-millennials make these mistakes too!)

Not reading the job description: Two *beloved* characteristics of our generation is that we are attention-seeking, as well as multitaskers. We might think that our little experience should constitute a senior level position. Trust me, it doesn’t!  My advice, READ the job requirements and make sure your resume reflects that you can be successful in that job.

Crazy and unprofessional social media: Back in my freshman year of college, I posted an unflattering picture on Facebook. I know, shocking, but we all have our bad days. After a couple of days, I began to think about who would see that terrible picture. After a week, I deleted this picture because I realized my future boss would see that picture and may judge me. Don’t wait a week to take down those pictures. If you post something that you wouldn’t want a future boss from seeing, make it private or just don’t post it!  And please, make sure your public posts don’t contain curse words, boss-bashing statements or things that could be considered questionable in a professional workplace.  But what if I’m already past that point and I have a bunch of bad, embarrassing posts? In this case, I would recommend doing some spring cleaning on your social media accounts – paying attention to what is viewable from the public. Your future self will thank you!

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Bad resumes: In most colleges today, students are required to take a course on how to craft their resume. Believe it or not, the way your resume looks and the way it’s written really do matter! For the appearance, make sure you are considering the job or field you are in. A corporate accounting resume is going to look very different from creative graphic designers . Your resume is often the first introduction of you, make sure you spend the time and effort so your resume is on point.  As for experience, a hiring manager will be discouraged if they see a candidate who has had many jobs within a short period of time (unless they are jobs while in school). I’ve learned this is called being a “job-hopper” and doesn’t look good. If you’ve had lots of jobs, clarify your reason for leaving or if the job was seasonal or an internship during school.  Make it easy for the hiring manager (or recruiter) to understand your job changes and assure them you’ll be a solid employee that they can count on!

Looking for jobs in this day and age can be difficult. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience. These basic mistakes are factors that make getting a job more difficult but are easy to fix!  Clean up your social presence, update your resume & be serious about your job applications and you’ll land your dream job in no time!

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Dogs in the Workplace (woof woof)

You want to bring your dog/cat/ferret/fish to work…well, ok!

Here at Hire Ventures, we have a pretty eclectic mix of clients!  We help everyone, from high tech corporate start-ups to family-owned donut shops and everything in between.  No matter the business, if there are employees, there are sure to be HR needs.  With all of our different clients and projects, we often are asked to craft some pretty unique policies.  Well-written policies can help an organization ensure consistent practices and compliance, which is a very good thing!

Special policies in the workplace are some of my favorite to write!

I’ve written everything from “Kegorator in the Breakroom” policies to “Unlimited PTO” both of which are pretty fun.  But my all-time favorite policy to craft for clients is a “Dogs in the Workplace” policy.  I love this one because I think being able to bring your pet to work helps support a healthy work-life balance and allows you to have your companion, right by your side throughout the day.

It’s good for the animal and the human and also has been shown to improve employee satisfaction and retention!  win/win win/win

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(Above photo credit, Ms. Betty & little Gigi, hard at work at Hillman Flooring & Design)

Perhaps you already allow dogs or pets in the workplace and haven’t really thought you needed a policy.  This could be true, and you could be ok. I think a short policy in your employee handbook can go a long way in protecting you as an employer.  Also, it gives your managers guidance, should a difficult situation ever come up.

When crafting a Pets in the Workplace policy, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Require that animals must be well socialized, office ready and current on all shots and flea preventative meds
  • There should be approval given, employees should submit a request to bring their pet to work, along with important info (breed, age, gender, if they’ve been fixed, trained etc.).
  • Note in the policy that the company has the right to refuse certain breeds of dogs or specific pets if they exhibit aggression towards other dogs or humans.
  • The company should have the right to limit the size of the animal if needed and how much free roam they have in the office as well as any other restrictions.
  • If you have employees with pet allergies or fears, there should be pet-free zones to ensure they are not affected (humans should come first)
  • Make sure you have management support and proper approvals from the landlord or building manager.

Other considerations:

Make sure that your office space is pet-ready and that there are flexible areas that the animals can go outside to do their “duty”.  And, there are other policies or practices that may compliment your new pet friendly work environment.  This includes:

  • Pet Insurance
  • Pet Bereavement Leave
  • Company volunteer opportunities at your local shelter

There are lots of ways to show our employees that we care about them, and one is by allowing them to bring their pets to work.

What are your thoughts on this policy?

Have you ever worked at a company that allows you to bring your pet to work?

If you’d like a free Dogs in the Workplace policy template that you can easily incorporate into your employee handbook, we have it in our store! If you would like to access this FREE template, please click “Dogs in the Workplace Policy Template.”

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This post is in honor of my sweet Lucy who passed in January of this year, she was the best office companion ever and I miss her by my side every day.

How to Keep a Millennial

You have hired the perfect millennial… now what?

In the past 2 blog posts, I have talked about the characteristics of millennials, the know-hows in hiring a millennial, and the don’ts when it comes to hiring someone from my generation. So now that you have taken the advice I have given, and you have hired the millennial, now what?

Companies with great recruiting practices often find it very easy to hire millennials. These companies will appeal to the millennial mindset and attract the best candidates. But many struggle when it comes to keeping a millennial. In a recent study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 20-34 year old will stay with their current employer for about 2.05 years. With these kinds of numbers, this gives those employers a higher turnover rate and also labels that worker as an unsteady employee or job-hopper.

So, what can be done to fix this ever-growing problem?

A few tips on keeping a millennial include:

  • Let them know what is expected: When hiring a millennial, make sure that they know what is expected of them. Yes, they will ask a lot of questions but that is only because they want to get the job right the first time! The need for reassurance and clarity is real, y’all, and I have personally experienced it first-hand. By giving them clear expectations, the millennial will know from the beginning if the job works for their situation or not. Would you rather spend a little extra time right the perfect employee (maybe through using our partner, JazzHR) or would you rather hire the first applicant and take the risk of them not meeting expectations?
  • Engage the millennial in many activities at work: Millennials are known for being great multi-taskers. But if a Gen-Y person is not given many things to work on, they, in turn, will become bored with the mundane work. By engaging the millennial in many work projects, the young person becomes more involved in the workplace and gives them an opportunity to connect with co-workers. A happy millennial is a happy workplace!

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  • Show them that your company cares: While a connection is very important, by far, the most important tip I could give you is to appreciate all of your employees, especially your millennials! One example of a way to show you appreciate the work done is by giving out “awards” given out at the end of each quarter. These rewards do not need to include much, an award sheet and gift card will suffice. Simply showing your employees that you care will boost morale and keep them around longer!

In many cases, hiring a millennial is the easy part, keeping them is where companies struggle. Keeping a millennial is not a hard task to do, if you know the correct way of appealing to them. Let’s produce an environment where employees love their job so much, they will never want to job-hop to anywhere else.

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How TO Hire a Millennial

Did you know that high growth companies, like those in the high-tech industry, have a significantly higher proportion of millennials in leadership positions than organizations with little to no growth? There is a reason for this. If you are growing and hiring, then this blog is for you!

Do me a favor and type this blog title into Google. What you will find is tons of articles where an analyst is telling you the do’s and don’ts when it comes to my generation. It seems like every non-millennial wants to give their two cents about my generation, when not many articles are coming from the millennial view. So, in this blog, I have chosen to give the millennial view on tips on how to hire someone from my generation.

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Millennials “the big generation!”

Millennials most recently became the largest generation in the world! This means that my generation will be the largest generation ever to enter the workforce. To many, that sounds like something to run from and never look back. But many companies just respond with, “Challenge accepted.”

In our last blog post, I gave some characteristics of millennials and some ways that many employers have struggled with hiring a millennial. Many of these employers refuse to change and expect the young person to change the way an entire generation does business. For a company today to be successful, they must be able to compromise with the workforce and adapt to new ways of thinking.

And Big Mistakes Companies Make:

  1. Working with an outdated hiring process, such as having paper applications and long lead times between applying and hiring.
  2. Providing no feedback until the annual performance review.
  3. Providing vague job offers that create a “bait-and-switch’ scenario.
  4. Using a vigorous and overly drawn-out hiring process.
  5. Failing to provide post-interview feedback.

While these mistakes are made every day in hiring, these methods will need to change to receive the best job candidates. And when the hiring process does not provide a good experience for millennials, they are not likely to stay in that job for very long.

Hiring a millennial is actually very easy when you think about it! Millennials have learned to adapt with the times. We are the generation who grew up with the Internet and other fast-growing technologies. Because we have learned to adapt with growing technologies, shouldn’t the past generations also learn new methods of adapting to us, millennials? I believe the answer is yes, all generations should focus on bringing the hiring process and workplace into the 21st century.

Here are some tips when it comes to hiring a millennial:

Streamline the hiring process

Like stated before, most millennials have not known a world without the Internet, as a company, use that to your advantage. Instead of having an outdated applicant system, use a mobile-enabled​ applicant tracking system, like our partner JazzHR.  The days of paper applications and job offers on bulletin boards are so last gen. These applicant tracking systems have everything in one place and make the hiring process easier for the employer and gives a better applicant experience, assuming you are using them correctly and have a defined, candidate focused process (and ya know, we can help with that!).

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Teamwork makes the dream work

Millennials have spent most of their lives working in groups, whether that be a class project, a sports team, or any clubs or organizations in and outside of school. Because we work so well in groups, try incorporating teams in the workplace. As stated in the last blog, millennials have a strong need for attention. This teamwork satisfies this need for attention, as well as playing into the strength of working together.

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A great work life and home life

One constant criticism of the millennial generation is that they are job hoppers. If a millennial is not happy in their workplace, they will go and find another job, and who can blame them! To keep those great millennial employees, keep them engaged and create a culture that supports work/life balance.  Millennials are known for having many extracurricular activities and they are always on the move.  So offer them flexibility and a rewarding work experience.  A millennial who has made friends and enjoys their workplace will not leave anytime soon. Plan for employee outings and bonding time to keep your best millennials.

The millennial generation is the largest generation to date with over 80 million people. While some companies struggle in finding and keeping a young person, many excel and are known for being a millennial acceptor. Now, its your turn to become successful in hiring millennials!

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Love is in the air…and #MeToo. What’s an employer to do?



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Love is in the air…which could spell doom for some employers in light of the #MeToo movement.  This movement that went viral the end of last year has brought so much awareness to sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.  There have been millions of posts since the #metoo movement, with countless stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.  I myself have my own experiences and while I didn’t share them on social media, hearing these stories by so many other women has brought it all back.

What the heck is an employer to do to ensure everyone has a safe and harassment-free work environment?

How could these claims, allegations and shared stories be so rampant when almost every US organization has a sexual harassment policy? And where was HR you may ask?  HR’s job is not only to hire talent but to manage performance, be an employee advocate, and help foster a great place to work.

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Clearly, this is indicative of a much bigger issue. Too often employers have “CYA” policies that they don’t follow, they don’t practice and above all, they don’t value.

This tells me that the problem isn’t with the policy; it is with the culture.

Having a healthy culture is more than a policy or statement in your employee handbook.  The best company cultures are those that are felt and reinforced in every area, from how you recruit, reward, recognize and value employees, as well as how you terminate. Embracing and supporting culture is not just senior management or HR’s position, but the responsibility of every employee.

So, in light of the #metoo stories that have been shared, how can you protect your organization from becoming the latest headline?

There are many things you can do, starting with coming together to review the current policies and practices.  Do you have a dating policy in place?  What about your anti-harassment policy, is it tight, do you follow it?  Do you have a practice that includes “Love Contracts” (sometimes these are called consensual relationship agreements)?

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And, given that people are human and things may happen, make sure that you have a culture and practice that ensures that complaints are properly handled, should they come in. This includes quickly responding to the complaint and possibly hiring a third party investigator or external HR Consultant to work through the investigation in an impartial manner.

Having the combination of policy, practice and strong supportive culture all working together can and will help ensure that your organization is free of harassment and be a great place to work for everyone!

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