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Glossary - Frequently Asked HR Terms

Applicable Large Employer (ALE) – A company is an Applicable Large Employer for a given calendar year if it employed an average of 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) in the prior calendar year.

Aggregated Applicable Large Employer (AALE) – If a company has several entities within a single control group, they are likely to be considered an Aggregated Applicable Large Employer (AALE)

ADA – American Disabilities Act -The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and applies to employers with 15 or more employees including state and local government, employment agencies and labor organizations. Among other things, the ADA prohibits employees from discriminating in all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotions, discharge, training, and benefits against employees with disabilities.

Applicant Pool - Those persons who have applied for a particular position or who have applications on file from which an employee may be selected.

Absenteeism - Absenteeism is closely linked to employee satisfaction. Not showing up for work is an issue for both employees and everyone else on the team. Once someone is falling behind or missing, the whole team may suffer in their work, resulting in a diminished employee experience. A high absenteeism rate can speak to low motivation and low productivity in the workplace.


Career Path - A career path identifies optimum alternative paths of employee progression to positions requiring successively higher levels of skill and the consequent promotional opportunities.

Cost per Hire - The total recruiting costs of finding and hiring candidates.

Career Progression Framework - A career progression framework is a structured and systematic approach to defining and outlining the various stages, roles, and skills required for career advancement within an organization or industry. It provides a clear roadmap for employees to understand how they can grow and develop their careers over time


Diversity - The inclusion, integration, awareness, and appreciation of various cultures within a workforce and the opportunity for the maximum utilization of individual members’ talents, skills, and perspectives, with a view towards increasing the organization’s productivity.


Employee - A person whose work activities are under the control of an individual or entity.

Employee Engagement - Employee engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give of their best each day, committed to their organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.

Employee Onboarding - Bringing new hires into an organization. Sometimes used synonymously with new hire orientation, employee onboarding includes filling out forms and on-the-job training but also socialization and culture training so new hires can be effective, contributing team members. Effective onboarding can extend weeks or months beyond a new hire’s first day.

Employee Referral - Candidate recommended by an existing employee

Employee Turnover - In human resources context, turnover is the act of replacing an employee with a new employee. Partings between organizations and employees may consist of termination, retirement, death, interagency transfers, and resignations. An organization’s turnover is measured as a percentage rate, which is referred to as its turnover rate. Turnover rate is the percentage of employees in a workforce that leave during a certain period of time. Organizations and industries as a whole measure their turnover rate during a fiscal or calendar year.

Employment at Will - The traditional common law doctrine that, absent prior agreement to the contrary, an employer may discharge an employee any time for any reason not barred by the law. An employer’s exercise of this power may be restricted by collective bargaining or other agreement, or by specific statutes, including those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or other factors. In some states, courts have imposed additional limits on employment at will by allowing claims for “wrongful discharge” in certain circumstances.

Equal Employment Opportunity - The right of all persons to work and to advance on the basis of merit and ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status or other factors which cannot lawfully be the basis for employment actions.

Equal Opportunity - An organizations’ effort to ensure that all personnel and service programs, policies, and practices will be formulated and conducted in a manner that ensures equal access for all people and prevents discrimination. As part of this effort, organizations ensure that employment and service provision policies are based solely on the individual eligibility, merit, or fitness of applicants, employees, and recipients of services for jobs and services without regard to race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, affectional or sexual preferences or political or union affiliation

EEOC (EEOC compliant) - The acronym for “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission”, which is the federal agency that ensures that companies adhere to fair hiring practices and is typically used to discuss issues related to the capturing and reporting of “protected class” information. Some people will ask if Jazz solutions are “EEOC compliant software”, and it is. EEOC compliant means the manner in which our software captures, stores, secures and reports data that identifies employees and candidates as a member of a protected class follows state and federal regulations.

Exempt Employees - Full-time or part-time employees who are exempt from overtime pay or minimum wage according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Family Leave - Family leave is granted to an employee to care for a family member and includes paid maternity and paternity leave. The leave may be available to care for a newborn child, an adopted child, a sick child, or a sick adult relative. Paid family leave is given in addition to any sick leave, vacation, personal leave, or short-term disability leave that is available to the employee.

The Family and Medical Leave Act - Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of qualifying employers to take unpaid leave for covered reasons while keeping their job-protected. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave taken within a 12-month period for birth or adoption of a new child, to care for an immediate family member who has a serious health condition, or to deal with a personal health condition that prevents an employee from working. The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. An eligible employee may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military developments. Additionally, an eligible employee may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.Source:

Flexible Work Schedule - Permits employees to set their own schedules within a general set of parameters. Employees generally are required to work a minimum number of core hours each day

Full-time Position - Any employment position which requires 30-40 or more hours of work per week or 130 hours of work per month.

Funeral Leave - Time off from work due to a death in the family. The period of absence is usually limited to a few days (for example, 3 paid days for immediate family and 1 paid day for other relatives).


Goal - A numerical objective, realistically fixed output


Holidays - Holidays are days off from work on days of special religious, cultural, social, or patriotic significance on which work and business ordinarily cease. Employees may receive either full or partial pay for holidays.

Human Resource Management - HRM or HR is the strategic approach to the effective management of people in an organization, so that they help the business to gain a competitive advantage. It is designed to maximize employee performance in the service of an employer’s strategic objectives. HR is primarily concerned with the management of people within organizations, focusing on policies and on systems. HR departments are responsible for overseeing employee-benefits design, employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and Reward management (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems). HR also concerns itself with organizational change and industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with requirements arising from collective bargaining and from governmental laws.


Internal Promotion Rate - One of the main drivers for employee engagement is the opportunity for professional growth within the organization. This highlights the importance of the internal promotion rate, as it represents the ability of organizations to keep top performers.


Job Description - A written statement detailing the duties of a particular job title.

Job Group: Job or group of jobs having similar content, wage rates, and opportunities.


Lateral Move - A move to a position at the same rank in the same organization or same level with same pay elsewhere in the organization is called a lateral move


98% Offer Method - To be eligible to use the 98% Offer Method, an employer must certify that, taking into account all months during which the individuals were employees of the ALE Member and were not in a Limited Non-Assessment Period, the ALE Member offered, affordable health coverage providing minimum value to at least 98% of its employees for whom it is filing a Form 1095-C employee statement, and offered minimum essential coverage to those employees’ dependents.


Performance Management (PM) - Performance Management is a set of activities that ensure goals are met in an effective and efficient manner.

Performance Review/Evaluation – Performance Review is a method by which the job performance of an employee is documented and evaluated.

Personal Leave - Personal leave is a general-purpose leave benefit, used for reasons important to the individual employee, but not otherwise provided for by other forms of leave. Some employers place restrictions on the purposes for which personal leave may be used.

Position - A group of duties and responsibilities, assigned or delegated by an appointing authority, requiring the services of an employee on a full-time basis or, in some cases, on a less than full-time basis.

Position Description - A narrative explanation of the duties and responsibilities of a position, and the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position in a satisfactory manner.

Professional Development Plan - A professional development plan is a strategic roadmap that outlines your goals and objectives for enhancing your skills, knowledge, and abilities in your chosen profession. It helps you identify areas for improvement, acquire new competencies, and advance your career.


Qualifying Offer Method - To be eligible to use the Qualifying Offer Method, the ALE Member must certify that it made a Qualifying Offer to one or more of its full-time employees for all months during the year in which the employee was a full-time employee for whom an employer shared responsibility payment could apply.

Three conditions must be satisfied for an offer of coverage to count as a Qualifying Offer:
1. The employee must be offered minimum essential coverage (MEC) that provides minimum value (MV)
2. The employee’s spouse and children must also be offered MEC.
3. The cheapest single coverage offered to the employee must cost less than 9.5% of the mainland federal poverty level (FPL) for a family of one.


Recruitment - It refers to the overall process of attracting, shortlisting, selecting and appointing suitable candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization.

Recruitment (or relevant) area - The geographic location(s) from which an agency or organization unit draws applicants for employment.

Referral - A written order from a primary care provider directing a patient to see a specialist or receive certain health care services. Under many health plans, a plan participant must obtain a referral before he or she can receive health care services from anyone except his or her primary care provider.

Regular position - Any position other than a temporary position.

Regular work - The job the worker held at the time of injury or a substantially similar job.

Role-based access - Appropriate access for each person or class of person to the category or categories of protected health information to which access is needed.

Referral Rate - When current employees refer candidates for job opportunities at a company.

Screening - A type of preventive service that includes tests or exams to detect the presence of a health issue, usually performed when an individual has no symptoms, signs, or prevailing medical history of a disease or condition.

Selection Procedures - Refers to the process for choosing the successful applicant for employment or advancement, or for admission to a program.

Selection Rate - The proportion of applicants or candidates who are hired, promoted, or otherwise selected for a particular position.

Sexual Harassment - Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which creates a hostile, humiliating, or offensive work environment which materially interferes with the employee’s ability to perform the job; submission to, or rejection of, sexual advances or requests for sexual favors which form the basis of an employment decision.

Sick Leave - Sick leave provides all or part of an employee’s earnings if he or she is unable to work because of a non-work-related illness or injury. Employees commonly receive their regular pay for a specified number of days off per year. Sick leave is provided on a per-year basis, usually expressed in days, and is never insured.

Skill - A present, observable competence to perform a learned act.

Succession Planning is a process for identifying and developing new leaders who can replace old leaders when they leave, retire or die. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available. Taken narrowly, “replacement planning” for key roles is the heart of succession planning.

Supervisor - An employee who (a) performs some work that is different from that of the employee’s subordinates; and (b) has the responsibility to authorize or recommend in the interest of the employer a majority of the following actions: 1) Hire, transfer, suspend, promote, demote, dismiss, and discipline other employees; 2) address employee grievances; and 3) assign, direct, and conduct performance reviews of the work. The exercise of this authority and responsibility shall not be of a merely routine or clerical nature but shall require the use of independent judgment.


Targeted Recruiting - Any recruitment activity directed toward any person or group of persons based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, or age that is not also equally and coincidentally directed toward all other persons.

Turnover Rate -The turnover rate reveals organizations’ ability to retain top talents. It measures the length of workers’ tenure. Usually, rates differ from one department or team to another, which helps employers identify focus points and key issues.

Time to Fill -
The number of days it takes to fill a job, from job req to offer accepted.

Total Labor Cost -
The aggregate cost of all hours worked by employees, plus payroll taxes and benefits.


Utilization Analysis - An analysis conducted by an employer to determine whether minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are employed in each major job category at a rate comparable to the availability of qualified minorities, women, or persons with disabilities in the relevant labor market for the positions covered by each job category.

Underutilization - Having fewer protected class members in a particular job classification than would be expected by their availability in the workforce or recruitment area.

Unemployed - Under the criteria established by the Bureau of the Census of the U. S. Department of Commerce, civilians 16 years old or over are considered unemployed if they were: (a) neither “at work” nor ” with a job” during the reference week; (b) looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and (c) available to accept a job. Also included as unemployed are persons who did not work at all during the reference week and were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off.

Upward Mobility - A system for training, educating, or otherwise preparing employees for more responsible, higher-paying positions of employment.


Vacation - Vacations are leave from work (or pay in lieu of time off) provided on an annual basis and normally taken in blocks of days or weeks. Paid vacations commonly are granted to employees only after they meet specified service requirements. The amount of vacation leave received each year usually varies with length of service. Vacation time off normally is paid at full pay or partial pay, or it may be a percentage of employee earnings.

Voluntary Turnover Rate -The percentage of employees that voluntarily leave a company within a certain.

Workforce Analysis - A detailed listing, by department or other organizational units, of job classifications as they may appear in collective bargaining agreement or payroll records.

Workforce - Employees, volunteers, trainees, and other persons under the direct control of a covered entity, whether or not they are paid by the covered entity.

Workforce Planning - A planning of your workforce that reveals the composition of employees in a workforce by protected group status and occupational category.