HR Academy: Elective Coursework

Training Table ImageFor the new and experienced HR professional alike, this certificate series is designed to provide you with the knowledge, tools and resources you need to manage and lead in the core functions of HR as well as more specialized areas. Each session integrates core HR and leadership principles with real life scenarios, trends and the practical tools and guidance you need to take your HR skills to the next level. Graduates of the Academy gain more confidence in their abilities, perform their jobs at a higher level and are simply happier at work.

To receive an HR Fundamentals certificate, participants must complete 22 credit hours. To receive an HR Professional certificate, participants must complete 36 credit hours. Choose from the list below.

Coming Soon: Classes available by livestream and webinar


101: Employment Law: The Basics

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 2, 2018
Salem Session: February 20, 2019 (Rescheduled)

Employment and the laws governing it are confusing. If you don’t know much about these laws, or it has been awhile since you’ve brushed up on your compliance knowledge, this is the class for you! You’ll come away with a good base of knowledge about the current employment laws out there and how those affect your organization’s policies, practices, and procedures.

You’ll learn about:

  • How federal, state, and local laws work together
  • Who is an employee and what creates an employment relationship
  • What at-will employment is
  • What is discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • Timing problems that affect employment decisions
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Risky practices and best practices to avoid lawsuits
  • Documentation best practices

102: Employment Law: Beyond the Basics

2 credit hours

Portland Session: December 20, 2018 (Rescheduled)
Salem Session: April 16, 2019

If you’ve got solid foundation of employment law knowledge and want to dig deeper, this class is for you. This class will focus on more specific and nuanced employment laws that impact your workplace. After this class, your foundation will be more complete and you will be able to recognize some of the more complicated employment law related situations and what to do about them.

You’ll learn about:

  • Why employee handbooks and job descriptions are HR foundations
  • How various laws impact recruiting, interviewing, and selection practices
  • The rules surrounding non-competes and alternative pre-employment agreements
  • I-9 and work eligibility rules
  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • The various laws affecting employee social media use
  • Pay equity laws and how they affect your pay practices
  • Leaves of absence laws that apply in Oregon
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Rules that relate to drugs, alcohol, and impairment at work
  • The basics about how the unemployment system works
  • Joint employer rules and how they can create unanticipated liability

103: Family Leave: Basic Compliance and Administration

2 credit hours

Portland Session (Lake Oswego): September 18, 2018
Salem Session: February 12, 2019

Oregon has A LOT of leave laws. The most complicated of these is family leave – especially for employers with 50 or more employees. If you work in an organization with 25 or more employees, and you have little experience administering family leave, this is the class for you!

You’ll learn about:

  • Which employers are covered by family leave
  • Which employees are eligible for family leave
  • The reasons employees can take family leave
  • How much leave employees get and how to track that leave
  • How employees can request leave and why it isn’t always obvious
  • Required employer notices
  • The rules surrounding medical verifications
  • How to address employee abuse of leave
  • Return to work releases
  • The requirements for reinstating employees

104: Family Leave: Advanced Skills for Family Leave Management

2 credit hours

Portland Session (Lake Oswego): October 23, 2018
Salem Session: April 30, 2019 (Rescheduled)

So you’ve taken Family Leave 103 (or you’re at least not a novice), and you’ve got all the basics down. This session delves into the more complicated issues and problems that come up when administering family leave.

You’ll learn about:

  • Confidentiality rules governing medical information
  • Limits on an employee’s right to reinstatement
  • Issues surrounding the employer requirement to continue insurance benefits
  • How to handle attendance bonuses
  • How family leave needs to be handled when the reason for leave is a workplace injury
  • Special rules covering family members who work for the same employer
  • Special parental leave rules
  • How to handle situations where an employee needs to extend leave
  • What to do when an employee exhausts their leave
  • Your greatest source of liability: supervisors who do not recognize potential leave situations

105: Family Leave: Navigating Complex Scenarios & Other Leave Laws

2 credit hours

Portland Session: December 14, 2018 (Rescheduled)
Salem Session: May 14, 2019

You’ve either taken our first two family leave classes, or are pretty experienced in family leave –now it’s time to challenge you.

In this last class, we’ll start with a quick review of the family leave rules. Then we will spend the majority of the time working on complicated leave scenarios. These complicated scenarios will put your family leave knowledge to the test! We’ll wrap things up by spending a little bit of time learning about the many other leave laws that affect Oregon employers.

106: Wage and Hour Laws: Paying Your Employees Properly

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 17, 2018
Salem Session: March 19, 2019

Paying your employees properly seems so simple, but wage and hour claims are one of the largest areas of liability for potential employers. The laws are technical and easy to mess up, making it incredibly important for organizations to spend time learning about this area. This class is for the beginner and wage and hour vet alike, as even long-term payroll and HR people who attend this class say they learn new things.

You’ll learn about:

  • The difference between exempt and non-exempt employees and why employers struggle to get this correct
  • The rules regarding overtime and limits on hours worked
  • Properly calculating an employee’s regular rate of pay and overtime
  • What is considered to be compensable time
  • When to pay for on-call time, travel time, and off-the-clock work
  • When an employee can volunteer for an organization
  • Wage and hour issues with employees working remotely

107: Wage and Hour Laws: Beyond "Hours Worked"

2 credit hours

Portland Session: November 14, 2018 (Rescheduled)
Salem Session: May 2, 2019

In this class, beyond the laws regarding hours worked, we’ll take a look at all the other laws that affect an employer’s pay practices, including pay equity. Wage and Hour 106 is not a necessary prerequisite for this class, and just like that class, beginners and wage and hour vets are welcome and will find a lot to learn.

You’ll learn about:

  • The Oregon Equal Pay Act and how it affects your pay practices
  • Oregon’s paystub law
  • Minimum wage requirements
  • Final paycheck rules
  • Payroll deduction rules
  • Rest and meal periods
  • Independent contractor rules

108: ADA: Disabilities Defined and Basic Employer Obligations

2 credit hours

Portland Session: September 25, 2018
Salem Session: March 6, 2019 (Rescheduled)

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that seems simple on the surface, but when you peel back the layers, you realize all the complexities that can arise in employment. You also may not realize how many employees in your workplace potentially have disabilities – even if they don’t need an accommodation. If you’re unfamiliar with the ADA, come join us for this informative session where we will help you make sense of the basic tenets of the ADA.

You’ll learn about:

  • How “disability” is defined
  • Employee and employer obligations under the law
  • What the interactive process and a reasonable accommodation is
  • Essential job functions and how they play into the ADA
  • What an accommodation request sounds like and why can it be hard to recognize
  • When an accommodation is unreasonable.

109: ADA: Applying the ADA During the Employment Relationship

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 25, 2018
Salem Session: May 30, 2019 (Rescheduled)

In this session we take a closer look at how the ADA applies in specific contexts in the employment relationship. From job posting to termination and everything in between, we’ll cover everything you need to know to address these situations as they arise in your workplace.

We’ll also discuss leave under the ADA, light-duty and fitness for duty issues, drugs and alcohol, and how to handle confidential employee medical information.

110: Discipline: Reduce Stress and Get Results

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: October 30, 2018
Salem Session: March 21, 2019

No one looks forward to disciplining employees, but it is necessary at times. Learn how to reduce your stress and anxiety over this important part of the job, while maintaining a positive approach focused on helping employees succeed.

This session is designed to build your confidence and manage risk when it comes to effective discipline through simple and easy to use tools and real life case studies.

You’ll learn about:

  • Steps in positive and effective discipline
  • Do’s and don’ts of discipline
  • How to have a disciplinary conversation
  • Focusing on success and staying positive

111: Making Job Descriptions Compliant, Accurate and Meaningful

2 credit hours

Portland Session: November 8, 2018
Salem Session: April 4, 2019

Job Descriptions are one of the foundations of success for any position within an organization - from the hiring process to performance management to minimizing legal risk.

You’ll learn about:

  • Elements of an effective job description
  • How to draft clear, concise and accurate job descriptions
  • Practical and legal reasons for job descriptions

112: Documentation: Write it Right

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: October 16, 2018
Salem Session: April 9, 2019

Documentation can either save or bury you when it comes to key employee issues such as discipline, performance, advancement opportunities, rewards and terminations. It's not enough to just write something down. What’s written down must be timely, accurate, factual, clear, and concise.

This session is designed to build your confidence and manage risk when it comes to effective documentation through simple and easy to use tools and real life case studies.

You’ll learn about:

  • What, when, why and how to document effectively
  • Avoiding common legal pitfalls

113: Developing and Updating Employee Handbooks

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: September 20, 2018
Salem Session: February 14, 2019

Properly developed and administered, employee handbooks are powerful tools that promote consistency and help reduce risks associated with employee-initiated legal actions. This interactive workshop will provide you the basics for developing or updating your employee handbook, and provide you the chance to review and update policies during the session.

You’ll learn about:

  • Crafting a company-specific document reflecting company standards
  • Avoiding common legal pitfalls
  • Model language

Engagement, Hiring and Retention

115: Recruiting and Attracting Talent

3.5 credit hours

Portland Session: December 18, 2018
Salem Session: May 7, 2019

With increasing competition for attracting and retaining top talent, making great hiring decisions is no easy task. Candidates are looking in different places and in different ways. Candidate needs and expectations are different than they were in years past. This session will give you practical guidance, insight and tools to help you better attract the talent your organization needs.

You’ll learn about:

  • Strategies to find and hire top talent
  • Identifying how and where candidates are looking (or not)
  • Building your employment brand
  • Drafting more compelling job postings
  • Avoiding common mistakes

116: The Art of Drafting Great Interview Questions

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 9, 2018
Salem Session: March 12, 2019

This lab style session will challenge you to become a better interviewer by changing how you prepare for interviews and learning to master drafting great interview questions by moving beyond knowledge skills and abilities and focusing on native drives and strengths.

You’ll learn about:

  • Behavioral based interviewing
  • Developing candidate profiles
  • How to master drafting interview questions that really work
  • Creating meaningful connections with candidates before the interview

117: Conducting Interviews that Get Results

2 credit hours

Portland Session: November 6, 2018
Salem Session: April 2, 2019

In this session, you will be asked to evaluate your interviewing process and to challenge the traditional approach. Focused on the structure of your interview process, not the interview questions, we will guide you on how your process can help you hire more engaged employees that can actually do the job you’re hiring them to do.

You’ll learn about:

  • Different types of interviews and when each might be appropriate
  • What to do in advance of the interview and setting up for success
  • Interviewing styles and approaches
  • Creative ways to test for actual job skill competency
  • Interpreting interview responses and what to listen for

118: Employee Engagement: Beyond Satisfaction

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: December 19, 2018
Salem Session: April 11, 2019

It's no secret that there is a direct link between the performance of an organization, customer satisfaction and loyalty and the engagement of employees. While the main drivers of employee engagement don't change much over time, how we approach them does. Understanding these variations is important to your organization's approach to employee engagement and ensuring your employees have high levels of satisfaction and contribution.

You’ll learn about:

  • Current trends in and drivers of engagement
  • Bottom line impact of an engaged workforce
  • Building engagement at any level
  • AND - the one factor that matters more than anything else

119: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 11, 2018
Salem Session: March 14, 2019

This session is aimed at teaching those new to diversity and inclusion what these terms mean in a modern workforce.

You’ll learn about:

  • How diversity, equity, and inclusion are defined and what that means for your workforce.
  • The tangible benefits of creating a diverse workforce.
  • Tools and strategies for developing diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Networking, outreach, recruitment, and retention strategies.
  • Legal compliance issues to be aware of, so you can be confident that your program stays in compliance.

Performance Management and Achievement

120: Effective Performance Management and Appraisals

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: November 28, 2018
Salem Session: March 27, 2019

Most workplaces struggle to find the most effective approach to define, measure and reward great performance. Take the lead on improving your performance culture. In this interactive class, you will assess your current performance management system and learn how to make it more effective, practical and favorably viewed. We’ll also explore cutting edge trends, including moving from formal to informal evaluations and the rise of people analytics.

121: Coaching Skills Bootcamp

3 credit hours

Portland Sessions: November 20, 2018 and April 3, 2019
Eugene Session: February 13, 2019
Salem Session: August 14, 2019

The verdict is in: coaching employees yields a high return on investment on multiple fronts, including increasing productivity by 53%, improving customer service by 39%, reducing costs by 23% and increasing profitability by 22%. Unfortunately, few team leaders know where to begin.

In this interactive session, participants will learn how to tap into what truly motivates employees to do great work, how to communicate effectively, and how to create a positive environment that recognizes and plays to the strengths of both individuals and teams.

122: Accountability and Delegation

3 credit hours

Portland Session: January 23, 2019
Eugene Session: April 24, 2019
Salem Sessions: September 27, 2018 and July 10, 2019

“Lack of accountability” is as common a complaint within organizations, as “needs to delegate” is a common criticism of the managers within them. Did you know that they are interdependent?

In this interactive class we’ll explore the prerequisites for accountability and delegation and the obstacles to their effective execution. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls, such as finger pointing, blame, and micromanagement and focus on the best practices for empowering others to be accountable when performing delegated tasks.

123: “We Need to Talk”: Difficult and Crucial Conversations at Work

3.5 credit hours

Portland Session: December 5, 2018
Salem Session: May 8, 2019

Almost 70% of people say that it is difficult or impossible to confront and successfully resolve crucial conversations in the workplace and 60% report they have been putting off an important conversation for more than a month.

Whether it’s due to lack of time, fear of the consequences, or conflict avoidance, many well-meaning employees are avoiding the conversations they need to be having in order to maintain both solid work and solid working relationships.

You'll learn about:

  • Preparing for difficult and critical conversations
  • Analyzing different conflict styles
  • Developing skills in communication that allow participants to move from conflict to collaboration


Elective courses begin this September in Portland and next February in Salem.
Get started toward your certification by registering for the HR Academy Certificate Program at today.


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