HR Alphabet Soup: Acronyms and Meanings

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Understanding HR terms can be confusing if this isn’t your wheelhouse. If you’re not that savvy with these terms, you can get confused while attempting to wade through all the jargon. Knowing what these terms mean can help you better understand when speaking to human resource professionals or encountering information with these terms that may pertain to you.

To help you get started, we’ve created this guide. These are some of the most common acronyms, terms, and definitions to keep on your radar:New call-to-action

ACA - Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is also known as Obamacare and is an insurance marketplace ( designed to offer affordable policies to the uninsured. It also prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

ADA - Americans with Disability Act

This is a civil rights law that monitors and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. These disabilities include transportation, employment, public accommodations, access to state and local government services and programs, and communications.

CHIP - Children’s Health Insurance Program

This is a low-cost health insurance program for children in families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Each state operates differently, but some states cover pregnant women.

CHRO - Chief Human Resources Officer

This is the head of the human resources department and is considered the top management executive in charge of employees.

DOA - Date of Accident

This is the date when an accident occurred or the date of first exposure. In most cases, this is the date that will go on the claim form.

DOI - Date of Injury

This is the date of the accident when the injury became known, or the date when the employee sought medical attention for the injury. There are many instances when an employee may have been injured but didn’t seek care until it became an issue.Guide-to-Proactively-Managing-Your-HR

EEOC - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The EEOC enforces federal laws that protect employees against discrimination and other laws. They investigate employers who have complaints of discrimination within their workplaces.

EOE - Equal Opportunity Employer

This is an employer that agrees not to discriminate against their employees or applicants due to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information.

ERISA - Employee Retirement Income Security Act

This is a federal law that governs how employers give benefit plans to their employees and protect their retirement savings.

ESBA - Employee Benefits Security Administration

This is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor that provides information and assistance on employer-sponsored health benefits and retirement benefit plans.

FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act

This establishes overtime pay, minimum wages, recordkeeping, and youth development standards for employees in the private sector, and federal, state, and local governments.

FSA - Flexible Spending Account

This is a tax-free account hosted by your employer to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses. The individual decides how much they want to contribute, and the money is withdrawn from their paycheck before taxes.

FWC - Fair Work Commission

An independent national workplace relations tribunal that maintains employment and wage standards and assists in resolving issues in the

GHP - Group Health Plan

This is a welfare benefits plan offered by an employer, union, or association to their working members. This plan usually provides medical coverage and other benefits for participants and their dependents.

HR - Human Resources

This department manages the employee life cycle, including recruitment, hiring, training, development, management, and compensation.

HRMS - Human Resource Management System

This is a suite of software applications that helps manage the human resource function and its various processes.

IW – Injured Worker

Individuals who have been injured and are likely unable to perform the usual duties of their position.

LI - Life Insurance

This is a contract between a person and an insurance company to cover death benefits and payouts to beneficiaries. Although usually offered by an employer, individuals can also purchase policies on their own.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

This is a critical indicator of progress toward an intended result. It is a measurable value that demonstrates the effectiveness of how a company achieves its business objectives. Some people overlap KPIs with KSIs.

KSI – Key Success Indicator

This indicator defines the direction of a business, provides important feedback, and helps organize teams, individuals, projects, or the business to optimize performance. Some people overlap KPIs with KSIs.Merchant-services-CTA

LTD – Long-Term Disability

This is wage replacement coverage that provides financial benefits equating to a portion of an employee’s earnings due to long periods of illness, injury, or an accident.

MERP – Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan

This is a flexible spending account that pays for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses not covered by an insurance plan.

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA is a division of the Department of Labor that works to establish safety protection for workers while on the job. They set and enforce standards, and provide employers with outreach education, training, and assistance.

SAR – Summary Annual Report

This document is a narrative of the information on the ERISA plan’s IRS Form 5500 that is distributed to all participants. It’s also a statement of the right to receive an annual report.

WC – Workers’ Compensation

This is a type of insurance that provides medical care and wages to workers who were injured on the job or while doing work for the job.

These human resource acronyms and abbreviations aren’t commonly used in everyday life but are important and useful to know while in the workplace. Now you can feel confident when speaking, listening to, or reading information with these terms.HR-Compliance-Review

Originally published 9/14/22 - Updated 10/18/23

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