HR Acronyms Employers Should Know

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HR Acronyms Employers Should Know

There are numerous acronyms used in human resources. Here is a list of common ones in HR and their meanings.


AA – Affirmative Action or Adverse Action

AAP – Affirmative Action Plan

ACA – Affordable Care Act

AD&D – Accidental Death & Dismemberment

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act

ADAAA – Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act

ADEA – Age Discrimination in Employment Act

ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution

AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization

ASTD – American Society for Training and Development

ATS – Applicant Tracking System


BFOQ or BOQ – Bona Fide Occupational Qualification

BIW – Bi-Weekly

BLR – Business and Legal Resources

BLS – Bureau of Labor Statistics

BNA – Bureau of National Affairs

BOD – Board of Directors

BU – Bargaining Unit

BWC – Bureau of Workers' Compensation

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device


C & B – Compensation and Benefits

CCP – Certified Compensation Professional

CD PPO HDHP - Consumer Driven Preferred Provider Organization High Deductible Health Plan

CEBS – Certified Employee Benefits Specialist

CHRO – Chief Human Resources Officer

CO – Compliance Officer

COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment

CPE – Continuing Professional Education

CTO – Compensatory Time Off


DOL – Department of Labor


EAP – Employee Assistance Program

EBRI – Employee Benefits Research Institute

EBS – Employee Benefits Security

EDP – Employee Development Plan

EE – Employee

EEO – Equal Employment Opportunity

EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EO – Executive Order

EOB – Explanation of Benefits

EPA – Equal Pay Act

EPPA – Employee Polygraph Protection Act

ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act

ESO – Employee Stock Option

ESOP – Employee Stock Option Plan

EVP – Employment Value Proposition


FCRA – Fair Credit Reporting Act

FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act

FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act

FR – Federal Register

FSA – Flexible Spending Account

FT – Full-Time

FTE – Full-Time Equivalent

FY – Fiscal Year


GINA – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

GPHR – Global Professional in Human Resources Certification


HCE – Highly Compensated Employee

HCO – Health Care Organization

HCM – Human Capital Management

HCS – Hazard Communication Standard

HDHP – High Deductible Health Plan

HHS – Department of Health & Human Services

HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIRE – Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization

HR – Human Resources

HRA – Health Reimbursement Arrangement  

HRCI – Human Resource Certification Institute

HRD – Human Resources Development

HRIS – Human Resources Information System

HRM – Human Resources Management

HRMS – Human Resources Management System

HRLY – Hourly

HROD – Human Resources and Organizational Development

HSA – Health Savings Account


I-9 – I-9 Form

IDP – Individual Development Plan

IHRIM – International Association of Human Resource Information Management

IRA – Individual Retirement Account

IRCA – Immigration Reform and Control Act

IRS – Internal Revenue Service


JD – Job Description


KPI – Key Performance Indicator

KPM – Key Performance Measures

KSA’s – Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


LMRA – Labor Management Relations Act

LMRDA – Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act

LOA – Leave of Absence

LOS – Length of Service

LMS – Learning Management System

LR – Labor Relations

LTC – Long-Term Care

LTD – Long-Term Insurance

LTIP – Long-Term Incentive Plan

LWOP – Leave Without Pay

LWP – Leave With Pay


M&A – Merger & Acquisition

MBO – Management by Objectives

MBTI – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

MHPA – Mental Health Parity Act

MQs – Minimum Qualifications


NE – Non-Exempt

NIOSH – National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

NLRA – National Labor Relations Act

NLRB – National Labor Relations Board


OB – Organizational Behavior

OD – Organizational Development

OFCCP – Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

OJT – On-the-Job Training

ONET – Occupational Information Network

OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration

OT – Overtime


PDA – Pregnancy Discrimination Act

PDQ – Position Description Questionnaire

PHR – Professional in Human Resources Certification

PIP – Performance Improvement Plan

PM – Performance Management

POS – Point of Service Plan

PPA – Pension Protection Act of 1987

PPACA – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

PPO – Preferred Provider Organization

PT – Part Time

PTO – Paid Time Off


QR – Quarterly Review

QWI – Quarterly Workforce Indicators


RIF – Reduction in Force

RTW – Return to Work


SE – Salaried Exempt

SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission

SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management

SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

SME – Subject Matter Expert

SNE – Salaried Non-Exempt

SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley Act

SPHR – Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification

SSA – Social Security Administration

SSD – Social Security Disability

STD – Short-Term Disability

SUTA – State Unemployment Tax Act


T & D – Training and Development

TNA – Training Needs Assessment

TPA – Third Party Administrator

TSP – Thrift Savings Plan


USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

UCI – Unemployment Compensation Insurance

USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act


VETS – Veterans Employment and Training Service

VEVRA – Vietnam-Era Veterans Readjustment Act


WARN – Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

WC – Workers’ Compensation

WIA – Workforce Investment Act

WRAEA – Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act

WTW – Welfare-to-Work

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