PHR Certification Practice Test 2

Practice Questions

1. Which of the following best describes an environmental scan that might occur during strategic planning?

a. Reviewing policy and procedures for any non-compliance with environmental regulations
b. Analyzing indoor conditions to ensure overall employee health
c. Collecting details that will help the company project a goal for growth and development
d. Using research and development techniques to create an effective business plan
e. Collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for improving the company’s green standards

2. Which of the following best describes adverse impact in the selection of employees for a company?

a. A selection rate among a protected class of more than 95% the selection rate of the highest group
b. The negative impact of failing to diversify the selection rate among employees
c. Any non-compliance with the rules pertaining to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Process
d. A selection rate among a protected class of less than 80% the selection rate of the highest group
e. Willful discrimination against a specific group when selecting new employees

3. Which of the following provides the best definition of organization development?

a. Creating a mutual understanding of the values within an organization
b. Discovering methods of strategic intervention to address problems within the organization
c. Establishing means of employee participation in decisions that are made within organizations
d. Creating a sense of balance between employers and their employees in a company
e. Analyzing the various elements of an organization’s makeup and reviewing opportunities for improvement

4. The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires that companies employing a certain number of people – or more – must offer a specified amount of health benefits. What is the minimum number of employees that a company must have for COBRA guidelines to be in effect?

a. 10
b. 20
c. 30
d. 40
e. 50

5. The risk areas that the human resources professional is responsible for considering include all of the following except:

a. Workplace privacy
b. Legal compliance
c. Safety and health
d. Business continuity
e. Labor relations

6. Which of the following is not a part of the due diligence process that a human resources professional must review during a merger?

a. Affirmative Action plans
b. Employment contracts
c. Whistleblower prevention
d. OSHA compliance
e. Union activity

7. What is the purpose of the Training Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program?

a. To create funding for employees who have been terminated for any reason
b. To help employees who lose their jobs due to a rise in the number of imports
c. To establish health benefits for employees after they have been laid off
d. To improve the quality of employee working conditions
e. To work in coordination with the welfare system to support employees

8. Which of the following best defines the purpose of talent management for the human resources professional?

a. Creating interest for potential employees and developing current employees with the potential for management and executive positions
b. Locating new talent that will enable the organization to grow and improve
c. Training all employees for expected promotions within the organization
d. Setting apart employees who are currently ready or will be ready for higher positions
e. Identifying employees who have the most potential and training them for management positions within the organization

9. What is the fiduciary role of the human resources professional regarding ERISA?

a. Setting up pension accounts for employees
b. Handling and managing pension funds
c. Ensuring that the HIPAA guidelines of ERISA are observed
d. Creating the rules that govern individual retirement account for employees
e. Working with organization to locate the funds for pension accounts

10. Which of the following is not considered by OSHA to be a standard environmental health hazard?

a. Ergonomic design
b. Stress
c. Plants
d. Computer use
e. Vibrations

Answers and Explanations

1. C: An environmental scan has to do with the gathering of information that will help to project company growth and development. In other words, an environmental scan helps a company to review historical data to begin the process of preparing for expected or planned growth in the company. The environmental scan has nothing to do with environmental standards, federal or otherwise. This means that answer choices A, B, and E can be eliminated because all refer to outdoor or indoor environment, the EPA, and green standards. Answer choice D may be eliminated as well because the environmental scan does not relate to research and development techniques, nor is it specifically related to a business plan in the immediate sense.

2. D: The phrase adverse impact or unintentional discrimination refers to the selection rate of a protected class being less than 80% of the selection rate of the highest group. In other words, if the selection rate of females is less than 80% the selection rate of males, there is an adverse impact on females by the hiring process. Answer choice A is the opposite of the correct definition of adverse impact, so it is incorrect. Answer choice B is close to the meaning of adverse impact – in a broad sense – but it is not specific enough to be correct. Answer choice C is also too broad, particularly because there is far more to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Process than just selection rate. And answer choice E is incorrect; while adverse impact might be interpreted as discrimination, it is not necessarily the direct result of discrimination.

3. E: Organization development is the process by which a human resources professional analyzes the elements of an organization’s makeup and considers opportunities for improvement. Answer choice A is incorrect because the definition refers more to organization culture than it does to organization development. And answer choices B, C, and D are incorrect because they refer to elements of organization development but do not explain the larger definition of the process as a whole.

4. B: COBRA regulations state that a company with at least 20 employees must provide a defined amount of health benefits for employees. Answer choices A, C, D, and E are all correct because they fail to recognize the requirements of COBRA regarding minimum number of employees.

5. E: The category of labor relations is not considered to be one of the larger risks that a human resources professional must consider. Compliance with labor relations laws would fall under the category of legal compliance as a whole, but it is not a separate area of risk management. Answer choices A, B, C, and E are all incorrect because they represent distinct areas of risk that a human resources professional must consider.

6. C: A due diligence process during a merger should focus primarily on recording the following basics of company employee details: documentation regarding employee names, employment contracts, I-9 forms, benefit contracts, compensation information, company policy and procedures (such as handbooks for employees), compliance documentation for equal opportunity, information about company labor relations (including labor activity), all information about potential legal situations (such as legal violations, sexual harassment claims, and disputes about employee terminations), and legal compliance documentation for COBRA, FMLA, WARN, and OSHA. This means that answer choices A, B, D, and E all fall within the boundaries of due diligence for a merger, leaving only answer choice C. What is more, whistleblower prevention is not necessarily legal – as there are a number of laws designed to protect whistleblowers – so a company could not legally retain or utilize whistleblower techniques.

7. B: The Training Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program was designed specifically to provide assistance to employees who have lost their jobs due to a rise in the number of imports. In other words, when import levels shift and companies in the US begin importing items that were previously manufactured here, the manufacturing companies might close as a result leaving employees without jobs. Answer choice A is incorrect because the TAA was designed for a far more particular reason than just employees losing their jobs for any reason. Answer choice C is incorrect because the TAA is related to providing training for laid-off workers to receive new jobs instead of providing them with health benefits. Answer choice D is incorrect because the TAA program is designed for workers who have already lost their jobs rather than for those who currently have jobs. Answer choice E is incorrect because the TAA does not specifically work with welfare, while the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) does.

8. A: The purpose of talent management is twofold: to create a reputation and working situation that draws in new talent and to hold on to the talent by constantly maintaining the most effective work situation for employees. Answer choice A best summarizes this description, so it is correct. Answer choices B, D, and E all contain descriptions that are part of talent management, but each fails to encompass the entire purpose of talent management. As a result, answer choices B, D, and E are all incorrect. Answer choice C is also incorrect because it steps beyond any purpose of talent management. The goal of this process is not to train all employees for promotion but rather to attract employees with significant talent and to maintain them within the organization.

9. B: The fiduciary role of the human resources professional regarding ERISA is primarily one of handling and managing the pension funds that the organization provides for retirement accounts. Answer choice A is incorrect because the fiduciary role does not include setting up pension accounts for employees. (This might be another part of the human resources professional’s job, but this is not the immediate fiduciary role with respect to ERISA.) Answer choice C is incorrect because the fiduciary role has nothing to do with ensuring that HIPAA guidelines are observed. Answer choice D is incorrect because human resources professional is not responsible for creating retirement account rules. And answer choice E is incorrect because the fiduciary role of the human resources professional is not necessarily one of locating the funding but rather of managing it.

10. D: OSHA does not list computer use as one of its standard environmental health hazards. Computer use might contribute to other hazards (such as ergonomic design or stress), but it is not in itself a health hazard. Answer choices A, B, C, and E are incorrect because each represents one of OSHA’s environmental health hazards.