TPO's Employment Update

 

n Upcoming Training Calendar

n 2005 Posters

n OSHA Log 300

n HR Rumors

n HireRight Service

  

Training Calendar

HR-101 SERIES

- a training series focusing on the regulatory compliance and HR best practices - the information & skills supervisors & managers need to keep themselves and the organization out of hot water!

n Monterey - Mar & Jul

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE SERIES

- a training series focusing on practical leadership and communication skills to help managers develop or refine their effectiveness as leaders!

n Monterey - Feb & Apr

SPECIALIZED WORKSHOPS

n Prevention of Harassment (in SPANISH) - March 24

n Prevention of Harassment - April 5

n First Time Manager - April 20

n FMLA/CFRA/PDL - May 4

These TPOU programs are also available in Gilroy - contact us for
programs and dates!

  

New USERRA Poster Required!

Legislation amending the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) requires employers to post a new notice providing information about the rights of military service personnel to job reinstatement and other benefits. The amendment also increases USERRA health benefit continuation rights (similar to COBRA health benefits continuation rights) from the 18 months to 24 months. Proposed regulations permit plan administrators to develop "reasonable procedures" for employees to elect to continue health benefits while protecting the rights of employees for whom timely compliance with notice and election requirements would be impossible or unreasonable.

The law requires the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to provide the new notice by March 10, 2005. Employers who have a current version of the required postings will have until May 10, 2005 to add the new notice. As soon as the poster becomes available, TPO will notify our clients how it can be obtained.

If your notifications are not up to date - click here to order your 2005 posters!

With over 250 in attendance representing 130+ private, public, profit, and nonprofit employers...
TPO's ANNUAL
    EMPLOYER
        CONFERENCE 
              WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!

Thanks to those of you who
attended this high impact event!

Based on written evaluations and personal feedback the day met and exceeded expectations. Here are a few comments:

"It was not only informative and professionally organized but very  entertaining. Definitely thumbs up event. Congratulations!"

Ed Trevis, President/CEO, American Predator Corporation

"Congratulations on a great annual conference. It was a tremendous program. Thanks for making TPO such an asset to employers. Good work!"

Teresa Brown, Business Manager, Chartwell School

"One of the best conferences I have attended. Can't wait for next year!"

Karen Diaz, HR Coordinator, Community Human Services

"Richard Simmons was spectacular! The luncheon, Leon Panetta, other speakers and facility also superb!!! Just GREAT!"

Beth Van Horn, HR Director, Ridgemark Golf and Country Club

Click here to see our photo gallery. And don't miss next year's conference, which we plan on being even bigger and better!

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM
RICHARD SIMMON'S UPDATE:

Richard stated that more than 150 new workplace bills were signed into law by Governor Davis between 1999 and 2003, which in most instances had a negative impact on CA businesses. Collectively, these bills added or amended literally hundreds of statutes that directly regulate workplaces.

PAGA (Private Attorneys General Act of 2004) - CA's "Sue Your Boss" law.

n Creates substantial new sanctions for those Labor Code provisions that did not prescribe civil penalties before 1/1/04. The new sanctions establish separate penalties for each employee and each pay period in which a violation occurs.

n Plainly encourages employees to bypass internal grievance procedures and litigate claims over virtually any perceived violation of state law.

n Employees will profit by suing their employers rather than pointing out problems so they can be quickly corrected internally.

Simmons Recommends:

Employers in every industry should conduct carefully planned internal compliance audits preferably with the advice of legal council. The audit should focus on at least 15 separate areas governed by state and federal laws, including: 1. Labor Code rules, 2. Wage & Hour, 3. Posting, 4. EEEO, 5. Employee Benefits, 6. Hiring, 7. Leaves and Time-Off Rights, 8. Personnel Policies & Handbooks, 9. Recordkeeping, Retention and Reporting, 10. Privacy, 11. HR forms, 12. Employment Relationships (independent contractor, volunteer, etc.), 13. Payroll Taxes, 14. Miscellaneous. You can purchase Richard's PAGA manual through www.castlepublications.com.

ONGOING INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION PROCESS

Richard recommended including a written policy in the Employee Handbook expressing the employer's commitment to an ongoing interactive communication process whenever an employee (or applicant) requests reasonable accommodation due to a disability or medical condition. Employees should be required to bring such requests to the immediate supervisor, Human Resources or any other member of management immediately in order to begin the dialog in a timely manner. While accommodations may not always to possible, the employer should make every reasonable effort to find solutions to such employee requests.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING REQUIREMENT REMINDER

California employers of 50 or more employees are now required to provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training for all supervisory employees, every 2 years. REMEMBER...the employee count includes all those who perform employee-type duty, such as temps, contractors, etc. ALSO, employees outside of the state are included in the count.

The definition of "supervisor" will likely be considered the same as is used in the FEHA legislation which includes all those with the "authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend that action.....requires the use of independent judgment." A non-exempt employee could be considered a supervisor under this expansive definition.

Latest Legislative Updates

PROPOSED REGULATIONS ON MEAL/REST PERIODS

Hearings on proposed changes to regulations governing meal and rest periods have been held throughout the state ending March 2, 2005. The regulations, which still need approval from the Office of Administrative Law, would still require employers to provide a 30 minute meal period (within the first five hours of a work shift), but if the employee wants to take it later or go home early, they could mutually agree to do so. Until and unless this receives final approval, employers should not modify their current policies of providing meal (and rest) periods as currently required by law.

ALL CALIFORNIA WORKERS ARE ENTITLED TO WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

All California workers, whether or not they are legally authorized to work in the United States are protected by state laws. In California, all workers are entitled to: 1. Receive a minimum wage of $6.75 per hour, 2. Earn overtime pay, generally after 8 hours in a day and/or 40 hours in a workweek, 3. To file wage claims with the state labor commissioner if they believe they have violated state labor laws, 4. file workplace safety and health complaints with Cal/OSHA, and 4. Work in an environment free from retaliation for exercising their rights. For further information, see www.dir.ca.gov/QAundoc.html

For more info about 2005 legislation updates, read TPO's January eNews!

Employers with 11 or more employees are required to track and record workplace injuries and illnesses on the OSHA's Form 300. The Summary Form 300A must be posted from February 1 to April 30, even if there have been no injuries for the year. A copy of the Log 300 Summary must be posted at each location your organization has. You can download the new OSHA Log 300 and related forms and instructions at http://www.osha-slc.gov/recordkeeping/RKforms.html.

Private employers in 1) retail trade, 2) finance, insurance, real estate, 3) business services, and 4) professional services Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes need not maintain the log, except those with SIC codes 52-55, 57, 70, 75, 76, 78, 79, and 80. (Follow this link for the reference list of SIC codes: http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.html).

HR Rumors: Get Your Facts Straight from the Experts!

Rumor

Is it true that I only must provide the mandatory Sexual Harassment training in English, and my bilingual employees can sit through that training to comply with the law.

Fact

No. The employer must not only provide the training, but also take steps to ensure their managers and supervisors understand the content (see TPO's eNews Issue 4 for detailed information on AB1825). For example, if you have an employee whose native language is Spanish and English is their second language, the training should be provided in Spanish to "reach" the individual.

 

Ask your TPO consultant about Sexual Harassment training in Spanish for your company! And If you only have a few employees in this category, make sure they attend our open enrollment Sexual Harassment training in Spanish on March 24!

Like this...

Robert Russell with
Melissa Irwin and Hayden

Melissa and her husband
Scott welcomed Abigail's brother Hayden
in December!

And like this...

TPO Seeking
HR Consultants

Join our growing team!

Click here for more information.

Position:   MANAGER PLANNING & FACILITIES

Employer: Special District - Monterey

Position:   MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Employer: Custom harvesting equipment manufacturer - Salinas

Position:   OFFICE MANAGER -/CONSTRUCTION ESTIMATOR/ PROJECT COORDINATOR - aka Operations Manager

Employer: Homebuilder - Carmel

Position:   INSURANCE UNDERWRITER

Employer: Insurance Services Company - Soquel

Position:   CONTROLLER

Employer: Internationally renowned nonprofit organization - Monterey

Position:   INVENTORY CONTROL SPECIALIST

Employer: Prominent agricultural employer - Salinas

Please click on the title of the position you are interested in to email your resume
or to request more information.

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TPO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT provides "outsourced" support
to help employers understand and comply with confusing employment laws,
train managers to avoid costly mistakes and promote positive employee relations.

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Employment Upd@te is a publication of  TPO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
TPO's Employment Upd@te may be reproduced or re-transmitted without change or modification of any kind.

The information provided is designed to be accurate in content. TPO provides human resource consulting and is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. Readers are advised to consult legal counsel on matters involving employment law or important personnel policies & practices before adoption or implementation.