TPO's Employment Update

 

n  TPO Conference

n  Upcoming Training Calendar

n  News From the Courts

n  Annual HR Check-up

n  HR Rumors

  

 Save the Date:

TPO's Annual Conference

  When:

February 9, 2006

  Where:

Embassy Suites Hotel

1441 Canyon Del Rey, Seaside

 Register:

Click here to register  
or call
800-277-8448

 

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  October-November

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE SERIES

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

n  November-December

SPECIALIZED WORKSHOPS

n Workers' Compensation - November 16

n Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination -
December 8

TPO Annual Employer Conference

scheduled for February 9, 2006.

The Central Coast's "must attend"
employer event.

RICHARD SIMMONS, Esq.
is back by popular demand!

PLUS Special Lunch-Time Keynote Speaker BRUCE McPHERSON,
California Secretary of State

All afternoon sessions lead by
Nationally Published HR Experts


Register now, because seating is limited and the word is out about the success of our 2005 conference.

Stay tuned for more details!

 

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had until October 9th to act on the hundreds of bills placed before him. For many in the business community, his numerous vetoes of employment-related bills were seen as a positive step for employers in the state of California. If you would like to see the full text of these bills, please go to www.dir.ca.gov


Passed into Law

SB 833 Faxes

This bill makes it unlawful to send unsolicited advertisements via a fax machine without the written consent of the recipient. In effect it requires written consent from a company's own customers and clients prior to sending certain fax communications. This law does not apply to tax-exempt, non-profit organizations provided specific conditions are met.

AB 1093 -- Direct Deposit of Final Wages

Employers may now pay an employee's final wages by direct deposit provided the employee has authorized this method of wage payment and that the employer follows all other existing requirements around final pay.

As a reminder, all accrued vacation and PTO must be included in the final wages and the time limits for providing the final wages are as follows: final payment is due 1) at time of termination when the employer is making the decision to separate, 2) within 72 hours if the employee has given less than 72 hour notice of a resignation, or 3) at the time of separation where the employee has given more than 72 hours notice of a resignation.


Vetoed

AB 48 Minimum Wage

Would have increased the state minimum wage from the current $6.75 per hour to $7.25 per hour effective July 1, 2006, with another increase to $7.75 effective July 1, 2007 and with indexed increases thereafter. A raise in minimum wage would also affect the exempt salary requirement.

SB 174 Class Action Lawsuits

Would have added a new so called "sue your boss" lawsuit, which would have allowed employees suing for unpaid minimum wages or overtime to bring class action lawsuits without having to meet class action suit guidelines, as long as the employees bringing the suit were receiving less than two times the minimum wage at the time of the pay violation.

AB 1310 Increased Litigation

Would have required that certain private sector employers precisely follow a very detailed notice process in order for an employer to be able to utilize any severance agreement.

AB 875 State Agency Sharing of Information

Would have let state agencies share information to be able to target for investigation employers violating labor or tax laws.

AB 391 Unemployment

Would have allowed employees who were "locked out" due to a labor dispute to be able to collect unemployment insurance benefits.

AB 169 Pay Equity

Would have mandated damage awards and new civil penalties for gender pay equity violations.

Although we care about your personal health, we're actually talking about
an HR CHECK-UP...

We know you try hard to stay current with all of the changing state and federal employment regulations, and to have sound HR policies and practices, but it's very challenging! Some organizations hire attorneys to conduct regular comprehensive (and expensive) audits to be sure they are on track and manage risk.

Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping you're on top of things, we recommend at least conducting an annual Basic HR Administration Review. Take a look at these KEY RISK FACTORS FOR CA EMPLOYERS and decide if it would be a good idea to confirm that your key employment practices are legally compliant AND promoting positive employee relations:

1. Employee Handbook

n None

n Outdated (Legally and/or with current practices)

n Not Legally Sufficient

n Unsigned Acknowledgements

2. General Employment & Recordkeeping Practices

n Unlawful

n Inconsistent

n Postings & Required Distributions

3. Poor Hiring Practices

n Illegal Interview Questions

n Applications for Employment

n Applicant Data

4. Pay Misclassifications

n Exempt

n Non-Exempt

n Salaried/Hourly

n Independent Contractor

n Volunteers

5. Inadequate Payroll Practices

n Overtime Calculations

n Meal Periods

n Recordkeeping

n Final Pay

n Deductions

6. Lack of Management Training

n Basic Employment Regulations, including Discrimination

n Effective Leadership Techniques

n Performance Management & Documentation, including Terminations

n Required Sexual Harassment Training

7. Insufficient Leave Management

n PDL (Pregnancy Disability Leave)

n FMLA/CFRA (Family Medical Leave Act/CA Family Rights Act - if applicable)

n Workers' Compensation

n Disability Management

n Other Required Leaves

It's less painful than a trip to the dentist, and not that expensive to have TPO check up on your HR practices if you don't have the time or expertise. You don't want to step over dollars to pick up dimes when it comes to the financial implications of having to defend your practices or actions when it's likely that you "didn't know what you didn't know"! Give us a call and you can check this off your "to do" list and start 2006 in good shape!

HR Rumors: Get Your Facts Straight from the Experts!

Rumor

We don't have 50 employees, therefore

1. Our employees are not entitled to protected time off when needing to care for an ill family member and

2. We do not have to worry about conducting training on workplace harassment and discrimination prevention.

Fact

1. Be careful! While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) may not apply, California Labor Code section 233, "Kin Care," must be considered. Which employers are covered? ALL private sector employers offering sick time or Paid Time Off (PTO)* benefits regardless of number of employees. While employers are not required to offer paid sick time or PTO, those that do must follow California State law regarding employee use of such benefits. When an employer provides paid sick time or PTO, they must allow employees to use up to half their annual accrual to care for a sick family member. What is half their annual accrual? Half of an employee's accrued and available sick time/PTO or what would otherwise be accrued in a 6-month period whichever is greater. Who is considered family? A family member is defined as spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, or child of a domestic partner. As well, employee use of Kin Care must not be counted against employees on attendance records.

* Because PTO is a bundling of vacation, sick time, personal holidays, etc., it must be included when evaluating employer coverage and employee use of protected time off under Kin Care.

2. Be careful! While California Assembly Bill 1825 may not apply, both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) have LONG HELD that employers must take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring and as you can imagine training managers and supervisors is generally accepted by all courts as reasonable! Employers that rely only on the written word (in an employee handbook, distributed pamphlets, and/or other policy documents) have some risk of legal exposure for not taking the time to discuss this important topic with leaders of their organization. Of all the training you offer to your managers and supervisors, this should be at the top of your list!

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train managers to avoid costly mistakes and promote positive employee relations.

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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.