Partial-Day Deductions of
Vacation/PTO Time for Exempt Positions –
editions of eNews, TPO has advised caution on the issue of
partial-day deductions of vacation/PTO time for exempt
positions. Recently, however, the DLSE (the agency that
hears and decides on CA Wage & Hour cases) Enforcement and
Interpretations Manual was recently revised, which brings it
into alignment with a 2005 CA Supreme Court decision which
does allow for partial-day deductions of exempt employee's
vacation/PTO banks of time.
Enforcement Manual permits deductions from exempt employees'
vacation leave banks if the deductions are made for absences
of four hours or more. It does not address
deductions from leave banks for absences of less than four
hours. Prior to companies implementing such a change,
appropriate policies should be revised and distributed to
Remember: While this may be allowed according to the CA
Supreme Court, it may not
make sense depending upon your organization. For
organizations where employees in exempt positions work
Monday – Friday, 9-5, it is one thing to deduct 1/2 day of
vacation; however if you have employees in
positions who work 6 days a week, 12-14 hours a day, a
deduction for a 1/2 day off might not be an employee
Rest and Meal Periods –
or "Wage"? The CA Supreme Court recently determined that it
will decide on the issue of how meal and rest period
violations will be handled. If an employee misses a meal or
rest period, employers can be assessed a penalty of one hour
of pay for each violation. The CA Supreme Court will decide
if the current one hour of pay required for each violation
will be paid as a "penalty" (1 year statue of limitations)
or "wage" (4 year statue of limitations).
Discrimination Charges –
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reported
that discrimination charge filings in 2005 were down in all
bias categories, and dropped by 5 percent overall. The EOC
received 75,428 charges for the fiscal year 2005 (which
ended Sept. 30) and recovered almost $380 million in
monetary relief through enforcement actions and litigation.
The agency said it resolved 77,352 private-sector
discrimination charges, 21.5 percent of which were closed
with a favorable outcome for the worker.
figures show that race discrimination charges were the most
prevalent in 2005, comprising 35.5 percent of filings. The
complete breakdown of filings is:
Sex Discrimination, 30.6%
Age Discrimination, 22%
Equal Pay Complaints,
individuals can allege multiple types of discrimination when
filing a charge.
also pointed out that out of the total number of sexual
harassment charges filed (12,679 charges total), 14 percent
were filed by men, compared to 15.1 percent in 2004.
as managers and supervisors it seems that we have tried
everything possible to teach and motivate our employees.
Often we throw our hands up and exclaim, "He just has a
When dealing with a "poor performer" or an employee
performing below standards, it can be helpful to look at the
most common reasons (but often the most overlooked reasons)
that employees do not meet our expectations.
THEY DON'T KNOW HOW
Often the employee either does
not know what to do, or how to do it. They do not have this
knowledge because it was never communicated to them, or it
was poorly communicated to them.
How often do you:
Assume your employees have
been trained properly?
Expect employees to know
what to do, instead of telling them what you would like them
Have clear job descriptions
that spell-out exactly what their job duties are. Develop
training procedures for all employees and continually check
their success. Keep communications open by asking and
listening to feedback. Use performance evaluations to
continually monitor how the employee is performing their
Some people can't do certain
things; not because they don't want to, but because they do
not have the physical or mental aptitude needed for success
in that specific job. People will often try to cover-up
their areas of weakness.
Acknowledge we all learn
differently. If different methods of teaching don't work,
transferring the employee to a different position, or ending
the employment relationship might be your only alternatives.
Make sure that you are realistic during the interview
process – again, a well-written job description can be
useful in screening applicants and ensuring a good match.
Many times employees don't do
what is expected of them, because of barriers (either
imagined or real) that they have a lack of control over.
Examples of barriers:
An inherent problem in the
Poor management and/or
communication skills of supervisors.
Resources that do not meet
the individual's needs, or that are inadequate.
that are distracting.
They are rewarded for not
Make sure you are not part of
the problem--often poor performance results from poor
management. Prioritize projects and reduce outside
distractions. Hold all employees accountable to set
Okay, we're to the employee
that chooses to have a bad attitude. Believe it or
not only about 10% of poor performers are attributed to this
category. Most often a bad attitude is a result of one or
more of the first three.
If you have looked beyond the
less obvious reasons for poor performance and you still
come-up with, "She just has a bad attitude!" – you
might be right. Now it is up to you to establish goals for
this employee and controls if the employee does not meet the
set goals. Counseling or disciplinary actions might be
required. Buckle-up and hang-on, you could be in for a wild
An employee's attitude problem can be like an iceberg: the
that is displayed is only a very small portion of the
For more information on performance issues, contact TPO at:
(831) 647-7272 -or-
to determine if you should or shouldn't pay for travel time
you will find that the wage order for your industry does not
specifically address this.
As you know, non-exempt employees are paid by the hour for
hours worked. However, is travel time considered work time?
With the exception of travel from home to work and back,
most travel time is considered work time. Since traveling
does not require the employee to employ his/her regular
skills, employers can pay employees less than their regular
rate of pay providing that that rate of pay is not less than
the current minimum wage. Before deciding to pay your
non-exempt employees travel time pay (wages less than the
regular rate of pay), the following conditions will apply:
Overtime may be due for travel. If travel time
in either direction, or travel time combined with work time
exceeds 8 hours in a work day, the employee must receive
travel pay at one and one-half times the weighted average of
his/her regular pay rate and the travel time rate. The
weighted average is found by dividing the gross wages earned
at all rates that week by the total hours worked.
Communication. Travel Time Pay, if less than
the employee's normal earnings, is clearly communicated to
employees in advance of applying this practice. It would be
preferable to incorporate the Travel Time Pay into your
personnel policy and/or employee handbook
Out-of-Pocket Expenses. Reimburse the employee
for all out-of-pocket expenses, such as, food and mileage.
Different/Alternate Work Site. When an
employee is required to travel to (report to) a different
work site, the employer must pay travel time pay for any
time in excess of the employee's normal commute. Following
is an example: the employee's normal commute is 30 minutes
both to and from work. The employee has to commute to a
different location and the commute is one hour both to and
from the alternate work location. In this case, the employer
would pay Travel Time Pay of 30 minutes to and 30 minutes
from the alternate work location.
If an employee reports to the normal work site then is
required to travel to another work location, travel time
must be paid and can be paid at a lesser rate.
If you have any questions about this or other subjects,
please give us a call.
We will be happy to assist you in
answering questions about Travel Time Pay,
or drafting and
implementing a Travel Time Pay policy.
Phase-in Period Now Over
In 2003, San Francisco voters approved one of the first
citywide minimum wage laws in the country, which increased
the pay for an estimated 54,000 workers to $8.50 an hour in
2004, up from the state's $6.75 an hour minimum wage and a
federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.
The law, which includes annual cost-of-living adjustments,
then increased minimum pay to $8.62 an hour in January 2005,
and $8.82 an hour starting Jan. 1 of this year. This year
also marks the end of a two-year phase-in period, now
requiring that all city employers, even previously exempt
non-profit employers and businesses with fewer than 10
employees, must now comply with City's the minimum wage
If you have operations in San Francisco, remember to post
the current minimum wage!
I have so
much information I have to keep track of and I just had to
redo one of my spreadsheets because of an entry mistake. Is
there anything out there that will help me?
is definitely a better way now and options that meet the
needs of any size business. Many types and sizes of Human
Resources Information Systems (HRIS) are available now that
were not even 5 years ago.
Dealing with the demand for information for both business
reasons and compliance reasons has become a major portion of
the job of a company's Human Resources people. In small and
medium sized companies, it is not unusual for an employee to
provide both human resources support and other duties
ranging from office or facilities management to accounting
For many years, these employees have become "wizards" of the
spreadsheet and/or database applications in order to meet
their obligations. As this client points out, the problem is
that it is easy to make an error on a spreadsheet that may
or may not be detected immediately.
In addition, using spreadsheets or stand-alone database
applications may require multiple points of data entry which
creates opportunities for errors to creep into the data you
are trying so hard to keep correctly.
The really good news is that, not only can a HRIS help
protect data integrity, but it can also reduce the cost of
the work. Here are a few ways companies can realize cost
savings from implementing an HRIS:
Automation of Time-intensive Leave Tracking
Automation of Reports such as EEO-1
Integration with Payroll which eliminates double entry and
Accurate reports to review benefits costs
One of the major concerns employers have had regarding HRIS
programs is the problem of implementation and then
maintenance of the system. Now, many HRIS providers will
either host the system or have a Web application that
requires no IT assistance at the user end. Implementation
can be supported by TPO or through the consulting services
provided directly by the HRIS provider.
If you are interested in reviewing how an HRIS could help
your business be more productive, call TPO and we will help
you view some possible solutions that might be best for your
Meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations!
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
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