n  TPO On-Site

n  HR Article

n  July 1st Reminders!

n  Legislative Update

n  Risk ReMinder New!

n  New Members

n  Member Spotlight

n  HR Quick Tip New!

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n  TPO in the Community!

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Training Calendar

CA Employment Essentials (HR101)

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 July - August  '08

n October - November '08

Management Excellence Series

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

n June '08

n Sept. - Oct.  '08

Workshops Calendar

n Harassment & Discrimination      July 17

n I'd Rather Not Discuss It!

August 19

n FMLA/CFRA/PDL Compliance September 16

n Excelling as a First Time Manager or Supervisor

October 15

n Harassment & Discrimination      October 23

n Workers' Compensation Management      November 19

 

TPO in the Community!

November 11

LaTonya Olivier, SPHR-CA, M.Ed., CCP

Topic: Promoting Conflict

Time: 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Location: Peachwoods Restaurant at the Inn at Pasatiempo, 555 Highway 17, Santa Cruz, California

Cost: NCHRA Members: $35 / General: $55

Day of event: NCHRA Members: $45 / General: $65

Registration: Contact Marlyn Gamble at (415) 291-1992

 

Of the 83,000 claims of employment discrimination that were filed last year with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claims of age-related (over age 40) discrimination increased the fastest of any category. Charges of discriminatory hiring are usually resolvable with proof that the claimant was not the most qualified applicant. Claims of illegal treatment of current employees are rarely filed, perhaps because these employees fear endangering their employment. Termination is the area of greatest concern as it is where we see the bulk of the age-related complaints. Faced with separation, these employees have everything to gain and nothing to lose by filing formal complaints if they feel they were wrong fully terminated.

It is helpful to understand exactly what a valid Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) complaint is: 1) The complainant is at least 40 years of age; 2) there was an adverse employment action (e.g. a demotion or termination); and 3) discrimination was the likely reason for the adverse employment action. An age-discrimination charge received from the EEOC (and/or DFEH in California) should always be taken seriously, whether or not it is likely to become a court case. That means carrying out an immediate and thoughtful investigation that includes a review of the personnel file and all other documentation related to the issues, along with a timely and thorough response of the employer’s position on the charges.

How real is the age discrimination problem? Employees between the ages of 50 and 64 make up nearly a third of the workforce, a demographic trend that was absent even five years ago. One reason for this growth in the number of older workers is the 30 year gain in life expectancy in the U.S. over the last 100 years. There are some very real benefits that accompany this trend; reliability and loyalty being two of them. Borders book chain is a good example of a company that is aggressively recruiting workers over age 50 to their advantage. In Borders stores with a high percentage of older employees, turnover rates have been cut nearly in half! (HR Magazine, “Keep Pace with Older Workers, Robert Grossman, May 2008, Vol. 53, No. 5.)

Then, there is the downside - a 15% rise in filings in 2007 for age-related discrimination under the federal ADEA. This federal law applies to employers with at least 20 persons on payroll and it is provoking some troubling questions: Will the aging workforce mean even more discrimination cases? And if so, do the associated risks of hiring older workers outweigh the benefits? Employers should also note that the Supreme Court recently issued a 7-1 opinion that in cases of layoff, the employer bears the burden of proof that their actions were determined by non-discriminatory reasons and are not related to employees being age 40 and above.

As it turns out, the dramatic increase in the number of complaints of age-related discrimination being filed has not resulted in a concurrent rise in court cases. In fact, the merits of these complaints are not turning out to show “reasonable cause” in their EEOC review and determinations, which means that there was no evidence found of unlawful discrimination. Another factor working against such complaints making it to court is the fact that an employee’s attorney does not get to see the employer’s EEOC response to the charges until the discovery phases of a lawsuit, which is quite late in the game for determining if the case has legal merit.

At this point, it seems fair to say that the benefits of employing older workers outweigh the risks when it comes to the possibility of age-related lawsuits when common sense and caution prevail. This is not to say that receiving an EEOC age discrimination charge is nothing to worry about. The time and effort required to investigate and respond can be extraordinary. From a proactive point of view, there are things that employers can do to minimize their risk of receiving an age-related discrimination complaint in the first place. The EEOC found reasonable cause in only 3.9 percent of age discrimination cases last year. That demonstrates that “frivolous” charges do not move forward and that diligent employers are, indeed, minimizing their risk.

Areas to review on a regular basis to keep risk low include the following:


• Review your hiring policies, procedures and applications to make sure there are no illegal questions and that “at will” status is repeated clearly and often.

• Provide hiring interviewers with clear guidelines on questions that they can and cannot legally ask.

• Review policies and practices to make sure that you do not create a disparate impact on older workers in promotions, benefits and other conditions of employment.

• Use special care when doing layoffs and downsizing. A severance with a signature of release might be worthwhile considering. Keep good records and tie all decisions to clear business needs.

Article written by: Susan Kettmann, M.S.Ed., SPHR

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If you plan to hire minors under 18 during the summer months, you should be aware of safety and wage and hour rules that apply. Employment of minors is regulated under numerous authorities such as the California Labor Code, the Education Code, and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The California Labor Code defines “minors” as people under the age of 18 who are required to attend school. In this case, high school graduates are not considered minors. However, CA Labor Code does include individuals under age 18, even if they are not required to attend school because they are not California residents. CA Labor Code also includes any child under the age of six.

Employment in certain industries (such as entertainment and agriculture) is subject to different requirements than in other industries. There are also additional exceptions for minors under age 16. Employers should review the particular safety, hour, and driving requirements that apply for the position and minor in question.

Work Permits
Work permits are required to employ minors under 18 and must be obtained before employment begins. Generally, permits can be obtained by the minor from the student’s school and are issued from the superintendent’s office. Schools cannot issue permits for children under age 12, but under federal law it is generally impermissible to employ an individual under age 14.

Work permits have a short duration so employers must track effective dates carefully. Permits issued during the school year expire five days after a new school year begins. If you hire a minor during the summer months, you need to obtain a new permit to continue the student’s employment into the fall session of the new school year.

Work permits should include the minor’s name, age, birth date, address, telephone number, and social security number. For employment during the school year, the hours of school attendance must be included, along with the maximum number of hours per day and week that the student may work. The permit must be signed by both the issuing school representative and the student. Employers should review the permit for any additional restrictions that might be listed.

Safety
California and federal law restricts child labor to a small number of occupations. Generally, minors are prohibited from working in hazardous industries and jobs. Before hiring a minor, be sure to confirm that state and federal law permit the minor to work the occupation in question. Further, if employment is permitted, check for any occupation-specific restrictions or limitations on working conditions that apply to youths.

Minors under 18 may not be employed or permitted to work in any occupation declared hazardous in federal regulation including:

• Manufacturing or storing explosives (including small arms ammunition);

• Motor vehicle driving and outside helper;
• Logging and saw milling;
• Power-driven woodworking machines;
• Power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears;
• Power-driven hoisting apparatuses (including forklifts);
• Roofing, excavation, wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations;
• Power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines;
• Slaughtering, meat packing, processing, or rendering;
• Power-driven bakery or paper products machines;
• Manufacturing brick, tile, and kindred products;
• Coal mining;
• Mining other than coal mining; or
• Exposure to radioactive substances

Minors under age 16 may not work in industries such as: building construction, public utilities, storage warehousing, public communications, transportation, and manufacturing, may not operate farm machinery, work from high scaffolds or ladders; deal with dangerous animals, large timber, hazardous storage areas, manure pits, or chemicals. Jobs that are prohibited may include retail or food-service positions that involve working around boilers or engineering rooms, operating or maintaining power equipment, washing windows using ladders, loading and unloading goods, or using freezers and coolers.

Additionally, high school graduates under 18 may not be employed in an occupation prohibited to minors under 18 unless they also have completed a bona fide course of training in that occupation.

Employers who employ or permit underage minors to work in a prohibited occupation or on hazardous duty, even if the act is voluntary, are liable for Class A penalties.

Hours
The total number of hours a minor may work, as well as the permitted hours of the day, vary depending on the age of a minor and whether school is in session when the work is being performed:

Minors age 14 and 15 cannot work overtime. While school is not in session, minors under 16 may not work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. While school is in session, minors under 16 may work no more than 3 hours per day on school days and 18 hours per week outside of school hours.

Also, during the summer (June 1 through Labor Day) those under 16 cannot work before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. and during the school year (Labor Day – May 31) those under 16 cannot work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

Minors age 16 and 17 cannot work more than 8 hours per day (4 hours per day while school is in session) or 48 hours per week. However, if employed in agricultural packing plants during the peak harvest season may work up to 10 hours on any day school is not in session. Before you schedule a minor for over eight hours, you must obtain a special permit from the Labor Commissioner which is granted only if the extended working hours do not materially affect the safety and welfare of the minor employee and if it will prevent you undue hardship.

Minors under 18 generally cannot work before 5:00 a.m. or after 10:00pm, but may work as late as 12:30 a.m. when there is no school the following day.

Driving
Minors under 17 are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle on public highways and streets for work purposes. This includes delivering any type of goods from a motor vehicle.

Minors aged 17 are permitted to drive if the driving is occasional and incidental to employment (the amount is no more than one-third of the youth's work time in a day or 20 percent in a week) and within a thirty (30) mile radius from the workplace during daylight hours.

Effective July 1, 2008, it is illegal for individuals under age 18 to drive a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone, even with a hands-free device. This includes other mobile service devices, such as a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a pager, a two-way messaging device, or a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access. However, minors may make calls for emergency purposes only to, for example, a law enforcement agency, a healthcare provider, or the fire department.

Note: There are many additional exceptions to hiring minors and this list is not inclusive. If you have specific questions about your organization, please call TPO for more clarification.

Article written by: Stacey Knapp, Phr-ca

Hands-Free Cell Phones While Driving (SB 1613)

Effective July 1, 2008, all CA drivers must use a hands-free device while driving and using a cell phone or face fines of up to $50 per violation. Employers should consider implementing a policy outlining the new requirement and may want to actually state that business calls cannot be made or received while driving, and should rather be made after pulling off the road onto a safe location.
Exceptions:

  • Emergency situations such as calls to law enforcement, health care providers, fire department, etc.

  • Emergency service providers operating an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of business.

  • Operating a vehicle on private property.

  • A person operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups) that are implements of husbandry.

  • Farm vehicle, school bus, transit vehicle, or tow truck, if using a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature that does not require the device to be held close to the ear

IRS Increases Mileage Reimbursement Rate

"Rising gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans," says said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "Given the increase in prices, the IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the real cost of operating an automobile. We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers."

With this statement, the IRS Commissioner raised the maximum rate and employers can claim as a business expense to 58.5 cents per mile effective July 1, 2008. The new rate will be in effect through the end of 2008. This is an increase of 8 cents per gallon over the 50.5 cents allowable for the first half of the year.

It is important to remember that even with this change no specific rate of reimbursement is required for employers to offer, nor is reimbursement using this method even required.

California HR Legislation

June 2008 marked an important deadline in the movement of bills in the CA Legislature. If a bill had not passed its house of origin by then, it could not move forward in the current legislative session. Those bills that survived and passed on for further review and deliberation this year include:

Meal Periods (AB 1711) – If passed, would offer a few clarifications, such as requiring that meal periods must be completed before the end of the 6th hour (as opposed to the 5th hour, as currently required). As written, however, the bill fails to provide ALL employees and employers in California with a clear solution to current meal period challenges, specifically the ability for employees to agree to waive their meal period. Passed to Senate.

IRA’s (AB 2940) – If passed, would make it easier for small-business owners and their employees to put money aside for retirement. This proposal, which has already received a first approval from an Assembly committee, would direct the California Public Employees Retirement System to offer individual retirement accounts to workers who can't get traditional pensions or 401(k) plans from their employers. While the Governor has expressed approval for the bill, the securities industry has expressed a general dissatisfaction with it. Passed to Senate.

Mandatory Sick Leave (AB 2716) – If passed, California could become the first state in the country to require paid sick days for all workers. The bill would require businesses with 10 or more employees to offer 9 sick days per year, and companies with fewer than 10 employees to offer 5 paid sick days. The bill is modeled after a San Francisco Ordinance that was enacted two years ago. Passed to Senate.

Workers Compensation (AB 2987) – If passed, would ease administration of return-to-work provisions in workers compensation law. Passed to Senate.

Workers Compensation (SB 1717) – If passed, would reverse previous workers compensation reforms and increase workers compensation costs for insured and self-insured employers by doubling permanent disability indemnity benefits paid to injured workers by 2011. Passed to Assembly.

Unemployment and Paid Family Leave (SB 1661) – If passed, would allow for an employee who is not reinstated to their job after taking time off to receive Paid Family Leave to be eligible for unemployment insurance. Paid Family Leave is a wage replacement insurance and therefore does not guarantee time away from work in the form of a leave of absence; however, opponents of this bill contend that if passed, it may force employers to choose between reinstatement and paying unemployment insurance. Passed to Assembly.

Medical Marijuana (AB 2279) — If passed, would require employers to not disqualify candidates based on their use of medical marijuana. While the use of medical marijuana is allowable in California, it is impermissible under federal law. Passed to Senate.

Disability Access Compliance (SB 1608) – If passed, would provide a comprehensive reform that increases public access for individuals with disabilities while reducing unwarranted litigation. Passed to Assembly.

Federal HR Legislation

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act: 2007-2008
In May 2008, President Bush signed legislation that protects people from losing their jobs or health insurance when genetic testing reveals they are susceptible to costly diseases. The anti-discrimination measure aims to ensure that advances in DNA testing won't end up being used against people in a discriminatory manner. The new law prohibits employers and insurance companies from denying employment, promotions or health coverage to people when genetic tests show they have a predisposition to cancer, heart disease or other serious ailments. This law will go into effect on 11/21/09.

Court Cases of HR Interest

Individual Supervisors Not Personally Liable for Retaliation Claims
The California Supreme Court resolved a disagreement between the state’s appellate courts, ruling that supervisors cannot be held personally liable for retaliation claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

  • Remember, individual supervisors are still individually liable for harassment claims!

Accessing Employee’s Text Messages
A federal appeals court in San Francisco has made it more difficult for employers to legally access e-mails and text messages sent by their workers on company accounts. Under the June 2008 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, employers that contract an outside business to transmit text messages can't read them unless the worker agrees. The ruling also lets employers access employee e-mails only if they are kept on an internal server.

  • Maintaining the right to access employee’s information is continually changing in response to technological changes. Employers will want to examine where their information is stored; i.e. on the employer’s property (server, etc.), on the employee’s property (a personal device that might be used in whole/part for business purposes), or on an outside vendor system. Also, as telecommuting increases, employers will want policies addressing and agreed to in writing by the employee, about what the employer has a right to access.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

This is the typical header on spam e-mails and junk faxes received by businesses and individuals on an almost daily basis. Similar scams are sent regarding deals on automobile purchases, health “benefit” programs, and other offers that appear to come from or through the employer.

These “offers” can be confusing for employees, especially when the employer does have a legitimate discount program for amusement park tickets, air travel, or similar programs. Add to this the fact that some employees may have challenges with language fluency, and the potential for financial losses is even greater.

While the employer may or may not face any liability, it is a good idea to inform your employees that it is not your policy to make such offers via fax or email. Advise them that they should contact the HR office with questions about any offers of “benefits” they receive which appear to be from the employer.

The scam noted above is just one of hundreds of frauds perpetrated against employees and employers every day.

If you are concerned about actual or potential scams, internal theft, fraud, counterfeit products, identity theft or other issues, call TPO today to discuss our investigative services.

Article written by: Brian Pratt, PI

Director of Investigative Services

n Shamrock Seed Company

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n Blossom Valley Foods

n Sunstreet Centers

We look forward to the opportunity to provide each of you with unlimited phone/email access, reduced consulting and training rates, eCompliance notices, attendance to our Annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference at no additional cost, and priority status when you require TPO support from any of our highly qualified team of HR experts! Thank you for joining!

TPO: How do you feel TPO contributes to Monterey County Bank’s success?

Charles T. Chrietzberg, Jr., President/CEO/Chairman: “Monterey County Bank has grown in the past several years and we now find ourselves with over 50 employees. The laws that govern employers with 50+ employees are often different than those with less than 50. TPO’s guidance in these areas has been critical, in order for MCB to maintain our strict adherence to HR statutory regulations. Additionally, it has been very helpful to have the experts at TPO available when we encounter HR situations that may be unusual, or something we have not previously encountered.

ABOUT Monterey County Bank

Monterey County Bank is the oldest locally owned, locally managed bank in Monterey County - over 31 years! We have a commitment to continue this important family tradition. President/CEO Charles T. Chrietzberg, Jr. and his daughter Vice-President Stephanie Chrietzberg work together closely to prepare a new generation of the MCB team to continue our service. This is something we’re proud to offer our clients and our community.

THE WHOLE PACKAGE

Beyond outstanding SBA, Construction & Commercial Lending and Merchant Card Services, Monterey County Bank is poised to be a complete local banker. We have several options in both Business & Personal Accounts that can be tailored specifically to any businesses needs.

SBA LOANS

Monterey County Bank has been the #1 SBA Lender in Monterey County for over 10 years. SBA Loans can be used for business purchase, new business start-up, additional working capital, equipment or tenant improvements for your existing business, and purchase of commercial real estate to house your business. Monterey County Bank specializes in SBA loans with experts in our lending department who can talk business with people who do business. Having attained “Preferred Lender” status in 1993 from the Small Business Administration, Monterey County Bank can approve SBA loans in-house, which means a much faster turnaround for small businesses obtaining SBA financing. Because we are locally owned and managed, all decisions, including loan approvals are made right here.

MERCHANT CREDIT CARD SERVICES

Merchant Card services can often be challenging for a small business. Monterey County Bank has developed a cutting edge combination of competitive rates and personal credit card service that is delivered locally from our Merchant Card division in Carmel Rancho. The relationship between Monterey County Bank and MasterCard and VISA expedites installation and service. We provide:

  • Competitive fees

  • Cost effective, streamlined system with local and personalized customer service at your fingertips

  • 24 Hour support & help desk

  • Fast, efficient settlement of funds

  • Fewer processing errors and fewer chargebacks

  • Detailed transaction reporting

  • Compatible with most hardware solutions

  • Solutions for: retail, hotel, restaurant, mail order, wireless or internet businesses

COMMERCIAL & CONSTRUCTION LOANS

Monterey County Bank offers great financing options for commercial & construction lending

  • Construction loans for single family residences - both owner & non-owner occupied

  • Construction loans for multi-family properties

  • Permanent/long term financing for purchase or refinancing of multi-family properties

  • Construction financing for Commercial properties

  • Permanent/Long term financing for the purchase or refinancing of commercial properties

  • Secured term loans to businesses for purchase, expansion or refinancing

Because we are locally owned and managed, all loan approvals are made right here.

Visit www.montereycountybank.com

Required Time Periods for Final Paychecks

Final pay for all time worked, including all accrued but unused vacation/PTO, must be made available within specific timeframes. Failure to provide the paychecks as outlined can lead to waiting time penalties of one day's pay for each day final pay was not paid to the employee (typical days off such as weekends included) up to 30 days.

  1. Involuntary Termination of Employment

    • Employees who are terminated must receive their final paychecks on the last day of employment.

  2. Voluntary Resignation of Employment

    • Employees who give more than 72 hours notice must receive their final paycheck on their last day of employment.

    • Employees that give less than 72 hours notice must have their final paycheck available within 72 hours.

Final Paycheck by Mail: The regulations require the final paycheck be available at the location the employee normally receives his/her paycheck. It is not allowable to direct deposit or mail the final paycheck unless the employee has authorized such an action, preferably in writing. If the employee does not authorize mailing and/or the employer is unsuccessful in contacting the employee, the final paycheck should be retained by the employer and made available in the event the employee requests it.

Next Wage & Hour Quick Tip: Providing holiday pay and the impact on overtime requirements.

HR Rumors: Get Your Facts Straight from the Experts!

With the cost of gas these days, several employees have asked about working flexible hours or alternative workweeks. I’d like to provide some options to my employees, but want to make sure I’m not taking any undo employment risks. What can I do as an employer to help ease some of their pain?

FactEmployees and employers are both being challenged by the cost of everything these days including gas and other energy costs. While alternative work weeks or flexible schedules seem reasonable, there are several issues to consider prior to making a decision that they are right for your organization. If your goal is to provide your employees with one less day of commute costs, you will also want to consider what this might mean for running your business in terms of coverage and customer care. Additionally, there are very specific guidelines that California employers need to follow to ensure that they are compliant with daily overtime requirements.

Unfortunately, it is just not as easy as casually agreeing to work an alternative schedule or come in one day less a week!

CA Overtime – California’s 17 Industrial Wage Orders set very strict overtime pay standards. For most employers covered under CA’s Wage Orders, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours in a day, 40 hours in a workweek.

Alternative Workweek – An exception to daily overtime is where an “alternative workweek” is implemented. An alternative workweek is defined as “any regularly scheduled workweek requiring an employee to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period” (Labor Code sec. 500(c)) without incurring overtime and applies only to non-exempt employees. Of course, any time worked over the 40 hours in the week is still considered overtime and therefore must be paid. Common alternative workweeks are 4/10 hour workweeks and 9/80 workweeks.

In order for an Alternative Workweek to be effective (and ensure that no daily overtime is earned) there are numerous requirements.

  1. Determine the "work group" affected. The alternate work week must include everyone in that identifiable group. It can be everyone at a location, everyone in a particular job, a department, etc.

  2. Determine what you want to propose as an alternate work week.

    1. Employers may choose a single schedule (one schedule for everyone to be in) or a menu (multiples employees can choose from). Be aware that if multiples are proposed, employees may all pick the same schedule and it could cause scheduling problems. For example, scheduling 4/10's with the choice of either Monday or Friday off could lead to everyone choosing Monday off.

    2. Decide on minimum/maximum hours where no more than 10 hours per day will be worked in a workweek.

  3. Inform the Employees.

    1. Distribute the detailed proposal outlining the schedule to the affected work group. If 5% or more of the affected employees speak another primary language, you will need to provide it in both English and that language.

    2. Hold an informational meeting at least 14 days prior to voting on the change to answer employee questions. It is important that employers not say or do anything that would cause an employee to feel coerced into acceptance. Hold multiple meetings if assigned hours do not sufficiently overlap.

    3. Employers may express a position concerning the alternative workweek; however, they may not intimidate or coerce employees to vote either for or against the proposed alternative.

  4. Hold the election.

    1. Must be held during work hours at the work site of the affected employees.

    2. Employees must Approve or Disapprove on a secret ballot with no identifying information on it.

    3. Exempt employees may not vote.

    4. Must pass by a 2/3 vote to take effect.

  5. File election results with the Division of Labor Statistics and Research (DLSR) within 30 days of vote.

  6. Implement the work week.

    1. Do not require it for all persons for 30 days so that those who need to make adjustments can do so.

    2. Reasonably accommodate employees who currently work for you if they cannot work the new schedule.

  7. Retain complete and accurate records of entire process as well as any petitions to change.

Once an alternative workweek schedule is voted on and approved, employers can occasionally change it with reasonable notice – considered at least one (1) week – to employees. However, it should be noted that any long term variance from the approved alternative workweek might result in the Labor Commissioner invalidating the schedule. For example, it would be unacceptable if employees are consistently working outside the regular schedule, the people on the alternative workweek schedule are no longer part of the original work unit, the alternative workweek was changed without the required procedures (holding a vote, etc.), or a collective bargaining agreement containing an alternative workweek schedule expires.

Flexible Work Schedule – A flexible work schedule is not an alternative workweek. In general, a flexible work schedule follows normal schedules and overtime rules but employee’s shifts may be staggered throughout the day (to alleviate commute congestion, for example) or employees may be able to work from home.

Make-Up Time – Another option to the formalities of an Alternative Workweek is make-up time. With prior approval from a supervisor, a non-exempt employee may request time off for the employee’s personal obligations (such as child care or doctors appointments) and make up that time in the same workweek without daily overtime obligations if all the following six points are met. 1) The employee must provide a written request each time; 2) management must approve the request prior to using the make-up time; 3) hours worked on the make-up day must not exceed 11 hours; 4) Time can only be make up in the same workweek in which the time was lost; 5) Total hours for the week must not exceed 40; and 6) If time is taken that cannot be made-up the hours missed will be unpaid. Please note that the employer is not allowed to solicit employee’s to use make-up time.


For more information on alternative workweeks or to decide if an alternative workweek schedule would work for your organization, call your TPO Representative.

Article written by: Kelsey Escoto, MSOD, SPHR

Q. Who is this mystery man dressed up like a race-car driver?

A. He is none other than Robert Russell, Principal and Co-Founder of TPO!

Q. And why is he dressed like this?

A. A little known fact about the otherwise entrepreneurial co-owner of TPO Human Resource Management is his later-in-life pursuit of road racing which began about four and a half years ago. His otherwise innocent enrollment in the Skip Barber Racing School at Laguna Seca immediately led to the purchase of the Spec Racer Ford pictured below. Robert currently races with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) at Laguna Seca, Infi
neon Raceway (Sears Point) and Thunder Hill Raceway Park North of Sacramento. Robert describes his initiation into racing as “a most humbling experience” that is “…a lot harder than it looks.” Now in his fifth season of amateur racing, Robert continues to believe that it remains “harder than it looks” and that spinning at ninety-five plus miles per hour is still “a most humbling experience.” The race field consists of 25-35 virtually identical cars with sealed motors so that the only real variable is the (in Robert’s words) “nut behind the wheel.” From his initial top finishes, Robert now generally slides in somewhere in the middle but with a grin of satisfaction spread across his face. When asked about the most challenging part of this demanding hobby, Robert answers: “The starts, definitely the starts…oh, and the finishes… and everything that happens in between."

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TPO's Employment Upd@te may not 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.