n  2010 Employment Law and Leadership Conference

n  Training_Calendar_

n  Have you completed your Harassment Training?

n  New! Grant Writting Serices

n  Legislative Update

n  HR Risk ReMinder

n  CA Wage & Hour Tip

n  Welcome New Members

n  HR Q & A



Training Calendar

Training Calendar

n Workers Compensation

October 22

n Harassment and Discrimination at Work

October 27

n Excelling as a First Time Manager

November 10

Employee Harassment Training

n Harassment and Discrimination at Work - Spanish

November 17, 8:30 – 10 am 

n Harassment and Discrimination at Work - English

November 17, 3 – 4:30 pm

Member Orientation

n Join us for breakfast

December 03


TPO and Littler will guide you through an informative day,
balancing both Legal and Leadership Best Practices to prepare you for 2010!

2010 Employment Law & Leadership Conference


TPO Members attend FREE* as part of their Annual Membership!

(*Based on number of authorized representatives)
Type of Registration


Early Bird

(Must be paid by 12/15/09)


(3 or more)

Team Early Bird

(Must be paid by 12/15/09)

Non-Members $349 $299 $299 $269
TPO Member** $299 $249 n/a n/a

 **Charge for participants above the number of your authorized representatives.

Click here for early bird registration!

The Deadline for Completing 2009 required Harassment & Discrimination Training is fast approaching!

Preventing Harassment & Discrimination at Work – Paying Attention to the Signs
NEW 2009 Harassment Programs!

Fulfill California’s AB1825 Harassment Training Law for all supervisors/managers/leads for as low as $109 per participant!



Don’t miss these final training dates of 2009:

October 27, November 18 and December 9 (Time for all dates 9:00 am – Noon)

You can Also train your employees:

November 17th (8:30 – 10:00 am) Spanish and November 17th (3:00 – 4:30 pm) English

California law (AB1825) requires California employers with 50 or more employees to provide a minimum of 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training by 12/31/05 and every two years thereafter to all managers/supervisors/leads. Additionally, newly hired/promoted managers/supervisors/leads must receive the training within 6 months of hire.

Meet your 2009 training requirements now!

Register for TPO’S


1.       We train at your location

2.       We train your team “off-site” at TPO or another location

3.       Your team joins other clients at one of our pre-scheduled training programs (click here)

“I was NOT looking forward to sitting through a program on harassment, but this was fantastic, so much more than I expected and really enlightening!”

Our programs have been fully translated into Spanish, and are presented by TPO's bi-lingual staff.

To schedule your organization’s training, contact TPO:

Phone: 800.277.8448   •   Fax: 831.658.0201

In response to a number of recent inquiries, Sr. Consultant, Susan Kettmann, has initiated a new line of TPO services for organizations needing assistance with seeking grant funding. Included are, assistance with grant research, proposal development, application preparation and/or application evaluation. Susan has a successful record as a grant writer and was a grant reader for the State Department of Education for several years. Assistance will be available for foundation, corporation, state and federal grants with the hope of creating opportunities for our clients and members to improve organizational stability through enhanced funding. Contact Susan for further inquiries or details.

Give us a call for more information 831.647.7292.

CA has been grappling with major topics such as tax structure, education, prisons, renewable energy and water (to name a few). With special legislative sessions and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s message that he was not likely to address bills until major issues were resolved, the October 11th deadline for his signing or rejecting 704 bills ultimately resulted in 230 signed and 221 vetoed. On the HR/Employment front, there are no noteworthy bills signed into law, however, several were vetoed. While many bills were not referred to the Governor, it is likely those topics will be readdressed in the next legislative session.

California HR Legislation

Bills Vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger

  • Discrimination (AB 793) – Would have broadened the ability to meet statutory deadlines for purposes of discrimination complaints based on compensation.

  • Credit Reports (AB 943) – Would have restricted the ability of employers to use credit reports in hiring decisions.

  • Union Representation for Agricultural Employees (SB 789) – Would have given Ag. workers the option of bypassing the secret-ballot elections and instead, signing representation cards.

Bills that did not move to the Governor’s Desk for Consideration this Legislative Session

  • “Familial Status” (AB 1001) – Would have created a new basis for liability under the Fair Employment and Housing Act by adding “familial status” to the list of classes protected from employment discrimination.

  • Meal Periods (SB 287 and SB 380) – Would have clarified a variety of important issues related to meal periods.

  • CA Family Care and Medical Leave (AB 849) – Would have expanded many provisions of the CA Family Rights Act (CFRA).

  • Alternative Workweek (AB 141 and SB187) – Would have permitted an individual non-exempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek without any obligation to pay daily overtime compensation.

Federal HR Legislation

Pending In the Congress:

  • “Employee Free Choice Act” (S.560 and HR. 1409) – These bills would amend federal law to give workers the option of joining unions by signing cards (“card check”), rather than casting secret ballots. Both bills are in Committee.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

With layoffs and pay-cuts at an all-time high, some employees may look for ways to make up for lost income. Whether they steal cash, products, trade secrets, or your customer database, the losses can be catastrophic for your business.

The Problem:

  • Employee theft cost U.S. employers nearly 20 Billion dollars in 2007

  • Nearly half (47%) of all business losses are due to Employee Theft

  • 75% of employees steal in the workplace -U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • One third of all U.S. corporate bankruptcies are caused by employee theft

  • Companies lose nearly $400 Billion per year to “time theft” or loafing -The Boston Globe

  • 20% of every company dollar is lost to employee theft - The American Society of Employers

  • The FBI calls employee theft “the fastest growing crime in America”

What are they doing?

  • Internal & External Theft of Cash & Products

  • Substance Abuse – Dealers & Users

  • Fraud & Embezzlement

  • Computer Misuse

  • Theft of Trade Secrets / Intellectual Property

  • Industrial Espionage / Sabotage

The Solution:

TPO recognized the dramatic increase in workplace crime and responded with the creation of a new company, Investigations at Work, Inc. This new firm is focused exclusively on workplace crime and the effect it has on your workforce, productivity and the bottom line. Our mission is to identify, eradicate and prevent crime in your place of business.

Investigations at Work, Inc. provides a Unique Team of Licensed Investigators and Nationally Certified HR Experts with over 100 years combined experience. We utilize proven strategies and a five-phase process to identify crime in the workplace and the conditions that permitted it to occur. We then provide a solid remediation plan tailored to your specific industry and corporate culture to get you back on track that include:

  • A Complete Review of Policies, Procedures & Controls, identify “weak links” that facilitate crime

  • Investigations conducted with the utmost discretion to protect your business

  • Business Continuity as a key priority

  • Close work with your corporate counsel when the case dictates a need for legal advice

Article written by: Brian Pratt, Lic. PI-19075

Director of Investigative Services

Employer Options When Creating/Modifying a Vacation/PTO Plan

Employers are not required to provide paid vacation/PTO to employees. However, in CA, when an employer chooses to do so, there are regulations around specific components of such policies.



PTO = Vacation

Paid Time Off (PTO) is a common name for a bank of time employers provide which bundles together vacation and sick time. A pro to PTO is that employees can use the time as they see fit; a con is that the CA Labor Commissioner views the entire bank of PTO as “vacation” and therefore the entire PTO bank is vested.

For purposes of this article, the words PTO and Vacation are the same and interchangeable.

Employer Chooses Specifics of the Policy

When creating or revising a policy, the employer has many choices:

  • which job classifications (full-time, part-time, sea

    sonal, temporary) are eligible,

  • how much time is earned (and if at a pro-rated rate for less than full-time),

  • when employees begin to earn vacation/PTO time (upon hire, after Introductory Period, after one year, etc.),

  • a reasonable “cap” on accrual (typically at 2 times the current accrual rate, future accrual is suspended until the employee takes time off to bring the level below the cap),

  • when the employee can take time off,

  • how to request time off, and many other provisions.

CA Labor Commissioner Sets Regulations

  • Vacation/PTO rights vest on a daily basis, which means that once an employee has earned vacation, it must be treated like money in the bank for that employee and can never be taken away.

  • A “use-it-or-lose-it” policy, in which employees lose earned vacation/PTO which is not taken by a specific time, is specifically prohibited.

  • Since vacation accrued is considered wages, all accrued but unused vacation must be paid out at the separation of the employment relationship (even for an employee who has accrued vacation which he/she was not yet eligible to take).

  • Accrued but unused vacation/PTO must be paid out at the employee’s current rate of pay, regardless of the rate at which it was earned.


A case for unbundling PTO into Vacation and Sick

Unlike vacation/PTO, paid sick time is NOT a vested benefit and does not have to be paid upon separation of employment. Additionally, unlike vacation/PTO, paid sick time does NOT have a prohibition against a use-it-or-lose-it” policy. Due to these two points, many employers are rethinking their PTO policies and are unbundling into traditional vacation and sick policies.

If you would like to discuss changing your PTO/Vacation/Sick policies,
please contact a TPO Consultant for support.

Next Wage & Hour Quick Tip: “Working” lunches and non-exempt employees. “Do we really have to pay for their time, an extra hour of pay for a missed meal…and the pizza we bring in?”

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

n Coastline Produce

n Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

n TMD Creative

n California Waste Solutions

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!

What can we expect for unemployment support when some of the current programs like unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies expire later this year?

It is painfully clear that the impact of the recession on employment continues to be a heart-wrenching one. The Obama administration has already extended jobless benefits twice for those who have exhausted state-paid unemployment benefits. The latest 13 week extension is set to expire on December 27 so the question remains as to whether or not a third extension is coming. In California, unemployment is at a 12 year high with the state’s unemployment fund going into the red by the end of the year due to the huge and unexpected surge in job loss claims this year.

The popular 65% federal tax credit for laid off workers who want to buy health insurance through the COBRA program is also set to expire at the end of December. TPO will continue to update you on these or other stimulus-type benefits that may be authorized for 2010 to that you can act quickly to incorporate them into your practices. With jobless rates continuing to climb, we can expect a variety of options to be discussed and debated at both the state and federal levels in support of Americans who are still out of work.

Article written by: Susan Kettmann, SPHR-CA

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Employment Upd@te is a publication of  TPO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Copyright ©2004-2008. All rights reserved.
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.