16 - THIS TRAINING
WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE!
special request we have added a LAST CHANCE Harassment and
Discrimination at work Program for 2010!
Harassment and Discrimination at Work
December 08, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
a call at 647-7292 to save your seat!
Join us for breakfast
Join us for a quick
overview of how TPO Membership can save you not only
time, but money!
TPO and Littler will guide you through an informative day,
balancing both Legal and Leadership Best Practices
prepare you for 2011!
2011 Employment Law & Leadership Conference
PREMIER CONFERENCE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS, MANAGERS, HR, RISK
MANAGEMENT AND LEGAL COUNSEL IN PUBLIC, PRIVATE AND
as part of their Annual
(*Based on number of
Type of Registration
be paid by 12/17/10)
be paid by 12/17/10)
for participants above the number of your authorized representatives.
Click here for
early bird registration!
It’s not just for
Over 80% of
consumers & B2B customers say they consider the
sustainability of products and services when making buying
decisions and are willing to pay a premium for sustainable
Let TPO help you “green” your
operations …from employment practices to products and
Michele Reilly, MSOD, SPHR-CA, TPO Sustainability Director
for a free consultation
THROUGH November 30, 2010
‘Tis the season to remind
all of our clients that though the Holidays are a
perfect time to let employees know how much you
appreciate their hard work by having company parties and
celebrations, it is also a time when alcohol
consumption, and thus potential employer-liability, is
an unfortunate reality. You may have read articles where
employers have been held liable for their employees
consuming alcoholic beverages at company events, driving
an auto, and then hurting or killing innocent victims.
Therefore, if you are in the process of planning this
year's celebration for your employees, please consider
the following points as part of that planning. Whether
an official company-sponsored event or an unofficial
couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day, certain
measures should be taken to help minimize any related
liability and most importantly, the safety of your
employees and the public.
If your company often has informal or formal social
events that include alcohol consumption “off-the-job,”
it might be wise to include an appropriate policy
regarding this in your employee handbook.
Because of the potential liabilities, many companies are
choosing to coordinate family-oriented, non-alcohol
celebrations for their employees. If you decide to serve
alcohol, always make a good faith effort to limit
intake, and consider these suggestions (some of which
are based on actual court cases) to reduce risks of
Move the party
off-premises to a club or restaurant, and hold it
during non-working hours.
company business at the party. (Note: Even handing
out turkeys or company bonus checks or presenting
speeches by top management could be interpreted as
Do not require
attendance; make it voluntary.
Involve employees in
Be sure to plan
activities to keep your guests active - if your
guests stay active with some form of entertainment,
they probably will have a better time and be less
likely to drink too much.
If you plan on serving
alcohol, budget to hire a professional bartender who
will stay sober, serve only measured amounts, and is
trained to cut off individuals who over imbibe; be
specific with the bartender as to how long the bar
is to stay open.
Avoid providing liquor
purchased with company funds; do provide
alternative, non-alcoholic beer, wine, and soft
alcoholic beverages to beer and wine, and
discontinue all but nonalcoholic drinks
approximately an hour or two before the party is
scheduled to end.
purchase their own alcohol, ideally by purchasing
controllable drink tickets.
Serve meals or snacks;
high-protein foods, especially, which help retard
alcohol absorption. Avoid salty snacks; they promote
thirst, and people may drink more alcohol to quench
Arrange for some
non-drinking employees, taxis, or limousine drivers
to take home those who may be unfit to drive
We hope your holiday
season is full of fun and festivities, and that these
suggestions will help ensure that 2011 is a safe and
prosperous New Year!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing
that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Over the last
few decades, environmental sustainability has become an
increasingly important topic for organizations in every
sector. During this time, Green
Teams have proved to be an effective mechanism
for helping organizations adopt greener operating practices,
making them more environmentally and economically
Often, organizational sustainability efforts have been
conceived and launched by one or a few employees passionate
about making their organization’s business practices more
environmentally responsible. The earliest
Green Teams grew out of
such employee efforts. Increasingly, organizations have
begun to encourage the formation of Green Teams.
Green Teams are a grassroots
collective of cross-functional employees who volunteer to
develop and implement sustainability practices and to
educate and inspire other employees on corporate
environmental sustainability issues and practices.
organizations, hiring dedicated sustainability staff is not
a viable option. Green Teams
allow such organizations to develop and adopt greener
operating practices through their existing staff. Another
advantage of Green Teams is the breadth of perspective their
members bring to discussions about developing more
sustainable operating practices. Because many functional
areas and staff levels are represented in Green Teams, a
broad spectrum of experience informs the development of
these practices. Potential challenges can be anticipated and
Environmental Education Foundation agrees that engaging
employees at every level of the company is essential to the
success of sustainability efforts. Case studies have clearly
shown that employees must not only understand, but also
embrace, green business practices
in order for them to succeed.
Green Teams have emerged
as a highly effective tool to optimize employee engagement
in organizational sustainability efforts. Since
Green Teams design many of
the sustainability practices, their buy-in and support
develop organically during the process. The stakeholders who
will be impacted by new, sustainable practices have input
into the process which results in employees at every level
of the organization becoming champions of the change.
Want to learn more? TPO can help you establish and/or lead
your Green Team. Our
experience spans helping a small on-line marketing
organization develop and lead a
Green Team of 5 individuals focused on overall
operational and supply chain sustainability to helping a
large biotech company establish and lead a 50-person team
dedicated to reducing on-campus bottled water consumption,
saving the organization over $200,000.00 annually! Call us
today for a free consultation.
Article written by:
Michele Reilly, SPHR-CA, MSOD, TPO Sustainability Director
legislative session has come to a close. Following is a
recap of employment related bills that have passed into law
(effective January 1, 2011 unless otherwise noted) and those
that the Governor vetoed. The 20011-2012 regular session
convenes on December 6, 2010 and you can expect that some of
the bills that failed in the 2009-2010 session will be
resubmitted for review.
New Employment Laws Passed
Organ and Bone Marrow Donations Leave Mandate (SB 1304) —
This new law requires employers with at least
15 employees who have exhausted all sick leave to
leave of up to 30 days for organ donations and 5 days
for bone marrow donations. Such employees have a
guaranteed right to return to their job and retaliation
is prohibited. This time is in addition to existing sick
and vacation policies and does not run concurrently with
CFRA or FMLA.
Domestic Violence Victims - Unemployment (AB 2364) —
This new law revises the Unemployment
Insurance Code by revising it to specify that a claimant
is eligible for benefits where he or she left employment
to protect his or her family from domestic violence
abuse. This law brings California law into compliance
with federal eligibility guidelines, and makes
California eligible to receive federal funding for
unemployment insurance benefits.
by the Governor
Mandatory Bereavement Leave Mandate (AB 2340) —
passed this bill will would have required every employer
to provide every employee with up to 3 days of
unpaid bereavement leave. This bill was
introduced by Mr. Monning (D-Carmel).
Payment of Wages (AB 2187) —
this bill would have created a prohibition against a
person or an employer who, having the ability to pay,
willfully fails to pay all wages due to an employee who
has been discharged or who has quit within 90 days of
the date of the wages becoming due and would impose
additional criminal penalties for such conduct.
Agriculture – Collective
Bargaining (SB 1474) — If passed this bill
will have removed the requirement for secret ballot
elections in the collective bargaining process with
Change in Overtime for
Agriculture Employees (SB 1121) – If passed
this bill would have removed the overtime exemption for
agricultural employees and changed it to time and
one-half for over 8 in a day and double time for over 12
in a day.
Article written by:
Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA
“Travel Pay for Non-Exempt
… required when “suffered or permitted” to
events are common in many organizations and may take
employees hours or days away from the regular worksite.
Employees in non-exempt positions must be paid for all time
“suffered or permitted to work.” In order to
determine how to pay for the different types of work, follow
Time Spent Traveling
– The time “suffered”
in a car or plane must be paid since while traveling by
vehicle or plane, the employee is unable to fully engage
in his/her own personal pursuits, however that time
could be at a reduced hourly rate (but not less than
Time Spent at the Event
– The time spent at the conference, meeting
or event is time worked and must be paid as regular
Off-Duty Time –
Time spent off-duty includes meals, at the hotel between
time worked and overnight. However, if employees are
required to have meals with clients or other employees,
then such time would be regular time worked.
Voluntary Events: If
attendance at the event is truly voluntary and the employee
performs no work, then wages are not owed.
the pay schedule PRIOR to the employee leaving!
Following is a common scenario
to help explain the travel pay policy:
Pay: 3 hours
Pay: 5 hours
regular or travel rate.
She performs no work that
evening and stays the night in the hotel. In the
morning, she is at the assigned workplace for the day at
8:00am. All time unpaid
She works for 10 hours
(not including a meal period on her own for a half-hour)
and then immediately flies to the San Jose airport,
arriving at 9:30 pm.
Pay: 8 hours
regular rate plus 2 hours overtime rate plus 3.5
hours overtime rate based on either the regular rate
or travel rate.
Pay: .25 hours
regular rate or travel rate* (1.0 hours, less her
A “Travel Time” policy
is available for your Employee
Handbook – give us a call!
Article written by:
Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA
LET THE EXPERTS HANDLE IT FOR YOU!
INTRODUCING TPO’S LEAVE OF ABSENCE SUPPORT
TPO will manage your leave administration, including
Workers’ Compensation claims, from beginning to end.
DOES LEAVE OF ABSENCE SUPPORT MEAN? For a low monthly
fee, a designated TPO expert will manage every aspect of an
employee’s leave. What we like to call “Leaves from A to
Z”. As soon as you are made aware of an upcoming leave,
simply notify TPO and we will take it from there! We’ll even
take over for leaves in progress.
here for more information!
organizations have tried to minimize the cost of support
services internally as those are cost centers rather than
profit centers. The result of these efforts is that
employees and, sometimes, owners or general managers find
themselves faced with doing work in an area where they have
little or no expertise. Human Resources is one of those
may have the human resources function done by an office
manager, accounting manager, executive assistant, operations
manager or the CEO. While this practice is more common in
smaller companies, even larger companies may have all or
parts of these included in the duties of many individuals.
This practice allows employers to minimize the number of
individuals who are not delivering direct service to
customers or direct impact to the product being offered.
Over the time
our country, state and area have been experiencing financial
challenges, these individuals have had to take on more and
more responsibilities which squeezes their time on any
single area creating more opportunity to make potentially
costly errors. Further complicating this in the area of
human resources is the fact that many new legal requirements
and changes have occurred over the past 18 – 24 months and
busy professionals have little time to research, integrate
and update in order to comply. Even large organizations have
been challenged in this area.
Here are some
tips on how you can manage all of that:
Understand your core business.
You should have a strategic plan that focuses
on exactly what you do best and find a way to get others
to do the ones you don’t do well. For example, if you
have facilities you must manage; consider outsourcing
those tasks to a company that manages property for
Match talent and interests of your
employees. If you must keep a non-core
function internal, then try to find the person or group
where there is a natural affinity. A person who enjoys
and has interest in a non-traditional area is more
likely to actively find support systems and information
to make the best decisions in that area.
Check to see what support systems
you may already be paying for. In support
areas, organizations frequently find that they are
already paying for some support systems without being
aware of it and are not taking advantage. For example,
many CPA firms who do an employer’s tax filing may also
offer some types of basic audits on cost savings,
fiduciary review for your retirement plan, etc. for free
or very low cost.
Strategically partner with
companies who provide excellence in the areas you need
to outsource. Many savvy organizations have
found that outsourcing human resources either fully or
for additional resources is much less expensive that
hiring additional staff or paying high legal costs when
something goes awry. TPO has developed very flexible
systems to allow employers to get the level of
outsourcing that benefits the organization for an
Invest in training and technical
support for those who manage such areas.
Scrimping on the necessary training and support
materials for individuals who are already stretched thin
and dealing with programs or systems that are not their
primary strength is false economy. These can make the
difference in making the choice of doing the work
internally smart vs. imprudent.
experience more affluent times again, these items do not
become irrelevant. By putting these into practice during
times when it is necessary, organizations can leverage
growth in the areas of the business that will make them more
profitable or meet the mission better.
At TPO, we are
glad to partner with you on developing this kind of
strategy. We have many strategic partners who offer
complementary services to what we have always offered our
Members and clients. Give your TPO Representative a call to
talk about how you can strategically situate your
organization using these tips and other information we can
assist you in reviewing.
Article written by:
LaTonya Olivier, SPHR-CA
REINVENTING your organization?
Looking for ways to STREAMLINE your operation and costs?
always been a leader in evolving to meet our Member and
client needs. Now we have moved to a new level. We are
introducing our newest response to what we hear from you
for YOUR Business Needs
you can select/combine:
TPOHR support for
your employment needs
and cost effective payroll
outsourced leave management
including all legally required leaves and
of your Workers’ Compensation
and back to work program
range of employee benefits,
workers’ compensation and other insurance
needs through one of our insurance partners
options for your retirement
benefits needs through one of our outstanding
HRIS selection and
of files and routine HR duties
include various a la carte
services in your annual Membership
right? Contact your TPO Consultant with your “shopping list”
and let us show you how flexible we can be.
1st Capital Bank -
Tri California Events -
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!
"Vegetable Growers Supply has been a member of TPO for
over 9 years! How do you feel TPO contributes to the
Huff, President/General Manager - Vegetable Growers Supply:
Growers Supply began its business relationship with TPO over
nine years ago. That relationship has allowed VGS to keep
pace and current with the ever increasing regulations and
protocols necessary in California and Arizona employment law
and practices. TPO has provided insight and guidance in the
areas of policy development, interview protocol, succession
planning, training and investigations in connection with the
workplace. Working with TPO is akin to having your own HR
Department fully staffed with expertise in all areas of
employment law, policy, and regulations.”
Vegetable Growers Supply
Vegetable Growers Supply
Co. Inc. (VGS) was established in January 1948 as a
fabricator and distributor of wooden crates for the packing
sheds in Salinas. The founders of the Company were all early
pioneers in the growth of the fresh produce industry. In the
past 60 years the Western vegetable industry has expanded to
include a wide variety of fresh vegetables grown in many
locations throughout California and Arizona. Operations have
moved from the packing sheds to mobile field units and
Vegetable Growers Supply has expanded and kept up with
the changes. In addition to its Salinas Headquarters, the
company also has locations in Greenfield, Huron, Santa
Maria, El Centro, Oxnard, California as well as Yuma,
Arizona. The company offers a full line of corrugated
containers, flexible packaging materials, hardware,
harvesting supplies, and yes, even the wooden crates that
started the business over 60 years ago.
To Contact VGS, please call:
think having a handbook is more of a liability to my
company. I want to keep things casual and informal so that I
can make decisions when a situation arises. Not to mention,
we only have 20 employees and we’re like a family, everyone
knows the rules and we’ve never had any type of issues.
Why should I have one in place for my organization?
is as much danger in saying too much as too little. In the
absence of policies, past and present activities become
policy through precedent. Because of a lack of consistency
in application, many of these practices are, or can be,
considered discriminatory. This might place the employer in
greater danger of law suits and claims with government
agencies than if they had carefully spelled out the
organization’s expectations employees.
Here are some specific reasons
to have an employee handbook in place:
INFORMS EMPLOYEES. An employee handbook
represents a key component to any sound employee
relations program. Handbooks communicate essential
information about benefits, policies, and performances
standards to all employees. Openly communicating with
your employees results in enhanced morale, productivity,
REDUCES DISCRIMINATION AND LEGAL PROBLEMS.
Handbooks promote fairness and consistency in the manner
in which employees are treated, and thereby reduce the
possibility of discrimination. Although written
employment policies cannot completely shield an employer
from legal problems, a properly drafted and implemented
employee handbook gives an employer more favorable legal
positioning. We recommend that all employees sign an
Acknowledgement of Receipt form for the handbook which
indicates the employee agrees not only to familiarize
themselves with the contents, but to abide by the
contents and ask for clarification as needed.
ASSISTS OWNERS AND MANAGERS. An employee
handbook guides managers in making employment decisions,
such as implementing corrective action, hiring, firing,
SAVES TIME. Having your policies and
standards set out in writing can be a real time-saver by
eliminating the time taken by managers researching what
the policies are and employees going to managers to ask
questions that could be answered by a handbook.
Handbooks represent a key component to any sound employee
relations program. Call your TPO consultant to discuss the
state of your employee handbook.
Article written by:
Robyn Schiller, SPHR-CA
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