n  Save the date! 2011 Employment Law and Leadership Conference

n  LaTonya Olivier - Named NCHRA's 2011 Board President!

n  Training_Calendar

n  TPO's Leave Management Support Services

n  Recruitments are on the Rise – there is light at the end of the tunnel

n  Legislative Update

n  CA Wage & Hour Quick Tip

n  Workplace Investigations

n  Central Coast Federal Credit Union

n  HR Q & A



Training Calendar

Management Excellence Series

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

n October '10

Training Calendar

n Workers Compensation


n Harassment and Discrimination at Work

October 19

n Excelling as a First Time Manager

November 10

n FMLA/CFRA Compliance


n Harassment and Discrimination at Work

November 03

Member Orientation

n Join us for breakfast

December 08

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 to prepare you for 2011!

2011 Employment Law & Leadership Conference


Click here for early bird registration!

TPO's Senior Consultant LaTonya Olivier named Northern CA Human Resource Association's Board President for 2011!

The Northern California HR Association has been advancing organizations through human resources since 1960. The organization is dedicated to connecting human resources professionals with practice resources and best practices, leading California-specific training, legal and legislative developments, quality service providers, and each other—forming career-long networks and partnerships.

Facts about NCHRA

  • 3,800 members strong

Serving an HR community of more than 20,000
2nd largest HR Association in the country
Partners with experts, such as the Center for Creative Leadership, Bay Area Compensation Association and Bay Area Human Resource Executives Council, to provide the highest caliber education for the best value
Showcases more than 200 educational events a year—more than any other association in the nation—priced 30–60% below other comparable offerings
Affiliate of SHRM
Nationally recognized for providing the highest quality continuing education

In her role, LaTonya will provide the direction for the Board during a very challenging time for HR professionals. The Board and the CEO of NCHRA are focusing on integrating technological solutions to assist busy professionals in bringing excellence to management of the organizations' largest investement -- the people employed there. The challenge of mastering technological integration without losing the high-touch needed to continue the wonderful sense of community in the organization is one the Board has chosen to address during the coming year.



TPO will manage your leave administration, including Workers’ Compensation claims, from beginning to end.

WHAT 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.

 Click here to view flyer!

In the last few months, TPO has experienced an increase in requests for recruitment assistance. Across the board, it appears that TPO members and clients are ramping up their recruitment efforts. From Agriculture, to Non Profits, to Education, organizations are once again hanging out the “NOW HIRING” signs. After some brief research, it appears that online job postings are up, one source saying that Q2 showed gains of 12% over the previous quarter.

So, perhaps, the light at the end of the economic tunnel is beginning to appear. If your organization is starting to think about adding staff, here are just a few TPO recruiting recommendations.

  1. Get the job description right! Really think about what the actual “requirements” are for the position. For example, is it 100% necessary that the incumbent have a 4 year degree (which we would expect for Engineers, Accountants, Attorneys, etc.) or will a combination of education and experience be acceptable? Does the person really need to be a math whiz or will a calculator be readily available? Understand what is truly a “Must Have” to perform the job versus what is just on the “Wish List.”

  2. Make sure you are targeting the appropriate audience. For example, if your position is administrative or customer service oriented, then Craig’s List or local job boards might be the right place to post an ad. If you are looking for a higher level, more specific candidate, try LinkedIn or Association websites (example: SHRM for HR Professionals or Blueskysearch for produce related jobs). Don’t forget your current employees! They know the work environment and may be able to refer the perfect candidate for your open position. Employees generally won’t refer someone who isn’t going to “fit”, since it is their reputation on the line. Explore an Employee Referral Program to enlist their assistance.

  3. Ask the right questions! The use of well-crafted behavioral based interview questions is helpful in finding a good match for the position. Think about what behaviors, skills, traits, etc. the “ideal” candidate should possess in your company’s environment and build questions around them. An inside sales person will likely need a different skill set than an outside sales person. Maybe the organization is a start up as opposed to a non-profit or government agency. There are a lot of differences between these work environments, hence different questions will be asked.

  4. Use real life work assessments in the selection process. If the position requires an incumbent to have in depth knowledge of employment regulations, quiz candidates about them. If the position requires a bilingual/biliterate employee, ask candidates to write a memo addressing a certain issue in both English and Spanish. Ensure that these assessments/assignments are job related.

  5. Sweat the small stuff! The way that a candidate responds to an ad can be highly useful in your selection. For example, we recently recruited a Communications & Electronic Media Manager. Candidates’ resume submissions disclosed a lot about their qualifications. One of the ways that a candidate could prove he/she was a qualified marketing professional was presentation of an eye appealing resume. Did they fully understand that different website technologies could alter their document and turn it into garbled, hard-to-read, undecipherable junk? Did they adjust to this knowledge by ensuring the format of their resume was presentable or allow the websites to alter it? Another way we assessed whether an applicant was qualified for the electronic media portion of the position was to see if they were “plugged in” to the latest technologies. How quickly did they respond to the request for a telephone discussion? Did their responses have “Sent from my Iphone?” These small details were considered in the ultimate selection. The client ended up with a person who was such a great fit that they indicated “We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match.”

  6. Make sure that the organization is presented in a positive light. Be professional and consistent in your advertising, acknowledgements and communications with everyone in the recruiting process. Simply acknowledging that the company received a resume, places the company in good favor with candidates (who might not be your next employee, but may be a future customer).

  7. Trust but verify! Ensure that all “qualified applicants” (which we will define as those who are successful in the initial screening and are invited to interview) complete legally compliant Employment Applications and appropriate Identification documents. TPO’s HR Administration Kit outlines this process and had fully compliant documents ready for use. Also ensure that appropriate background investigations are completed. At a minimum, references and education should be verified. A criminal background check completed by qualified persons is strongly recommended. TPO provides excellent verification and background checks.

We are glad to see employers are now able to increase the size of their organization because of an increase in business or more profitable business.

If you would like TPO to assist you with all or any of your recruitment and staffing duties, we have great systems in place and can take the load off of your employees to bring you great candidates!

Article written by: Robyn Schiller, SPHR-CA

September 1st marked the deadline for prospective bills to pass to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. Left in the running are the following:

Vetoed by the Governor

  • 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.  

On the Governors Desk for Consideration

  • Agriculture – Collective Bargaining (SB 1474) — If passed this bill would remove the requirement for secret ballot elections in the collective bargaining process.

  • New Mandatory Bereavement Leave Mandate (AB 2340) — If passed this bill would require every employer to provide every employee with up to 3 days of unpaid bereavement leave. This bill was introduced by Mr. Monning (D-Carmel).

  • New Organ and Bone Marrow Donations Leave Mandate (SB 1304) — If passed this bill would require employers to provide paid leave of up to 30 days for organ donations and 5 days for bone marrow donations, on top of existing sick and vacation leaves.

  • Payment of Wages (AB 2187) – If passed this bill will create 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.

Failed Before Getting to the Governor

  • Consumer Credit Reports (AB 482) — If passed this bill would have implemented restrictions on businesses to use consumer credit reports as part of the background check process.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

The Cal/OSHA Standards Board unanimously adopted Division of Occupational Safety and Health-recommended revisions providing needed clarity to the state’s heat illness prevention standard. These rules apply ALL outdoor workplaces, except the high heat provisions, which only apply to agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, and transportation of various industrial products. The new rules will take effect this fall and include:

  1. "shade up" provisions when the temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit,

  2. "high-heat" procedures at 95 degrees Fahrenheit,

  3. clarifies what constitutes a "shade break,"

  4. creates exemptions from the shade-up requirement for employers for whom it is not feasible, providing the alternative is just as effective as shade, and

  5. requires that employees on the job for 14 days or less be closely supervised, unless they prove they are accustomed to working on hot days.

In addition, employers must provide training (heat illness prevention, symptoms and treatment), potable drinking water, access to shade, and compile written heat illness prevention procedures.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

“Planning a Holiday Week Closure This Year?”
… decisions need to be made now for a smooth closure.

HOLIDAY CLOSURES: We know the warm sun is shining bright; however, the holidays are just over 3 months away and if your organization is deciding (or has decided) to close during the holidays, make sure you are in compliance with CA wage and hour requirements. This year Christmas is on Saturday December 25 and New Year’s is on Saturday January 1st, which means that for many employers, the closure would bridge an entire “workweek”.

  • Employees in Non-Exempt Positions: Need only be paid for actual hours worked. If the organization chooses to close for days/weeks, the employee can be required to use accrued but unused vacation/PTO; similarly, an employer can deny an employee’s request to use accrued but unused vacation/PTO during the holiday closure (an approach those who are in a cash-flow crunch might choose), however, carefully consider the employee-relations impact of such actions.

  • Employees in Salaried, Exempt Positions: Remember, employees in such positions are paid for any workweek in which they perform any work, subject to partial day deductions from vacation/PTO for their own personal reasons, in accordance with company policy. Therefore, if the organization is closing for 3 days of the workweek and the employee worked 2 days in the workweek, s/he must be paid for the full week. Salaried, exempt employees who do not work any of the workweek do not need to be paid for that workweek. In order to require a salaried, exempt employee to use vacation/PTO during a full-week closure; such requirement must be distributed at least 90 days in advance.

General to Both: Remember that an employee who answers the company cell phone or logs in for messages, etc. is doing work for the company’s benefit and has put in hours of work. You may want to make certain employees understand they are not to work even remotely during the week if you prefer not to pay. When making these decisions, look at your employee handbook and past practices to guide your future decisions, and use your TPO Annual Membership benefits to give TPO a call for assistance.

A “Request for Time Off From Work” form is just one of the many forms in TPO’s HR Administration Kit.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

Did you know that TPO is licensed by the State of California (PI-25638) to provide investigative services?

Why is that so important? Because in CA, to conduct a lawful investigation, the investigator must be:

  1. An Attorney,

  2. Internal HR, or

  3. Licensed by CA

Don’t fall into the trap of hiring a non-licensed consultant. After hours of difficult interviews and related expense, their work can be, and usually is, disqualified as inadmissible in court. So then you face duplicating information gathering interviews with employees and witnesses - and doubling the cost!

Our investigative services offer a unique combination of advanced HR expertise (in other words, we pay close attention to the employee relations implications of these processes), and being licensed PI’s. We know of no other firm in CA offering this solid formula. Not only do we bring years of experience, judgment and credentials – combined with the latest technology – to client investigations including alleged harassment, discrimination and malfeasance; we also work with our clients to reduce risk, liability and loss by creating solid policies and systems. TPO can investigate and analyze root causes, patterns and trends to reduce exposure and liability – and then recommend corrective actions.

Some of the situations that TPO-HR can help you with are:


• Discrimination   • Harassment
• Theft                • Workplace Relationships


• Pre-employment             • Promotions
• Contractors/Consultants


• Internal/External Theft   • Intellectual Property
• Computer Use               • IIPP


• Records                                • Research
• Special ”Discreet” Inquiries     • Skip Tracing

Don’t wait until a situation of discrimination, harassment or other malfeasance arises – give TPO a call to review your current policies, employee relations issues and overall prevention systems today!

For more information on TPO’s Investigative Services, please call us at 1-800-277-8448 or email info@tpohr.com.

PS: Be sure your supervisors and managers have participated in recent Harassment & Discrimination prevention training.

TPO: "The Central Coast Federal Credit Union has been a member of TPO for over 18 years!. How do you feel TPO contributes to the credit union’s success?”

Leinette Limtiaco, President/CEO-Central Coast Federal Credit Union: "TPO and Central Coast Federal Credit Union have been working diligently together for the past 18 years. There have been countless ways that TPO has supported our employment practices, ranging from revamping our Employee Handbook, working on job descriptions, keeping us informed on the policies and regulations in the vast field of HR, to offering seminars, classes and further education to our HR professionals and upper management. It is a great working relationship based on mutual respect. We know that when we work with anyone at TPO, we are dealing with the best! Everyone plays such an integral role in making sure our organization is at its finest and adhering to the laws for the sake of our employees and the community.

We have such an admiration and confidence in TPO that we take our testimonials to other organizations in need of the best and most outstanding in the HR field. Management at Central Coast FCU can rest assured that we are providing all the necessary information and tools to our staff to better support our environment to be the best place to work possible. TPO has been there to help us succeed and we are looking forward to the many, many more years to come!

Our hats are off to TPO and the professionalism and knowledge that they bring to not only our organization, but the community. We are honored and proud to be a part of their family!”

Serving the Residents and Workers of Monterey County, CA Since 1949


The Central Coast Federal Credit Union has been serving the financial needs of the people of this community since 1949, back when there were still canneries operating. It has always been locally owned and operated and still is today. You will never have to call across the country to do your banking. We all live here just like you.

The Central Coast Federal Credit Union is a not for profit financial institution. What does that mean to you? Any profits are returned to you in the form of higher interests on savings accounts, and lower rates on loans. Your money stays right were it belongs. Here in our community.

Community minded, just like you.

Contact Us at (831) 393-3480 info@centcoastfcu.com - www.centcoastfcu.com.

We loaned money to an employee and have been receiving repayments through payroll deduction – in accordance with a written repayment agreement. The employee just told us that he is leaving in two weeks. I’ve heard that I can just deduct the balance from his final paycheck.

Be careful! Do not count on the original Payroll Deduction Authorization to make this final payment. Employers are only authorized to deduct the pay-period amount originally agreed upon. The departing employee needs to authorize again, in writing, the final amount due or provide alternative payment (check/money order, etc.) covering the remainder of their debt. Employers are not allowed to deduct “balloon payments” which are the total due on an unpaid debt from final paychecks. It would be a good idea to remind the employee of the obligation and ask how he/she plans to meet the obligation prior to the employee’s last day. If the employee does not agree to a deduction for the remaining balance or if the employee does not repay the balance in accordance with the written agreement, the employer has the option of pursuing the issue as a matter of contract law in the courts (usually Small Claims Court).

A policy on “Payroll Advances” is just one of the many policies TPO writes in Employee Handbooks.

Article written by: Robyn Schiller, SPHR-CA

Subscribe         Unsubscribe         Request Info         Share a Rumor

Meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations!


FEEDBACK: We hope you enjoyed reading TPO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT's E-Newsletter. If you have comments or suggestions, we welcome hearing from you at  tpo@tpohr.com.

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Was this TPO E-Newsletter forwarded to you? Would you like to subscribe or subscribe a friend? If so, click on the "Subscribe" link above.

CONFIDENTIALITY: TPO is committed to maintaining strict confidentiality of your subscription email address and any other contact information we are entrusted with. We do not sell, share or give away ANY TPO database information.

Employment Upd@te is a publication of  TPO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Copyright ©2004-2010. 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.