to review the PowerPoint programs?
We went “green” and placed handouts on our website for those
who wanted to print paper copies.
TPO Members can
click here to request access to a special link on
TPO’s website to view all programs.
2011 Employment Law Update
Dennis Brown, Esq. and Marlene Muraco, Esq.
What is new:
Department of Labor (DOL) — The DOL has
clarified that their focus will be on enforcement of
regulations. This will mean a higher scrutiny of
commonly litigated issues such as overtime, regular
rate, exempt misclassifications and improper wage
deductions – are you ready?
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) —
The EEOC will also aggressively focus on
enforcement of regulations, hiring an additional 383
employees to help in that process.
Healthcare Reform — While the details
continue to be battled out in courts, there are key
provisions effective 2011. For a more complete review,
read the “Afternoon Session” recap below.
Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) —
Employers are prohibited from requesting, requiring,
purchasing or using genetic information.
Lactation Break – Requires employers to
provide “reasonable break time” to express milk “each
time” that employee has a need to do so for up to one
year after the birth of the child.
IRS Mileage Rate – The IRS 2011 optional
standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible
costs of operating an automobile for business purposes
is 51 cents per mile for business miles driven. This
rate is based on an annual study of the fixed and
variable costs of operating an automobile. This amount
is an increase from the 2010 rate of 50 cents.
Organ and Bone Marrow Donations Leave Mandate (SB 1304)
— This new CA law requires employers with at
least 15 employees to provide
paid 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, PTO and vacation
policies and does not run concurrently with CFRA or FMLA.
Available sick, PTO and vacation can be credited against
this time: up to 2 weeks for organ donations and 5 days
for bone marrow donation.
Domestic Violence Victims - Unemployment (AB
2364) — This new CA law revises the Unemployment
Insurance Code by specifying that a claimant is eligible
for benefits where he or she left employment to protect
his or her family from domestic violence abuse.
Clarification of Waiting time Penalties — The
CA Supreme Court clarified that when employees are not
paid their final wages correctly upon separation of
employment, the statute of limitation to bring the claim
is three years, not one year. The penalty for such
failure is the payment of daily wages for every day the
final pay was not provided up to a maximum of one month.
What to expect going
Free Choice Act (EFCA) — Ongoing debates
centering around whether a union will continue to be
recognized only through a secret ballot election or, or
as EFCA would allow, a simple card-check certification.
CA: Review of
Meal/Rest Breaks hoped for — Though the CA
Supreme Court has declined oral argument of the issue
for the past two year, it is hoped that this year the
Court will make a decision relating to whether the meal
must be merely “provided” or “ensure” it was actually
taken. Stay tuned!
Panel Discussion – The perfect balance of TPO HR
experts and Littler’s employment law experts
Proving that five heads are
better than one, the panel worked through actual audience
questions giving a legal perspective as well as an HR
Digital Workplace - Keeping Pace with Changing Technology –
Adam Fiss, Esq. and Erica Kelly, Esq. of Litter
With Employee’s spending more
and more time on social media networking sites, Key Things
Employer’s need to keep in mind when creating Social Media
- Clearly communicate an
electronic resources policy intended to shape employees’
expectation of privacy and preserve an employer's right to
review employee activity during work hours or using company
unrestricted profiles are usually fair game ~ but use
caution and be consistent !
- Do not use false
- If a “friend”
provides access to the profile or a restricted website ,
confirm that the “friend” is a user , emphasize assistance
is voluntary and obtain written authorization.
- SUPERVISORS: choose
your “friends” carefully!
What is interesting to
- July 2009 independent study
shows 1.5% loss of total employment productivity because of
social networking sites.
- Some employees spend two
hours per day at work on Facebook, though the average is
15-20 minutes in a work day.
- The Twitter community grew
1382% from 2/08 ~ 2/09.
Motivating Employees with Total Rewards Thinking - It is not
all about pay! – LaTonya Olivier, SPHR-CA, CCP,
GRP TPO Sr. Consultant
Employers have been dealing
with adjustments (or lack of adjustments) to employees’ pay
during the economic challenges of the past couple of years.
Some are now in the very difficult stage of having to reduce
staff by actual people and some are dealing with how to
adjust to bringing on the new employees needed, but not
create inequities. We explored how the Total Rewards model
works and how to use it.
Total Rewards Include:
Everything the Employee
Perceives as Valuable
Different for every
employer as demonstrated by some examples
- “We are a cause our
employees feel passionate about.”
- “We have a workout room onsite.”
- “They get golf privileges.”
- “We bring in dinner when everyone has to work late.”
Caution if You Must Lower
Communicate promptly and
Don’t make promises about
Have a professional third
party review what you do
Dealing with the
Adjusting your Hiring
- People expect higher
- People want it NOW, not later
- More focus on employer providing training and
Adjusting your Rewards
- Employees expect
recognition for their loyalty
- Employees expect sacrifices to end
- Employees are comparing notes more and more
Technical Steps are
Have a total rewards
strategy/philosophy and communicate it
Don’t guess at base pay –
get professional help
Use incentive pay more to
get more for your money
Health Care Reform - Sweeping changes employer need to know
now! – Ronald Peters, Esq. of Litter
There is a lot happening in
2011 regarding health care, especially with
Employer-sponsored health care plans. For any in-depth
questions pertaining to your Company’s Employer-sponsored
health care plans, please consult with your Benefit Broker.
What is New:
Extension of Dependent Coverage. Dependent
coverage for adult children has been extended to age 26,
regardless of student or disabled status. Coverage not
extended to adult children who have another eligible
employer-sponsored health care plan available. Applies
to Health FSA plans as well.
Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions. May not
impose pre-existing condition clauses on plan eligible
dependent children under the age of 19. Effective 2014,
no pre-existing condition clauses on any plan eligible
Restrictions on Annual Limits. Plan may
impose restricted annual limits based on dollar value of
essential benefits. ($750,000 for 2011 and increases
annually). Plan may have annual limits on non-essential
Restrictions on Lifetime Limits. No more
imposed lifetime limits on dollar value of essential
health benefits. No prohibition on lifetime limits on
non-essential health benefits.
No Rescission of Coverage. Coverage may not
be rescinded except in cases of fraud or intentional
misrepresentation of material fact.
What to expect going
Organizations Play – Refresh your workplace with FUN
learning tools! – Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO Sr.
In this session participants
learned to “pause,” take a break, and learn some fun new
teambuilding tools. All with the purpose of going back to
the workplace refreshed and ready to lead!
Indicators that your team
could use some FUN refreshment
Meetings are dull and
boring without much creativity or problem solving.
Team members are “doing
more with less” and feeling burnt out at the long
duration of this reality.
A usually supportive team
is now in-fighting and not as productive.
How “Fun and Games”
positively impact teamwork
Shows a caring, “human,”
Promotes group trust,
communication, morale and bonding.
Relieves stress and can
help defuse typical workplace conflict.
Has a direct impact on the
Take them “to-go!” For
the answer to the brain teaser at the right and above, as
well as all the actual brain teasers and games used in the
program, TPO Members
Help Bringing FUN to your Workplace?
TPO facilitates teambuilding training where through “fun”
activities, groups come together to result in a more
productive, satisfied team! Programs range from one hour to
Article written by:
Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA