CA Employment Essentials
A training series focusing on the
regulatory compliance and
- the information & skills supervisors & managers need to
keep themselves and the organization out of hot water!
A training series focusing on
skills to help
develop or refine
Harassment and Discrimination
Excelling as a First Time Manager or
External HR Support Briefing
Join us for breakfast
program is for ALL employers, including new & current TPO
members and affiliates. Learn about options and alternatives
available to employers considering the economies and
efficiencies of external HR support for all or part of their
employment-related demands – along with information about
TPO’s highly successful membership model.
According to the
enforcement and litigation statistics, private sector
employees filed a record number of charges with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission in 2011. A total of 99,947
charges of employment discrimination were filed with the EEOC in the 12-month period ending on September 30, 2011.
During this period, the EEOC filed 261 merit-based lawsuits
across the U.S., an increase of 11 lawsuits over the prior
year. In addition, claimants received $455.6 million in
relief through agency enforcement, mediation and litigation
efforts. These findings were first brought to light in the
Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Performance and Accountability Report
(PAR) released in November 2011. The charge statistics
flesh out the types of claims that were filed during the
year, giving employers some indication as to which charges
of discrimination are the most frequent and/or most costly
to resolve. Highlights of the 2011 data include the
99,947 total charges filed, 35,395 (35.4%) involved claims of race
discrimination; 28,534 (28.5%) involved claims of sex discrimination; 25,742
(25.8%) set forth disability-related discrimination claims; 23,465 (23.5)
alleged age discrimination; 11,833 (11.8%) involved allegations of national
origin discrimination; 4,151 (4.2%) alleged religious discrimination; 2,832
(2.8%) set forth charges of discrimination based on color; 919 (.9%) of
claims alleged pay-based discrimination; and only 245 of the charges set
forth genetic discrimination claims under the Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), up slightly from the prior year, but
representing the same percentage (.2%) of total claims filed.
these charges, 37,334 (37.4%) involved claims of employer retaliation.
total of $91 million in monetary benefits was received through litigation
alone in FY 2011. Title VII lawsuits generated the most in damages ($54.3)
through litigation, followed by lawsuits filed under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), which generated $27.1 million in monetary benefits
monetary benefits received in ADA cases increased the most from the prior
year. In addition to the $27.1 million obtained as a result of litigation,
ADA claimants received an additional $103.4 million as a result of agency
administrative action. According to the EEOC, “back impairments were the
most frequently cited impairment under the ADA, followed by other orthopedic
impairments, depression, anxiety disorder and diabetes.”
EEOC’s mediation program resolved 9,831 charges, and generated $170,053,021
Although they comprised a relatively small percentage (4.2%) of total
claims, religious discrimination charges increased the most (9.5%) from 2010
most claims increased from 2010 to 2011, the total number of claims alleging
race and national origin discrimination under Title VII and violations of
the Equal Pay Act (EPA) fell slightly.
EEOC resolved a total of 112,499 charges in 2011. A finding of “no
reasonable cause” was made in 74,198 (66%) of these cases. A reasonable
cause finding was made in 4,325 instances (3.8%). Among other means of
resolving the charges, the EEOC dispensed with 10,234 charges via
settlement, and 20,248 through merit resolutions.
300 lawsuits filed in FY 2011, 261 were merit suits, which include direct
suits and interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of
the statutes enforced by the EEOC and suits to enforce administrative
I am always surprised when a
client says, “I don’t know if the problem is the
employees...or the manager!” I’ve heard this countless times
from large and small employers, for-profit and non-profit
organizations, and from executives to HR reps. One of the
first questions I always ask is whether their managers (and
supervisors) have been taught how to handle different types
of group dynamics. Almost always the answer is no. Sometimes
it’s because of busy schedules. Sometimes it’s because
senior management doesn’t think of training as an investment
in the organization’s future – or productivity.
Do any of the following situations sound familiar?
The ABC Department is
behind schedule and holding up the entire production
Tony’s team is unhappy and
threatening to transfer out because Tony is a control
freak and nixes all the ideas they bring to him.
Susan is managing a large
project, and finding it difficult to get her team of 7
to work cohesively. Fingers are pointed and excuses are
If you’ve ever found yourself
part of any of these situations, you can understand how
de-motivated an employee can become. Did you know there are
proven methods of creating, developing, enhancing, and
maintaining solid team work? Who knew?!?! Of course I’m
going to tell you. TPO knew! There’s a lot to know about
building and maintaining productive teams. Here are just a
few things to think about:
Communication Styles: Do your managers match
their communication style with the employees on their team?
Do you have a manager who is a meticulous detail person
(individually) who produces stellar results, and who is now
in charge of a large project where a high level view is
required? Or perhaps a high producing, task oriented manager
with an introvert personality who is managing a team that
includes outspoken extroverts?
Stages of Team Development: Just as a
caterpillar gradually passes through predictable stages to
morph into a colorful butterfly, new teams predictably pass
through developmental stages on their way to peak
productivity – orientation, discouragement, growth, peak
performance. Which stage best reflects your team and how can
you best move your team to the next stage?
Characteristics of Working as a Team: Let
everyone participate, accept helpful
advice/suggestions/ideas from others, and exercise patience.
Problem Solving: Which approach is the best
for your project – the traditional approach or the systems
approach? The traditional approach is to find a problem,
find a solution, and move on. A systems oriented approach is
to consider all areas affected by the problem, as well as
the solution. Find the best win-win for everyone.
I hope these team work tidbits are healthy food for thought.
It’s always a good time to re-examine your team from an
honest, constructive point of view.
Article written by:
Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA
TEAMS THROUGH ENHANCED COMMUNICATIONS
Beyond Individual Performers to Supercharged Teams
WEDNESDAY, May 9th: 9:00am – Noon
at TPO’s Professional Development Center – Monterey
SEATING IS LIMITED –
TPO Members: $99 per
participant Non-Members: $119 per participant
Individual behavior styles and
preferences have a direct impact on our interpersonal
relationships on workplace teams. Team members differ from
each other in important ways including their values,
behaviors, talents, temperaments, wants and beliefs. This
program will help you become a more successful leader and
unlock some of the mysteries of developing and sustaining
positive team dynamics. You will be:
Discussing a proven model
for team development
Seeing how individuals’
communication styles effect overall team development
Understanding the critical
“1-2-3” approach to team execution
Designing a motivating
team environment with more fun
Reviewing a Case Study to
Avoid “The Abilene Paradox”
Knowing the predictable
team traps & sharpening team problem solving skills
Assessing your own team’s
Framing an action plan to
enhance the effectiveness of your team
Presented by: Chris Hawkins,
TPO Consultant & Trainer Extraordinaire!
mysteries of what these acronyms really mean – It’s ALL
THURSDAY, June 7th: 9:00am –
at TPO’s Professional Development Center – Monterey
SEATING IS LIMITED –
TPO Members: $99 per participant Non-Members: $119 per
We call it alphabet soup!
Integration has always been a challenge -- and the new FMLA
leave categories add a new dimension. The new DOL rules
complicate the relationship further. We unravel those pieces
and help you develop a system to cope with the overlaps and
the differences. It is no secret that these laws were not
written for simplicity or ease of administration. In fact,
there are numerous opportunities to fumble… whether you miss
an important notification requirement, stop benefits short
of legal requirements or fail to offer the amount of leave
allowed. Don’t put your organization at risk!
requirements and implications (in plain English!)
Visually walk through
Address the aspects that
you find most frustrating
solutions for managing leaves throughout their duration
Presented by: Kathrine
Parsons, SPHR-CA, TPO Consultant & Leave Administrator!
The DOL has adopted new
regulations affecting company
sponsored retirement plans that take effect starting on
July 1, 2012. The disclosures are required of all 401(k)
and ERISA 403(b) plans.
The new regulations require plan sponsors to provide
participants two types of information. The first type
includes details on plan-level costs, including a Model
Comparative Investment Chart with performance return and
expenses. The second type relates to each investment
choice and includes the relevant investment category,
performance data, benchmark performance, fees and
expenses. Quarterly, plan sponsors must also provide a
benefit statement reflecting the amount of fees and
expenses charged to participant accounts expressed in a
dollar amount, in addition to a description of services
related to each charge.
As a fiduciary, plan sponsors are duty-bound to
understand, review and monitor this new requirement.
Unfortunately, evaluating this new information as
required by ERISA will be difficult. Also, disclosures
to participants will raise alarms as many employees
don’t realize they are footing the bill for most plan
For the first time, the expenses and fees participants
pay each quarter for their retirement plan will be
explicitly listed for them in dollars and cents. In 2007
AARP published results of a national survey of 1,584
plan participants. When asked whether participants pay
any fees, 65% of surveyed participants said they pay no
fees at all when in fact they do. In many cases, this
could send plan participants directly to the plan
administrator’s office, statement in hand.
If the plan administrator fails to provide participants
with the required information, plan administrators will
be deemed to have violated their fiduciary duty under
ERISA and could be personally liable for monetary
damages and losses participants could have avoided had
they received the required performance and fee
We hope this article has helped to familiarize you with
the changing regulatory landscape so that the impending
changes will not come as a complete surprise. To assist
you with your understanding and compliance with the new
regulation(s), we are providing a 1 ½ hour briefing
scheduled for June 13, 2012 (details below or
click here to register!). We hope to
see you there. In the meantime, if you have any
questions or would like assistance in evaluating your
plan costs, we are available to meet with you and your
team. Feel free to contact Jeff Justi, Pension
Consultant at (408) 626-6029 if you have questions or
need more information.
Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure:
It This Time!?
WEDNESDAY, June 13th:
8:30am – 10:00am
have one free seat, all others pay $35
Come learn about the new DOL fee disclosure regulations
going into effect on August 30,
2012 and what all employers are now required to
provide to every plan participant…and what happens if you
Understand the new regulations and how they impact
Discover practical ways to ensure that compliance is met
techniques for uncovering and understanding your cost
how to communicate your cost structure to plan
Presented by: Kirsten Curry, ERISA Attorney & Jeff Justi,
AIF, CRPS, PRP
Accredited Investment Fiduciary and Certified Retirement
Seating is Limited!
TPO’s Professional Development Center at 60 Garden Court,
Monterey. There is no charge to members to send one
representative; non members pay $35.
to register and reserve your seat Today!
Legislation is on the move for
2012 with a variety of previously failed bills re-introduced
for consideration. While the Legislature deals with the big
issues of healthcare and budgets, employment-related
CA Pending Legislation
Law by Governor Jerry Brown
Expansion (AB 2039) –
If passed would expand the
type of individuals or circumstances under which
employees can take a 12-week, protected leave of absence
under California’s Family Rights Act (CFRA), including:
eliminating the age
and dependency elements from the definition of
"child," thereby permitting an employee to take
protected leave to care for his or her independent
adult child suffering from a serious health
condition (currently CFRA and the federal FMLA cover
minor children only in most circumstances);
definition of "parent" to include an employee's
parent-in-law (currently CFRA and the federal FMLA
do not cover in-laws); and
permitting an employee
to also take leave to care for a seriously ill
grandparent, sibling, grandchild, or domestic
partner, as defined. (Currently the federal FMLA and
CFRA do not cover such relatives, except that under
California law registered domestic partners already
have such rights.)
Unemployment Status Discrimination (AB 1450) —
If passed would make it unlawful for an employer
to 1) knowingly or intentionally refuse to consider for
employment or refuse to offer employment to an
individual because of the individual's status as
unemployed, 2) publish an advertisement or announcement
for any job that includes provisions pertaining to an
individual's status as unemployed, as specified, or 3)
direct or request that an employment agency take an
individual's status as unemployed into account in
screening or referring applicants for employment.
Expanded Protected Classification for
Discrimination/Harassment (AB 1740) —
If passed would expand the
CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing to include
a protected classification for employees who are victims
of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Overtime Change to over 10-hour days (SB 1114) —
If passed, would eliminate CA’s over 8 overtime
requirement and instead establish overtime as hours
worked in excess of 10 hours in one workday. Overtime
would still be earned for more than 40 hours worked in
Alternative Workweek for Small Employers (SB 1115) —
If passed employers with 10 or fewer employees
could implement an alternative workweek schedule at the
request of individual employees rather than the
complicated “secret ballot” process currently in place.
Pending HR Legislation
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 1397) –
if passed would prohibit employment discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Employment Act (H.R. 1113) –
if passed would prohibit discrimination on the basis of
and Medical Leave Enhancement Act (H.R. 1440) –
Would expand FMLA
to allow both private and federal employees to take
parental involvement leave to participate in or attend
their children's and grandchildren's educational and
extracurricular activities, and to clarify that leave
may be taken for routine family medical needs and to
assist elderly relatives, and for other purposes.
Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 4106, S. 2142) –
if passed would
provide employees with a statutory right to request
flexible work terms and conditions. Upon receiving a
request, an employer would be required to hold a meeting
with the employee to discuss his or her application and
provide a written decision regarding the application
“within a reasonable period” after the meeting. If the
application is rejected, the employer would be required
to provide a reason for the denial. The employer would
be permitted to propose an alternative change to the
employee’s hours, times, place, and amount of
notification of schedule assignments. If the employee is
dissatisfied with this proposal and has another
supervisor, the employee would have the right to have
the other supervisor reconsider the alternate schedule.
and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2364, S. 1283) -
the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage to a
same-sex spouse, domestic partner, grandparent,
grandchild, parent-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law,
child of a domestic partner, or adult child or sibling
who has a serious health condition.
Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act (S.
1196) - Like
the House employment immigration bill (H.R. 2000), the
Senate version would require all employers to use the
E-Verify electronic employment verification system,
increase employer penalties for violations of
immigration law, and eliminate the current Form I-9
America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act
(H.R. 2000) –
Among other provisions, would create a four-year
phase-in period during which all employers would
eventually be required to use E-Verify to check the
employment eligibility of their potential and current
Article written by:
Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA
to pay an extra hour at minimum wage!
A “split-shift” is when an employer imposes a schedule on an
employee that has more than an hour break between two
“shifts” in one workday.
An Hour of Minimum Wage Due
In this example, an employer must pay an extra hour of pay
at CA minimum wage (currently $8); the reasoning is that the
employee is in a standby mode and has to take the trouble to
come back to work. This hour is not time worked, therefore
it is not counted in determining overtime.
Credit For Above Minimum Wage Earners
Employers may credit the daily wages in excess of minimum
wage (currently $8) per hour worked against the one hour of
split shift payment ($8). As you can see from the below
examples, split shift pay will only happen for wage earners
close to minimum wage.
Example Continuation from Above:
Employee Earns $10 per hour. For a 5-hour shift that
is $50 earned. Since 5 hours at minimum wage ($8) is
$40, and the difference of $10 ($50-$40) is more than
one hour of minimum wage ($8),
NO split shift payment is owed to the employee.
Employee Earns $9 per hour. For a 5-hour shift that
is $45 earned. Since 5 hours at minimum wage ($8) is
$40, and the difference of $5 ($45-$40) is less than one
hour of minimum wage ($8), $3
in a split shift payment is owed to the employee.
would like to discuss this issue further, please give your
Representative a call!
Article written by:
Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA
AAI DESIGN -
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!
"Rancho Cielo has been a member of TPO since 2009. How
do you feel TPO contributes to the company’s success?"
Susie Brusa, Executive Director:
Cielo is a place of opportunity for many young people - as
many as 150 per day. As a non-profit, we run with a very
lean staff, maximizing our administrative overhead to the
degree possible. One tool we have to do that is TPO. Relying
on TPO to be our HR expert relieves us from having to focus
on (and pay for) HR management every day. We have a fairly
complex HR portfolio, with both exempt and hourly employees,
students earning stipends, and program
participant-employees. TPO makes sure that we are following
the laws and regulations – which is part of setting an
example for our young people.”
Rancho Cielo Youth Campus?
Rancho Cielo provides at-risk
youth the opportunity to reevaluate their life options,
empowering them to become accountable, competent, productive
and responsible citizens, through education, job training,
and individualized counseling. Our programs are both
effective and economical. While it costs upwards of $200,000
to incarcerate a youth in Monterey County, it costs less
than $10,000 per year to educate him/her at Rancho Cielo.
Additionally, while more than 60% of the incarcerated youth
in Monterey County re-offend within one year –80% of youth
formerly incarcerated stay out of trouble, earning their
diplomas and their way off probation after participating in
a program at Rancho Cielo. This represents an increase of
200% in Monterey County’s first time offending youth that
are making smarter choices, earning their high school
diplomas and are prepared for entry level jobs.
To partner with our community to provide a safe campus to
deliver programs and services that inspire at risk youth to
learn new skills, gain self-esteem and confidence.
To transform the lives of at-risk youth and empower them to
become accountable, competent, productive and responsible
citizens. Bringing together public agencies, community based
organizations and concerned citizens we aim to design and
implement a comprehensive set of services and programs in
support of our Vision. These services and programs will
provide the support and alternative activities needed to
stem the rising rate of juvenile crime in Monterey County
and the surrounding area.
High School Diploma
Programs for Youth 16 – 25:
Drummond Culinary Academy:
True vocational training in the culinary arts taught by a
Certified Executive Chef in our commercial kitchen, using a
vocational training in Sustainable Construction taught by a
Licensed General Contractor while building transitional
housing at Rancho Cielo.
Silver Star Youth Program:
Community Day School for high-school-aged youth on
Rancho Cielo Youth Corps, a Social Enterprise led by a
Licensed General Contractor, performing construction
projects in the community for public agencies and private
For more information:http://www.ranchocieloyc.org.
it true that we don't need to provide an Employee with a
long awaited California Supreme Court decision in Brinker
Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court was announced April
12, 2012. The unanimous decision’s impact on employers will
be evaluated in depth over the next few weeks, but here are
the highlights of the decision that is very favorable for
employers as it relates to employees in non-exempt
Meal Period Overview:
The California Supreme Court concluded “an employer’s
obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with
the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal
period for whatever purpose he or she desires, but the
employer need not ensure that no work is done.”
The Amount of Rest Time that Must be Authorized:
Employees working shifts lasting:
Over 2 hours but under
3.5 hours receive no rest break time;
10 minutes’ rest for
shifts from 3.5 – 6 hours;
20 minutes’ rest for
shifts of more than 6 hrs up to 10 hours;
30 minutes’ rest for
shifts of more than 10 hours up to 14 hours.
Rest Period Timing:
Employers are subject to make a good faith effort to
authorize and permit rest breaks in the middle of each
work period, but may deviate from that preferred course
where practical considerations render it infeasible.
Employer Duty to Provide
Meal Periods: An employer must relieve
the employee of all duty for the designated period, but
need not ensure that the employee does no work. The
Court noted the Department Industrial Relations, DLSE
Opinion Letter No. 1991.06.04, “If work does continue,
the employer will not be liable for premium pay. At
most, it will be liable for straight pay, and only when
it “knew or reasonably should have known that the worker
was working through the authorized meal period.” (Dept.
Industrial Relations, DLSE Opinion Letter No.
Meal Period Timing: The
Court concluded that absent a waiver, a first meal
period is required no later than the end of an
employee’s 5th hour of work, and a second meal period no
later than the end of the employee’s 10th hour of work.
It should be noted that the Court rejected the position
that a meal period must be provided every rolling five
hours of work.
Employers should carefully consider their business practices
and decide which of the following two will best apply to
their specific situation:
Schedule specific meal
periods for their non-exempt employees that must be
taken by the employee and where the employee may not
choose to self-waive meal periods. This option is often
best for organizations who want to control the exact
shifts that are worked by employees.
Allow employees the
opportunity to self-choose to waive their meal periods
noting whether it must be with or without prior approval
(effectively letting the employee leave 30 minutes
early). This option will work for employers who want to
allow employees flexibility in their schedule. It is
recommended employees sign a waiver indicating a
self-waived meal period.
Regardless of the above decision, employers
should continuing to require employees to clock in and out
for breaks (or sign an acknowledgement that breaks have been
provided) and train your supervisors and managers on the
definition and practical aspects of providing breaks for
their employees. Additionally, you should make sure your
Employee Handbook accurately addresses desired policy around
both meal and rest periods. If your handbook has not been
drafted or revised in the past two years, please contact TPO
for a policy review and recommendations.
TPO will continue to follow Brinker’s impact on employers,
and will keep you advised.
Article written by:
Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA
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