n  Criminal Record Checks

n  Training_Calendar

n  She Interviewed so well...How did I miss that!?

n  Erisa Retirement Plan Regulations

n  Is your Employee Handbook up to Date?

n  Legislative Update

n  Excelling as a First Time Manager - En Espańol!

n  W&H Quick Tip

n  TPO New Members



Training Calendar

CA Employment Essentials

A training series focusing on the regulatory compliance and HR best practices - the information & skills supervisors & managers need to keep themselves and the organization out of hot water!

n August '12

Management Excellence Series

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

n August '12

Training Calendar

n Workers' Compensation

June 28

n Excelling as a First Time Manager or Supervisor

August 22

n Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

September 20

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One of the proven strategies in an effective hiring process is to “check” or verify the information on a candidate’s resume and application for employment. This gives the employer the opportunity to confirm that the candidate has the education and experience they’ve listed or indicated during the application process, and the skills necessary to perform the essential duties of the job. It’s also critical in evaluating the candidate’s consistency and thoroughness in reporting their job-related background and core competencies.

Most employers also ask about an applicant’s “Criminal Record” on the application, and use this information along with the resume and application verification to form an opinion of the candidate and assess their fit to the position and organization. However, there has been recent scrutiny surrounding the necessity and legality of using Criminal Records/History when making hiring decisions. The EEOC has investigated claims that the utilization of Criminal History may be discriminatory and in violation of Title VII as it may exclude candidates of protected classes that otherwise wouldn’t be.

The EEOC has a written “Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures” which outlines or validates certain hiring practices. These guidelines are not federal law or regulation. However, when utilized effectively, these guidelines may help protect employers and their hiring practices from EEOC investigation and subsequent decision to file charges. Allegations of discrimination in the use of Criminal Records for employment decisions are on the rise. The EEOC has been evaluating the practice of asking applicants about and using Criminal History as a hiring decision component.

Employers using Criminal History as part of the background check process, should demonstrate that criminal record screening is job-related, relevant to performing the essential job functions, and consistent with business necessity. This can be demonstrated by showing the use of a targeted screening of applicants including; the type and severity of the offense, time since last offense, and nature of the position, coupled with an individual assessment that includes allowing the candidate the opportunity to explain why they should not be excluded from consideration.

Employers should carefully review their current screening process and employment application. Information regarding EEOC best practice recommendations for Criminal Record Checks is detailed in their publication: “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII.”

Article written by: Chris Hawkins, SPHR

(…and by the way, who has the time to start the whole hiring process over again?)

Poor hiring decisions often mean lost production time, money, and a decrease in employee morale – all costly mistakes for any employer. TPO CAN HELP! We have developed and refined the hiring process to identify the most qualified candidates and best match for a position in the shortest amount of time. Our program is unique, effective and affordable and provides the employer with a system for future recruiting projects!

TPO can help you with any or all of the following critical hiring steps with our

time-tested HireRight Systemssm process:

n Analyze the position & organizational needs

n Identify necessary characteristics & criteria

n Create/update a job description & application

n Provide training support to the hiring team

n Compose & place advertisements

n Manage & sort applicant responses

n Perform preliminary screening

n Facilitate interviews & administer assessments

n Conduct reference checks

n Arrange background investigations

n Assist with the employment offer

n Structure an introduction and orientation

n Minimize legal challenges

n Impress applicants with a professional process

n Establish a well-administered hiring system

Contact Chris Hawkins, TPO HireRight Specialist to chat about how TPO can help 
with your all of your recruitment needs.             1-800-277-8448      

Kirsten Curry and Jeff Justi presented an informative Breakfast Briefing on June 13, 2012. Be sure to register for these programs to attend either live in Monterey or via Webinar. Members attend free and non members pay only $35.

We asked them to provide the following recap the important deadlines for those of you who couldn’t attend.

The first deadline in a series of important government regulations affecting company sponsored retirement plans is quickly approaching.

By July 1, 2012, plan sponsors will be required to obtain a signed service agreement from the plan’s investment advisor.

Plan sponsors will also be required to receive their ERISA 408b(2) notice from each service provider to the plan by this date. Service providers include all providers that are associated with your plan including:

  • Third Party Administrator
  • Recordkeeper
  • Plan Advisor

  • Investment Provider
  • Consultant
  • Actuary

Failure to receive or execute a 408b(2) notice or a service agreement by July 1, 2012 will trigger a prohibited transaction and could disqualify your plan’s tax status. If agreements are not in hand by this date, the Department of Labor has gone so far as to require that you must terminate your relationship with that provider or advisor.

We understand these new requirements might be difficult to understand and execute. If you require assistance, please feel free to contact Kirsten or Jeff at the numbers below.

Kirsten Curry, President
Rains Plan Group
2226 Eastlake Ave East, #88
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 430-5084 (phone)
(800) 974-2814 (toll free)
(888) 796-5478 (fax)

Jeff Justi, AIF, CRPS

695 Campbell Technology Parkway, Ste. 250

Campbell, CA 95008

(408) 626-6029 office

(408 691-1115 Cell


Is It Time to Update your Employee Handbook?

Have things changed in your organization? Have people moved on? Have policies changed? Employee Handbooks are a key component of any sound employee relations program and play a critical role in communicating essential information about benefits, policies, and performance standards to all employees. The benefits of having documented policies are key to the promotion of fairness and consistency in which employees are treated, and reduce the possibility of arbitrariness and discrimination. The result is enhanced employee morale, productivity and loyalty (along with more favorable legal positioning).

TPO recommends that Employee Handbooks be updated at least every 2 to 3 years to provide business owners and managers with a comprehensive and compliant guide in making sound employment decisions, such as implementing corrective action, hiring, termination and promotion. Having polices and standards documented and up-to-date can be a real time-saver by eliminating the need to ‘reinvent the wheel” as issues arise. Additionally, policy and/or leadership change in organizations may result in the need to update your handbook.

TPO can update your current handbook or create a new handbook for your organization in a timely and cost-effective way. TPO can also help you “announce” the updated or new handbook to your employees by providing you with helpful presentation notes, memos and facilitation. Do you need any or part of your Employee Handbook translated into Spanish? Give us a call to get your Employee Handbook updated or created
, please contact us at 1.800.277.8448 or tpo@tpohr.com.

The following bills are being considered - some moving no further while others are moving forward in the process and closer to becoming law. Employment-related highlights include:

CA Pending Legislation

  • Employer Use of Social Media (AB 1844) – If enacted would prohibit an employer from requiring an employee or prospective employee to disclose a user name or account password to access a personal social media account that is exclusively used by the employee or prospective employee. Bill Status: Passed to Senate.

  • CFRA Expansion (AB 2039) – If enacted 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) beyond that of the federal law to include taking leave to care for an adult child, parent-in-law, grandparent, sibling or grandchild, or domestic partner. Bill Status: Passed to Senate.

  • Agricultural Employees (AB 1313) – If enacted would remove the existing overtime exemption allowed for agricultural employers. Bill Status: Passed to Senate.

  • Expanded Protection for Family Care Givers (AB 1999) — If enacted would expand the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing to include a protected classification for employees who are, who will be, or who are perceived as a family caregiver. Bill Status: Assembly Floor.

  • Unemployment Status Discrimination (AB 1450) — If enacted would make it unlawful for an employer to consider an individual's status as unemployed in the hiring process. Bill Status: Assembly Floor.

  • Expanded Protected Classification for Discrimination/Harassment (AB 1740) — If enacted 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. Bill Status: Assembly Committee.

  • Overtime Change to over 10-hour days (SB 1114) — If enacted, would eliminate CA’s over 8 overtime requirement and instead establish overtime as hours worked in excess of 10 hours in one workday. Bill Status: failed passage in committee.

  • Alternative Workweek for Small Employers (SB 1115) — If enacted 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. Bill Status: failed passage in committee.

Federal Pending HR Legislation

  • The Password Protection Act (H.R. 5684 and S. 3074) – if enacted would ban employers from requesting individuals’ usernames, passwords, or any other means of accessing their social networking sites and from taking adverse action against job applicants and employees who refuse to provide such information.

  • Rebuild America Act (S. 2252) – if enacted this would encompass many employment-related issues into one piece of legislation, including among other things: limiting the use of independent contractor safe harbor, allowing independent contractors access to NLRB protections, and increasing FLSA salary threshold for white collar exemptions to $54,340.

  • Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 1397) – if enacted would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Fair Employment Act (H.R. 1113) – if enacted would prohibit discrimination on the basis of unemployment status.

  • Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act (H.R. 1440) – If enacted would expand FMLA to allow 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.

  • Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 4106, S. 2142) – if enacted would provide employees with a statutory right to request flexible work terms and conditions.

  • Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2364, S. 1283) – If enacted would expand 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.

  • Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2000) – Among other provisions, if enacted 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 hires.

  • Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act (S. 1196) - Like the above House version (H.R. 2000), if enacted 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 process.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

You Asked and we Listened!


Our Popular "Excelling as a First Time Manager or Supervisor" is now available fully in Spanish!



As a newly promoted manager, supervisor or leader, you face a wide variety of new challenges. In addition to accomplishing your own projects, you are now expected to build and motivate a team to meet department and company goals.

During this 3-hour program, we will explore practical techniques, tips and solutions you will need for success in your first management role.

Participants will learn about:

n The key roles and functions of a manager

n The importance of effective communication in a management position

n How to exhibit leadership so others will follow, and

n Identifying stages of team development while recognizing where your team is now

800.277.8448 • TPO@TPOHR.COM

"Two Rates of Pay"
...determining overtime using a weighted average!

Yes, you can pay non-exempt employees two different rates of pay for two separate jobs; however, all hours worked must be counted toward the overtime threshold for your particular industry.

  • Note: Many industries require overtime as follows (call TPO if you are unsure of your industry):

    • Time and One-half: after 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, and/or the first 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in the workweek.

    • Double Time: after 12 hours a day and/or after 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in the workweek.

If overtime is due, you have to figure out the "weighted average" for compensation of all hours worked to know the specific premium rate to pay during overtime. Following is an example:

An employee normally earns $10 per hour and performs a completely separate job (job 2) at $8.75 per hour. In one week, the employee works 40 hours in the regular job and 10 hours in the 2nd job.

  • $10/hour x 40 hours = $400

  • $8.75/hour x 10 hours = $87.50

  • $400 + $87.50 = $487.50 (total weekly compensation before overtime premiums are added in)

  • $487.50 divided by 50 hours (total hours worked) = $9.75 (“regular rate of pay”)

  • $9.75 divided by 2 = $4.88 (overtime premium for time-and-one-half)

Overtime payment:

  • If the employee is performing job 2 while time-and-one-half is due, he/she would receive $13.63 per hour. This is the $8.75 rate plus the $4.88 overtime premium; or

  • If the employee is performing his/her regular duties while time-and-one-half is due, he/she would receive $14.88 per hour. This is the $10 rate he/she normally earns, plus the $4.88 overtime premium.

If you would like to discuss this issue further, please give your

TPO Representative a call!

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

n Golden STATE CONTAINER - Ontario

n Ingraham & Associates - Salinas

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!

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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.