n  I-9 "I"dentity and Authorization

n  Training_Calendar

n  HR Support Briefing

n  HR Administration Kit

n  Legislative Update

n  W&H Quick Tip

n  TPO New Members

n  Exit Interviews

 

 

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 October '12

Training Calendar

n Enhanced Communications

September 13

n Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

September 20

External HR Support Briefing

n Join us for breakfast

September 13

This 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.

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The State and Federal governments require the completion of many forms and documents when it comes to hiring, developing, retaining and separating employees. However, government agencies rarely explain the "why" behind these forms and documents.

Most employers understand that the I-9 document is necessary to confirm the right to work in the United States, or for "work authorization" in this country. The importance of "work authorization" has been heightened over the years in response to concerns over illegal immigration, illegal workers and the formation of more State and Federal agencies to control or minimize the influx of "illegal" or "undocumented" workers into the U.S. such as ICE.

The I-9 form serves another purpose, just as important as the right to work. It establishes "identity." Hence the "I" in I-9. The identity portion is very important. It confirms that the person being hired is the person who possesses the documents and their identity is one in the same. The document establishing identity must contain a picture so that the employer representative verifying the documents can "see" whether the person they are hiring appears to be the person in the picture.

This is one reason why expired documents are not accepted. In the past, as recent as 2008, expired passports could be accepted as documentation and they served the purpose of identity and work authorization. Too many new hires had outdated pictures or pictures when the passport was first applied for, which could be decades old. It's difficult to verify identity when you're hiring an adult, and the document being used has the picture of a child.

The current "HR Best Practice", is to no longer make copies of the documents provided for I-9 verification. Over the last several years, there has been a dramatic increase in identity theft, and in some cases, this has been linked to the employment process and prior practice of making copies of ID used for hiring purposes.

The I-9 document is required to be completed within 72 business hours of hiring a new employee. Our suggestion is to ensure you have the current version on hand and avoid making copies of any identification. Although the current form has an expiration date of 8/31/2012, don't worry. It may be several years before another update is provided by Uncle Sam.

Come to California Employment Essentials in October to review I-9 and other legislative and regulatory requirements.

Article written by: Chris Hawkins, SPHR

Thousands of our clients have increased their efficiency, organization and confidence with implementing and administering employment policies, practices and procedures...from pre-employment on!

A DFEH compliance officer told one of our clients, "the company that provided you with this Kit saved your organization from pursuit of this claim"!

Our portable "HR Department" offers user-friendly best practice systems & guidelines including a complete CD.

Set a standard of excellence, and reduce risk of challenges by job seekers and employees by increasing consistency and promoting quality decision making.

It includes legally required pamphlets, posters, and expert consultation to help customize the HR Kit to your operation.

IMPORTANT FREE OFFER FOR CURRENT HR KIT USERS:

We have recently updated the LEGAL COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS BY EMPLOYER SIZE document contained in the General/Safety section in the back of your binder. To request a complimentary copy of the update, email: blancac@tpohr.com.

The following bills are being considered before legislators recess on August 31 - 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: Going to Governor.

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

  • 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: In Senate.


CA FAILED Legislation (no further action this legislative session)

  • 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: failed legislation.

  • 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 is, who will be, or who is perceived as a family caregiver. Bill Status: failed legislation.

  • Expanded Protected Classification for Discrimination/Harassment (AB 1740) - If enacted would have expanded 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: failed legislation.

  • Overtime Change to over 10-hour days (SB 1114) - If enacted, would have eliminated CA's over 8 overtime requirement and instead established overtime as hours worked in excess of 10 hours in one workday. Bill Status: failed legislation.

  • Alternative Workweek for Small Employers (SB 1115) - If enacted employers with 10 or fewer employees could have implemented an alternative workweek schedule at the request of individual employees rather than the complicated "secret ballot" process currently in place. Bill Status: failed legislation.


Federal Pending HR Legislation

  • The Forewarn Act (S. 3297) - if enacted would amend the WARN Act by: 1) reducing covered employers from 100 down to 75 employees, 2) reducing the number of laid off employees needed to constitute a plant closing from 50 to 25, 3) reducing the written notice requirement from 60-days to provide 90-days), and 4) including the reason for the plant closing or mass layoff, how many employees would be affected, whether the employer has jobs elsewhere, a statement of each employee's right to wages and benefits.

  • 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 and S. 811) - if enacted would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    • FYI: 21 states (including CA) have already enacted laws banning employment discrimination against lesbians, gays and bisexuals, and 16 states have laws that also protect transgendered individuals from discrimination.

  • 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

"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 that may require 90 days notice! This year Christmas and New Year's fall on Tuesdays.

Take a look at the calendar and make some decisions, which might include: 1) close on your designated holidays, 2) close between Christmas and New Year's, and/or 3) changing your usual holidays to accommodate business, customer and/or employee preferences. As you decide, keep in mind:

  • 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 especially during the holiday season when money is also frequently tight for your employees.

  • Employees in Salaried, Exempt Positions: Remember, employees in such positions are paid for any workweek in which they perform any work, subject to full or 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; which might apply this calendar year if you close the week of Christmas. In order to require a salaried, exempt employee to use vacation/PTO during a full-workweek closure; such requirement must be communicated in writing at least 90 days in advance.

General to Both: Remember that an employee who answers work-related phone or logs into the company email system 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 do not want to end up paying them for time worked. 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.

Article written by: Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA

n dresick farms inc./dfi marketing - Huron

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!

What's In It for Me??

There are many employers who make an exit interview part of their routine separation process with no exceptions. Then there are those employers who don't have HR staff and who never even think to conduct an exit interview, or don't know how.

What's the right thing to do? First let's look at the purpose of an exit interview. At TPO, we think it's two-fold. It's the perfect time to:

 

  1. Obtain a separating employee's acknowledgement of receipt of important information, and creating a potentially binding agreement to issues that could otherwise be raised as a claim (e.g., final pay, occupational injuries, proprietary information, return of company property, permission to provide references, reason for leaving, etc.). This is Page 1 of TPO's two-page exit interview form.

  2. Via a simple questionnaire, glean useful information regarding their job, company policies and communications, their supervision and work environment, and working conditions and benefits. This is Page 2 of TPO's two-page exit interview form.

TPO recommends that the person conducting the separation meeting use their best judgment in this matter. In most cases, assuming the separation is on good terms, both pages of the exit interview form can be completed in person. You should make every effort to at least get the acknowledgement completed and signed before the employee leaves the premises. Consider it risk management. Then another option can be to attach a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the questionnaire part of the form that the employee can take home. It can be completed and returned at the former employee's convenience. The HR Rep can also complete the form for the separating employee during an exit meeting, but you're likely to get more honest information if the separating employee completes the form him/herself. If you anticipate the separation meeting to be difficult, perhaps it's best to leave well enough alone and not even bring up the exit interview forms. To insist on collecting signatures for anything at all may result in a blatant refusal and harsh words.

TPO's Exit Interview Acknowledgement and Questionnaire is part of the HR Administration Kit Call your TPO Consultant for more information!

Reminder:

Our CEE series includes a full session on the topic of Separation of Employment!

Click here to register!

Article written by: Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA

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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.