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!
Harassment and Discrimination
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.
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outdated pictures or pictures when the passport was first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
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
portable "HR Department" offers user-friendly best practice
systems & guidelines including a complete CD.
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:
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:
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
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.
Legislation (no further action this legislative session) –
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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.
Employment Act (H.R. 1113) -
if enacted would prohibit discrimination on the basis of
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.
Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 4106, S. 2142) -
if enacted would
provide employees with a statutory right to request
flexible work terms and conditions.
and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2364, S. 1283) -
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.
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
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
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
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
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
dresick farms inc./dfi
marketing - Huron
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!
In It for Me??
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:
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.
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.
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
TPO's Exit Interview
Acknowledgement and Questionnaire is part of the
HR Administration Kit
Call your TPO Consultant for more information!
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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