Daniel Cullinane CPA
25 Plaza 5 25th fl Jersey City NJ phone 732-516-1648 fax 732-516-9778
2500 Plaza 5 25th fl Jersey City NJ 07311 phone 732-516-1648 fax 732-516-9778
Copyright © Daniel Cullinane CPA.
Managers are the employer's eyes and ears, so they have a key legal responsibility to be on the lookout for behaviors that could spark a sexual harassment compliant. Remind them they need to be alert for two kinds of harassement
Quid pro quo literally means this for that harassment. It occurs when a boss uses job rewards, such as raises or promotions, or punishment such as demotions or firing to force employees into a sexual relationship or sexual act. One incident of quid pro quo harassment is enough to justify a lawsuit. Victims do not even need to suffer any actual physical contact, they need only show that a coercive offer was made
Hostile environment harassment is more subtle. Employees who make such claims argue that the workplace is sexually charged that it affects their job performance. causes include pornographic pictures displayed verbal abuse inappropriate touching sexual jokes or demeaning gender based remarks
The new overtime rules: 5 things to do now
It is the biggest overhaul of US overtime law in history, and HR professionals are scrambling now to get in compliance and revise their compensation plans. At the heart of the proposed changes: a doubling of the salary threshold below which white collar employees are automatically eligible for overtime pay, up to more than $50,000 per year from $23,660.
The US Department of Labor estimates the changes, which will likely take effect in late 2016, will make at least 5 million more Americans eliglble for time and a half overtime pay for the first time. In addition to raising the salary threshold, the proposal calls for annual upward adjustment to that number based on US income levels. In responseto the upcoming changes, employers face a host of questions: Which employees will become eligible for overtime? how can we adjust schedules, hours, and pay to minimize the impact? How will the rule affect our hiring and promotion plans?
Here are five things employers should do now:
Review current salaries, focusing on white collar exempt employees earning between the old salary threshold and the new threshold.
Determine which salaries you can raise to retain exempt status and which you cannot based on the labor budget
Analyze how many hours exempt employees now work and what it would cost if their current salary is converted to an hourly figure and they continue to work the same number of hours
Decide whether you will lower the hourly rate when you convert from exempt to hourly status so that total earnings remain the same
Do not forget to consider morale, some employees may think of hourly pay as a demoltion. This requires an HR communication effort.
NEW OVERTIME RULES
Your employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against lawsuits or it can be a ticking time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal defenses. Id depends on hw welll it is written and put to use. Here are the 10 most common handbook mistakes to avoid
1) Adopting a "form" handbook which includes promises you will not keep
2) Including lots of detail on procedures which confuses employees and provides fodder for lawyers. Keep a separate procedures manual for managers
3) Mentioning an employee probationary period. That can erase at will status by implying that once the period is over, employees can stay indefinitely
4) Being too specific in your discipline policy That gives the idea the list covers every infraction. Workers can easily claim inconsistency
5) Not being consistent with other company documents. Make sure all polices speak in one voice
6) Over looking an at will disclaimer. Have employees sign a disclaimer acknowleding that the company can terminate their employment at any time and bypass discipline policies
7) Sabotaging disclaimers by reassuring employees their jobs are safe
8) Not adapting the handbook to accommodate each state's laws. Have a lawyer look for state slip ups
9)Failing to update the manual frequently for changing laws.
10) Setting unrealistic polices. If managers will not enforce it do not put it in the handbook
EEOC: Most Harassment training is worthless
Nearly 30 years of anti-harassment training by corporate America has done almost nothing to curb the amount of harassment occuring in the work place, says a new report by the EEOC Commissinor Victoria Lipnic about the 14 month study . Almost one third of the roughly 90,000 employee claims filed with EEOC last year included an allegation of some sort of harrassment, sex, race, religion age ect The problem says the report is that most anti harassment training is more focused on simply avoiding legal liability than on actually preventing harassment. That does not mean we are suggesting htat training be thrown out but training needs to be part of a holistic, committed effort to combat harassment, focused on the specific culture and needs of a particular workplace
Solutions: The EEOC is urging employers to use customized training. To be effective, the training that is live in person and customized to your workplace. The report encourages employers to implement workplace civility training, a skills based training on how to act respectifully with co-workers and customers. Plus, it suggests organizations employ "bystander intervention training " in which employees are taught how to recognize and report problematic behavior when they see it. This creates a sense of collective responsibility on the part of workers.