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Paying Employees During a Disaster Like Sandy:

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Any time we are met with a disaster like Sandy one of the most common questions that are surface are around show up pay and payment of exempt salaries. Here’s what the law says about it:

Paying Employees Who Show Up and Have No Work to Do

While the FLSA does not address this directly, many states do. It is known as call-in or reporting pay. For example, under Mass. Law:

455 CMR 2.03– (1) Reporting Pay. When an employee who is scheduled to work three or more hours

reports for duty at the time set by the employer, and that employee is not provided with the expected

hours of work, the employee shall be paid for at least three hours on such day at no less than the basic

minimum wage.

Here is an excellent summary created by SHRM so you can see the law in your state. http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/StateandLocalResources/StateandLocalStatutesandRegulations/Documents/Callbackcallinreportingpay.pdf HR That Works Members should all look at the BNA state law summaries under the Compensation folder.

Paying Exempt Employees Who Cannot Work

Bottom line is that if an employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available (29 C.F.R. 541.602(a)). You can have them use vacation or sick pay under appropriate conditions. Please see this FLSA memo for further instruction http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSA/2005/2005_10_24_41_FLSA.htm#.UJFW1IawUYw

New California Employment Laws Signed by Governor Brown

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

AB 1844 (Passed):  This bill would prohibit an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee or applicant disclose user name or password information for personal social media, or to divulge any personal social media.

Chapter 2.5. Employer Use of Social Media

980.  (a)  As used in this chapter, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.

(b)   An employer shall not require or request an employee or applicant for employment to do any of the following:

(1)      Disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media.

(2)      Access personal social media in the presence of the employer.

(3)      Divulge any personal social media, except as provided in subdivision (c).

(c)    Nothing in this section shall affect an employer’s existing rights and obligations to request an employee to divulge personal social media reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or employee violation of applicable laws and regulations, provided that the social media is used solely for purposes of that investigation or a related proceeding.

(d)   Nothing in this section precludes an employer from requiring or requesting an employee to disclose a username, password, or other method for the purpose of accessing an employer-issued electronic device.

(e)    An employer shall not discharge, discipline, threaten to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by the employer that violates this section. However, this section does not prohibit an employer from terminating or otherwise taking an adverse action against an employee or applicant if otherwise permitted by law.

SB 1255 (Signed):  This bill would specify circumstances under which “injury” would be presumed to an employee as a result of an employer not providing wage statements, or providing incomplete wage statements.  Presumed injury would allow the employee to recover penalties and/or actual damage.  Presumed injury could be shown by the failure to provide a wage statement at all, or by the failure to include the employee’s name and last 4 digits of the social security number.  It could also be shown by failing to provide complete wage information, causing the employee to be unable to determine (from the statement alone) gross and net wages earned, deductions therefrom, and the name and address of the employer.

“An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($100) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not to exceed an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

AB 1744 (Signed, effective July 1, 2013):   This bill would require temporary services employers to include additional information on itemized wage statements for employees, including the rate of pay for each assignment, the name and address of the entity that secured the services and total hours worked for each entity.

AB 2103 (Signed): Payment of a fixed salary to a nonexempt employee shall be deemed to provide compensation only for the employee’s regular, non-overtime hours, notwithstanding any private agreement to the contrary.

AB 2674 (Signed):  This bill would amend section 1198.5 of the Labor Code relating to employee rights to inspect personnel files.  The bill would require employers to maintain employee personnel files for at least 3 years following termination of employment, and to permit current and former employees (or their designated representatives) to inspect and copy personnel records, within 30 days of a request to do so by the employee.  The bill specifies that an employer is not required to comply with more than 50 requests for copies of personnel records by a representative of employee(s) in one calendar month.

Resources:

Labor Commission www.dir.ca.gov
Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing www.dfeh.ca.gov
EDD www.edd.ca.gov

And of course, HR That Works!

Equal Pay Act Guidebook

The DOL has issued a Guidebook for Employers on the Equal Pay Act. Part of the agency’s agenda is to step up its enforcement of the law.

NLRB Postpones Deadline for Poster to Jan. 31

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months in order to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses. 

The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012. 

The decision to extend the rollout period followed queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction, and was made in the interest of ensuring broad voluntary compliance. No other changes in the rule, or in the form or content of the notice, will be made.

Member Brian E. Hayes dissented from the adoption of the final rule. For this reason, he agrees with any postponement of the effective date of the rule.

Most private sector employers will be required to post the 11-by-17-inch notice, which is available at no cost from the NLRB through its website, either by downloading and printing or ordering a print by mail.

For further information about jurisdiction and posting requirements, please see our Frequently Asked Questions, which will be updated frequently as new questions arise. For questions that do not appear on the list, or to arrange for an NLRB presentation on the rule, please contact the agency at questions@nlrb.gov or 866-667-NLRB.

DOL Restores and Updates Functional Affirmative Action Program Process for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has released a new directive to outline the process by which federal supply and service contractors can apply for Functional Affirmative Action Program agreements, which can be viewed at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir296.htm.

“The FAAP is back and is better than before,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Over the past year, I have listened to comments from the contractor community and employee groups, and determined that this is a useful tool for ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors meet their obligations to provide equal employment opportunity for everyone. I am pleased to share updated guidance that responds to the feedback we received while also renewing our commitment to ensuring discrimination-free workplaces.”

Under Executive Order 11246, any company with 50 or more employees and a federal contract of $50,000 or more is required to develop a written affirmative action program for each of its establishments. An AAP helps contractors identify and analyze potential disparities related to the employment of women and minorities. Where disparities exist, contractors can use AAPs to articulate specific procedures they will follow and good faith efforts they will make to provide equal employment opportunities. FAAP agreements allow large contractors the flexibility to create AAPs by functional or business units rather than by individual establishments. For example, a company could develop an affirmative action program for all sales associates across multiple offices in different states as opposed to creating one for each work site.

OFCCP reviewed its policies regarding the FAAP process and made significant changes, including requiring written approval by the agency’s director before contractors can begin developing FAAP agreements, thereby eliminating the provision for automatic approval if OFCCP failed to act upon the request within 120 days; changing the expiration date for each agreement from three to five years, at which point a renewal will have to be approved; and adding the possibility of a compliance evaluation by OFCCP should contractors fail to submit the required annual updates to their agreements.

All contractors who currently have an approved FAAP agreement will be required to renew it in accordance with the new guidance. Contractors without these agreements should continue to maintain and develop establishment-based AAPs. Answers to frequently asked questions about the FAAP can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/faqs/faapfaqs.htm.

The new guidance rescinds a previous directive, Administrative Notice/Functional AAP, issued March 21, 2002, and ends a yearlong suspension in the acceptance of requests to develop or renew FAAP agreements while the program was under review.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP’s legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

Read the news release here: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20110973.htm

The Regulatory Agenda

The DOL has an agenda and as an employer you ought to know about it. On this page http://www.dol.gov/regulations/ you can find out what their agenda is today and how you can subscribe to the DOL updates (which I highly recommend).