Monthly Archives: September 2010

DOL REGULATIONS MAY REQUIRE EMPLOYERS TO DEMONSTRATE COMPLIANCE WITH EMPLOYMENT LAWS

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced Plan/Prevent/Protect, a sweeping regulatory agenda that will replace the “catch me if you can” method of assuring compliance with federal employment laws. Under the Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy, the DOL has directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine, Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), Office of Federal… Read more »

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES AND STORAGE OF FORM I-9

On July 22, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security issued its Final Rule on electronic signatures and storage of Form I-9s. Under this rule, employers may: Complete, sign, scan, and store the Form I-9 electronically (including existing Form I-9s) so long as they meet certain “performance standards” (e.g., reasonable controls to ensure the integrity, accuracy,… Read more »

A STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS TO EMPLOYEE PROBLEMS CAN BE USEFUL

The statutory duty of employers to reassign disabled employees to vacant positions is mandatory. If a disabled employee can be accommodated by reassignment to a vacant position, the employer must do more than consider the disabled employee along with other applicants; the employer must offer the employee the vacant position. In a number of situations,… Read more »

AVOIDING OVERTIME CLAIMS

Overtime claims aren’t going away. A marginal claim filed by one disgruntled employee can easily turn into a class action involving dozens of workers. To help avoid such claims, follow these guidelines: Make sure employees that are appropriately classified as exempt. The FLSA and the State of California have done a great job defining the… Read more »

DO YOUR CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

In workshops, I joke that “it only takes one felon to ruin a day.” This really isn’t funny, especially if such a person happens to victimize your business. Unfortunately, despite the advice that all employers should do criminal background checks on all employees, many businesses still don’t do so because they think bad things only… Read more »

FMLA AND CALL-IN PROCEDURES

One of the greatest frustrations with the “old” Family and Medical Leave Act was how it regulated company call-in procedures. With the new and improved version, the Department of Labor pretty much allows a company to require compliance with its call-in procedures so long as it doesn’t restrict the rights of the FMLA. As the… Read more »

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: YOU’VE GOT TO LUV THEM!

I’m an unabashed promoter of Southwest Airlines. As someone who travels a great deal, I find the company’s customer service, pricing, and all-around flying experience to be the best in the industry. Amazingly, in 2009, Southwest continued its profitability streak for the 37th consecutive year, a remarkable feat amidst the worst recession most of us… Read more »

WHAT EMPLOYEES REALLY CARE ABOUT

I recently read that only 47% of 18-34 year olds “really care about the fate” of the enterprise for which they work – compared with 64% of those 55 and older. Although statistics like these make it easy to criticize the M generation, bear in mind that more than one-third of workers 55 and older… Read more »

WILL YOU BE PREPARED IF THE OTHER SHOE DROPS?

There’s been a lot of press recently about the possibility of the nation falling back into a deep recession. Let’s hope not! But, just in case, are you and your management team prepared to slash costs by 10%, 20%, or more again? Do you have a Plan B for your workforce? The recession caught plenty… Read more »

DOL LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE CATALOGUING EMPLOYER VIOLATIONS

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new Web site that reports (in a searchable format) employer violations. The site, http://ogesdw.dol.gov/, catalogues all DOL enforcement data regarding employer violations from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), the Mine, Safety & Health Administration (“MSHA”), the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), the Occupational Safety… Read more »