Does your organization have set pay ranges or do you just determine wages based on the new employees desired wage and/ or what they claim they made at their last job?
If you do have set ranges, are they properly set and reviewed regularly (at least every other year?)
If you do not have them, is it because you are afraid to “cap” your top performers…or because you have no set pay philosophy or system to ensure fair, consistent pay practices?
Save the date!!! On March 27th at 9am Alternative HR will be presenting a seminar on Fair Labor Standards Act issues. Some of the topics covered include the pay ranges mentioned above, as well as…
Am I legally paying my employees a salary or should they be hourly?
Are my independent contractors legally meeting the IRS and state guidelines?
Like our Facebook page or Follow us on Linkedin by 2/22/13 to receive free registration. Register by emailing Kellie@Alternative-HR.com.
The PA House recently introduced a bill prohibiting unemployment discrimination. What does this mean? If employers do not hire a candidate because they are collecting unemployment, or place an advertisement stating something to the effect of “unemployed need not apply” they would be violating the PA Fair Employment Act. Minimum fines for first offenses are $1500, as well as potential civil litigation.
Anyone have an opinion on this issue they would like to share? I personally find the idea of not hiring someone because they have been on unemployment ridiculous. Plenty of individuals with great skills and work ethic have lost their jobs in recent years because of the poor economy.
The Impact of Obama’s Re-election on Employers
Now that the November Presidential election is behind us, many employers are asking: What impact will President Obama’s re-election have on employers? Here are a few key areas that will continue to receive heightened attention during Obama’s second term.
OFCCP During Obama’s first term, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) proposed regulations that would impact government contractors. Among these were proposals to increase pressure on contractors to hire Veterans and the disabled, including setting utilization goals for such groups, such as a target hiring goal of 7% of each job group for individuals with disabilities. It is likely the OFCCP will continue to make compensation a priority.
NLRB Under Obama, the NLRB has invalidated employer social media policies that appear to limit what employees can say over social media, and certain employer rules that prohibit employees from discussing ongoing internal investigations with coworkers. It is likely the NLRB will continue to aggressively pursue employer policies and practices which it perceives as having a chilling effect on employees’ Section 7 rights. Employers should consider reviewing their employee handbooks in consultation with HR Consultants to mitigate the risk of unfair labor practice charges.
EEOC Under the Obama administration, the EEOC has aggressively pursued its systemic discrimination initiative, in many cases using a charge by a single employee as the launching pad to conduct facility-wide investigations. The Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) targeted, among other issues, eliminating systemic barriers to hiring and recruitment, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender) coverage under Title VII’s existing sex discrimination provisions, and employers who fail to accommodate pregnant females with work restrictions through forced leaves of absence.
Immigration President Obama is pushing for comprehensive federal immigration reform, capitalizing on the support he received from the Latino community during the election.
Healthcare President Obama will continue to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that he signed into law on March 23, 2010. Employers should be mindful of the compliance deadlines and consult an expert to ensure they meet the PPACA’s requirements.
Employers must be vigilant ensuring that their employment practices comply with ever changing federal and state regulatory requirements.
$100 per day per plan participant fines apply to group health plans that refuse to provide free coverage for the so-called “morning after pill” and similar contraceptives as of Jan. 1, 2013. For Conestoga Wood Specialties in Lancaster County resources indicate these fines total about $95,000 a day. The company’s owners, who are Mennonites, objected to the law’s requirement that they provide health insurance covering birth-control products such as Plan B, the “morning after” pill. On January 11th, they were denied a request for a temporary injunction.
S.B 637 requires all contractors and subcontractors to use the federal E-Verify program to confirm employment eligibility of all employees before beginning work on a public project. The PA Department of General Services will issue a compliance verification form that employers must submit before being awarded a project or executing an existing project. They will enforce the act through complaint-based and random audits. Contractors violating the Act will be subject to debarment for up to 180 days and civil penalties ranging from $250 to $1,000 per violation. Willful violations will be subject to debarment for up to 3 years.
A permanent extension of Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code was passed on January 1st, 2013. The law allows employees to exclude from taxable income up to $5,250 per year in employer-provided tuition assistance for undergraduate or graduate level courses, regardless of whether or not the courses are relevant to their current job. HR professionals have been working for the permanency of this benefit, that is a win-win for employees and employers, for over a decade.
The bill, known as H.R. 8 also reinstates and extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers through December 2013.
If one of your employees has a “typical” discrimination or sexual-harassment claim, the EEOC may investigate and not do much more, especially if your employee has an attorney. The EEOC will view that situation as one in which your employee has access to the courts.
If an employee without an attorney shows up at the EEOC complaining, the EEOC is likely to take an interest. This is especially true if the complaints involve more unique issues like Americans with Disabilities Act coverage, reasonable accommodations,or pregnancy accommodation.
So what are some ways in which you can remain compliant in 2013? Thanks for Eric B. Meyer from the Employment Law Blog, we have the following tips…
See that similarly-situated employees are being treated equally, especially when it comes to compensation.
Update job descriptions and review hiring tests to make sure that everything is job-related.
Schedule some anti-harassment training for your employees, making sure that they know how to alert you to problems in the workplace — before going to the EEOC.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has adopted the following national priorities…
Companies and their management may not retaliate against an employee for taking protected actions such as those listed below…
Reporting unsafe situations
Refusing to perform an illegal act
Taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Requesting reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Complaining about harassment.
Making complaints about wage and hour issues.
Employees may not be terminated just so the employer can avoid providing a benefit, such as vesting.
Also consider the following cases…
Often a retaliation claim is secondary to another claim. The employee sues for sexual harassment, and then claims that he or she was retaliated against for having filed the claim. Surprisingly, the retaliation claim is often upheld even when the main claim is not.
Many retaliation charges are based almost entirely on unfortunate timing. For example, an employee requests leave, files a sexual harassment charge, or makes an OSHA complaint. Two weeks later he or she is fired and charges retaliation. If your documentation and reasons for the firing are not airtight, you’ll have a difficult time convincing a jury that the firing wasn’t retaliation.
Be sure to have an Anti-Retaliation Policy and ensure your employees understand it…or you may both be liable!
Does your company have an employment is “at will” statement/ policy? Does it state that the at will employment can never be changed? If so, the NLRB has deemed these policies a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. You will need to update your policy accordingly.