This session will provide a high-level understanding of I-9 documentation and E-verification used when hiring foreign nationals. You will leave with helpful tips and tools on how to successfully complete I-9 forms including common mistakes made. We will review a wide variety of interesting I-9 fact patterns and scenarios, that we have seen firsthand in auditing I-9 files for clients, or have been shared with us as hypotheticals by SHRM members. Additionally, you will learn about compliance with relevant U.S. immigration laws and regulations, including I-9 and e-Verify rules, and avoiding immigration-related discrimination. You will be provided tools you can use to enhance compliance and useful tips for implementing I-9 and E-verify policies. This session will provideyou with:
· An understanding of the ICE enforcement strategies and recent trends.
· Knowledge of the I-9 employment verification process and best practices.
· Tips to successfully complete I-9 forms including a review of common mistakes.
· Ways to avoid immigration-related discrimination.
· An understanding of E-verify and how it works.
Every pay cycle lends itself to the same fears – Are you doing everything in accordance with the FLSA? Is your organization up on the latest issues? Are you worried that mistakes are being made? Whether you are pensive about exempt v. non-exempt employees or looking out your door wondering what wage and hour issue with come up next, fear not. You will share knowledge through competition and present situations that are sure to provide you with new insights to assist you in being better prepared for the next pay day and beyond. This session will help you:
· Understand the latest FLSA regulatory changes.
· Learn ways to avoid potential challenges under the FLSA and how it may impact salary projections.
· Develop a plan to deal with specific types of positions and planning for salary development to circumvent FLSA issues.
Over the past year alone, a number of employers have been forced to defend FMLA and ADA lawsuits due simply to an inappropriate comment from a supervisor or other deviation from corporate policy by a manager. A snide comment about an employee in an email, not recognizing FMLA leave or asking an employee to work while on leave are all common causes for landing you in legal hot water. Despite an organization's best policies (and intentions), all it takes is a new or untrained manager to cause an FMLA or ADA-related lawsuit. You will learn:
- How managers are undermining an employer's defense of an FMLA and ADA lawsuit, and how to identify the risk factors.
- Where to look for the most common pitfalls in how managers handle FMLA and ADA leave through in-depth discussion of scenarios and related cases.
- Constructive methods you can use to train managers in the process of both FMLA and ADA leaves.
- Key questions to ask when considering outsourcing of FMLA or ADA leave administration to address these scenarios.
While legislative issues in California are unique to those organizations operating in the Golden State but they often serve as a predicator to future federal legisative. The session will cover the new state and city laws that are impacting California employers. You will hear also about the emerging areas which are challenging HR practitioners. This session will cover:
· The new California state and city laws which could impact your businesses.
· The agency initiatives which are driving enforcement and field audits.
After passage of the ACA, there are even more requirements that employers sponsoring health and other welfare plans need to ensure they are performing. This session will help you:
· Learn what the DOL looks for when they do an audit.
· Learn what you can do to be totally prepared in the event of an audit.
· Identify the pitfalls that many employers miss when sponsoring plans that can show up on audit.
There are a lot of myths floating around that “sitting is the new smoking” and “back pain is because of your chair”. Your employees respond by asking for new equipment. The reality of ergonomics is very different. During this session we will explore the correct uses of sit/stand stations, what really makes equipment “ergonomic,” and the behaviors and habits that affect workplace comfort and productivity. This session will detail how your employees should be working and save your company from buying a lot of expensive equipment. We will also discuss how correct working postures fit into employee health and ergonomics programs.
· Differentiate between the different types of office equipment on the market and their proper uses.
· Learn how to do a very basic ergonomics evaluation and help your employees work with less discomfort.
· Recognize the healthy and not healthy work behaviors that can be influenced by your company's culture.
· Discover how simple, inexpensive changes can positively affect your employees' working postures
and overall health and wellness.
If you are not already subject to paid sick leave regulations, it may be coming to you in the near future. So, what should you know and what should you do to prepare? This session will review key elements common to paid sick leave legislation and explore how automated systems can help ease employer burdens. During this session we will:
· Review current mandates and the state of proposed legislation.
· Identify key elements common to most legislative efforts.
· Outline differences to look for in state or local ordinances that may affect your ogranization.
· Review how changes to leave-related policies can ease the administrative burden
of calculating and awarding sick leave time.
· Explore how automation can help streamline leave accrual and administration.
You've just been asked to investigate a complaint against someone in senior management. Your next steps are absolutely critical. This session will explore the challenging and often delicate issues related to investigating senior executives. Topics include investigator selection/retention, reporting requirements, “chain of command”, disclosure obligations and scope of the investigation. And, don't forget potential defamation and other potential legal issues, as well as managing internal and external public relations issues. This session will help you:
· Understand the nuances and complexities of investigating senior- level executives.
· Prepare your organization for the legal risks that can occur before, during and after the investigation.
· Create an effective strategy that covers retaliation concerns, evidence, privilege and technology issues.
It's been over year since the DOL leadership and initiatives have changed to a new course. What can we expect for the coming years from the DOL and Congress on the wage and hour front? What have been the trends in other DOL overtime pay compliance initiatives and overtime cases in the courts? What are the most common mistakes causing overtime pay compliance problems? These will be among the developments and nuances discussed so that you can avoid making inadvertent but expensive wage and hour compliance mistakes. During this session you will:
OSHA's definition of violence and the EEOC's definition of harassment include workplace bullying, yet we insist we can't solve bullying because it is legal behavior. A closer look at these definitions, mixed with the presenter's real world stories, will convince you otherwise. You will also receive step-by-step tips for surveying employees to make the business case for solving bullying, as well as actionable tips to do just that. As a result of attending this session, you will be able to:
· Confidently discuss the similarities and differences in bullying and harassment, and bullying and workplace violence.
· Conduct a survey to determine the extent of bullying, and use the results to make a business case and create
an action plan for a positive workplace culture.
· Implement a healthy workplace policy that has buy-in from employees.
· Use their already existing performance system to address bullying.
· Understand the global landscape of workplace bullying laws.
“Which bathroom do I use?” Have you or your supervisors received this question? Do you or they know how to respond? It is vitally important for you to train individuals on how to handle these and other sensitive situations and requests related to gender identity in the workplace. This session will explore various federal and state laws and regulations related to gender identity in the workplace, with a hyper focus on workplace washroom gender identity etiquette. We will outline various state-level bathroom bills, explore EEOC bathroom guidelines, and detail OSHA's guidelines on transgender employee access to restrooms. During this session you will:
· Learn the EEOC's & OSHA's respective positions with respect to gender identity in the workplace.
· Explore various state-level and local jurisdictional laws related to gender identity in the workplace.
· Understand how to respond to an employee expressing a gender identity concern in the workplace.
· Understand how to respond to co-workers of an individual expressing a gender identity concern.
· Learn how to respond to an individual expressing concern over well-being and safety when utilizing
a particular gender identified washroom.
Is the flu shot you're providing to employees being offer as a benefit to COBRA beneficiaries? Because it should be. While COBRA is conceptually easy to understand, it is tactically more challenging to administer. Many organiations are unaware that certain benefits are subject to COBRA. On the other hand, some are offering COBRA in situations which you don't have to because of a misunderstanding about the law. The cost of non-compliance can be high, so you should make sure all your ducks are in a row when it comes to COBRA. This session will help you:
· Understand the unique plans or benefits that are subject to COBRA.
· Understand which COBRA qualifying events may not actually be qualifying events.
· Understand COBRA obligations when there is a merger or acquisition.
Tired of the repeated programs on FMLA that promise how to manage FMLA abuse, but give you the same old tactics, that almost never work? This session is designed to help you understand the psychology behind employees and their leave. Learn creative and effective ways to manage leaves of absence, in a lawful way, without looking too hyper-technical and nit-picky with your employees. You will learn:
- Lawful inquiries and requests for certification from an employee and the employee's doctor.
- Compliant tactics for investigating potential leave abuse.
- How to develop and enforce policies to catch the cheaters, discourage the risk-weighers and maintain engagement and productivity of the “salts-of-the- earth” in the workplace.
Reasonable accommodations often mean different things to you and your employees. This session will review your obligations to engage in the interactive process under the ADAAA and what courts have said can be a reasonable accommodation and what may not be reasonable. During this session, we will review:
· EEOC guidance on reasonable accommodations.
· Recent cases on the interactive process, accommodation strategies and pitfalls to avoid in the process.
· Best practices and common pitfalls to avoid when dealing with disabled applicants and employees.
With focus on creating a work environment with a healthy work/life balance, paid time off has become a critical part of the total rewards package. This session will explain The Finish Line's move to flexible PTO in 2016 as well as a vacation conversion program introduced at Erie Insurance in 2014. How they developed their business case will be shared as well as how the plan was implemented and critical lessons learned. You will learn:
- The details of two emerging trends in time away from work – unlimited PTO and vacation conversion.
- How to assess your organization's culture, philosophy and employee population for possible fit with these emerging practices.
- Successes and failures from two business leaders that have already implemented, thereby increasing your chance for success if you should choose to implement.
The number of monetary settlements in fail-to-hire cases, and rigorous audits by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) prove it's not enough to simply have an applicant tracking process. You must ensure your applicant tracking processes are compliant with federal regulations. You will learn:
- The regulatory requirements for applicant tracking processes for federal contractors.
- How to audit yourr current applicant tracking process for compliance with current regulations.
- How to strategically structure your applicant tracking process to present your data in the best light during an audit.
Learn how James Madison University approached the unique situation of migrating to electronic records storage while still storing unorganized boxes of duplicate paper records. Get a firsthand look at the intricacies of a project this size and examine critical issues including records retention, retention schedules and sensitive documents and data. This session will prepare you to think critically about potential migration to electronic records management or assist in your current migration process. You will learn:
- How James Madison University tackled the problem of duplicate records (electronic and paper).
- The importance of a strategic and analytical approach to electronic records management.
- A systematic approach to paper removal – identification, destruction, compliance and work flows.
- Strategies for dealing with sensitive data (FMLA, WC, STD, LTD, ADA, HIPPA and OSHA).
Workplace flexibility can be used to both attract and retain talent. This session will review workplace flexibility requirements under federal and state laws as well as proven methods and best practices to apply workplace flexibility strategies as a recruitment, accommodation and retention tool/resource. Workplace flexibility is not only part of many disability accommodation discussions but it is also called for in workers compensation light duty discussions, maternity, paternity and other family leave or sick leave plans. This session will review:
- The legal requirements that come with offering work flex policies.
- The common-sense benefits of workplace flexibility policies and practices.
A spate of recent news stories highlights a troubling fact pattern in workplaces: an employee alleges harassment and/or discrimination and the alleged culprit is a high-level company executive. A number of challenging issues arise when the alleged perpetrator is a person in a position of power at the organization. Who should investigate the claim? Was anyone else aware of this conduct? Is there a broader problem with the corporate culture that should be addressed? Is one-on-one training for executives the remedy (pre- or post-allegation)? This session will examine these and other issues that may arise when the perpetrator occupies the C-suite. This session will help you:
- By providing crucial information on how to manage harassment and/or discrimination allegations against high-level executives.
- Identify anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies you can implement, the unique issues that may arise when a perpetrator is in a position of power, best practices for conducting workplace investigations, and strategies to prevent reoccurrence.
- Understand the importance of consistently following company policy, the impact on workplace culture, and how to train executives to prevent discrimination and harassment from the top.
Political correctness has become pervasive in colleges and universities, often to absurd extremes. “Microaggressions,” “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” Is all of this coming to your workplace anytime soon? That depends on you and the policies you implement. A policy against harassment is surely necessary, but if it is drafted too broadly it might give rise to complaints from employees who are sensitive to the slightest provocation. An anti-bullying policy may seem like a good idea but how do you define bullying? Does freedom of speech apply at work? Should you attempt to control your employees' speech to prevent liability? This session will help you locate the right approach to these issues. This session will answer the following questions:
- How might an overbroad policy against harassment give rise to complaints about politically incorrect behavior?
- Should employers implement policies against bullying, and how should 'bullying' be defined for the workplace?
- Should political speech be treated differently for managers and non-management employees?
- How far can an employer go in enforcing dress codes?
Without realizing the potential consequences, organizations make some very common mistakes that create significant liability for you in California.What may seem to make good, business sense is often completely in violation of law. Many of these mistakes happen because the laws are not always intuitive, yet many are avoidable through better management training and consistent practices. We will explore the most common mistakes with some real world examples. This session will help you:
- Identity which of the most common mistakes may be happening in your organization.
- Understand how such areas as Final Paychecks, Workers' Comp, Overtime, Independent Contractors, Training, Pay, COBRA, Handbooks, FMLA/CFRA, and Probation should/should not be handled to avoid potential litigation.
- Learn from real-world stories and how they might have been handled differently.
Federal, state, and local agencies, along with several advocacy groups persistently bring attention to the issue of pay equity. In particular, the OFCCP and EEOC are committed to enforcement efforts to ensure fairness in pay. This session will provide an overview of current pay equity laws, and practical tips for complying with the regulations. You will also learn effective strategies for developing sound pay practices, uncovering potential pay disparities, and how to remedy instances of inequity. This session will provide you with:
- An overview of pay equity legislation.
- Proactive approaches to identifying potential pay disparities.
- Recommended best practices for correcting pay inequity.
Since 2009, you have been adapting your health plans to comply with the various requirements of the changing health care laws. With President Trump's efforts to repeal or replace past regulations, more change is on the horizon. This session will provide an overview of the current health care reform initiatives and determine their impacts on your employee benefits programs. During this session we will:
- Review health care reform initiatives under the Trump Administration.
- Discuss the outcome of these efforts and how they will impact your employee benefits programs.
- Review the timing to comply with these changes.
The most common type of employment lawsuit plaintiff today is the employee who got fired while on, or after returning from, a medical leave. This session will highlight mistakes in handling leaves that will almost certainly get your business sued, including failing to reinstate an employee following a leave because you realized you didn't really need him, firing an employee who fails to return from FMLA leave, terminating an employee who is deemed “permanently disabled” under workers' compensation, and changing an employee's job duties while he/she is away on leave. This session will learn:
- Best practices in handling difficult and complex ADA accommodations involving medical leaves.
- How to effectively navigate the interactive process.
- How to bid farewell to a disabled employee while vaccinating yourself against a future lawsuit.
- How to handle multiple leave extensions and how to know when you are finished with the interactive process.
President Trump hit the delete button on eight years of Democratic control of the NLRA and the pro-union activities of the Obama Board. The era of a pro-union NLRB is officially over. This change has also ushered in an increase in union organizing and “organic” and spontaneous employee protests. This session will cover the key new practices and decisions at the NLRB as well as the new tactics and organizing strategies being deployed by labor unions. We will conclude with an interactive discussion of how to develop a comprehensive seven-step program for effective employee relations. This session will help you will learn how the Trump Labor Board has changed:
- The standard for “PCA” issues on your handbook, policies and practices.
- The rules concerning conducting union elections and appropriate units for elections.
- The strategies for effectively developing pro-employee labor relations practices.
- How to successfully and legally manage union organizing campaigns.
To avoid bad hiring decisions, organizations are utilizing pre-employment background screening as a risk management tool. However, background checks are increasingly subject to litigation including class actions, legislation and regulation. You need a strategy to comply with your due diligence obligations, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), allegations of discrimination and the “Ban the Box” laws. This session will audit key areas of legal compliance to help you hire the best while avoiding legal fallout. This session will:
- Review why employers utilize criminal records in order to promote due diligence.
- Help you understand the sources of criminal records and how they are located and reported.
- Help you understand the impact of the EEOC Guidance and “Ban the Box” laws on the on the use of criminal records.
- Show you why re-entry programs can help you and why they are important to society as a whole.
- Show you how to audit your current practices for legal compliance and best practices.
You hear it from your legal counsel all the time: document, document, document. But, in reality, they never teach you or your managers how to effectively transcribe your verbal coaching, counseling or disciplinary conversations into solid, bulletproof documentation. Learn the seven steps to creating “bulletproof” documentation along with words to avoid, red flags for discrimination and the benefits and hazards of electronic documentation. Walk away with a usable framework and tips for perfecting your documentation. This session will help you:
- Learn to document expectations, policy violations, performance issues and consequences.
- Properly document an employee's explanation and action plan.
- Understand which words and phrases to avoid when documenting.
- Learn about documentation disasters that create liability.
The NLRB and the EEOC have honed a laser-like focus on employee handbooks in both the unionized and non-unionized sectors. This focus has led to countless lawsuits and charges, yet organizations still are not “doing it right” according to these agencies. This session will provide a deep dive into those elements of your employee handbook that are most likely to run afoul of NLRB and EEOC edicts. This program will educate you on the latest trends and changes in the legal landscape with respect to language in handbooks and a close examination into the following:
- Understanding the NLRB and the EEOC's new edicts and decisions relative to handbooks for union and non-union workplaces.
- Understanding how to adopt proactive measures that will protect your company from being dragged into lawsuits or agency charge.
- Providing the tools with which to make sound business decisions and recommendations to company leadership with respect to handbooks.
- Focusing on and critiquing specific policies and practices that must be implemented, revised, removed, or discontinued.
With the rapid changes in the law, it's easy to focus on new issues and forget about the key reasons that employers get sued. Despite all the focus on compliance, simple mistakes allow DLSE claims, single-employees suits, and wage and hour class actions to clog the system and make millions for employee-side attorneys who pursue them. Further, every time you adapt to current lawsuit trends and implement prevention strategies, plaintiff's attorneys develop new hot claims to attack you with. This session will review the common mistakes seen recently and the current trendy claims from the plaintiffs' bar. You will learn:
- To identify some of the most common wage and hour mistakes such as not having updated class action waivers, incorrect methods for calculating overtime on bonuses, and not double-checking payroll records.
- Recent case law regarding on-call, rest breaks, exemptions and more.
- Tools to audit your organization's wage and hour practices.
Comprehensive studies show that conducting bad training – harassment prevention or diversity training in particular – is worse than providing no training. This session will focus on practical training solutions that have been tested and proven to be successful. This session will show you:
- What the research says about why bad training can be counterproductive.
- How to use better techniques in your presentation, including using innovative tools such as teaching about bystander training, using real-life fact patterns that have specific and valuable learning lessons, and using appropriate humor to keep participants engaged.
- How to create handouts you can use for maximum benefit during the training sessions and that will assist learners long after they attend your training session.
Claims for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate based on mental health conditions are on the rise, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has increased its enforcement actions in this arena. Employers are often in the dark about how to respond to signs of possible mental health conditions and requests for accommodations. This session will discuss these issues, including recent case examples, and offer best practice tips to prepare organizations of all sizes to respond to the needs of employees with mental health conditions. This session will help you understand:
- How to address signs that an employee may have a mental health condition.
- What constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” for mental health conditions.
- The importance of detailed job descriptions when defending a disability discrimination claim involving a mental health condition.
This session will demystify California leave law by identifying leave rules that are different for California employees. It will provide a comprehensive and in-depth discussion about California and federal leave laws and delve into the interrelationship and sometimes conflicting requirements of those laws. Specific topics to be discussed include how FMLA intersects and overlaps with the California Family Rights Act and California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law. The session will also cover the intersection of unpaid leave with state and local paid sick time benefits and SDI and PFL benefits provided by the State of California. You will learn:
- How to comply with and enforce California leave rules so you can effectively manage employees, reduce organization litigation risk and maximize employee engagement.
- How multi-state employers can use ethical practice in determining how to comply with California leave rules which may conflict with employee rights in states other than California.
- How to audit your company's compliance with California leave rules while utilizing the attorney-client privilege, ensuring legal compliance and mitigating risk.
- Best practices for determining whether leave is a reasonable accommodation under both federal and California law.
Many employers, particularly in retail and hospitality, face scheduling challenges related to fluctuating demand, employee absences and turnover, and juggling part-time workers. This can be hard on employees, making it difficult to plan for family care, take on another job, and have predictable income. Low income workers, and often women, suffer most from unpredictable schedules. In response, San Francisco, Seattle and New York have set the trend toward employee-friendly legislation that mandates “predictive scheduling” – making it easier for hourly workers to know when their next shift is planned. Bills are active in at least 13 states, D.C, and many local jurisdictions. So, where does that leave you? This session will cover:
- Predictive scheduling rules across jurisdictions.
- Differences in retail, food service and hospitality industries.
- Predictability pay – who gets it and when.
- Short notice staffing challenges.
- Best practices for managing hours originally scheduled and hours actually worked.
All companies need to be prepared for increased enforcement of immigration laws – even those that don't often send people overseas or that have small foreign national populations. But with the daily burdens faced by HR managers, immigration compliance may not always be a top concern. As scrutiny of foreign business visitors and international workers increases, don't wait until problems arise. Be prepared for the challenges your employees may face in working and/or living overseas. This session will help you:
- Independently identify travel situations that could present problems for traveling employees or overseas assignees.
- Create a plan for how and when to seek legal advice and/or assistance for traveling employees.
- Communicate potential consequences of immigration noncompliance to senior business leaders and employees, to help them understand the importance of immigration and prevent problems.
Distinguishing between independent contractors and employees has never been an easy task. And while the consequences for getting it wrong have always been significant, the stakes just got higher. The Federal government has allocated $25 million and 100 new investigators to detect and deter inappropriately classified independent contractors and they project that this effort will raise $7 billion from employers over the next decade. Come refresh your understanding about the rules regarding independent contractor classification, understand the way penalties are calculated and learn some practical how-to's that will help you establish that someone is truly a contractor. This session will:
- Review the various government agency rules regarding independent contractor vs. employee classification.
- Explain of how audits are triggered and how penalties are calculated.
- Review the practices for hiring and managing independent contractors to help ensure compliance.
- Show you how to perform an internal audit to shore up your practices before you get a costly knock on your door.
- Show you how to correct mis-classified individuals.
Conducting workplace investigations is a necessary but challenging process. There is no one size fits all response to an employee complaint and investigation tactics must be tailored to fit the nature and severity of the allegations. However, when properly conducted, investigations can significantly decrease your exposure to liability. Proper investigations can also positively impact employee morale by ensuring that employees have a respectful and safe work environment. You will learn:
- How to effectively manage employee complaints.
- The proper steps for conducting an internal investigation.
- The right and wrong way of dealing with he said/she said scenarios and innuendos.
- How to use investigation techniques to keep potential discrimination and retaliation claims at bay.
Recent pregnancy discrimination cases have resulted in high-profile publicity and enormous awards against employers. A recent Supreme Court decision requiring light-duty accommodations has made the pregnancy analysis even more complex. This session will address this fast-developing area of the law and will provide lessons that can be applied to your workplace right away. This session will help you:
- Navigate the array of laws and legal guidance, from the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and from the Family and Medical Leave Act to the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.
- Identify the types of pregnancy-related ailments that are considered “serious health conditions” under the FMLA and “disabilities” under the ADA.
- Learn from with real-world scenarios on sick leave, light-duty assignments, and lactating employees.
Employment law is likely the last topic on your mind when a disease outbreak is making headlines or there is a virus going around the office. However, you must tread cautiously when faced with employee health issues as several employment laws may be at issue including the ADA, Title VII, OSHA, and others. From bed bugs and flu shots to Zika and chemical sensitivities, we will discuss what steps you can take to ensure you are prepared. This session will:
- Address legal issues you can face regarding chemical sensitivities and allergies in the workplace, infectious disease, and other illnesses.
- Review recent case law and agency guidance regarding the safety and health of employees
- Discuss best practices you can use when faced with certain employee health issues.