Navigating The Employment Cycle: Employer Beware

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What is your organization doing to minimize risk brought about by employment liability? Identify ten areas that can trip up a nonprofit employer over the period of an employee's tenure. Avoid mistakes in the hiring and firing process, recognize and prepare for potential employment law issues, and guide your organization through the potential pitfalls lurking in the employment cycle.

Michael Buddendeck, assistant general counsel, AICPA

Lance Gibbons, of counsel, Littler Mendelson P.C.

James A. Woehlke, Esq. CAE, general counsel, New York State Society of CPAs

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Navigating The Employment Cycle: Employer Beware

  1. 1. Connecting Great Ideas and Great People www.asaecenter.org Content Leaders: Lance Gibbons, Esq., Of Counsel , Littler Mendelson P.C. Michael Buddendeck, Esq., Asst. General Counsel, AICPA James A. Woehlke, Esq., CAE, Gen’l Counsel, NYSSCPA, Moderator Navigating the Employment Cycle: Employer Beware Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:45 – 2:00 p.m.
  2. 2. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing and Hiring </li></ul><ul><li>During Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Termination </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-Discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family Medical Leave Act - FMLA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA & ADA Amendments Act - ADAAA </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><ul><li>Setting the Stage - Anti-Discrimination – Federal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title VII – Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Rights Act of 1991 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age Discrimination in Employment Act - ADEA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal Pay Act </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><ul><li>Setting the Stage - Anti-Discrimination – State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New York State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check for other states and localities </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><ul><li>Setting the Stage - Harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special category of Title VII discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers not only sexual harassment but harassment of other protected classes, too. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Falls into two categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quid pro quo </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hostile environment </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><ul><li>Setting the Stage - Harassment – Elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee needs to suffer tangible job action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EEOC - Conduct is unwanted if the employee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did not solicit or initiate the conduct </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finds the conduct undesirable or offensive </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><ul><li>Setting the Stage - Harassment – Defenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No adverse employment effect on victim, no retaliation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-harassment policy (with reporting procedures and periodic re-publication) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the policy seriously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared for investigations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Investigate promptly / timely wrap-up </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage - FMLA </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 12 weeks unpaid leave </li></ul><ul><li>Covers employers with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 or more employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in 20 or more workweeks during current </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>or previous calendar year </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage - FMLA </li></ul><ul><li>Eligibility Requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work for a covered employer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For 12 months </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum 1,250 hours </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At location with at least 50 employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> within a 75 mile radius </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage – FMLA </li></ul><ul><li>Family and medical reasons, including </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Birth or adoption </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employee’s health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Care of a spouse, child or parent with a serious medical condition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Military family leave </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage - FMLA </li></ul><ul><li>Intermittent leave </li></ul><ul><li>Effect on employee benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Interplay with other forms of time off </li></ul><ul><li>Be alert for states’ “mini-FMLAs” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Setting the Stage – ADA & ADAAA </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibits discrimination based on disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Covers employers with 15 or more employees </li></ul><ul><li>What is disability? </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>ADAAA reverses several court cases </li></ul>
  14. 14. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on ability to perform </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Religion – “Are you available to work on </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>weekends?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Citizenship/Birthplace – “Are you authorized </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to work in the U.S.?” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on ability to perform </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age – Only questions that verify not a minor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Address/Residence – “Can you be reached at </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>this address? If not, would you care to leave </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>another?” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on ability to perform </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marital Status/Family – “Whom should we </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contact in case of an emergency?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arrests & Convictions – Check state law! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Hiring </li></ul><ul><li>Background and reference checks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-employment testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affirmative Action </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Hiring </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the 21 st Century workforce </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the law of pre-employment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>screening </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>During Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation and Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Proactive Strategies to Minimize </li></ul><ul><li>Harassment and Discrimination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigations </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>During Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immigration issues </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>During Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee Manual – Good or Bad? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Probationary” v. “Initial Employment” Period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workplace Romance; “Love Contracts” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favoritism </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>During Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of email, Internet, communication systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrective action – disciplinary options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gifts and honoraria </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Termination </li></ul><ul><li>Best Practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyzing risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducting the meeting </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Termination </li></ul><ul><li>Processing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidential information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Severance issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final paycheck/accrued unused vacation </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Termination </li></ul><ul><li>Processing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Returning company equipment and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recouping money owed </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Navigating the Employment Cycle <ul><li>Termination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment references </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revisiting prior termination decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with an EEOC charge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision to litigate </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Contact Information Lance Gibbons, Esq., Of Counsel , Littler Mendelson P.C. [email_address] (202) 789-3423 Michael Buddendeck, Esq., Asst. General Counsel, AICPA [email_address] (919) 402-4925 James A. Woehlke, Esq., CAE, General Counsel, NYSSCPA [email_address] (212) 719-8347 [email_address] (845) 797-9518 SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! Annual Meeting & Expo August 21 - 24, 2010 Los Angeles, CA

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