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G&A Employment Law Update webinar May 2013


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In this webinar, presenter Alexis C. Knapp, Attorney at Law, will present timely employment law updates that business owners and HR professionals need to know for 2013 and beyond. After the presentation, Alexis will host a live Q&A session with webinar attendees.

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G&A Employment Law Update webinar May 2013

  1. 1. Employment  Law  Update  –    Being  Proac,ve  in  2013  Alexis  C.  Knapp,  SPHR,  MS-­‐HRM,  JD  LITTLER  MENDELSON,  PC  713.652.4706  
  2. 2. Plans  for  Today  •  Goals  for  this  training  •  Agenda  •  Magnitude  of  these  issues  to  your  business  and  increased  enforcement  for  2013  •  Top  5  areas  where  management  and  HR  can  make    a  difference  •  Miscellaneous  reminders  •  What  else  is  ahead  in  2013  •  Disclaimers  
  3. 3. Undeniable  Truths  About  the    Employment  Rela9onship  •  Governmental  agency  ac[vity  is  at  an  all-­‐[me  high  •  Lots  and  lots  of  new  inves[gators  •  Inter-­‐agency  coopera[on  •  Outreach  efforts  (iPhone  apps?!?)  •  New  legisla[on,  rules  and  guidance  •  Increased  enforcement  budgets  and  agendas  •  EEOC’s  budget  for  2013  increased  by  $14M!  •  In  2012,  the  EEOC  recovered  more  than    $365.4  million  in  monetary  damages    from  employers  –  a  new  record!  
  4. 4. More  Undeniable  Truths  About  the    Employment  Rela9onship  •  Employee  charges  and  li[ga[on  are  at  an  all-­‐[me  high  •  Even  the  frivolous  charges  and  lawsuits  must  be  answered  •  How  the  process  looks  (administra[ve,  lawsuit,  discovery,  etc.)  •  The  impact  of  the  economy  and  the  poli[cal  climate  is  significant  •  There  is  a  growing,  niche  market  for  plain[ff’s-­‐side  employment  lawyers  
  5. 5. Allega9on  Trends  Basis  of  Charge  Filing   FY  2006   FY  2008   FY  2012  RETALIATION   22,555   32,690   37,836  RACE   27,238   33,937   35,512  SEX/GENDER   23,247   28,372   30,356  AGE   16,548   24,582   22,857  DISABILITY   15,575   19,453   26,379  NATIONAL  ORIGIN   8,327   10,601   10,883  RELIGION   2,541   3,273   3,811  TOTAL  CHARGES   75,768   95,402   99,412  
  6. 6. What  Do  You  Get  When  You    Google  “Harassment?”  6harassment  
  7. 7. What  Do  You  Get  When  You    Google  “Harassment?”  7
  8. 8. What  Do  You  Get  When  You    Google  “Over9me?”  over9me  
  9. 9. What  Do  You  Get  When  You    Google  “Over9me?”  9
  10. 10. Areas  Where  Management  and  HR  Can  Make  a  Difference  
  11. 11. #1    Interviewing  and  Selec9on  Dos  and  Don’ts  It  Is  Never  Too  Early  to  Manage  Your  Risk  
  12. 12. It’s  Never  Too  Early  Interviewing  and  Selec9on  Challenges  •  You  must,  must,  must  know  why  you  made  that  decision—but  document  cau[ously  •  What  are  you  doing  with  those  documents  once  the  job  is  filled?  •  The  impact  of  the  internet  on  this  process  •  Discrimina[on  against  the  unemployed?  
  13. 13. More  Interviewing  and  Selec9on  Challenges  •  Interview  ques[ons—BEWARE!  •  Disparate  impact  and  the  EEOC’s  view  •  Personal  (own  a  home,  own  a  car,  birthdate,  marital  status,  all  associa[ons)  •  Disability-­‐related  inquiries  •  Arrests  and  convic[ons  •  Consistency  within  a  posi[on  •  Importance  of  the  job  descrip[on—  show  it  to  them!  •  Fair  Credit  Repor[ng  Act  issues  •  Semng  compensa[on  
  14. 14. #2    Wage  and  Hour  Issues  Managing  the  Hours  Worked  and  Pay  of  Your  Employees  
  15. 15. Common  Wage  and  Hour  Challenges:    Managing  Hours  Worked  •  Time  clock  issues  •  Rules  about  breaks  •  Managing  hours  worked—and  the  sanc[ty  of  them  once  they  are  worked  •  Beware  of  pre-­‐  and  post-­‐shin  ac[vi[es  •  Travel  [me  “gotchas”  
  16. 16. More  Wage  and  Hour  Challenges  •  Misclassifica[on  (the  DOL’s  favorite  “new”  topic)  •  Independent  contractor/employee  •  Exempt/non-­‐exempt  piqalls  •  Recordkeeping  challenges  •  Why  these  cases  are  so  expensive  •  2-­‐3  year  SOL  •  Every  person  in  the  posi[on?  •  Liquidated  damages  •  AGorney’s  fees  •  Civil/criminal  and  employer/individual  
  17. 17. #3  The  Trouble  with  Termina9ons  Common  Piaalls  for  Employers  in  Ending  the  Employment  Rela9onship  
  18. 18. The  Trouble  with  Termina9ons  •  Over-­‐reliance  on  the  “employment-­‐at-­‐will”  doctrine  •  Semng  or  devia[ng  from  precedent—can  you  explain  the  difference?  •  Most  common  frustra[on  =  what  was  your  final  incident?  •  Employees  in  “the  bubble”  •  If  it  looks  like  a  duck,  and  quacks  like  a  duck,  it’s  a  duck—call  termina[ons  what  they  are  •  You  have  ONE  chance  to  tell  the  true  story  •  What  are  your  plans  re:  replacing  the  employee?  
  19. 19. The  Trouble  with  Termina9ons:  What  Happens  Next  •  Consider  release/severance  issues,  protec[ng  your  business  informa[on,  gemng  property  back,  logis[cs,  etc.  •  Special  challenges  with  the  40+  por[on  of  the  workforce  •  Texas  Payday  Law    •  Unemployment  claims  •  Sworn  tes[mony  •  Free  discovery  •  Ul[mately,  not  an  employer’s  decision  •  Coordinate  with  HR  and  consider  who  will  respond  to  the  TWC  
  20. 20. #4    Managing  Employees  with  Medical  Condi9ons  
  21. 21. The  Government  is  Paying  LOTS  of  Acen9on  •  Changes  to  the  FMLA  and  ADA  •  State  law  mini-­‐FMLAs  and  ADAs  •  Recent  ac[vity  by  Congress,  the  DOL  and  the  EEOC  •  EEOC  FY  2012  Sta[s[cs  •  26,379  Charges  alleging  disability  claims—nearly  1/3  of  all  charges  filed  •  150%  increase  in  monetary  recovery  by  the  EEOC  between  1997  and  2012  •  Most  popular  impairments  
  22. 22. FMLA  101:  A  30,000  Foot  View  of  Employer  Obliga9ons  •  Qualifying  reasons  •  Unpaid,  job-­‐protected  leave  •  12  workweeks  (block  or  intermiGent)  •  Your  responsibility  to  start  the  process?  •  No  interference,  no  retalia[on  •  It  doesn’t  maGer  how  inconvenient  this  is  
  23. 23. ADA  101:  A  30,000  Foot  View  of  Employer  Obliga9ons  •  Don’t  let  the  picture  on  the  len  fool  you—physical  or  mental,  seen  or  unseen  •  No  discrimina[on  because  of  a  disability—applicants  or  employees  •  Reasonable  accommoda[on    •  What  “accommoda[on”  looks  like  •  The  interac[ve  dialogue—and  documen[ng  it  •  An  individualized  analysis  •  Showing  undue  hardship  •  Confiden[ality  and  recordkeeping  
  24. 24. Employee  Medical  Condi9ons:    Some  Common  and  Costly  Mistakes    •  Wai[ng  for  the  employee  to  use  magic  words  •  “we  don’t  do  that  here”  •  “that’s  our  policy”  •  “only  with  a  full  release”  •  “you  can’t  do  this  job”  •  Prescrip[on  drug  issues  •  Not  talking  to  the  employee  •  Confiden[ality  issues/need-­‐to-­‐know  
  25. 25. ...and  what  about  9me  off?  The  EEOC  has  long  maintained—and  is  now  aggressively  enforcing—that  you  may  have  leave  obliga[ons  to  your  employees  regardless  of  whether  you  or  any  of  your  employees  is  covered  by/eligible  for  FMLA,  and  regardless  of  what  your  policies  say  or  what  you  prac[ces  are.    
  26. 26. What  We’ve  Learned  About    Leave  Obliga9ons  under  the  ADA  •  Medical  leave—a  liGle,  or  a  lot—may  be  a  reasonable  accommoda[on  •  Inflexible  leave  policies—neutral  absence  control,  no-­‐fault  type  policies  à  ILLEGAL  under  the  ADA  •  Restric[ve  light  duty  policies  could  also  create  problems  •  AGendance  policies  are  on  the  EEOC’s  radar  Employee  Handbook  
  27. 27. #5  Union  Law  in  a  Non-­‐Union  Workplace  
  28. 28. Some  “Union  Law”  Basics  for  a    Non-­‐Union  Workplace  •  The  Na[onal  Labor  Rela[ons  Act  and  “protected,  concerted  ac[vity”  •  Who  is  the  NLRB?  •  Issues  to  watch  in  your  workplace  •  Employee  complaints  about  pay,  supervisors,  working  condi[ons  •  Pay  secrecy  policies  for  non-­‐supervisory  employees  •  Non-­‐solicita[on  policies  (official  or  unofficial)  •  Confiden[ality  rules  •  Or  anything  you  fire  or  discipline  employees  for!  •  Pay  vigilant  aGen[on  for  any  restric[ons  on  “Sec[on  7”  ac[vity  •  The  hot  buGon  of  social  media  ac[vity  
  29. 29. Other  Employment  Piaalls:    Miscellaneous  Reminders  •  Retalia[on—and  oldie  but  a  goodie  •  Inves[ga[ons—what  do  you  do  when  someone  complains?  •  What  harassment  can  look  like  •  Duty  to  report  •  What  will  you  be  able  to  prove—and  why  it  maGers  •  Did  you  follow  up?    •  Tort  law  claims  •  Document  reten[on/destruc[on  issues  •  Watch  those  e-­‐mails—privilege  and  discoverability  issues  
  30. 30. What  Else  Is  On  The  Horizon    For  2013?  
  31. 31. What  Else  to  Expect:  2013  and  Beyond  •  Addi[onal  whistleblower  protec[ons  •  “Bring  Your  Own  Device”  Issues  •  DOL’s  “Right  to  Know”  Ini[a[ve  •  LGBT  Employees  and  Same  Sex  Partnership  Issues  •  EEOC  Focus  on  Use  of  Arrest  and  Convic[on  Records  •  State  Law  and  Credit  Check  Protec[ons  •  Immigra[on  Enforcement  
  32. 32. Ques9ons?  
  33. 33. THANK  YOU!  Alexis  C.  Knapp,  SPHR,  MS-­‐HRM,  JD  LITTLER  MENDELSON,  PC  713.652.4706