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Welcome to the Institute for Legal and Compliance - Managing Employer Risk! A special thank you to our speakers and our attendees for your participation and support. Join us over the next two days for our exciting line-up of informative sessions covering the hot topics and trends surrounding the Legal and Compliance - Managing Employer Risk community. Colleen Peck, Community Facilitator and Advisory Board member will update you on the Institute's accomplishments thus far and will highlight the event calendar this year. During this short, 15-minute session, Colleen will provide an overview of the certification program (have you signed up yet?) and an update on hours accumulated to date. Find out what you have missed, and what is in store for 2013. Throughout this session we will: • Introduce you to the Advisory Board • Introduce you to the Institute and the Certification program • Offer an opportunity for YOU to host an educational session and educate your peers • Learn why this Institute is important to the Leadership Industry and how you can contribute to its success The purpose of this session is to provide you with not only our past accomplishments but explain why you should continue to participate and be a part of this community. For those with questions regarding the Institute and its content, this is your chance to share your ideas. In addition, for those of you who have not participated in one of these events in the past, you will be shown how to navigate through the event. For those with questions regarding the Institute and its content, this is your chance to share your ideas. Don’t forget, this is a great opportunity to converse with our industry experts. Looking forward to your participation!
To compete in the global economy, US employers must have a solid understanding of the rules for employing international employees in the US. Companies frequently recruit internationally for talented employees, including foreign technical personnel, engineers, business managers, or other degreed professionals. In addition, many US companies wish to hire international graduates of US universities, particularly in STEM fields where shortages of US workers are well known. Or, companies with overseas affiliates may seek to transfer managers, executives or technical personnel to the US operation.
Yet, even in this global economy, US immigration law imposes complicated rules governing the ability of US employers to hire international talent. Employers are often confused about the types of work visa options that are available to allow these international employees to work in the US and what their obligations would be.
This session will provide a plain-English explanation of available work visa options, focusing on the most common work visas such as H1B visas (for individuals with university degrees, who work in jobs that require a degree), E visa (for employees from certain countries which have treaties of trade or commerce with the US), L visas (for employees of multinational companies) and TN (for Canadians and Mexicans). The session will address issues such as (1) which visa category is right for your company; (2) what are the requirements to qualify an employee for a particular visa category; (3) timing of applications, including a discussion of the H1B “quota” and how to give your company the best chance of securing an H1B quota number; (4) costs of applications, and (5) the obligations of US employers who file work visa applications.
Employee claims for unpaid overtime continue to be the most significant employment liability risk for employers across the country. FLSA lawsuits filed in federal courts have increased by 347% in the last decade. Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor collected a record $280 million in back wages, more than double the back wages collected in 2009.
Yet, many claims for “off-the-clock” work and “regular rate” violations are fully preventable – or at least winnable – by implementing best practice timekeeping and payroll processes. Overtime lawsuits can be won or lost based on the employer’s time and payroll records. Time and payroll records, for example, can reveal non-compliant rounding practices, unpaid pre- and post-shift work, meal break violations, improper deductions, and bonuses not properly included in the regular rate. But, with best practices, those same records can provide the evidence needed to prove that employees where paid for all hours worked, and their overtime pay was calculated correctly.
Your timekeeping and payroll systems can be your worst enemy or your best friend – do you know what overtime violations are lurking in your timekeeping and payroll systems?
In this session, Tammy McCutchen, a former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, will demonstrate how you can quickly review time and payroll records to uncover potential wage-hour violations – using examples drawn from actual time punch records and pay stubs she has reviewed during pay practice audits. For example, comparing time punches in your timekeeping system to the hours actually paid shown in the payroll system can reveal rounding violations or unpaid pre-shift work. Reviewing pay stubs can uncover compensation that is not being properly included in the regular rate. Find potential improper deductions by reviewing a list of deduction codes from your payroll system. Ms. McCutchen will also recommend best practice timekeeping processes, and discuss how to overcome the challenges you may face in implementing best practices.
When an employee leaves the company, you need to do more than just say goodbye and start looking for a replacement. Employee terminations, and even at-will exits, can be tricky to navigate. From security and data protection considerations to required payments and notices, terminations raise many different kinds of compliance concerns. Employers should consider both the legal and practical implications of the many aspects of a termination, including exit interviews, unemployment, required notices and communications with the departing employee.
Stacey Adams, a shareholder in Littler Mendelson's Newark office, will discuss issues related to departing employees and identify strategies to help your company protect itself. She will address communications surrounding a termination, from responding to a resignation to delivering the news about a termination.
Specific topics to be covered during the program include:
· Steps to take in responding to a resignation;
· How voluntary and involuntary terminations should be treated differently;
· Physical and technological security steps to consider;
· What to say during a termination meeting;
· Permissible and impermissible exit interview questions;
· What to do if an employee complains of illegal conduct at the time of departure;
· Corporate policies to have in place before an employee leaves;
· Final funds: paychecks, expenses, benefits and more;
· The role of a non-compete in your organization;
· Best practices for communicating an exit to the team; and
· Strategies for communicating with alumni.
Please join us to learn more about the risks that arise at the end of the employment relationship and the compliance measures your organization can implement to mitigate those risks.
Employee lawsuits increasingly focus on the quality of an organization's investigations, and many courts have made it clear that an effective, unbiased investigation is one of the best weapons against liability in employment litigation. The increasing number of retaliation and whistleblower claims also makes it important that employers conduct prompt, thorough and lawful investigations in response to allegations of wrongdoing.
In this session, Littler shareholder, Earl “Chip” Jones will provide an overview of the investigative process, from the initial complaint to remedial action and follow up. The program will address important considerations for human resources and compliance professionals undertaking a workplace investigation, such as the extent to which employers can lawfully request or require that employees keep the subject of investigations or interviews confidential.
The program will also identify and discuss the critical components of a lawful, thorough workplace investigation, explaining how to:
• Develop effective complaint procedures
• Take steps to ensure that employees use the complaint procedures in place
• Conduct interviews of the complainant, the employee accused of wrongdoing and witnesses
• Make credibility determinations
• Be a fair and effective investigator
• Review documents and other evidence
• Handle electronic data and communications
• Properly document the investigation and its outcome
• Reach a fair and well-supported decision
• Prepare an investigation report
• Implement and communicate the investigation’s outcome
• Take any necessary remedial action and
• Follow up with the complainant and others after the conclusion of the investigation
Please join us to learn more about how to conduct internal investigations in a way that will allow your organization to identify and address misconduct, while also preventing claims of retaliation by those who come forward with complaints.
In this comprehensive training, José will provide HR professionals with the most important information they need regarding wage and hour issues. This will begin with an overview the core provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – including minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements—as well as other relevant laws pertaining to wage and hour requirements.
Next, José will delve into the nuts and bolts of employee status and classification, how to define and count hours worked, how to properly administer and enforce meal and rest periods, and overtime.
Viewers can expect to learn how an employee’s status dictates his or her wages and hours, and the differences between volunteers, independent contractors, interns and trainees under FLSA. Viewers will also learn how to properly classify their employees as exempt or non-exempt, different kinds of exemptions, and penalties for improperly classifying employees. How to properly define and count hours worked, how to properly administer and enforce meal and rest periods, and how to calculate overtime will also be covered.
Do employees need to be paid for activities performed as preparation to work, such as putting on protective gear or turning on a computer? When must an employee be paid for travel time? What should, or can you do when an employee works impermissible overtime? José will provide answers to these questions, and more.
He will end the presentation with a discussion of relevant case law to help viewers better understand the issues at hand, as well as the regulations with which they must comply.
Conducting an HR audit is one of the very best ways to ensure your company is complying with current state and federal employment laws as well as enforcing your own internal employment policies. With a focus on helping you identify the issues that most commonly present challenges for employers and providing easy to follow checklists, this seminar will teach you how to conduct your own HR audit and provide you with the necessary tools to get started. Audit subjects to be covered include: The Hiring Process, Essential Handbook Policies, Leave Policies and Leave Tracking, Required Posters, Personnel Records and Retention Requirements, Drug and Alcohol Testing, Job Safety, Independent Contractors and Employee Classification, Wage and Hour, Discipline, Job References, the Termination Process, and Responding to Claims. For each of these topics, Laura will cover the most important laws to be aware of, as well as recommended best practices and policies that every employer can use. She will also introduce viewers to a series of handy checklists and worksheets that they can use for their own HR audits, including checklists and charts related to: new hire paperwork, I-9 forms, required posters, essential policies, exempt or non-exempt employee status, training topics for managers and supervisors, exit checklists for departing employees, and personnel file checklists. Viewers of this webinar can expect to come away with a practical plan to follow as well as specific tips for conducting an effective HR audit in their own places of work. Please join us for this useful and comprehensive webinar.
Terminating employees is an emotional, unforgiving process, fraught with pitfalls that can make a painful experience more costly and time-consuming. HR professionals can either end the employment relationship with a clean break or create additional problems for the employer. That’s why it is crucial to understand the legality of workplace policies and procedures, and to develop a robust risk management protocol to identify employees who may present a problem after termination. This free seminar from XpertHR highlights these and other issues around firing an employee.
Most often, the termination process begins with identifying the type of relationship the employee has with the employer. For example, at-will employees are afforded fewer protections than contract employees, but they are still protected by federal, state and local laws, implied contracts, public policy considerations and “employment torts.” Thus, there are many potential civil claims that arise from improper, unfair or unnecessarily harsh terminations that employers should be aware of and take action to prevent.
Identifying the proper designation of an employee’s relationship is only the beginning. Risk management and legal compliance extends to evaluating employees, providing candid, thorough performance evaluations, managing expectations, conducting exit interviews, proposing severance agreements to employees before termination and, where conflict is unavoidable, working with legal counsel to successfully defend the employer against employment claims. With real life case studies and explanations of the differences from state to state, this seminar will take you through the complete process allowing HR professionals and employers at large to develop the polices and protocols to reduce the risk of litigation.