Employers Group Blog Connection

Time Worked or Time "Punched" - A Helpline FAQ

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Aug 29, 2012

Employers Group's expert Helpline is our highest used member benefit.  Here is a frequently asked question to our professional consultants: 

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Topics: compliance, helpline, best practices, wage & hour

Make No Assumptions

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Labor and employment laws and regulations can be exceedingly complex. The impulse is to learn the general rule for a particular statute and apply it across the board in all cases. As many laws as there are impacting the Human Resources profession, learning the general rule for each statute can be a challenge in and of itself. The problem, of course, is that exceptions to the rule can sometimes obscure the rule itself. No one should expect that they should learn every rule and its exceptions for every statute and regulation they may encounter in the HR profession. But every HR professional should at least know exceptions exist and, further, where to go in the laws or regulations to flesh them out.

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Topics: employment law, human resources, labor, best practices

Safety Incentive Programs

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Mon, Aug 13, 2012

Do you know the most common reason that people quit their jobs and go to work for another company? It’s not money, it’s not the commute, and it’s not because they don’t like the work. It’s because they don’t feel appreciated.

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Topics: best practices

Pyramiding with Wage & Hour Laws

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Jun 13, 2012

The overlay of state wage and hour laws and regulations on an already complex set of federal wage and hour rules can make even the simplest of tasks seem unnecessarily complex. The interplay between the daily overtime obligation (a state requirement) and weekly overtime (a federal one) illustrates this point perfectly, especially in the context of pyramiding.

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Topics: law, human resources, regulations, best practices, Federal, wage & hour

Criminal Backgrounds and the EEOC

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Tue, Jun 5, 2012

How do the new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on criminal background checks affect your hiring practices? Actually, the guidelines highlight an already well-established rule under Title VII case law that the use—or rather misuse—of arrest and conviction records can lead to claims of unlawful discrimination under both disparate treatment and disparate impact theories. What the EEOC adds to the discussion with these guidelines, however, is additional clarity regarding the procedures employers should implement when using criminal records if they wish to avoid claims of employment discrimination.

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Topics: hiring, human resources, background, best practices, EEOC

Increased Workloads and Compliance Considerations

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Tue, May 8, 2012

The New York Times recently reported that the economy is producing more goods and services now than it was in December 2007 when the recession officially began, and it’s doing so with five million fewer workers. If anyone is well aware of the increase in employee workloads it’s Human Resources. The number of Helpline questions regarding maximum hours worked, mandatory overtime, discretionary bonuses for salaried workers shouldering the work of those laid off, etc., has been on a rise since the recession began. And if the volume of those calls to the Helpline is any indication, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, at least just yet. Given this sustained trend, HR professionals are well advised to remind themselves of a few important compliance concerns.

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Topics: compliance, helpline, work life balance, best practices, employers

Managing Remote Locations

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

By: Charlie Martin, founder, engagementtoolbox.com

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Topics: workplace, management, best practices, business

Join OFCCP, EEOC and University of CA Santa Barbara 4/12/2012

Posted by Connor Engilman on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

Hear from Federal & State agency reps & meet with community organizations & employers from the Tri-Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, & San Luis Obispo

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Topics: attracting employees, Job Applications, talent, AAP, Affirmative Action, Veteran Outreach, human resources, Employers Group, best practices, Job Search, Federal, Audit, Recruiting, OFCCP, Outreach, Diversity, Diversity Outreach

Name Changes Can Get Complicated

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Mon, Mar 12, 2012

Procedurally, changing an employee’s name should never be as simple as permitting the employee merely to submit a company-generated personnel form. Inevitably, employees remember to inform their employer of the name change but forget to follow through with the federal government. Why is this a problem? Because discrepancies between employees’ names on employer documents (e.g., W-2s) and the names on file with the government can cause problems – for both the employee and employer. Requesting corrected W-2s from the payroll company can be costly and is certainly a hassle.

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Topics: human resources, best practices

Don’t Forget the EITC Notice Required by AB 650

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Thu, Jan 26, 2012
As employers prepare to mail out their W-2s to employees on or before January 31, 2012, they should also be wary of California’s requirement that they notify employees of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  The notice must be distributed within a week before or after the date employers distribute the W-2.  Most employers simply include the EITC notice in their W-2 packets.  The notice must be sent to each employee by mail or be personally delivered to each individual; posting on a company bulletin board will not suffice.  The notice may either provide instructions on how employees may obtain IRS-published notices regarding the EITC (currently, IRS Notice 797) or, alternatively, employers may craft language substantially the same as follows:
“Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the earned income tax credit from the federal government. The earned income tax credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The earned income tax credit has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, earned income tax credit payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, supplemental security income, food stamps, low-income housing or most temporary assistance for needy families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a tax return to receive the earned income tax credit. Be sure to fill out the earned income tax credit form in the federal income tax return booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the earned income tax credit, including information on how to obtain the IRS Notice 797 or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at www.irs.gov.”
Employees outside California who are not subject to the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC) need not receive the notice, nor is the notice due any individual in California who is not covered by unemployment insurance and, therefore, not considered an “employee” under the CUIC (i.e., independent contractors, etc.).  There is no penalty for noncompliance as the law is currently written.


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Topics: hr policy, human resources, compensation, best practices