Questions & Answers:
How would you handle a Management Dept. that creates the policies in the handbook but will not follow them or if they do follow them, they pick and choose what and when to follow policy yet will discipline staff for not following policy.
Management Training - Management needs to be trained concerning the importance of using and applying existing policies in a uniform manner to avoid allegations of favoritism or discrimination. Management should also be trained on the importance of using the Employee Handbook as a management tool. If training is not effective, then the counseling process should be used to ensure that management is complying with the company’s directives.
Is the automatic deduction for meal break a California law or a federal law?
This is a California Law, check your local laws. California law requires that employer’s maintain a record of meal periods.
Is labor code 226 required for all states?
Section 226 is a provision in the California Labor Code. Check your local laws.
This may be off-topic... We have had some discussion about employee names that are entered into our computer system. What name should we use? As the employee entered it on their application, the name on their license or passport, or the name on their SS card? And, when an employee wants to change their name, what documentation is necessary?
The answer depends on why they are using a different name. If there are discrepancies in the official documents, I would go with the name on the social security card. However, if an employee requests to be addressed by a different name than his/her legal name, because they are going through gender change, then the employer need to comply with that request.
I work for a very large organization in which the acknowledgement of the handbook is implicit in working there. What are the advantages/disadvantages of having an all-encompassing acknowledgement like this?
This is permissible under the law. The idea is that when an employee works for an employer, it is implied that the employee is agreeing to comply with all established policies. Having a written acknowledgment provides slightly stronger proof that the employee is aware of the policy and has agreed to it. The purpose of the acknowledgment is to show an understanding of the policy or to acknowledge they are aware of the policy more than acceptance of the policy. Acceptance is implied.
Could you explain what progressive discipline is?
It is not a law or a regulation. It is a voluntary policy developed by employers to set forth their discipline policy to employee. The idea is that employees are on notice of the policy and they know what to expect. Generally, a progressive discipline policy will provide for discipline to increase with each violation of a company policy.
If someone goes on FMLA, and they return to their job but are no longer performing their duties to satisfaction, when would be safe to terminate them?
There is no specific period of time and the amount of time will depend on the specific circumstances. Having said that, a general guideline is between 3 and 6 months- the longer the better.
If I make it a requirement for all nonexempt employees to read their employee handbook. Can I require them to do this off-hours, or would it have to be during work hours?
If the employer makes a specific requirement that the must read the handbook, then it would be a good idea to pay them to read it during working hours to ensure that it is read..
Is it true that a severance package doesn't exclude the ee from filing an EEOC claim?
That is correct, however, the employee would not be able to recover monetary damages twice. Any amount already paid would be offset from any potential monetary recovery from the EEOC. The EEOC could provide non-monetary damages though.
What to do if an employee never show up to pick her/his final check
Nothing. The employer keeps in the file. Under California law, an uncashed check for wages can be deposited into an account with the Labor Commissioner. Most states have an 'unclaimed property' procedure in place. Keep a copy of the check in the file, if you remit the funds to the state.
If you pay using direct deposit, does the FINAL PAYCHECK timeline still apply?
No, it needs to be a manual check, unless the last day of employment happened to be on the regular pay day. But do not forget you need to include accrued vacation, if any.
Is there a helpful resource we can use for the new-hire forms?
Please check your state’s chamber of commerce for helpful documents, or contact Roxana directly!
Are there any documents that should not be provided from the Personnel file when it has been subpoenaed or if an EE requests to review their Personnel file?
References from third parties.
If I terminate an employee for misconduct and advise to leave premises right away, how can I cut a check and deliver to them that day?
The scenario I am imagining is that the employee is behaving in a violent, dangerous manner, and he/she is being asked to leave immediately. If this is the case, the employee would get paid until the day that he is actually terminated, whether is by telephone on in person. The final check is due on the day of termination.
any issues with discrimination with severance packages???
Not really, as they are completely optional, confidential, and personalized.
For CA checks why can't we send them to the employee if they don’t pick them up? Is there a CA statute that states this?
Yes, there is a CA statute. Labor Code section 202. It provides that the final paycheck may be mailed, if the employee so authorizes.
So if employee who resigns does not request payment we don't have to give them paycheck right away?
The employee does not have to request payment. The law requires that the final pay check be given to the employee immediately at time of termination, and at time of termination if the employee provides 72 hours notice.
Are all California laws the same for non-profit organizations?
Yes, the provisions of the Labor Code apply to both for profit and non-for-profit organizations.