Keeping up with the new and changing employment laws and regulations can be a challenge for organizations with dedicated human resources professionals. For businesses without this luxury, limited knowledge in this crucial area increases your organization’s risk and could lead to legal actions that cripple your operations. Although each organization has their own unique challenges, this series focuses on the top-ten general categories of possible employment legal pitfalls. What do all organizations need to be aware of? What processes do you need to put in place in advance to proactively minimize risk? What do you need to know so when a situation arises so it can be handled appropriately? What happens when legal counsel is necessary? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered during this very informative series.
Session 1 (Jim Weischedel):
The topics of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are constantly in the news. Big and small companies seemingly in all industries are paying millions of dollars to resolve employment claims. Fox News and Uber are 2 examples of companies where CEOs and others lost their jobs due to harassment issues at their workplaces. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alone collected over $482 million last fiscal year resolving over 97,000 claims, which does not even account for numerous other private lawsuits. Companies also are at risk with their hiring processes. There are issues with discrimination, background checks, disabilities, and other topics that can be tricky. Employee selection assessments can be powerful tools to assist with the interviewing process, but the right ones need to be used in the right circumstances.
In this session, participants will learn how to:
- Identify the primary risks associated with harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and hiring
- Set up processes to reduce legal risk associated with harassment, discrimination, and retaliation
- Set up an interview and selection process that is effective and minimizes legal risk
- Identify the interview questions you can and can’t ask an applicant
- Use employee selection assessments appropriately
Session 2 (Jim Weischedel):
There can be numerous pitfalls and complications when an employee goes out on a leave of absence. The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has complicated and burdensome rules. How do employers cover a job when an employee is on a leave of absence? When do employers hold jobs? How do employers track intermittent leave? What is a disability, and what do employers need to know to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act? There are many wage and hour concerns that can get employers in hot water. Employers need to classify employees correctly as exempt or nonexempt or they can face steep fines and back pay. Employers also need to be careful not to misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should be employees. There are also timekeeping rules for travel, training, getting ready for work, and others. What are whistleblower protections? What are some of the employee privacy considerations you need to worry about?
In this session, participants will learn:
- The elements of leave of absence management
- How to administer FMLA and other leave of absences properly
- About the most common wage and hour violations
- About the FLSA guidelines for classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt
- Some methods to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or employee
- Ways to minimize privacy risks
- How to avoid public policy violations (such as whistleblower violations)
Session 3 (Jim Weischedel):
Disciplining or terminating an employee can be one of the most dreaded tasks a company does. It can also yield some significant employment law risks. How do companies modify performance or conduct before it gets to a formal discipline or termination stage? And once it gets to a discipline or termination stage, what are the best ways to handle this to minimize employment risk and protect your employee morale? Safety and OSHA compliance are more important than ever. OSHA fines have gone up significantly in recent years. Are you in full compliance? How does an organization know that their processes, policies, and practices are effective and compliant with myriad of employment regulations? One way is to conduct and HR compliance and effectiveness audit. What are the benefits of an audit, how is an audit conducted, and who should conduct an audit?
In this session, participants will learn:
- Best practices for handling discipline and terminations
- How to address difficult employee conversations to modify performance and/or conduct
- Many of the areas typically identified in a risk assessment prior to termination
- Some of the key OSHA and safety policies and practices
- The value of conducting an HR compliance and effectiveness audit
- About some of the key areas HR auditors evaluate and how that can save organizations money and hassle
- The process HR auditors use to conduct an audit and the key interactions with organization staff
Session 4 (Rick Hackman, Esq & Jim Weischedel):
When litigation becomes necessary, your first task is to undertake a cost-benefit analysis. What potential liability are you facing? Does it make sense to settle the case? In making the decision as to whether to fight or try to resolve the matter amicably for a nominal settlement, you need to consider both the “hard” and “soft” costs. In this session, Human Resources activities from a legal perspective will be examined.
This session will also serve as a wrap up and offer a valuable extended Q&A opportunity for participants to discuss real-life issues with a Senior Professional in Human Resources and/or an Employment Law attorney.
- EXTRA: Changes to Department of Labor enforcement and priorities under President Trump
Who should attend: Anyone interested in ensuring your organization is fulfilling the law while minimizing its risk regarding employment policies, procedures and compliance. This will be especially valuable for those from small organizations without a human resources background who are responsible for HR functions, including controllers, office managers, and supervisors in all industries,
Tuesdays, October 24, 31 and November 7, 14, 2017 (8:00-10:00 am) $395 or $125 per session
Meet Your Presenters:
Jim Weischedel, MBA
Jim’s passion is to help organizations improve and individuals grow and develop. He helps organizations in the areas of HR compliance, training, staffing, job fit assessments, employee engagement, leadership coaching and development, performance management, and many other human resources areas. Jim has over 22 years of executive-level human resources experience within several industries and company sizes. In addition, he has senior operational leadership experience and has served on and led several organization boards. Jim holds a Masters of Business Administration (with concentration in Human Resources Management) from Penn State University and a Bachelors of Secondary Education from Millersville University. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Richard L. Hackman, Esquire
Rick serves as Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment group. For 20 years, Rick’s practice has been dedicated to representing employers and management in all aspects of employment law. Rick’s experience includes representation of clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, similar state and local agencies, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor and numerous federal and state courts throughout the country. He frequently litigates claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Rick routinely defends employers in class and collective action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Pennsylvania Law. He also regularly represents corporate clients who seek to enforce the trade secret and non-competition obligations of former employees. Rick represents entities of all size and type, including health care organizations, manufacturers, retailers and service industry businesses. As an employment counselor, Rick advises clients with respect to compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, including the FMLA, OSHA and the FLSA and provides training to employers on all issues related to employment law compliance. Rick also counsels employers on minimizing risk during both the discipline and termination process, with a focus on being “proactive” versus “reactive.” Further, a substantial portion of his practice is dedicated to the review and revision of various employment documents and policies, including employment agreements, handbooks and non-competition agreements.