Month: September 2016

What is a Leave of Absence (FMLA)?

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Leave of absence laws give employees the right to leave for a variety of reasons — including personal or family illness, pregnancy, military service, family military leave, and other personal reasons.

A leave of absence of between 12 and 26 weeks must be given to qualifying employees under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The medical leave act provisions require covered employers to give leave to eligible employees for their own serious health conditions, to care for a covered family member with a serious health condition, and for family military leave for a qualifying exigency or to care for a seriously injured or ill service-member or veteran.

The family leave law also require covered employers to give leave to eligible employees after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, to bond with the child.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

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What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is also known as the federal Wage and Hour Law, regulates minimum wage, overtime, equal pay, record-keeping, and child labor for employees of enterprises engaged in interstate or foreign commerce and employees of state and local governments.

The FLSA is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The FLSA applies in all states, but states are permitted to have their own laws and regulations to provide even greater protection for their workers than is provided under federal law — which is typically the case in California.

In cases in which the two laws conflict, the law most beneficial to the employee takes precedence. Therefore, it is essential that employers understand both the state and federal laws.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

What is an Exit Interview and Is It Necessary?

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An exit interview is a conversation or other communication between a voluntarily or involuntarily departing employee and a representative from the employer.

The exit interview can be in a structured format or be done on an informal basis — written questionnaires can even be used in place of a face-to-face meeting. Whichever format is used, exit interviews are generally documented.

Exit interviews are a good way for the employee to voice complaints, offer constructive criticism, let off steam, or explain why he or she is heading elsewhere.

But the real value of the exit interview is most clearly for the employer, who can use it as a reality check or as an informal way to see how the company is doing.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Is an Employee Handbook Necessary?

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Employee handbooks is used by employers as an effective way to communicate basic but necessary information to employees about company policies and the employment relationship.

Some policies in the employee handbook may provide general notice and details of employee rights as required by state and federal laws. Other policies in the employee handbook may talk about additional information about the company and its mission, discuss employee benefits such as paid time off, clarify expectations of staff, including workplace conduct, timekeeping, attendance, and other important issues, and even provide legal protections to the employer itself.

A properly drafted employee handbook can be a valuable communication tool provided that employers take steps to avoid the legal problems that can arise when the handbook is not properly drafted.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Why Attendance at Work Matters

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Regular work attendance is an essential job function, and being absent in the workplace costs employers significantly.

Most employees must be present at their job-site on a regularly scheduled basis to do their jobs. However, there are many legitimate reasons why employees cannot be at work every day.

Employers should have a work policy that addresses all the issues of attendance, including lateness, sickness, personal business, family and medical leave, and disability concerns.

An important part of an attendance policy is setting criteria for when excessive absence requires disciplinary action and ensuring that the policy is communicated to employees.

Solutions for improving workplace attendance include compressed workweeks, flextime, job sharing, rewards, and constructive discipline.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Workplace Complaints and Investigations

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An employee who has a complaint may claim discrimination, harassment, misconduct by a co-worker or supervisor, or any of a variety of other allegations that could lead to disciplinary action or even litigation.

Ensuring that the human resources department responds to all complaints promptly and thoroughly reduces the chance of employee lawsuits.

For many types of complaints, planning an internal investigation should be one of the first steps HR takes. Outside investigations are an alternate option.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Bonus Payments – How to Calculate Bonuses

 

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Employers can offer their employees various types of bonuses, such as performance awards, gain-sharing systems, and profit sharing.

While bonuses are generally used to reward performance, awards are not directly tied to job performance and are usually offered for perfect attendance, for providing new hire referrals, to recognize an outstanding employee, to motivate employees to work safely, or to reward employee suggestions.

There are various legal and tax considerations for employers giving awards and bonuses to their employees. Promised bonuses may be construed as contracts by the courts, while the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to count non-discretionary bonuses in an employee’s regular rate of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Massive Layoffs – What You Need to Know

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The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) gives protection to workers and their families by requiring employers to provide advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs.

Layoff notice is made to provide workers and their families some time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment and to seek and get alternative jobs, if necessary.

WARN Act violations can be expensive and employers can be liable for damages and civil penalties if employers violate this Act.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/