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Human Resources Issues in Light of Current Laws

Laura Im
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With laws and regulations in constant flux, Human Resources (HR) has become a vital and essential component of any organization or ministry.  Matters such as proper hiring procedures, employee development, legal compliance, and liability protection are examples of crucial items that need to be handled intentionally and prudently.  Join us as we explore several key HR guidelines that all organizations should implement to maximize protection of their ministries and place the focus back on winning souls to Christ. 


Laura Im

Director of Human Resources for the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists




  • August 4, 2016
    3:30 PM
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Jemele Father we thank you so much for this opportunity to be here at A.S.I. and also for this opportunity to opportunity to talk about human resources issues and the different things we can do to help protect our ministries and to further your work less hard time together Let It Be fruitful and truly to your glory in Jesus name Amen. Let me just ask Is there anybody here that is part of a business. Business. OK We have one or a couple. And the rest are nonprofits. I'm assuming nonprofits. OK so I just wanted to see what kind of audience I'm talking to right now I just have a couple disclaimers being the attorney that I am I have to make sure that you understand that what I am telling you today is not going to be construed as legal advice I will be talking about various statutes various legislation and how they may impact your organization now as to whether they do impacts your organization will need to be determined between you and your personal attorney. This. Like I said cannot be construed as legal advice it's purely informational. So I don't want you to take what I say and go back and say well or him said this at a site purely informational it may really to your organization say that. And what I'm going to be talking about today is just merely scratching the surface of the statutes a lot of legislation. There are a lot more in depth and complex and I can never give them credit for it's simply the gist of what the statute is about I do think it's important to talk about it to give you an awareness of what you may have out there but as you know and with anybody this dealt with the law. There are exceptions to the rules all the time. So we're just talking about the overall gist of it. And again it's a lot more complex and if. And even I can give credit for so to get those disclaimers out of the way let's go right in. So I guess one of the questions that wish to start out with is what is human resources we talk about quite a bit the best definition that I found was in with the P.T.O.. And this is what with the pieces of human resources department of a company performs human resource management. What's human resource management so overseeing various aspects of employment such as compliance with labor law and Employment Standards are we in compliance with the law. That's pretty self-explanatory. Administration of employee benefits. Does your organization offer fringe benefits well if it does it oversees You administration of them and some aspects of recruitment and dismissal. Hiring firing. Things like that it's pretty self-explanatory over there. But what you can see is that based on the human resource itself you employ satisfaction is very important and H.R. is kind of in charge of that aspect. And you'll see that H.R. is also very important to protecting your organization from potential liability. So even if you don't have a Human Resources department. It's good to have somebody. That you can talk to a Human Resource up and that there are companies out there that that can provide services towards companies to towards your company. If you have questions in regards to human resources. So it's always good to have some sort of human resource management somewhere within your organization. So this is a question that I received quite a bit believe it or not I don't know if it's because I work for a ministry but I get asked a lot. Is it important to abide by the law. Well let's go. And look at the words of Christ. What does what does Jesus say about this and you see there in Matthew chapter twenty two. Verse twenty one Jesus says Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are gods OK I have another example in the form of Daniel Daniel as we know it was somebody who was in a very close position with the king. And they were so close that there were people surrounding the king that were jealous and so they were trying everything they could to bring Daniel down. Let's read it over there in Daniel Chapter six verses forty five the presidents in the say trap sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom. But they could find no ground for complaint or any fault because he was faithful. And no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said We shall not find any grounds for complaint against Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his god. What does that tell us there. That that no matter how hard these people tried. They could not find any fault and now we're going through a political election right now and what is some of the things that we see out there lot of smear campaigns a lot of digging into people's past not just talking about the presidential election any type of political election out there. There's a lot of propaganda but with Daniel they could find absolutely nothing so much so that they had to hit him in the one area where it would hurt and that would be in regards to his god. Now do we have protections in the law for our religious liberty. Yes we do. Does anybody know where. Is written right there in the Constitution which amendment. Right. First Amendment. Religious Liberty exists right in the First Amendment. Now that is a topic for a whole other seminar and we're not going to get into that. But we must obey the law of man. As long as it doesn't infringe upon the law of our God amen. I hope that's pretty easy to understand and we're all on board with that. But that's the idea ideology that I'm going to be following today will bring them all man and that's what we're going to be going through a lot of laws and statutes. So but obeying the law of man until it infringes upon our freedom of religion. OK let's go on. So an overview of what we're going to address today. I'm going to go over some statutes and some legislation that every organization should know some of them you will deal with on quite a frequent basis. Others may be more unique. You might come upon or you might not come upon but I was just wanting to bring it up in case you know it gives you a good idea of what you may come up against. As you manage your organization. Also there are simple ways to protect your organization from liability and we're going to go through those in some detail. These are these things that I'm going to talk about are truly things that every organization should know. But not only should they be done but I'm going to tell you how to do them properly and believe me that there are repercussions if we're not careful. So I'm going to talk about to government agencies in particular. That your H.R.. Is deals with. On more on a one on one basis. The first one is the Department of Labor or the deal well. And the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We're going to call it. These are two agencies that you do not want showing up on your doorstep some day. So that to permit of labor. What is the Department of Labor or anybody have an idea. We hear about it every now and then. But this is a the Department of Labor is a Cabinet level department of the U.S. federal government. And what is it responsible for well occupational safety. Basically when your employee is working at your job is the employer given the maximum protection to prevent the employee from getting hurt on the job for example if the employer deals with fire. Are you giving protective gear the employee deals with cutting meat. Are you giving protective gloves or giving them protective gloves things like that. That's what the Department of Labor is responsible for Occupational Safety wage and hour standards. We're going to go over this in a lot more detail when we talk about the Fair Labor Standards Act. Unemployment INSURANCE Benefits deal well as a program to assist unemployment insurance to give assistance of unemployment insurance to those who through no fault of their own are unemployed. And then we also talk about re employment services that deal will provide services to those wanting to reenter the workforce. OK. And the purpose of the Department of Labor. Let's let's go over that real quick. It oversees the well being of employees employment seekers and retirees. Improves working conditions advances opportunities for profitable point employment that protects rights and benefits of employees. So as you can see. See this department is there to assist the employee. Not really the employer but you as the employer should be in tune to what the deal well that's looking for. When in regards to your organization. OK So that's the Department of Labor. We're going to talk about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the E.E.O.C.. Basically the see it assists employees with workplace discrimination. OK. It acts as the investigator. The employer as a complaint they lodge a complaint with the O.C. and the E.E.O.C. comes in to try to see what's going on and whether there is a legitimate complaint to be made. About your organization. So what is it responsible for determining discrimination in the workplace as we talked about protects against disparate treatment and impact is your policy discriminating. Do you treat one group or one individual of your one employee differently from other employees that you have. That's the that's talking about the disparate treatment and disparate impact. Now. Must demonstrate a prima facie cause prima facia just do people know what that means on its face on its face it must the applicant your employee must demonstrate this prima facie cause under of federal case under federal protected class and we're going to go over the federal protective class in a bit and the burden of proof lies with who. It lies with the applicant. If the applicant is bringing forward a claim against you. Towards ego see they need to demonstrate this burden of proof not you. OK now what are the federal. Bases. Let's listen. They can lodge a complaint based on discrimination in terms of race color religion or create and we'll get back to that in one second. National origin or ancestry. Sex or gender age discrimination physical and or mental disability. It's not just physical It also includes mental veteran status genetic information. OK and citizenship. Now in terms of religion or creed the employer may also have the opportunity to discriminate on that basis as well. Let's say that you as an organization only want to hire for example Adventists Well Title seven of the Civil Rights Act. Does give the employer some rights to discriminate. However you must be a church or religious organization on your face on its face as well. Now again this is one of the things that you need to go back and talk to an attorney about and see if this is possible. If you are simply a business. I would say that would be a lot harder but if you are nonprofit that does religiously based work you would have more of an opportunity to make this type of. This case. But again that's something between you and a personal attorney. OK. So now we're going to go really quickly through some of the legislation that you are going to come upon the Fair Labor Standards Act or the F.L.S. say it's going to impact quite a bit of your decisions in terms of hiring and what you pay your employee. So what does the Fair Labor Standards Act do well. One of the things it does is established is minimum wage overtime pay and child labor standards for full and part time employees. Now as a H.R. director of A. Ministry. I come upon this quite a bit. In fact at least once every week something of this nature pops up for me it's not very. Uncommon for me to get a call from one of our entities and say. Laura I have hired somebody and to do such and such work at my entity. And we have agreed to pay them fifty dollars a week and so I say OK fifty dollars a week. So does that mean that you've hired them as an independent contractor. But I don't know we they're an employee and we sign all the proper paperwork. OK but paying them fifty dollars a week that doesn't abide by the Fair Labor Standards that what they say says is that if you're going to hire an employee you need to pay them. What are really. You cannot of your own volition choose to pay somebody a certain amount and it doesn't matter how much how often they work or how little they work they get that same amount that's not correct say Well that sounds more like an independent contractor so are they do they have their own business or are they a sole proprietor. Do they have their own liability insurance. Do they provide their own materials more often than not then answer is no. And it's not because they're trying to you know take advantage of the employee. It's simply because they do not know what the rules are. And that's what H.R. is there for to make sure that the we establish the correct methods of payment for these employees. Now also. You cannot of your own volition choose to pay them seven dollars an hour. There's a minimum wage as anybody know what the federal minimum wage is right now it's a believe. Seven forty I believe seven as it's seven twenty five. OK I'm not even sure myself but I know that Michigan's is higher. It's eight fifty and bound to go higher. Whichever one is higher. Whether it's state or federal is the one that you go by. OK. It cannot be any lower than that. And even some cities pay more than a rural environment. If you were to live in Ann Arbor Michigan. You're going to get paid more than if you lived in some small rural area. So those are the different types of things that you have to consider. Child labor standards they don't get paid. You don't you can pay them less than the minimum. But has to be at least eighty percent of the minimum wage there. So those are the just the different types of things that the N.F.L.'s say takes care of. And like I say they ensure the organization is in compliance you don't want people showing up at your door waving the F.L.S. in your face and saying you're hiring people you're discriminating against them now. Real quickly there is a new overtime rule that the Obama administration came out with just a couple of months ago I believe. Now before in order to legally classify somebody as exempt employee does anybody know what exempt means. Yes yes salary properly in order to legally be classified as properly exempt or salaried the minimum per week had to be four hundred fifty five dollars. No lower than that. But the Obama administration came down with a new rule that effectively more than doubled that. Now. It's nine hundred thirteen dollars per week. No lower than that. OK now that it has affected my organization great deal and as soon as I'm done with A.S.I. I'm going to have to go back until the fat make sure that we are all in compliance with but those are the types of things that come down. And that we have to be aware of made aware of and that rule goes into effect in December. OK. Family and Medical Leave Act. Now what is the F M L A. Or the F. Mily as we call it in titles eligible employees to take unpaid job protected leave for specified family with medical conditions with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave right now. How long of a leave can you take up to twelve weeks leave with a twelve month period for various reasons. Usually for serious health conditions. Now I want to emphasize that this is not paid leave they can take leave. If not paid but they can use their vacation time during that leave. OK. A lot of people use this for pregnancy related leaves you have a baby women take it. Three months off so they can take care of their baby. You can also use it towards a very close family member. Husband a wife a child if they are severely ill. You can file for it or the employer can file for F M L E under this provision. Now you as the employer. What how do you determine that your employees eligible for F M L A. Leave. Well they have to be employed for at least twelve months have to have been employed for at least twelve months. With a minimum of one thousand two hundred fifty hours work. During that time. So that's very important to know because it doesn't mean that only your full time employees can take it but they just have to have that minimum. Twelve fifty hours. Now this is one that I wasn't and that I was not aware of. They have to be employed your employee has to be employed at a location with a minimum of fifty employees within the seventy five miles of the work site. Meaning that even if you have fifty or more employees. Depending on where that employee is if there is if there are less than fifty employees within seventy five miles of where that employee is working. That employee is not entitled to half a mill a protection. Does that make sense. OK. So this is an area of the law that a lot of people take advantage of Unfortunately unfortunately. In order to protect yourself and your organization there are several things that you can do. When your employee is ready to return to work. I would advise getting a fit to work a letter from their doctor wife because you can sue to avoid worker's comp. So this person comes back too early and then they say that. You know it was too soon and then at least you can say that while I have a fit to work a letter from your doctor. Also if you feel that somebody is abusing this privilege and they say that they do in fact get a letter from their doctor you can ask for a second or even a third opinion from another doctor. You're entitled for that. And then you as the employer can also request for continued sort of occasional recertification from your employee. As they're taking their effort. So there are. Different areas that you can protect yourself as the employer not a lot of areas under the law you can do that but end of the F M L A. You can't. OK the Affordable Care Act will go through that real briefly. This of course. Is a relatively new law and it only applies for entities with fifty or more employees. How it works is employees averaging thirty or more hours over a measurement period. Whatever your measurement period you have deemed for your organization they would qualify for employer provided health care. So this measurement period repeats every year. OK. And it's important to know that the employees eligible for the health care even if the employee dips below the thirty hour average the following year. So let's say that you have an employee that qualified for it and then during the course of that year that employee the hours were slashed they were working less hours they still get that health care for that one year it just means for the next year. It probably would not apply to them. The health care. If they've been under the thirty hour average. Will go through that real quick. May or may not apply for your entity depending on how many employees that you have. OK but the Americans With Disabilities Act or the eighty. What does this do it prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. So. You know in job application procedures are hiring firing advancement any sort of compensation anything related to what a normal employer would get they cannot be any discrimination or in regards to that in order for an employer though to claim for discrimination under the eighty. He needs your company needs to. Had it the east. Fifteen or more employees. There's a fifteen or more employed level. So the different disabilities include and this is important not just physical but also mental disability. That's also included in that. And how do you determine whether this person has a valid physical or mental disability. Well it has to. Substantially impact their life. There has to be a record and it has to be a parent. OK so the employer is required to accommodate unless it imposes an undue hardship. Now what does undue hardship mean if you were to accommodate this employee. Would it cost too much. That there is one area. Would it change the face of the position that you have for that employee. Those are just some of the ways that you can say that this would qualify as an undue hardship. Again that's something for you an attorney if that were to come up but there is leeway under the law for an undue hardship. And one thing I really want to make clear is never never never appropriate to ask about your applicant's disability during a hiring process. If you have done prey interviews with somebody and you really like them. It's going really well you like what you've seen on their C.V. they've gotten good great recommendations. And then this person shows up to your interview in a wheelchair. What do you do. Lean forward you shake their hand and have proceed with your interview as normal but not to mention a thing. That's quick. If you choose to then on the merits. Hire this person then you can talk about accommodations and different things like that but during the interview process it is never appropriate to ask about a disability. The Equal Pay Act. What is that so that prohibits sex based wage discrimination. Unfortunately this is an issue that is still ongoing. Today it's talks about discrimination between men and women and this is important in the same establishment who perform jobs that are essentially equal in skill. Effort and responsibility and under the same working conditions. For many many many years. Women were paid less than men and they still are. Unfortunately. So that's why they came up with this Equal Pay Act and it was established to protect women. And they determined a list of things how pay was to be to determine and one of them is skill effort responsibility working conditions and establishment. On top of this. I don't know if anybody has heard of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This was one of the first pieces of legislation that Obama signed when he after he became president. This was done in two thousand and nine. And it was in regards to a lady by the name of a little lead better. Who worked for good year for many many years had progressed up to a position of some prominence and it was only years later that she found out that there were men that were being paid higher than her and at the essentially the same type of position that she was at so she filed suit. Under to the E.E.O.C.. However they threw that suit out why. Because she filed that too late. The the in order to file suit you have to have it's only one hundred eighty days from the day that the first discriminatory pay check was issued. Well. Obviously she didn't know about this and obviously she was way too late for that this was years later. And so this piece of legislation was established under Obama's administration to allow these types of situations not to occur again now the new law says that complaints can be filed. Within one hundred eighty days of a discriminatory paycheck. And that one hundred eighty days resets after each patient paycheck each discriminatory paycheck is issued. So there are different things that are pieces of legislation that are coming down to try to prevent. Discriminatory pay between genders. OK Age Discrimination in Employment Act now. I had a little bit of this when I was entering the workforce. I was in law school and it was it's very common to try to get summer jobs during breaks in law school so I had an interview with a very big offer. And I remember I was sitting there. And there were about maybe ten partners that were surrounding me. Of course I was at the head of the table very intimidated. And nobody was saying one word. They were just kind of sitting there looking at me. Finally one of them blurts out and says Laura How old are you. Needless to say I thought this interview is over. And of course his partner said you can't ask that. What are you doing. I was trying his best to shush him. Everything but I was discriminated against for being too young but this age ascript nation Employment Act is to protect those boys forty. Plus years and older from discrimination and so obviously it's never appropriate to ask for somebody's age in an interview and further it's also unlawful to discriminate to any term or condition or privilege of employment including in matters of hiring firing a promotion laying off you cannot choose to lay off your eldest your oldest employee compensation you can't pay an older employee less benefits job assignments and training. This is why job descriptions are important. Now it's very important for me to say that you cannot list and an age range in a job description. I only want stropping young people from twenty five to thirty five years of age to apply know what you can put though is what the job demands. I need somebody who's going to be lifting up heavy boxes. It's going to involve being out in the sun a lot that's going to involve going up and down stairs put all of that in your job description and if somebody reads that job description and says hey I can do that and if they're if they're a certain age where you think that that's not going to happen but they say that they can do it you let him come in and apply for the job and we cannot discriminate against somebody who's older and it's also provides protection in terms of apprenticeship programs. And when you think of an apprenticeship program. What do you think of you think of somebody that's straight out of school or someone just somebody that just got their degree. But it's a seventy year old wants to apply for an apprenticeship program. They cannot be discriminated against for wanting to do that. OK. Pregnancy Discrimination Act. OK. What does this do. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Now that includes hiring and working conditions. So you cannot refuse to hire someone who is pregnant as long as she is able to do the job. Pregnancy and maternity leave. You cannot single out pregnancy related conditions for medical clearance. If you don't require that any of your other employees will leave it. Believe it or not this happens quite a bit for temporary disability. So somebody who's pregnant has to be treated the same as any other temporarily disable the employee. It's pretty self-explanatory. How thin surance. Now if you offer health insurance. It must cover expenses for pregnancy related conditions on the same basis as expenses for other medically related conditions. OK. Equal access to benefits they must also be provided the same benefits for those on medical leave for pregnancy related conditions. Wimmin used to get questions in job interviews. On reproduction plans. And they used to get blocked from health care. It's absolutely unacceptable today. I actually heard on my way here on the plane. I overheard somebody talking to another person and that person was telling them how their mother used to be a stewardess on that airline years ago and did it for many years and then said. But when she got pregnant she was terminated. Can never do that today. Cannot do that today when my husband and I came in for our interview with our with a conference. They saw we didn't have children then. But they saw that we were a young. Ish couple. And the potential for us to have children or me specifically to have children. Was there. But I was never asked about what my my plans were for a family in the future that never came up and when I became pregnant with the first one. All they said was congratulations. And you know we're so happy for you that's all you need to say OK. You don't have to slap your head and be like oh I'm what are we going to do now it's is just one of those things that we need to deal with do not mention anything you move forward. You're happy for your employee and that's it. Right. As you can see there are a lot of laws that protect employees and we as the employer need to be made aware of what's appropriate what's not so. Uniform Services employment and Reemployment Rights Act or USERRA What does this do. This has to protect civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of reserve components. So it's basically there to protect the rights of service members. And improve the enforcements of how to protect them as well as establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work from military duty. And really tain employment rights to five years that used to be four years. But now it's five years. And of course there are some exceptions to that. And also provides protection for disabled veterans requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. So you know some service members that are recuperating from their time out in during service or training they may be given additional time sometimes up to two years for. From the completion of service to come back to the job and that job has to be protected for them. During that time. It is illegal and immoral to discriminate against those that have served in the military. I'll give you one example of a lady by the name of Teresa Slater. After her active service ended she returned to her old employment in Missouri and but she found that when she came back to her employment that they had effectively reconditioned her to be a new employee thereby going have to go through new employee training again and she also lost her thirteen years of seniority there. So she decided to file a Usera claim. With the E.E.O.C. and not long after that that company terminated her for what they deemed to be an infraction. So she. But she took it as retaliation for bringing the claim against you. Sarah against her. The company. So the department ended up investigating the case. And they determined that she was indeed discriminated against. So she was offered her original job back. With her thirteen years and about twenty thousand dollars in back wages so claims against you. Sarah are serious and we want to be treating those types of employees with the same respect as anybody else. OK So that's new. SARAH And finally we're going to talking about Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act or Gina. And this says that it's illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. And. Can file for under under Jena. If you have at least fifteen or more employees in your organization So what does that mean. So that includes information about and in an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members. Also about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual's family members so. That basically states that they need to be whatever information that you have on them or even on their family members for potential in the future as well. Cannot be used against them. In the hiring process and. So it's this is also an area of the law that is very very stringent and let me give you another example. And this is a bit of a smelly example there was apparently an issue of somebody. Depositing some unwanted feces. To warehouse that happened to. Package groceries grocery items somebody for whatever reason. Obviously somebody that's not mentally stable was. For lack of a better word. Def a catering on the property. So the company. Which owned the warehouse they decided to ask all of the employees. For a cheek swab. To see if any of them were the perpetrator. So they can test the D.N.A. in the feces with the D.N.A. of employees. So if it was found that those that did not match with a description they filed a complaint with the E.E.O.C. saying that this was a violation under Gina. And so what actually happened was the company. Tried to say that that didn't apply. In this case because it was not considered genetic testing. You're just simply going to try to get genetic information to see if the D.N.A. matched. The the courts decided the case and they decided in favor of the employees that genetic information still constitutes as protection under Gina. OK so again. Recourses under the law for employers are a lot harder. Under these statutes. So it's important to know what you're up against when you're dealing with U.C. matters or even deal matters. OK that's it and terms of talking about different statutes that you may come up against. So now we're going to go into the part of the lecture when we talk about protecting your organization from liability and I have three rules of thumb that that we can go through number one is being consistent. We talked about this a little bit before do not discriminate. Do not pay one. More than another. If they're doing the essentially the same job. Don't treat one with favor ability over another. I came across this quite a bit believe it or not in my line of work and it's not because it's a complaint against the employer sometimes the employee offers this a lot of the entities that I am in charge of they don't have littles noodles of money and they might have an employee that's getting paid but they need somebody else to kind of help out with that employee. Doing essentially the same job in a lot of times that person will come to me and say I don't mind doing it for free. I just don't mind volunteering I just want to do service for the Lord. And I say Well that is wonderful to hear. And I commend you for that. But I. Can't let that happen. I just can't let that happen. I cannot have somebody that is essentially doing the same thing as a paid employee and have that person not being paid. And it might not matter now. But somewhere down the line. It just might. Somebody might see that or that person might end up being there for years and years and years and it happens and happens. We cannot treat people differently. What I usually say to those employees is that well why don't you just go ahead and get paid and why don't you give if you want to give that paycheck back to your organization. It's up to you. So there are different ways to work around that but I would highly advise you not to take that option. Be consistent. Number two document document document document document document. This inquires you as the employer to be vigilant. Which is tough. If you have an employer that you feel is not doing a good job. You must documented not only that you must keep them accountable sit them don't talk to them. Document your time that you've talked to them. List the date the different things that you've said and then it if it ever comes to the time where you have to determinate at least to terminate at least you have a paper trail. I have seen situations where people just hold it in they hold it in hold it in a note and one day boom they just lay down the gauntlet and that person is out of there and if there is no paper trail. You are going to be the one that is going to be found liable and. So. And also we just went through this on a whole different level know the law know what you're up against know the two different organizations that are going to keep you accountable. What were they. Department of Labor Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And then all the different laws that fall under the discriminatory practices or all the different categories. OK. OK now. Completed I nine. Do we all know what I nines are. OK. I nines are those forms that you sign. That every employee of your organization needs to have completed no later than the first day of hire. I nine so our employment verification documents. Vary not a company form. They are a government form. And if you do not have completed I nym's it can mean serious repercussions for your organization. This is something in my opinion that is so simple. But it is so difficult for whatever reason for organizations to comply with it requires the employer to be proactive in learning how to fill them out properly and to do them properly. So I Nine's basically tell the government. That your employee is legally able to work in the United States. What does that I nine ask for and asked for whether this person is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident or and alien that is authorized to work and they also have to present some forms of identification with them now. This is the simple thing is do not hire anybody that does not have a work permit you will not believe the number of people that I get coming back to me that have hired someone with no documentation. You need somebody with documentation. Or it's lights out for your company. Also because they are government forms they have to be filled out properly. You cannot have. On them. You cannot have major scratches on them. You cannot have liquid paper. You cannot fill them out in pencil. You cannot have them faxed and they need to be original documents. Let me give you an example. So there are repercussions of non-compliant and I let me give you an example of an event planning company. Recently this event's planning company was issued a fine by the government of six hundred five two hundred fifty dollars more than half a million dollars which is the largest fine ever levied by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency. Why why did this. Company get issued such a huge fine. Also why is simply because there are nine S. were non-compliant something that should be a no brainer for any company. But this is what happens the the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement they will sometimes show up unannounced to organizations and this. Unfortunately happened to this company where they did an internal audit. And they found that they were just simply non compliant and levied them that fine. So let me tell you what what kind of things that the government found. So the employers failed to sign off on section two as you know that there are two parts to the I nine the first part is the employee the second part is the employer the employers just failed to sign off on any of the second pages of section two. For individuals they they failed to find any I nine for for their employees. Failure to indicate immigration status. That is listed on the first page of the and it's very clear you check if you're a U.S. citizen you check if you're your permanent resident or you check if you're an alien authorized to work. Obviously that there were no such checks. And some of the forms there. Failure to ensure completion of section one perhaps these employees just did not sign and date them. Easy easy things to do. Failure to enter the alien number so obviously this company hired some people that were not U.S. citizens and they should have entered the alien numbers and then missing list. A B. and C. documents. Do we know what A B. and C. documents are. List eight documents. Are your passports. Permanent Resident cards employment authorization cards those established both your identity and your employment eligibility. If you're a U.S. citizen. It shows both on that form. If you're a permanent resident. It shows both in the form a list to be a document establishes only identity. Which is your driver's license or your ID card or if you were a minor sometimes they'll accept your school ID or even a report card. Alyse document established employment authorization a Social Security card or birth certificate. Those are the two main ones. Those are the types of documents that your employer must present to you and are. Our conference actually takes copies of those. We keep those copies on file right. So those are very very this is a very very simple but often overlooked area when I entered the H.R. department for the conference we did an internal audit and the number of noncompliance. Maybe I should say this but we didn't Journal on it and we've cleaned up a lot of stuff and I highly recommend if you have employees that you do the same. You don't want Immigrations and Customs Enforcement coming up on your door and leaving you on and leaving you in the in the lurch. OK. I thought it would just be a good idea to go through what a good interview would look like. It's good to have ads. How many of you post. Jobs. OK for your ads like we talked about before similar to job description you have to have a must have list. Must stand for a long period of time must have a driver's license. It's very important to have those List as many of the must haves as you can. And it's good to post them in social or public areas websites or on the web is the best. Except resumes only when openings are available. I don't recommend people except resumes as they come in when there's no job you should only accept them when you have an opening. I'm sorry. Well it's just it's not it's just not a good policy to keep loads and loads of resume on file in fact they say that. After a year you should get rid of them. If there's no job. If you're over forty forty and above they say you can keep them up to two years but people's resumes change. And a lot of times you won't have somebody that will be unemployed for that whole year. So you're keeping personal information for someone who you may never hire. So it's just on policy not a good idea. So well. It's just it's just better policy not on the silly that you'd be sued but better policy not happen. OK. And when you interview you should interview. Only those that meet your qualifications. It's good to have a criteria of what you want and to conduct prescreen phone calls. When you do prescreening. You have to emphasize that this is not an interview and you have to ask them all the same questions. OK And then after that it's good to select at least your top three. If you have several candidates select your top three. And then when you ask your questions they should only be related to the job. So your strengths your weaknesses the job accomplishments it almost needs to be in regards to that job. Don't ask about themselves in a general way don't sit back and say Tell me about yourself every question needs to be related to that job. Ask weed out questions I I really like this area. Say that you have a job out there that's kind of industry specific well ask questions that relate specifically to your industry. Let me give you an example let's say I mean I guess because I work a lot with pastors. If you were going to hire a pastor ask questions that relate to that pastor one question that would stop me would be you know what kind of position you take on the nature of crisis pretty fall post fall or hybrid. You know if there's somebody that just wants to apply for a job and has no idea that question what stumped them. It would stop me. I still have yet to really think about what my view is on the nature of Christ but you would hope that your candidate for Pastor would have his own opinion in regard to that and know that area very well it's the same with any of the the jobs that you post out there. You want somebody who's right for your industry specific position. So we doubt questions are a good thing to ask. So after you have the interviews. Oh we recommend that you sit down with your trusted you know board or you. Trusted employers in a in a room by themselves with no one else around and you discuss and that's a private conversation you have there. And what we also recommend. Is that if you have equal candidates that are equal on every level in terms of a resume in terms of how they present themselves to you. Why don't you pick the one that's most different. That's a recommendation pick the one that's most different. So and then you can also say you know your higher will be contingent on you passing a background check or having proper ionize and different things like that but you know that's that's one way of having a really good. Well rounded job interview. Another thing that I think is just so important for our organizations are SO HOW of a policy book to me that's a no brainer. When the deal Well the Department of Labor comes knocking on your door. What's the first thing they're going to look for it's going to be your policy book. OK So in your policy book. What should you have number one should be a mission or a vision statement does your organization have such a statement if you don't. I recommend that you go back and you craft one it will help your employer to know what your organization is about and number two. Give a brief history of what your organization is about. When you came into existence. What was the purpose of your organization. You know what are the things that you hope to accomplish with your organization give that brief history right next to that mission and vision statement mission statement. With a brief history right next to it. So also at will. Statements. Nowadays. It's important to have those that will statements and at will employee is someone that is not bound by a contract of course and it's somebody that can terminate employment in a time or you can terminate their employment but it's good to list that so that they know right off the bat that they are an at will employee. And. Also it's good to list your state and federal laws in regards to your organization. OSHA HIPAA. Any sort of industry specific laws what your policy is or what the laws are in regards to the eighty eight or the E.E.O.C. it's good to list all of those. Right after that at will. Statement. It's a mission vision statement brief history at will. Statements and any laws that apply to your organization is good to ask an attorney. Make sure that it's legally vetted that and and that you have all the proper laws in there. And then you list what type of benefits you offer what type of fringe benefits whether it's health care whether it's retirement life insurance you know long term disability all of those should be listed there and not only should they be listed there. But if you offer it. You need to offer it. If you don't offer it. Please take it out you know something that your employer can rely upon. And that you don't have to come back years later with the employee saying well I wasn't offered this and I didn't know you can say it was right there and that policy book. When you have ZERO and also with rules and regulations this is where you put your organization specific type of rules. Do you have a dress code. As. You know as Christians do we want our employees to be dressed a certain. Way you put that in there. Do you want them to be wearing jewelry you put them in you put that in there. Is the employee meant contingent on passing regular background checks you put that in there. How often do you require those background checks those only to be put in there. So any type of organizational relational rules. That's where you list them for your part. No no but we do recommend that you have it no matter what if you have one employee. I would recommend you have one. Yes and that's where I'm going to be going right after that you must have seen it. So when you have your orientation you go over this policy book with them and there is a form that they should sign that says that they had received it. And that they understand they understand the terms as it was listed in there. And you keep that on file with you forever more. OK. So like I said and it. I think I went a little bit too fast with with the your policy book. If I don't mean when I first heard about politics. I thought well I can't just sit there and write out a policy book all by myself. You don't need to do that you don't need to reinvent the wheel. There are programs out there. That will help give you templates. I've used one in creating my own conferences policy book. There are great templates out there you can you can reach out to other organizations to see if they'd be willing to share their policy books with you does not mean that you have to start from scratch. You can dovetail off of other people but make sure that you legally vet your own. And that it's specific to your organization. So. I do see some hands out there but I if I can just talk to you afterwards I just need to go through some of these things without getting too off track but I appreciate any comments to feel free to come talk to me afterwards do that. Creating job descriptions. This is something also to me that is a no brainer. We talked about handbooks and that the Department of Labor. That's the first thing they look for when they come knocking on your door. What is the first thing that the E.E.O.C. looks at are job descriptions. This is a very critical document and you need to constantly update them. When you have them. The new hires should always sign them as well. They should be part of a job posting obviously but when you hire a new employee you need to show them. Also during the orientation that this is the job description and these are the expectations that you have for them. In that job description of course it's going to list what you expect with them but we also talked about listing other things like whether it requires a lot of heavy lifting where there requires a lot of physical labor. Are you going to be going up and down the stairs a lot are you going to be outside a lot or you can be driving a lot. All those types of things need to be listed in your job description and clearly outlined. And having them sign off on them. In fact it's good to update them consistently. At least once a year at least. And off of the job descriptions is where you can get your annual performance reviews you sit down with your employee. And you pull out that job. Description and say. And that's what you're based off of your performance reviews and also gives the opportunity to update them. As they need to be a lot of certainly a lot of times our job change. If you have a good employee sometimes they get more I'm sorry responsibilities update their job descriptions. That's going to require a lot of proactive work on your part. But it's worth it in the end. OK. So include any potential risks. Like we mentioned before there was a job that included a lot of heavy lifting and then this person filed a claim. Saying that this job ruined the person's back. Well again the E.E.O.C. looks right at the job description and says it was clearly written there. You signed off on it and in fact he signed off on it every year. Performance objectives. Well those can be put into a job description. Can they. You can make that into a job description. So I actually I have a template of job description if anybody wants them. I'm more than happy to distribute them to anybody that wants to look at them but at the job description that I have also talks about even the work place or the work environment that they're at. Does this place have enough sunlight. Does it provide you know is it. Ergonomically good for the employee do the you know those those different types of things are all the sit in a well rounded job description and if anybody wants a template. I'm more than willing to share that. So just to go really quickly about why we need job descriptions. It manifests the clear duties and expectations that are put upon the employee like we talked about. Used to demonstrate compliance. When we talked about with worker's comp issue. You know this employ said they got a physical disability from the job. Well if it was clearly mentioned in the job description. Then it would reduce the the the level of complaint that can be levied against the employer and also for performance assessment. Annual performance reviews something that the employee can measure themselves against and that you can measure the employee against. So if we can go back. What are the things that the Department of Labor looks that. Your handbook and what does the E.E.O.C. look at your job descriptions at the very least your organization should have both of those things. Will go over really briefly what progressive disciplinary actions. You can go through with an employee always remember that the law is there to benefit the employee more than the employer. OK. With a non compliant employee. Again we talked about this being a proactive measure on your part. You need to sit them down and say these are the this is the area where I wish that you would be more vigilant in so you can offer a warning document that time that you sat down and talked with them and put it down in writing. You can even have a written document. That details the scenario or. Or the infractions that the employee has committed. Put it down in a written document and you can even have that employ sign off on it if the employee refuses to sign off on it. Right there that the employee has refused to sign on the state. OK. Oftentimes you have at least two or more. Incidents like this where you sit them down. You talk to them you document it and if it does not improve. Terminate. At least two or more times after you've done this the documenting and the sitting down and talking. Never ever ever. Terminate somebody without going through this it will come back on you as the employer and not on the employee. So for terminations protocol. It's good to provide a form. With your different questions and statements of your expectations of that employee. Obtain a signature of agreement. Hoops. I guess that was it so and then also obtain a signature of agreement. OK. That's there's a reason why we say progressive disciplinary actions we do not want a one time deal. You're fired. Things need to be on a progressive level. Remember remember. The law is there to benefit the employee more than the employer. We're coming to a close here and one of the things that I also highly recommend based on my own experience is to join an H.R. society. To keep yourself in forms. I'm part of an H.R. society. And my society has advisors on staff. That you can e-mail at any time and I can even call them and I can live chat with them. And I use them quite a bit. As you can see H.R. is a very varied. And wide wide has a wide array of topics that I cannot possibly know all the answers to so anytime I'm stumped with a question which comes up quite a bit. I go straight to that H.R. society and I ask them and they give me the answer and when I go back to that entity that talk to me I can have the confidence to know that this was by an expert's opinion that has given it to me. And. Also with this society they give me frequent legal updates on the law. We talked a little bit about that new overtime rule that came down from the Obama administration that effectively more than doubled the the normal minimum rate for exempt employees that H.R. society emailed frequently saying we think this is coming. This is what to expect any day now it's going to become law. And sure enough within a couple of weeks. It was there so it was not a big huge surprise to me when it did happen. They sent frequent updates on all the different laws that are affecting H.R. that happen across the country. And I find them to be very useful. Not only that. Their website has plasterer of seminars and webinars and I have attended several of them and I've also. Listened to some of the weapon ours that they have. They have a lot of powerpoint presentations on them and they have topics specific categories that you can go towards If you want to learn more about I know they have a section on that if you want to learn more about policy books they have section on the job descriptions a lot of the things. That we talked about or taken straight. From that from those types of H.R. societies. I think it's an investment that's well worth it when you talk about liability in the face of liability and making sure that we're where in league with government standards. OK. The last thing I want to bring up is. I have. I have worked with both ends of the spectrum I worked in ministry areas. I've also worked out in the private sector. And it's my opinion then when we're dealing with employees no matter how small an organization you are or how big of an organization you are. This is my rule of thumb and I want to share this with you as a final sendoff. So that is always err on the side of generosity. You may be penalized for not doing enough for your employ. But you will never be penalized for going over and above for your employee. And I know that a lot of times you know we're we're doing the lord's work. We're nonprofits and we need to make sacrifices we ourselves make sacrifices. And but there's only so much that we can ask of our employees to sacrifice. We want them to be happy. We want them to be satisfied with their job and. What I always like to tell people is don't be the employer that conserves money and resources. At the expense of the employee. What does the Bible say about this. Well I have this first Filippi in chapter two verse four. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests. Even if it's in if you know even if you have a nonprofit that's. That's working for the Lord. But also look for the interests of others. So let's remember this as we go about our business. I'd love to hear more about what organizations are about and what the and tail but one thing's for certain and we need to be fair to our employees and we need to make everybody happy and that in effect makes us good stewards of the Lord's work so. So that's what I have for you today. Thank you so much for your attention and for sitting through. It's been quite a lot of information. I know it's a lot of process but for your attention. This was produced by audio layman's services and industry. If you would like to learn more about.


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