Sem, who is CPP CSC certified, is the president of Sem Security Management in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He was joined by Di Ann Sanchez, PhD, SPHR, the founder and president of DAS HR Consulting LLC, at a recent webinar sponsored by BLR®.
FLSA: Fair Labor Standards Act
"Yesterday’s Advisor featured consultant Dick Sem’s warning signs of impending violence; today, the essential components of a workplace violence program plus an introduction to BLR’s unique checklist-based wage and hours self-audit guide."
"Most organizations have a robust emergency plan for fire, natural disasters, and spills, but the plans often ignore “purposeful emergencies,” such as incidents of violence. And that’s a mistake, says consultant Dick Sem, CPP CSC."
Sem’s general observations:
- Badly handled or emotional discipline, refusal of service, or termination often triggers the violence. Never discipline, terminate, or refuse service with emotion.
- Violence is evolutionary. It tends to escalate. Most situations do show some warning signs.
- In many situations, people knew something was wrong and didn’t do anything. Generally, someone is aware of an escalating situation with a coworker, patient, or customer.
- No two incidents are the same, so—and this is a critical concept—you have to allow some room for a judgment call.
"Starting in 2015, direct homecare and domestic service employees who are currently not covered by the overtime and minimum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will start to be covered, says Susan Prince, JD, BLR Legal Editor."
Happy Thanksgiving, Readers!
Here’s Prince’s summary of the changes:
Direct Care Workers
Effective January 1, 2015, direct care workers employed by agencies and other third-party employers are entitled to receive minimum wage and overtime. Direct care workers include companions, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, and caregivers.
"Yesterday’s Advisor featured consultant Karl Ahlrichs on a wellness program that grabbed the interest of 93 percent of employees and spouses. Today, more of his wellness wisdom, plus an introduction to the all-things-compensation-in-one-place website, Compensation.BLR.com®."
How Big Is the Number?
Most HR managers underestimate the full costs of employee health (or lack thereof), says Ahlrichs. He refers to a study involving auto manufacturers and 171,250 employees.
"Yesterday’s Advisor presented two expensive back pay lawsuits. Today, we provide more suits, plus an introduction to the best way to avoid them—the wage and hour audit."
The San Francisco Giants baseball team paid $544,715 in back wages and liquidated damages to 74 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigation determined that the club failed to pay workers for half the hours they worked.
According to the DOL, clubhouse employees worked under an employment agreement that established a flat rate of pay of $55 for working 5.5 hours per day. However, investigators found that the employees actually worked an average of 12 to 15 hours daily, meaning they received less than the hourly federal minimum wage of $7.25 and were also not paid overtime.
"Declaring “a major victory,” the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that Bank of America Corp. (BOA) will pay 1,147 African-American job applicants $2,181,593 in back wages and interest for race-based hiring discrimination."
Here are some details about the BOA case and other backpay/discrimination lawsuits that sound a warning to all employers to take extra care to avoid discrimination and a reminder about the tenacity of federal agencies.
Suit Began in 1993
The ruling in the BOA case awards $964,033 to 1,034 applicants who were rejected for jobs in 1993 and $1,217,560 to 113 individuals who were rejected between 2002 and 2005. It further orders Bank of America to extend job offers, with appropriate seniority, to 10 class members as positions become available.
"In yesterday’s Advisor, Attorney Susan Schoenfeld offered tips for complying with the new affirmative action requirements for veterans. Today, the rest of the story, plus an introduction to the all-things-compensation- website, Compensation.BLR.com®."
Here are some of the other important changes included in the final affirmative action rule:
The incorporation of specific EO Clause language in subcontracts. In order to incorporate the equal opportunity (EO) clause by reference in subcontracts, contractors must include specific language spelled out in the new regulations. This language notifies subcontractors of their responsibilities and includes a reference to “veteran status.” The reference to veteran status must also be included in the EO clause when listing vacant positions.
"Happy Veterans Day to all our readers. Here’s a summary at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) new affirmative action requirements for veterans."
Last August, the OFCCP announced a final rule that makes significant changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, or VEVRAA. VEVRAA prohibits employment discrimination against specified categories of veterans by federal government contractors and subcontractors.
"Yesterday’s Advisor offered examples of how to calculate the “regular rate” of pay for overtime purposes. Today, examples of shift differentials and multiple rates of pay, plus an introduction to BLR’s popular and practical wage and hour guide."
Example #3—Shift Differentials
[ Go here for examples 1 and 2]
Employers must include shift differential pay when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay. Here’s an example: