ARTICLES

Harassment Prevention Training is a Requirement for Every Employer

Steve Holden   January 10, 2019 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal November 2018. At a recent presentation I made the statement “Harassment prevention training is a requirement for every employer in the State of California.” A seasoned human resource professional in the audience politely responded, “I think you may be wrong. The training is only required for employers with 50 or more employees.” Was I wrong? Would I be writing about […]

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Rolling the Dice with Independent Contractors

Steve Holden   November 11, 2018 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal September 2018. To reduce expenses and obtain particular skills sets, employers often look to use independent contractors instead of employees.  While the strategy is logical, misclassification could create a very expensive nightmare and, in many instances the continued use of contractors, is simply a dicey gamble. The combination of a series of newer statutes, a dramatic Supreme Court opinion and […]

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Tips for Employee Terminations

Steve Holden   July 10, 2015 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal July 2015. For most people firing an employee is about as pleasurable as a root canal with defective anesthesia. It is, however, a regularly occurring reality of running an organization. Knowing how to properly fire an employee will reduce the discomfort and the likelihood of negative consequences. Unfortunately, there is no “proper” way to fire that applies in all cases. Each […]

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The Risky Business of Salary Deductions

Steve Holden   May 15, 2015 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal May 2015. The relationship between an employer and an “exempt” employee is intended to be mutually beneficial. Employers are relieved from tracking hours of work, providing rest periods and paying overtime. In exchange, employees get a higher rate of compensation that cannot be reduced because of variations in the quality and quantity of work. All too often employers erroneously focus on […]

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4 Easy Steps for Managing Leaves of Absence

Steve Holden   March 27, 2015 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal March 2015. By following four easy steps in managing employee leaves of absence, employers can greatly reduce the risk of making mistakes and the resulting liability. Step One: Understand that managing employee leaves is not easy. Numerous complex and conflicting laws apply. Moreover, the management of leaves can be time-consuming, and time is often in short supply because employee leaves can […]

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Hiring Safe Workers Pays Off

Steve Holden   February 1, 2015 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal January 2015. Workplace accidents and injuries are costly. They drive up workers’ compensation insurance premiums and create liability exposure for Cal-OSHA citations and third-party lawsuits. Many organizations devote significant time and money on implementing employee safety programs and conducting safety training to reduce the cost and exposure. But, employers should go one step further and implement practices designed to identify safe […]

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Do You Have An IIPP?

Steve Holden   December 31, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal December 2014. Too often employers say; “What’s an IIPP?” Risk and safety managers in California know, but sadly too many smaller businesses without a dedicated risk or safety manager do not. IIPP stands for Illness and Injury Prevention Program, and every employer is required to have one. Moreover, the program is required to be written and effective. An IIPP is […]

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Employment Arbitration

Steve Holden   November 1, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal October 2014. Opinions on the pros and cons of employment arbitration vary widely: “Arbitration is the best way to avoid runaway jury verdicts.” “Arbitrators tend to split the baby instead of following the law and picking a winner and loser.” “Arbitration is the best way to reduce the cost of employment litigation.” “Arbitration tends to be more expensive today than traditional […]

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Use Care In Tracking Your Employees Electronically

Steve Holden   October 1, 2014 ...

Authored by Adrian Hoppes. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal September 2015. “No wonder John called in sick today. I just checked the GPS on his cell phone and he was at the bar across the street until 2 a.m.” Has this would-be detective/supervisor helped enforce the company attendance policy? Maybe, but he potentially committed a crime — and exposed the company to civil liability as well. Understanding the do’s […]

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How to Manage Employee Absences

Steve Holden   August 1, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal July 2014. Employee absences are a major drain on an organization. The effect on productivity is obvious: No employee, no production. But the impact often goes beyond the loss of productivity. Morale issues may develop among the employees who are regular in attendance and who may bear an extra burden to cover for the missing employee. Effective organizations put appropriate systems […]

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Hire Smart. Do Background Checks.

Steve Holden   July 1, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal June 2014. Hiring an employee can cost a fortune. Advertising and headhunter fees can be huge. Even absent such fees, the time invested to review applications and interview candidates is a significant cost. The cost might also materialize with a bad hiring decision. The new employee is unproductive, offends customers, steals from the inventory, etc. So, hire smart! Every employer […]

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Update Your Harassment Prevention Training

Steve Holden   June 1, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal May 2014. Harassment prevention training should be conducted in virtually every California workplace. Larger employers (50+ employees) are specifically required by law to perform training. Smaller employers are not specifically required to train. They are, however, required “to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.” And it is hard to argue that training is unreasonable […]

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Employers Are Running Too Scared

Steve Holden   April 3, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal March 2014. The restrictions imposed by California law on employers are like the tentacles of a giant octopus. The probability of making a mistake and the costs associated with it are so daunting that most employers run scared. In most cases, they should. But when it comes to employee conduct outside of the workplace, employers run too scared. They believe […]

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Calculate Overtime Pay Correctly.

Steve Holden   February 27, 2014 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal February 2014. Overtime pay for non-exempt employees is easy. Yes, easy to get wrong! Too many people handling payroll are under the misimpression that calculating and paying overtime is simple. Most will quickly tell you that an employee is due overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week, and that the employee gets 1.5 times the employee’s […]

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Labor Code Amendment Makes Things Harder for Employers in 2014

Steve Holden   December 20, 2013 ...

The California Legislature passed and the governor signed more than 25 new employment laws that take effect Jan. 1. They include raising the minimum wage, expanding employee rights on is one of these new laws and it specifically amends the existing labor code increasing the challenges employers will face in the coming year. Click here for the full article published in the Sacramento Business Journal in our monthly HR column. […]

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Offering unpaid internships is risky business for employers

Steve Holden   December 1, 2013 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal November 2013. “Millions of people are forced to go into debt just to get ahead. Millions more are having their dreams denied because they can’t afford to work for free. It has to end.” This is the opening statement of the Fair Pay Campaign, a recently formed organization aimed at outlawing unpaid internships. The group is not alone in raising […]

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Take a Positive View of Maternity Leaves

Steve Holden   October 23, 2013 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal October 2013 “We just hired her two months ago.  Now she is telling us that she is pregnant and will need three months off for the birth and for bonding with the child.  Didn’t she have to tell us she was pregnant when we interviewed her?  How are we supposed to run a business this way?”  These sentiments of frustration are […]

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Responding to Employee Complaints Effectively

Steve Holden   September 23, 2013 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal September 2013. California employers have a legal duty to respond to certain employee complaints.  Failure to respond or failure to respond appropriately can result in significant liability.  This is particularly true with complaints of harassment, discrimination and other unlawful conduct.  Accordingly, employers should never take employee complaints lightly. Even if no legal duty to investigate exists, a well-managed response can […]

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Employee Claims and Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

Steve Holden   August 30, 2013 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal August 2013 Employee claims are an everyday reality for employers in California.  Human resource managers in larger organizations are acutely familiar with them.  If you own or manage a smaller organization you may have not experienced an employee claim.  Count yourself lucky and know that the chances are very good that your good luck will change in the not too […]

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Misunderstanding and Misusing On-Call Time

Steve Holden   July 25, 2013 ...

Authored by Steve Holden. Published in the Sacramento Business Journal July 2013 On-call time is perhaps the most commonly misunderstood and misused concept for scheduling employees.  It is, however, a concept that most employers are confident they understand and are handling correctly.  See the problem?  A great many employers are exposed to liability because they believe their policies are in compliance while, in fact, they are in violation California law. […]

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