More than 350 company executives and HR professionals gathered at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh on May 12 and 13 for CAI’s 2010 Employment and Labor Law Update. The record-setting crowd heard about the latest changes in federal and state employment laws and what North Carolina employers need to be doing now to address these changes.
The two days were packed full with illuminating information, and there were many participants’ questions answered. To write about everything that was covered would take two weeks’ worth of daily blog entries. In lieu of that huge undertaking, here are five important points that were made:
1. A study released in September 2009 regarding wage-and-hour violations is driving the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to greatly increase its investigations into such non-compliance. The study is based on interviews with more than 4,000 “workers in low-wage industries” in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The results were:
- 76% of those surveyed worked overtime the previous week but were not paid time-and-a-half
- 26% were being paid less than minimum wage
- 69% of workers entitled to a break did not receive the required break time
2. The U.S. Department of Labor is also making a large investment in pursuing the misclassification by employers of independent contractors. Three steps employers need to take to address this issue in their organization are: conduct a thorough, companywide risk analysis of your independent contractor population; design and implement a comprehensive compliance program; and establish an internal team to implement and monitor the compliance program.
3. Every organization needs to have a social media policy. The first question to ask is whether to create a positive/empowering policy or a negative/deterring policy? In other words, do you empower your employees to become ambassadors for your organization, or do you prohibit them from referring to it?
4. One of the most important things an employer can do to avoid violations under the new ADA Amendments Act is to train their supervisors how to respond to an employee’s request for accommodation.
5. Three key tips for avoiding I-9 liability: implement a comprehensive written policy; conduct I-9 audits at least annually; and implement a policy for resolving no-match notices.
Did you attend the 2010 Employment and Labor Law Update? What important takeaways did you bring back to the office?