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Policies, Procedures and Productivity (Series: Protecting Your Employee Assets: The Life Cycle of the Employment Relationship)

Our society is increasingly bureaucratized and documentation is essential to working this bureaucracy. From a cost vs. benefit standpoint, having a written workplace handbook that highlights conduct, compensation and benefits, generally saves more money than it costs. While downloading a handbook from the internet, even if it’s free, may sound like a good idea, you generally get what you pay for as one-size-fits-all solutions are rarely as effective as solutions tailored to your needs. What makes the most sense for your organization? What policies are must-haves? What are the latest best practices when it comes to employee handbooks? What about training your staff and your managers? This webinar presents practical advice for employers looking to put themselves in the best position possible to not only defend against employment-related claims but—hopefully—to help avoid them in the first place.

To view the accompanying webinar, go to: https://www.financialpoise.com/financial-poise-webinars/an-ounce-of-prevention-policies-procedures-and-proactivity-2021/

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Policies, Procedures and Productivity (Series: Protecting Your Employee Assets: The Life Cycle of the Employment Relationship)

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. 2 Practical and entertaining education for attorneys, accountants, business owners and executives, and investors.
  3. 3. Disclaimer The material in this webinar is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal, financial or other professional advice. You should consult with an attorney or other appropriate professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. While Financial Poise™ takes reasonable steps to ensure that information it publishes is accurate, Financial Poise™ makes no guaranty in this regard. 3
  4. 4. Meet the Faculty MODERATOR: Charles Krugel - Law Offices of Charles Krugel PANELISTS: Helen Bloch - Law Offices of Helen Bloch, P.C. Max Barack - The Garfinkel Group, LLC Gary Savine - Savine Employment Law, Ltd. 5
  5. 5. About This Webinar - An Ounce of Prevention: Policies, Procedures and Proactivity Our society is increasingly bureaucratized and documentation is essential to working this bureacracy. From a cost vs. benefit standpoint, having a written workplace handbook that highlights conduct, compensation and benefits, generally saves more money than it costs. While downloading handbook from the internet, even if it’s free, may sound like a good idea, you generally get what you pay for as one-size-fits-all solutions are rarely as effective as solutions tailored to your needs. What makes the most sense for your organization? What policies are must-haves? What are the latest best practices when it comes to employee handbooks? What about training your staff and your managers? This webinar presents practical advice for employers looking to put themselves in the best position possible to not only defend against employment-related claims but—hopefully—to help avoid them in the first place. 6
  6. 6. About This Series- Protecting Your Employee Assets: The Life Cycle of the Employment Relationship 2020 If you have employees or advise companies with employees, this webinar series is for you! No employer—whether large, medium or small—is immune from the reach of federal, state and/or local employment laws and regulations. Now, more than ever, employers should consider taking a proactive approach to auditing their employment practices and policies so that they can better respond when issues arise. This webinar series approaches the employer-employee relationship from beginning to end, with programs covering the most important steps along the way, including hiring and onboarding, policy and procedure development and training, wage and hour compliance, accommodating disabled employees, conducting investigations and considerations associated with ending the relationship. Each Financial Poise Webinar is delivered in Plain English, understandable to investors, business owners, and executives without much background in these areas, yet is of primary value to attorneys, accountants, and other seasoned professionals. Each episode brings you into engaging, sometimes humorous, conversations designed to entertain as it teaches. Each episode in the series is designed to be viewed independently of the other episodes so that participants will enhance their knowledge of this area whether they attend one, some, or all episodes. 7
  7. 7. Episodes in this Series #1: Welcome to the Team! Recruiting and Hiring, Including Restrictive Covenants Premiere date: 1/26/21 #2: An Ounce of Prevention: Policies, Procedures and Proactivity Premiere date: 2/23/21 #3: Time for a Break: Managing Leaves of Absence and Accommodating Disabilities Premiere date: 3/23/21 #4: Show Them the Money: Wage & Hour Compliance Premiere date: 4/20/21 #5: I Know What You Did Last Summer: Workplace Investigations Premiere date: 5/11/21 #6: It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye: Minimizing Risk When Terminating Employees Premiere date: 6/15/21 #7: The Impact of Communicable Diseases, Including Coronavirus, on the Workplace Premiere date: 7/13/21 8
  8. 8. Episode #2: An Ounce of Prevention: Policies, Procedures and Proactivity 9
  9. 9. The Employee Handbook 10
  10. 10. Developing an Employee Handbook • Create/update existing policies • Determine needs/goals • Draft outline of handbook content • Create summary of each policy and procedure • Insert summaries into outline and review overall handbook • Submit for legal review • Distribute to employees and perform periodic updates 11
  11. 11. The Employment Handbook: Legal Compliance • The employment handbook must comply with all relevant laws:  Anti-discrimination/harassment and related civil rights statutes  National Labor Relations Act  Family and Medical Leave Act  State and local laws and regulations 12
  12. 12. What Should a Good Handbook Include? • Disclaimer • Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policies • Compensation and Benefits • Work Schedules • Standards of Conduct • Safety and Security • Computers and Technology • Leave Policies • Acknowledgement of Receipt 13
  13. 13. Confidentiality/Information Security and Conflict of Interest Statements • These are not a requirement, but some companies may choose to include a statement to protect company trademarks or industry secrets. • May be used to support restrictive covenants in litigation • The handbook should outline the specific information regarding the policy so that all employees are aware of the agreement. 14
  14. 14. Anti-Discrimination Policies • The handbook should confirm that the employer does not discriminate against applicants/employees on the basis of their:  Race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, national origin, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law. • The handbook should include an internal complaint procedure and process for resolving complaints. 15
  15. 15. Compensation • The handbook should provide information on deductions for federal, state and local taxes, and the benefits plan. It should also include information on:  Employee classifications  Pay schedules  Employee reviews  Breaks (length, paid?)  Recording of employee time  Overtime  Expense reimbursement  Paid time off (PTO) 16
  16. 16. Work Schedules • Is there a set schedule for employees? • Flexible schedule with possibility of remote work • Holidays • Part-time/full-time designation 17
  17. 17. Standards of Conduct • The handbook should document information regarding employee standards, such as:  Dress code  Code of conduct-what is permissible/what is not  Progressive discipline/zero tolerance  Attendance  Drugs/Alcohol - Will the employer require testing?  Confidential information  Use of company property 18
  18. 18. Safety and Security • In order to help foster a safe work environment, the handbook should include:  Procedures for reporting an accident  Information for dealing with weather-related emergencies  Procedures for addressing health (physical and mental) crises  Policy against workplace violence  Depending on location, weapons in the workplace 19
  19. 19. Computers and Technology • The handbook should outline:  Guidelines on appropriate use of employer’s computer/network/internet  Confirm that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy  Social media expectations 20
  20. 20. Employee Benefits • This section should provide information regarding mandatory and optional benefits, for example:  Medical, dental, vision  Flexible spending accounts  Workers compensation  401(k)  EAP  Insurance  Bonuses  COBRA 21
  21. 21. Leave Policies • The employer’s policies regarding leave should be outlined in this section of the handbook.  Vacation days  Sick days  Personal days  Jury duty  Family medical leave  Military leave  Bereavement  Policies must be documented and must comply with federal and state laws 22
  22. 22. Termination • Voluntary/Involuntary • Exit interview • Final paycheck • Return of company property • References 23
  23. 23. Acknowledgement of Receipt • Affirms at-will employment • Recognizes Company’s right to add, delete or modify policies • Commits to adhere to policies • Employee must acknowledge after each revision 24
  24. 24. Employment Policies 25
  25. 25. The Purpose of Employment Policies • Communicate organizational values and expectations • Maintain legislative compliance and protection against employment claims • Document and implement relevant organizational best practices • Promote consistent treatment of staff, fairness and transparency • Help management to make decisions that are consistent, uniform and predictable • Provides individuals/organization with clear guidelines 26
  26. 26. Differences between Policy and Procedure • A policy is a formal statement of a principle or rule that members of an organization must follow.  Each policy addresses an issue important to the organization's mission or operations. • A procedure tells members of the organization how to carry out or implement a policy. Policy is the "what" and the procedure is the "how to.” 27
  27. 27. Employment Policy and Routine Audits • Employment policies should be routinely audited to ensure compliance with the law. Specifically:  Policies against discrimination and harassment  Supervisory training policies  Employee evaluation forms and method of determining merit pay  Review ADA compliance (post expiration of FMLA leave) 28
  28. 28. Employment Policy and Routine Audits • Review methods for employees to voice concerns. • Review harassment investigation protocol. • Review protocol on discrimination charges or other legal proceedings and related document retention and “electronically stored information” practices and procedures. 29
  29. 29. Employee Training 30
  30. 30. Why Train? • Educates workers about use of technology • Ensures competitive edge in the market • Promotes safety and health among employees • Creates opportunities for career development and personal growth, an important factor in retaining workers • Helps employers comply with laws and regulations, and • Improves productivity and profitability 31
  31. 31. Training and Development Options • Job specific training - training and development that increases employee skills and abilities to meet the requirements of their position • Career development - training and development that build employee competencies • Educational development - courses through an accredited/certified/licensed educational institution 32
  32. 32. On the Job Training/Development • On-the-job training and development includes activities such as:  Peer or supervisor coaching on particular job-related skills  Mentoring, with an internal or external mentor on job and career related skills and abilities  Job rotation  Job shadowing  Cross training  "Acting" responsibilities when superiors are away 33
  33. 33. Formal Training • Formal training includes professional development programs, such as:  Classroom training  Online training  Video training  Conferences and seminars 34
  34. 34. Manager Training • Ensure they understand expectations and obligations of compliance with EEO policies • Explain potential for individual liability • Teach them to spot issues • Make sure they know what to do when they see something or receive a complaint NOTE: If an employee proves in court that a supervisor or manager did discriminate, harass, or retaliate against them, an employer can protect itself by showing that it provided that supervisor with the proper training so that they knew their actions were in direct violation of company policy. 35
  35. 35. About the Faculty 36
  36. 36. About The Faculty Charles Krugel - cak1@charlesakrugel.com As a management side labor & employment attorney & human resources (HR) counselor, Charles Krugel, www.charlesakrugel.com, has 25 years of experience in the field & has been running his own practice for 20 years. His clients are small to medium sized companies in a variety of industries. Charles has been lead negotiator for hundreds of labor & employment agreements & contracts. Additionally, he’s litigated dozens of court cases, administrative proceedings & arbitrations. In addition to providing traditional labor & employment law services, he represents companies desiring to institute preventive & proactive HR functions. These functions include policies & procedures, which help to efficiently & discreetly resolve issues in-house & prevent lawsuits & complaints; they also help to reduce costs & act as catalysts for increasing productivity & profits. Moreover, he’s frequently the subject labor & employment law related TV, radio & print interviews. 37
  37. 37. About The Faculty Gary Savine - gnoah@savinelaw.com Gary Noah Savine is an employment lawyer and the founder of Chicago-based law firm Savine Employment Law, Ltd. Gary brings to the table over twenty years of legal expertise and hands-on experience, working around the globe, shoulder-to-shoulder with senior executives and human resource professionals solving the thorniest of workplace disputes. Before starting his firm, Gary practiced employment law exclusively at two of Chicago’s largest law firms and served as chief employment counsel at Navistar (NYSE: NAV) and Hill- Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC). Gary frequently speaks and writes about employment law issues. He has written and presented before the American Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Northern Illinois Society for Human Resources Management, the Northern Illinois Franchise Association and the American Conference Institute. Gary received his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1996. More information about Gary’s firm can be found at www.savinelaw.com. 38
  38. 38. About The Faculty Helen Bloch - hbloch@blochpc.com In 2007, Helen Bloch founded the Law Offices of Helen Bloch, P.C., a general practice firm that is a Certified Female Business Enterprise. In the employment & business context, Helen represents clients on all sides of the employment relationship- individual employees, managers, or employers. Routinely Helen negotiates & counsels clients on employment agreements, including non-competition, confidentiality, & severance agreements. Also, she drafts employment handbooks & various policies & procedures. Helen will advise businesses on best practices, including providing sexual harassment training. Helen has lectured on topics such as gender role in the law, legal issues affecting small businesses, & legal rights & obligations from multiple sides of the employer-employee relationship. For the past two years she has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers in the area of employment law. Helen is President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers & serves on the Alliance of Bar Associations, where she assists in screening judicial candidates. Her other bar association memberships include the Illinois chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, & the Illinois State Bar Association. An active National Association of Women Business Owner’s (NAWBO) member, Helen leads NAWBO’s Lincoln Park Business Exchange Group. 39
  39. 39. About The Faculty Max Barack - MBarack@favarogorman.com Max leads the Garfinkel Group, LLC's employment law practices groups and is a plaintiff-side employment law attorney. He has been practicing law since 2013 and has spent the majority of that time handling plaintiff-side employment matters. He concentrates his practice primarily on representing plaintiffs in their claims of discrimination, as well as wage & hour violations, whistleblower actions, & severance negotiations. He has extensive litigation experience, with a focus on electronic discovery (ESI). He has represented & assisted employers in defending discrimination & wage & hour disputes, including in department of labor investigations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association of Illinois & co-chair of its Legislative Committee. He is a regular contributor to the Chicago Bar Association's @theBar blog, & is fluent in Spanish. J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law B.A., University of Michigan 40
  40. 40. Questions or Comments? If you have any questions about this webinar that you did not get to ask during the live premiere, or if you are watching this webinar On Demand, please do not hesitate to email us at info@financialpoise.com with any questions or comments you may have. Please include the name of the webinar in your email and we will do our best to provide a timely response. IMPORTANT NOTE: The material in this presentation is for general educational purposes only. It has been prepared primarily for attorneys and accountants for use in the pursuit of their continuing legal education and continuing professional education. 41
  41. 41. About Financial Poise 42 DailyDAC LLC, d/b/a Financial Poise™ provides continuing education to attorneys, accountants, business owners and executives, and investors. It’s websites, webinars, and books provide Plain English, entertaining, explanations about legal, financial, and other subjects of interest to these audiences. Visit us at www.financialpoise.com Our free weekly newsletter, Financial Poise Weekly, updates you on new articles published on our website and Upcoming Webinars you may be interested in. To join our email list, please visit: https://www.financialpoise.com/subscribe/

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