All posts tagged employees

Creating a Strong Safety Program for Your Fleet Drivers

freight services. commercial delivery vans in row at transporting carrier shipping service company parking

While most operations with an automotive or trucking fleet focus on safety, few businesses are actually monitoring their drivers to make sure they are adhering to the company’s rules, a new study has found.

Many companies only pull reports on their drivers’ records on an annual basis, which means they miss important developments like a DUI or a few moving violations that will increase the cost of insuring them.

In fact, 70% of companies with fleets do not even monitor their drivers and 60% don’t have a safety program in place, according to the study by SambaSafety, a firm that provides background screening and driver safety records for companies.

The key to having a successful driver safety program in place requires management buy-in and a company-wide culture focused on safety that encompasses not only a company’s fleet drivers, but also anybody in the operation that may drive their personal vehicles on occasional company business.

SambaSafety recommends:

Motivating staff to be safer – The company advises against just issuing warnings like “slow down” and “put away the phone,” and instead focusing on what’s at stake if they don’t. Instead of numbers and checklists, make a presentation that lets them think in terms of their well-being, or even loss of life, for the best response.

Providing strong safety leadership – Creating a safety culture requires leadership to model the behaviors that all employees should adopt.

Not just focusing on fleet drivers – Any employees that use their vehicles for work must also be part of the training and they should know that you expect the same safe behavior of anybody you employ that drives.

Drive home the point that an employer can be responsible for anything that happens when employees are conducting company business, even if they are running to the office supply store for you.

Being consistent – Just because you have a safety policy, it may not be enough to get you off the hook if one of your drivers causes an accident. Companies can be held responsible if they do not have proactive intervention policies and detailed documentation.

Using data to your advantage — Collecting data on your employees’ driving habits can greatly improve your ability to make sure you have a safe fleet of drivers. And the best way to do that is through continuous driver monitoring.

“The right data can help employers accurately reward those who are doing well, too, and securely keep up with disciplinary actions toward those who are missing the mark,” SambaSafety says in its report.
Do you have a strong safety policy for your drivers? The company recommends that you ask the following of your safety program:

  • Was the policy established with input from key stakeholders?
  • Has it been clearly communicated to all employees?
  • Does it tie in to company goals and mission?
  • Do employees receive regular reminders and updates about safety policies?
  • Is it aspirational and values-based rather than simply disciplinary?
  • Is there complete buy-in from top management?
  • Is the policy uniformly enforced?
  • Is there a fair, diverse, professional board for incident review?
  • Is data properly used to increase compliance?
  • Is it time for an update?

Drug Use Skyrockets among American Workers

Tableau of drugs- pills, coke, marijuana, and alcohol.

Drug use is rapidly increasing among American workers, as more states liberalize marijuana laws, cocaine makes a resurgence and more people abuse amphetamines and heroin.

A new study by Quest Diagnostics Inc., a workplace drug-testing lab, found that the number of workers testing positive for illicit drugs is higher than at any time in the last 12 years.

That puts employers in a tricky predicament, particularly if employees are using at work, which could reduce productivity and also make them more susceptible to workplace injuries since they may not be as focused as they should be on their work.

In 2016, 4.2% of the 8.9 million urine drug tests that Quest conducted for employers turned up positive, compared to 4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2011. The rate was the highest since 2004, when 4.5% of tests showed evidence of potentially illicit drug use.

While there were marked increases in positive tests for most illicit drugs, the surprising excption was prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone, thanks o stricter enforcement in many jurisdictions around the country.

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug among U.S. workers and was identified in 2.5% of all urine tests for the general workforce in 2016, up from 2.4% a year earlier. In oral fluid testing, which detects recent drug use, marijuana positivity increased nearly 75%, from 5.1% in 2013 to 8.9% in 2016.

The highest increases for marijuana usage among workers seemed to be in states that have recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

The number of workers testing positive in Colorado rose 11%, while in Washington there was a 9% increase. The rates of increase were more than double the increase nationwide in 2016.

 

Changes in test-positives by drug:

  • Amphetamine: Up 8%
  • Marijuana: Up 4.2%
  • Heroin: Zero (after 146% increase in four years prior)
  • Oxycodone: Down 4%
  • Cocaine: Up 12%

 

 

Implications for businesses

About 12% of workers who die on the job test positive for drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of the incident. And incidentally, one OSHA study found that the most dangerous occupations, like construction and mining, also have the highest drug use rates among workers.

Employers suffer from hiring substance abusers in many ways. Not only do they run the risk of having deadly or dangerous accidents occur, but substance abusers also cost employers money in other ways, including poor productivity and decision-making.

Substance abusers may:

  • Have poor work performance.
  • Frequently call in sick or arrive late.
  • Frequently change workplaces.
  • Struggle with productivity.
  • Injure themselves or others at work.

 

The takeaway

If you’re concerned, you can initiate an effective workplace drug program that includes drug testing before hiring and during employment – and the consequences for violating the rules.

You should have in place rules for working while under the influence and the ramifications for doing so.

You may also want to consider an employee assistance program for employees who feel they may have a problem, as well as for those who feel they’re developing a problem. A quality assistance program will offer services such as counseling to deal with substance abuse problems.

You may also want to consider holding meetings about health and safety and drug use. Provide education about what addiction looks like and why people begin to abuse drugs/alcohol. Education can help employees understand how to support those that are struggling, as well as remove negative stereotypes often associated with addiction.

Provide health benefits that offer a more “comprehensive coverage” for addiction. This includes addiction assessment (screening), treatment, aftercare and counseling.

 

Employee Texting Blows Holes in Your Company Communications Policy

Mature businessman with his younger team using smart phones and digital tablet inside modern office building.

If you are not aware, your employees are most likely communicating with each other and clients using texting or instant messaging.

While the immediacy of texting and instant messaging is great for business as it allows faster communications, better collaboration and more responsiveness, the downside is that your organization likely can’t track and retrieve those communications.

It becomes even harder if the communications are via instant messaging apps like Whatsapp! and Facebook’s Messenger.

As an employer, it’s important that you understand the issue and that you have clear rules for communications among employees in order to protect your company’s interests.

You’ll need a policy in place when something goes wrong and you need to track the thread of communications to see what was said or promised by whom, and when. These details can be crucial to resolving problems with clients, or if you are ever sued and your communications are subpoenaed for discovery.

Plaintiff-side lawyers in employment cases are already started demanding the production of text messages and e-mails during discovery. And if litigation ensues on an issue, you may have a duty to preserve text messages.

 

Roadblocks

There are a few issues that you need to consider, especially in light of the fact that many companies are allowing staff to use their own devices for company communications, including giving them access to the business’s e-mail system on their phone.

If your employees are exchanging texts and instant messages on company phones, the history of communications would be preserved and you would be able to access the content by asking for the phone.

But, if your employees are sending and receiving work texts and instant messages on their personal devices, the issue gets murkier, particularly if you don’t have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Accessing messages about company business on an employee’s smartphone may raise privacy issues.

The problem especially arises in the case of wrongdoing by an employee. If they are using their phones for communications that could provide insight into their behavior, they can erase those messages before you ask to see them.

In other words, you cannot rifle through their phone without first obtaining it, meaning you can’t look at it without them knowing as you could if you looked at their e-mail on your company server.

There are also privacy issues that arise if you are trying to access an employee’s personal phone to view texts and messages.

The big issue is: how do you capture those communications? After all, it will not be done over your network, unlike your company’s e-mail system that preserves all communications which are available to you. The messages reside on the phone instead.

 

What you should do

Obviously texting and instant messaging are a potential minefield for employers who want to be able to access all company communications among employees and between your staff and clients, vendors or partner organizations.

To ensure you have a handle on it, you should set rules outlining what method of communication employees may use for business purposes.

If you don’t want texting or instant messaging of any kind for company business, that needs to be spelled out – including ramifications for breaking the rule.

If you decide to allow texting and instant messaging, your policy should be clear on what kind of communications are okay.

You will need to amend your policy related to employee communications and record retention to make sure texts and instant messages are included.

If you have a BYOD policy, at a minimum it should include allowing you to take custody of the employee’s phone for legitimate purposes like a dispute with a client, or discovery for litigation.

As you can see, it’s important that you initiate a policy on employee communications that takes into account texting and messaging.

If you haven’t done so, you should do it now as this faster method of communication is becoming the new normal, particular as Generation Y continues filtering into the workforce.

 

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Educate Your Staff

A truck driver texts while behind the wheel

As accidents skyrocket in part due to people using their smartphones while behind the wheel, April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month – a great time for you as an employer to further promote safe driving among your staff.

Hammering home the importance of safe driving can keep your employees from causing serious damage or worse to a third party, and also help keep your insurance costs in check.

That’s especially important now as commercial auto insurance rates are rising due to a combination of factors, including:

  • More traffic – The number of total miles driven has increased 50% faster in California than in the rest of the country since the start of 2015, and more vehicles and mileage equals a higher frequency of accidents.
  • Distracted drivers – 25% of accidents now involve at least one driver talking on a phone, texting or using some smartphone feature.
  • Escalating medical costs – Medical care costs are increasing at a significantly higher rate than other costs, like repairs.
  • More fatalities and other severe accidents – Accident rates per person and per mile of driving are rising.
  • Inexperienced or poor commercial drivers – There is a general shortage of skilled commercial drivers with good driving records.
  • Rising auto repair costs – Record U.S. auto sales mean garages are often servicing newer cars, many of which are equipped with more expensive parts.

 

While you are likely to see an increase in your insurance rates even if you’ve had no accidents, you’ll want to make sure that you continue focusing on safety to reduce the chances of future accidents.

 

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company recommends that employers who have driving employees:

Implement a fleet safety program

This should include:

  • A questionnaire to weed out employees and job applicants with poor driving records,
  • Requiring road tests for new driving employees,
  • Training them in post-crash procedures and reporting,
  • Carrying out continuing driver training and education,
  • A policy on mobile devices by drivers,
  • Having a list of sample safe-driving performance expectations, and
  • Conducting regular vehicle maintenance and inspections.

 

Enforce company policy for use of vehicles

Use standard operating procedures like limiting personal use of company vehicles and monitoring who can use them.

 

Hire qualified drivers

Create a form for each applicant to document their driving history, employer references, medical certificates, and more.

 

Use a company fleet

There are extra risks involved when drivers use personal vehicles on the job.

 

Train your drivers

Some topics you can cover in your safety training include breakdowns, distracted driving, driving under the influence (DUI), the importance of resting when tired, negotiating heavy traffic conditions, and the dangers of speeding.

 

Regularly check driving records

Set a schedule for checking an employee’s driving records to ferret out any deterioration in their experience, particularly if they’ve been cited for a DUI.

 

Review every accident

Your insurer will often be able to supply you with a vehicle accident form for your employees to fill out and follow in case of an accident, including witness names, circumstances, and the other driver’s information, including insurance.

 

You should have contact information for the person in your office that they should contact in case of an accident.

 

Also, urge your drivers to take photos of the accident scene.

Bill Would Make Collecting Health Information for Wellness Plans Easier

blue double helix models on background

Legislation has surfaced in Congress that would allow employers to collect biometric and genetic information from employees and their family members as a precondition for participation in a company wellness program.

The bill would essentially repeal a portion of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), which in part bars employers from collecting genetic information on employees or members of their family for certain wellness programs.

The GINA bars health insurers and employers from discriminating against people based on information that their genes carry – say, a family history of heart disease or stroke.

The law contains an exception for employers that collect information from employees for a voluntary wellness program, the kind with no carrots or sticks for participation.

It is aimed at wellness programs that offer employees discounts on their health insurance in exchange for participation. Wellness plans may require participation in a health risk assessment or that the employee meet certain fitness or health goals.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers can offer discounts of up to 30% on health insurance to employees that participate in wellness plans. In some cases, the employer can offer up to a 50% discount if the employees meet certain health targets.

HR 1313 would allow employers to collect biometric information from employees and their family members as a prerequisite for participation in wellness programs that provide discounts or other financial incentives.

Employer groups have decried the GINA’s strict rules, which they say inhibit their ability to help employees improve health metrics like high blood pressure and obesity, among others.

 

Bill’s key language

HR 1313’s key language states that:

The collection of information about the manifested disease or disorder of a family member shall not be considered an unlawful acquisition of genetic information with respect to another family member as part of a workplace wellness program.”

The bill passed along party lines in the House Education and the Workforce Committee, (22 Republicans for and 17 Democrats against). It still has other committees to clear before the full House votes on the legislation and sends it to the Senate.

Proponents of the bill, like the American Benefits Council, say that it would preserve wellness plans, which they say have suffered under the GINA.

Despite Cyber Threat, Few Firms Train Staff in Security

cyberyai

Even the most up-to-date firewall and virus protection will not protect you against the biggest threat to your organization’s cyber security – your employees themselves.

Despite this only 45% of companies train their workers in how to prevent breaches, according to a new report released by the Ponemon Institute, even though 55% of organizations surveyed said they believe they had had a security breach caused by a malicious or negligent employee. And, 66% of respondents said employees are the weakest link in their efforts to create a strong security environment.

The report says also even when there is training, there are “critical areas that are often ignored.” According to the report:

  • 49% said training included phishing and social engineering attacks.
  • 36% said training included mobile device security
  • 29% said the course included how to use cloud services securely.
  • 67% said their organizations do not provide incentives to employees for being proactive in protecting sensitive information or reporting potential cyber threats.

 

With the obvious disconnect between employee training and the very real constant threat to any organization with a database, many companies are not doing enough on the personnel side to reduce the threat of cyber attacks, like hacking, malware and other malicious code.

Experian Data Breach Resolution, which sponsored the “Managing Insider Risk through Training & Culture” report, had the following recommendations of what employee training should cover to protect a business from cyber attack.

 

Basic courses should typically cover these topics:

  • Protecting paper documents
  • Securing protected data
  • Password security
  • Privacy laws and regulations
  • Data classification
  • Safe e-mail practices

 

Advanced courses should typically cover these topics:

  • Phishing and social engineering,
  • Responding to a data loss or theft
  • Mobile device security
  • E-mail hygiene.

 

Gamify training to make learning about potential security and privacy threats fun. Interactive games that illustrate threats for employees can make the educational experience enjoyable and the content easier to retain. There are new training technologies that simulate real phishing e-mails and provide simple ways to report potentially fraudulent messages.

Experian also recommends that employers provide incentives to employees for being proactive in protecting sensitive information or reporting potential issues. This could include a cash reward or gift card at a local coffee shop.

Another approach to changing behavior is to have clear consequences for negligent behavior, such as inclusion in the next performance review or a mandatory one-on-one meeting with a superior.

In addition to training, you should send regular messages to employees about security and privacy practices.

If you have had a data breach, you should require your staff to retake cyber security training. A breach provides the opportunity for you to train your staff about the importance of carefully handling sensitive and confidential information.

 

The stuff of cyber nightmares

Negligent and malicious behaviors that keep security professionals up at night:

  • Unleashing malware from an insecure website or mobile device (70%)
  • Violating access rights (60%)
  • Using unapproved mobile devices in the workplace (55%)
  • Using unapproved cloud or mobile apps in the workplace (54%)
  • Accessing company applications from an insecure public network (49%)
  • Succumbing to targeted phishing attacks (47%).

 

Insured protection

While you may have strong firewalls and a solid employee training program, if you do incur a breach, the fallout can cost you. A cyber liability insurance policy can pay for recovery costs, the cost of litigation and fines and notification costs you may incur.

Call us to see if a cyber liability insurance policy is right for your organization. The chances are extremely high that at some point, your systems will be breached.

Crackdown on Employers Who Shunt Employees onto Medicare

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is stepping up efforts to root out employers who have improperly put workers who were eligible for the company’s group health plan into Medicare.

Under the law, employers are prohibited from offering incentives of any kind to a Medicare-eligible individual to enroll in Medicare instead of the employer’s health plan.

Companies with 20 or more employees may not encourage covered employees and/or dependents to make this change in coverage.

The fine for encouraging an employee or dependent to take Medicare is $5,000 per situation, but that’s not the largest potential penalty.

The larger penalty is the bill for any claims that Medicare paid as a primary payer versus what it should have paid as a secondary payer.

This claim can be huge depending on how much care an individual that should have been in a company health plan sought out while on Medicare.

And now the CMS has decided to step up its recovery of these improper payouts.

CMS aims to increase the number of successful recoveries from below 5% to nearly 100%.

It has joined forces with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration to specifically look for instances where an individual is enrolled in Medicare and is also an employee of a group.

They are checking when someone’s social security number is showing up both on the income tax withholding list for an employer and also on the Medicare rolls.

Recently, many employers have received letters from a Data Matching project sponsored by the Social Security Administration, the CMS and the IRS. The goal of this new project is to increase recovery of improperly paid Medicare benefits.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore this letter. It has a 30-day deadline for you to answer the questionnaire and you should take this exercise seriously. If you take a nonchalant attitude towards filling it out, you could be in for a heaping bill from Medicare later.

 

Calculating employees

If a company has fewer than 20 employees, it’s generally accepted that Medicare would pay first for a Medicare-eligible employee who is also on a health plan.

Employers on the cusp of this “20 or more” rule should calculate the average number of employees they had in the prior year, according to the CMS.

Under the law, an employer is considered to have 20 or more employees for each working day of a particular week if the employer has at least 20 full-time or part-time employees on its employment rolls each working day of that week.

This condition is met as long as the total number of individuals on the employer’s rolls adds up to at least 20 regardless of the number of employees who work or who are expected to report for work on a particular day.

Accident Insurance Can Save Your Workers from Financial Ruin

Mountain Biker has a painful looking crash with his bike

Even if you are providing your staff with health benefits, they could be left under great financial pressure if one of them has a major accident off the job that leaves them debilitated and unable to work.

Millions of working Americans struggle with managing out-of-pocket expenses for non-medical and medical expenses after suffering an unexpected event such as an accident.

If you are already offering your employees health insurance coverage, you can help fill the gap by also offering voluntary accident insurance, which can pay for:

  • Lost wages,
  • Deductibles and other medical expenses not covered by their insurance plan,
  • Transportation to and from hospitals or physical rehabilitation sessions, and
  • Home modifications.

 

Why your workers need accident insurance

According to a survey by Prudential Insurance Co.:

  • Two-thirds of Americans say it would be very or somewhat difficult to meet their current financial obligations if their next paycheck were delayed for just one week.
  • Half of all households say they have less than $10,000 in liquid assets available for use in an emergency.

 

Why they need coverage:

  • Health insurance only covers a portion of expenses, but only after the employee has paid their deductible and copay.
  • Employees sometimes have to pay other out-of-pocket medical expenses for medicines, medical equipment, and visits to out-of-network physicians.
  • Employees have to pay out of pocket for travel to appointments, home accommodations, caregiving and housekeeping if they cannot do those things on their own after an accident.
  • Lost wages are a sometimes overlooked cost of illness or injury. Lost wages can be an issue not only for the employees directly impacted by illness or injury, but also for family members who are providing care for them.

 

Types of accident insurance

There are two types of accident insurance:

Traditional treatment-based plans. These pay benefits based on the occurrence of an accidental injury and the type of treatment or procedure required to treat an injury. The injured individual will often submit a separate claim for each service they receive related to the accident. For example, if the individual was in a car accident in which they broke both legs, they would file individual claims for:

  • The costs not covered by health insurance for each service to treat the injury.
  • The cost of paying for transportation to doctor’s visits and physical therapy sessions.
  • Each time a home caregiver visits them to provide care.

 

Incident-based plans. These pay benefits based upon the incident and type of injury. This can simplify the claims process by reducing the number of claims that must be submitted. In the case of the car accident victim with broken legs above, they would likely be required to submit evidence only for the fracture itself and for their hospital stay to be reimbursed.

 

Benefits to the employer

  • A more robust benefits package. Offering voluntary accident insurance paid for by employees allows you to provide a more robust benefits package that can improve employees’ satisfaction with their jobs.
  • A smoother transition to high-deductible health plans. Employers replacing traditional medical insurance with an HDHP may find the transition more readily accepted by employees if it is accompanied by an offer of a voluntary accident insurance plan.
  • Potential for improved productivity. Employees under financial pressure may be less productive than those who are not, and knowing they have accident insurance can put many of their fears to rest. This is important considering that 39% of employees surveyed by Prudential said they spend three hours or more each week thinking about or dealing with issues related to their personal finances.
  • Lost cost and administrative burden. Most employers offer voluntary accident insurance that is paid for by the employee, meaning there is little or no cost to the organization.

 

 

Protect Your Traveling Employees Through Planning, Training

businessman at airport

If you have employees who travel as part of their job, your business has a duty to safeguard them when on the road.

When on the road both domestically and abroad, accidents and other unforeseen events can occur that can put your employee at risk … from a bush crash in a Madrid to coming down with severe gastrointestinal pains in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, political risk is increasing daily, and so is the threat of terrorism, as evidenced by the spate of incidents in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino.

The duty of care is on the part of the employer that sends its workers on business trips domestically and overseas. They need to ensure that their employees are prepared, trained and safe for these travel assignments.

You can follow these tips to protect your road warriors, which were outlined in a white paper on the subject by Lisbeth Claus, professor of global human resources at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Portland, Oregon:

 

Implement a travel management plan – If you are sending an employee to a new destination, particularly one that may be considered high risk, you should consider giving them a security briefing before they leave. They should be given information on the dangers that they may face in a particular location – from pickpockets and muggings in some large U.S. cities, to kidnapping in South America by a hood masquerading as a taxi driver.

The plan should cover the following areas:

  • Awareness of potential dangers – The employee should be given information on the dangers of the location that he or she is traveling to. Risks vary from location to location, including terrorism or food-borne illnesses.
  • Don’t have a routine – This is especially true in countries where crime and kidnappings are rampant. It’s recommended by security experts that employees on temporary or long-term assignments abroad don’t do the same thing every day. They can take a different route to their work site every day, visit different lunch places and take a taxi one day and a bus another.
  • Don’t draw attention to yourself – Advise your traveling employees to keep a low profile. Don’t wear expensive jewelry or watches or any items with American flags on them. It’s best not to stand out, and they should try to dress like others do in the area to the best extent possible.
  • Stay in touch – You should require that employees traveling in new places check in with a designated company contact on a daily basis, preferably in the morning and upon returning to the hotel in the evening.
  • Think security – There are many simple things a traveling employee can do when on the road to increase their protection, from not straying off main streets at night or in unknown parts of town, to using the deadbolt and swing lock on their hotel doors at all times.

 

Essentially, you need to:

  • Assess risks – Understand dangers at locations where employees will be assigned or will visit most frequently. Analyze how job functions expose workers to risks.
  • Plan – Determine if your organization is meeting its duty-of-care obligations. Create policies and find resources necessary to meet these obligations.
  • Train – Educate employees about travel dangers and how to react to emergencies while abroad.
  • Track – Know where each employee will be at any given time.
  • Assist – Establish a mechanism to communicate with employees at any time and to provide assistance as needed.

 

Insurance

Even if you take precautions, there is still a chance that something can go wrong. That’s why there is kidnapping, ransom and extortion insurance for traveling workers.

You can also purchase a security evacuation and pandemic disease rider to attach to that type of policy.

Other available coverages include:

  • Foreign voluntary workers’ compensation insurance
  • Global medical assistance services

 

Finally, many insurance companies and brokers have also created country and city risk ratings, which are available on line. They are worth a look if you have traveling workers.

 

New Workplace Notice Requirements Take Effect

one caucasian business woman man couple dispute conflict  in silhouette studio isolated on white background

IF YOU have more than five employees you are required to have in place as of April 1 anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and complaint investigation policies.

You are also required to post starting April 1 a notification to your employees about California’s pregnancy disability leave law.

The regulations, updated by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council, were spurred by recent court decisions. If you have not done so, now is the time to review your anti-harassment, discrimination and retaliation policies.

 

 

Steps You Need to Take Now

  • Include a mechanism that permits employees to complain to someone other than his or her immediate supervisor, such as a human resources manager or other supervisor, a complaint hotline, or an ombudsperson. It should also include contact information for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as additional avenues for employees to lodge complaints.
  • State that you will conduct a fair, timely and thorough investigation and that all parties will be given due process.
  • State that you will ensure that you will keep the matter confidential to the best extent possible, but not that it’s completely confidential.
  • Require supervisors to report complaints of misconduct to a designated person, such as a human resources manager.
  • Have a mechanism for remedial measures if you find misconduct.
  • Assure your workers that you will not retaliate against them for filing a complaint.

 

Ant-harassment Policy Basics

  • Set the policy in writing.
  • List all current protected categories covered under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
  • Indicate that the FEHA prohibits not only supervisors and managers from engaging in prohibited conduct, but also co-workers and third parties with whom employees come into contact.
  • Create a complaint process to ensure that complaints receive the following:

–           Designation of confidentiality, to the extent possible.

–           Timely responses.

–           Impartial and timely investigation by qualified personnel.

–           Documentation and tracking for reasonable progress.

–           Options for remedial actions and resolutions.

–           Timely closure.

 

Pregnancy Disability Notice

Starting April 1, if you have five or more employees you are also required to post the “Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee” notice alongside all of your other mandatory employment-related postings at your workplace.

You can find a copy of the new poster from the state at this website:

www.dfeh.ca.gov/res/docs/Publications/Brochures/2016/DFEH-100-20%20(04-16).pdf

Employers with 50 or more workers will continue to be requried to post the “Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave” notification that has been required since July 2015.