Sue Your Boss – 2007

The trend with employees who are mistreated by their bosses is only escalating. Most poor managers are simply in denial that they treat their employees poorly.

Now comes word that four more states (in addition to California) are considering a sue your boss law.

It’s particularly sad because behavior is something we have the ability to control.

(Thanks to Bob Rosner of ABC News’ Working Wounded blog).

The Worst Bosses In America

Although these stories are amusing, it’s a sobering reminder for all managers to apply the “Golden Rule” when leading people.

It’s easy to forget where we came from, but the effect that even our smallest comment can have on an employee can be substantial.

From Working America.

Sexual Harassment Training Does Not Invite Lawsuits

A fear of some business owners is that the teaching of sexual harassment training to employees is an invitation to encourage lawsuits.

This study, from Caren M. Goldberg at American University, disputes that notion.

In fact, she concludes, the very fact that training was provided may be the best defense in case of a lawsuit.

California mandates sexual harassment training for businesses with 50 or more employees(California AB 1825, now Government Code 12950.1) – and other states are expect to follow soon.

How To Screw Up An Employee Handbook

Many small businesses – in order to save money – often “borrow” and modify a handbook from another company, and often times that other company must comply with requirements that don’t impact a small business.

Case in point: a company who doesn’t need to offer FMLA benefits, but mention it in their handbook, may be required to offer it anyway.

(From Sedgwick, Detert Moran & Arnold LLP)

The "No-Match" Letter

From our friends at Allen Matkins

Significant Changes Announced To Employer’s Obligations Upon Receipt of No-Match Letter

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced on August 10, 2007, its adoption of regulations identifying specific steps an employer should take as a “safe-harbor” upon receipt of a No-Match Letter from the Social Security Administration. Employers are encouraged to take immediate action and review and modify their No-Match Letter response procedures to comply with these recent changes. Failure to do so could result in a finding that the employer had “constructive knowledge” that the employee named in the No-Match Letter was an unauthorized worker, thereby exposing the employer to significant civil and criminal penalties.

A No-Match Letter is:

  • a letter to the employer from the Social Security Administration stating that the combination of name and social security account number submitted on an employee’s W-2 earnings report does not match the agency records; or
  • a letter from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency notifying the employer that the immigration-status document or employment-authorization document presented or referenced by the employee is not consistent with DHS records.

In the past, there has been uncertainty regarding how an employer should respond to a No-Match Letter. Now, employers who follow the Safe-Harbor Procedures are protected from being found to have constructive knowledge that an employee is an unauthorized worker. While employers are not required to follow the Safe-Harbor Procedures, the DHS warns that not doing so exposes the employer to the risk of being found to have constructive knowledge of unauthorized status. This carries with it considerable civil and criminal penalties.

The Safe-Harbor Procedures do not safeguard against liability where an employer has actual knowledge that an employee is an unauthorized worker.

The new regulations will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. Accordingly, employers should review and modify their No-Match Letter response procedures to the extent necessary to comply with these recent changes.

Re-Recruiting Your Employees

Said it before, we’ll say it again: employees consistently state they don’t get enough feedback about their performance from their bosses. This affects your retention – if an employee doesn’t feel appreciated (or doesn’t know where they stand with their boss) – they’ll leave.

MRINetwork has a list of 10 questions to ask your employees; their answers to these questions can often determine whether or not they’ll stay on their job:

  1. If you could make any changes about your job, what would they be?
  2. What things about your job do you want to stay as they are?
  3. If you could go back to any previous position and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?
  4. If you suddenly became financially independent, what would you miss most about your job?
  5. In the morning, does your job make you jump out of bed or hit the snooze button?
  6. What makes for a great day?
  7. What can we do to make your job more satisfying?
  8. What can we do to support your career goals?
  9. Do you get enough recognition?
  10. What can we do to keep you with us?