“EEOC Sees Sexual Harassment Statistics Explode In Past Year” 10-5-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/eeoc-sees-sexual-harassment-statistics-93902/

Bruce’s Summary: The EEOC’s preliminary findings are out with expected evidence that the #MeToo movement is not just a passing fad, as some may have thought. It is real, and it is here to stay. The author presents statistics provided by the EEOC for 2017 which should be a clear picture to those HR Professionals that “things have changed” and the old status quo Sexual Harassment, Retaliation and Discrimination Training needs to be revamped. The author provides a sample “5-Step Plan”.
In addition, the methods and means of performing investigations has reached a new level. Investigations “done right the first time” is the new mantra for organizations. In this new era, ensuring investigations are preformed by a neutral party is paramount to an organization’s defense regardless of the investigator’s conclusion. Outside investigators present the best insurance of neutrality for small and mid-size organizations that don’t have separate neutral departments wholly dedicated to performing such investigations.
For those HR Professionals who may be facing an uphill battle in getting their senior management to recognize the serious commitment required by the organization, utilization of the new statistical data from the EEOC is a good first step. The statistics clearly show that potential liability costs for failure to address or inadequately address matters affecting sexual harassment, retaliation and/or discrimination have increased. Unfortunately, what usually causes a shift in the paradigm, regardless of what it is, is the cost to the bottom line and/or the potential of a public relations nightmare. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

Individual Employees Can Be Liable For Civil Penalties And Attorneys’ Fees For A Company’s Failure To Pay Overtime And/Or Minimum Wages 10-8-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/individual-employees-can-be-liable-for-42402/

Bruce’s Summary: This is a key article about a huge change in the California legal landscape, individual personal liability for violation of certain California Labor Codes. In the past the author states for such violations, “under common law, corporate agents acting within the scope of their agency are not personally liable for the corporate employer’s failure to pay its employee’ wages.” Now, it appears that the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District has held that individuals can be liable for civil penalties under two labor code sections outlined in the article.
Those HR Professionals and non-HR Professionals in small organizations, handling wage and hour responsibilities, need to take note that “corporate individuals can be held personally liable for civil penalties underlying the statutes requiring that employees be paid overtime and a minimum wage” and additionally, attorneys’ fees if the employee wins the case.
As a ‘best practices” approach both HR Professionals, non-HR Professionals in small organizations, and even consultants and Employment Agencies whose role is administrating wage and hour issues for an organization need to address the personal liability implementations of this case sooner than later with their corporate or outside counsel. Understanding the dynamics and potential pitfalls affected by this ruling early on is in everyone’s personal interest. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

CA Enacts New Anti-Harassment Laws in Response To #MeToo Movement 10-1-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ca-enacts-new-anti-harassment-laws-in-92466/

Bruce’s Summary: The Governor has been busy and the landscape under the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement continues to shift for California employers. A good overview is presented by the author of what’s in store for California employers starting in January of 2019 through 2020. HR Professionals are directing small business owners and contractors to begin to review their existing policies and procedures that affect possible workplace harassment and retaliation complaints. This is a good reference point to begin their research. If there ever was a time to ensure both the “I”s are dotted and the “T”s are crossed in an employer’s policies and procedures, it’s now.
As was evident throughout 2018, workplace harassment and retaliation allegations continued to surface and be addressed. As I said in January 2018, we continue to look at the tip of the iceberg and have yet to see what else will surface and the shock of who it may be. No one is shielded by the nature of their position, their status or current reputation.
Two final points, first, in reference to regulatory type training on such subjects as anti-harassment and retaliation training, my experience has been that more positive results were always achieved when the training was live and interactive. And, second, as more allegations move up the executive ladder, employers must ensure that a clear recognition of neutrality of any investigation is paramount to the individuals involved, work environment and organization. One clear signal of neutrality of the investigation, especially within the executive ranks, is the use of an outside neutral investigator. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

Proskauer Delivers #MeToo Webinar With EEOC Commissioner Feldblum 9-27-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/proskauer-delivers-metoo-webinar-with-76201/

Bruce’s Summary: EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, was a guest speaker at a recent webinar discussing how the #MeToo movement had impacted workplace dynamics and suggested some innovative solutions for addressing and preventing sexual harassment. Since many of the above suggestions are implemented and administered by HR, HR Professionals should take special notice and adjust where necessary. In addition, the “cat is out of the bag” with special recognition of those “high earners”, “revenue makers” and “super stars” who are now receiving a lot of attention and visibility by the EEOC.
HR Professionals should take special note of the section covering “Corporate Governance Solution” which discussed suggestions of how HR Professionals could work closer with their organization’s Board of Directors in “ferreting out and preventing sexual harassment” in a top down approach. The author did a great job. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com