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2013 Top 10 mid-year review list for employers

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#1. Put all commission agreements in writing (Labor Code section 2751).

#2. Reexamine all independent contractor relationships.

#3. Reexamine all exempt employee classifications.

#4. Ensure meal and rest break policies are in compliance with post-Brinker law.

#5. Audit your wage statements to ensure compliance with Labor Code § 226. Wage statements must include (1) gross wages earned, (2) total hours worked (non-exempt only), (3) price rate units earned and rate per unit, (4) all deductions, (5) net wages earned, (6) inclusive dates of pay period, (7) name of employee and last four digits of Social Security number or other identifying number, (8) name and address of legal entity that is the employer, and (9) all hourly rates and number of hours at each rate.

#6. (Implement a written social media policy. Tell employees the do’s and don’ts of their social media communications as it relates to the employer (e.g., do not disparage company or its product or services, do not reveal trade secrets or proprietary information, do not engage in communications, postings, or activities that harm the company’s reputation, etc.). Clarify the policy does not infringe on employees’ rights to engage in concerted activity regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

#7. Issue a written policy regarding privacy rights in employer owned or supported equipment as well as a policy prohibiting cell phone use by employees who drive on company business.

#8. Stay sensitive to possible Section 7 (“concerted activity”) protections for any employee who at first glance seems to have violated company policies (the right of employees to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid and protection with respect to the terms and conditions of employment).

#9. Make sure your vacation policy is not a “use it or lose it” policy.

#10. Consider using a third-party administered hotline for employees, anonymously if they prefer, to offer suggestions for improvement, criticisms, grievances, or concerns. This can operate as your own internal grievance procedure in order to help identify and resolve possible workplace issues and possibly discourage employees turning to outside sources (for example, the NLRB, DOL, EEOC, DFEH, OSHA, union organizer, or social media websites) to air their problems.

-Submitted by Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP.

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