NLRB Poster MUST be up by the end of this month
This is a reminder that all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which includes union and non-union employers, must post the 11″ x 17″ National Labor Relations Board’s Employee Rights Poster at their workplace on or before April 30, 2012. If you have questions about the poster and the posting requirements, the NLRB has a wealth of information available on its website (including copies of the poster in multiple languages). There are still lawsuits pending trying to stop the implementation of the rules related to this poster, but the NLRB has stated that it is not going to further delay implementation.
Brinker Decision- (Regarding Breaks)
The California Supreme Court is expected to issue its long-awaited decision in Brinker v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) by April 12, 2012. This decision is expected to finally answer the much litigated question of what it means to “provide” a meal break under California law.
Must employers ensure that non-exempt employees take full 30 minute meal breaks, or must they merely provide employees the opportunity to take such breaks? The Court’s decision will also address whether a meal break is required to be provided every five hours on a rolling basis. These important issues have been the subject of numerous class action lawsuits against California employers and have left employers with uncertainty on how best to administer and enforce meal break requirements to avoid such litigation.
The decision will be posted next week.
Workplace Investigation Pitfall: Failure to Take Appropriate, Consistent, or Adequate Notes
The purpose of notes in an investigation is to summarize what occurred with each of the witnesses and to provide a general overview of how the investigation was conducted. Notes should obviously be orderly, clear and consistent. The basis of this issue is the concern that the notes may not adequately portray what really happened in the interview. This may occur for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that the investigator fails to plan enough time in the investigatory process to review his/her notes after each interview and ensure that they actually reflect the course of the interview. As a result they are taken in a haphazard, rushed manner leaving the opportunity for omissions and inconsistencies. In order for the investigator’s notes to pass muster, they should be able to tell the order of interviews, how much time was spent with each interviewee, where the interview took place, what was addressed in the interview, who was present, and what evidence was shared.
Years later in a deposition, the investigator will be asked to explain the notes, as a record of what occurred in the investigation. The reasons for inconsistencies, which could have logically been explained when the interviews took place, are long forgotten and now subject to question.
If you need assistance with major investigations regarding sexual harassment or discrimination allegations please contact us especially if you feel the complaining party may potentially want to head to litigation.