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Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), Work-Integrated Education (WIE) and Employment Readiness

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The students at the institutions of learning are better advised to join the Work-Integrated Learning, Work-Integrated Education and Employment Readiness Programmes on arrival on campus, i.e. in their first year of studies. They should constantly participate throughout their studies. The programme is fast becoming core to all lines of studies across the globe.

The World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE) is the global organization advocating for Work-Integrated Learning and Work-Integrated Education integration in all degrees and diplomas. The aim is to make transition from the world of learning and education into the world of work seamless.

In South Africa we have the Southern African Society for Cooperative Education (SASCE) made of the academic and industry practitioners. It runs biannual continental conference called WIL Africa, to advance Cooperative Education and Work-Integrated Learning across the continent. SASCE and WACE work together on a number of initiatives, incluidng the annual WACE global conference that is hosted by different member universities.

The kind of programmes conducted under the programme must be relevant to the industries that are likely to absorb the graduates from the institutions of learning. They must be aimed at closing the gap between theory and practice during the whole period of studies.

General activities are organised and held on and off campuses by the Cooperative Education Departments of the Institutions, for example, industry visits, guest lectures by industry practitioners, visits to career fairs and exhibitions, industry specific workshops, seminars and conferences, on the job learning during the vacations, work readiness programmes like how to write curriculum vitae, how to apply for employment, how to conduct job interviews, how to research industry and companies suitable to the graduate’s dream career, etc.

For those institutions that have embraced the programme, partnership with the industry in offering P1 and P2 practical work is a natural practice. The training contributes credit points toward the qualification. The programme follows a well formulated integration of theoretical lectures and learning at the industry.

There are many reasons why the companies would partner with the institutions of learning and participate in the programmes. Among others, the opportunity for the learners to network with the industry practitioners, students given reliable sources of information in their career choices, companies source of recruitment of new talent, an acceptable standard of transitioning from the institutions of learning to the world of work, both the institutions and industry have interest in the graduates that are clear on why they chose the line of career they are following, and placement becomes successful as a result.

The above points bring us to the most important objective, namely employment readiness by the graduates. Employment Readiness Programme is extremely important, and requires special focus. How a graduate arrives at their first place of employment depends on their transition management and readiness level. This is their second toughest transition after transitioning from high school to the university/college.

There are many potential fault lines that require a mentor to assist the graduates to overcome. It is impossible without the guidance of a mentor to overcome this hurdle. It is the first time that the graduate will know if their choice of studies and career was spot on or not. They ought to have mastered the logical transition steps that include the basic tasks like identifying the industry and company to apply for the first employment, choice of the type of job, choosing the career direction, putting together convincing curriculum vitae, prepare for the job interview, shopping for appropriate corporate clothing, etc.

Arrival at the world of work is the beginning of huge personal responsibility. It is the beginning of a long journey into the corporate life. This journey, depending on the readiness level or lack thereof, can be good or bad one. It is at this point that the graduate and his sponsors (family or other funders) would want to confirm return on education investment.

The role of the mentor during the WIL and WIE period cannot be underestimated. It is absolutely necessary in this last mile of the graduate’s educational journey. The mentor should accompany the graduate during this critical phase of their holistic human capital development. The graduate must consider mentorship arrangement as a crucial investment, not an expense. The foundation on which to build corporate life must be solid.

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3 Common Employment Law Questions Answered

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Sometimes employment law can be difficult to comprehend. Here are three common work place situations and their legal ramifications.

1: DISMISSAL DUE TO ILLNESS

There are three potential areas of legal exposure:

· unfair dismissal;

· unlawful termination; and

· discrimination

From time to time an employee will have to leave your employment due to long term health issues. They may decide to resign or you may have to eventually consider dismissing them. It is beneficial to consider as many ways possible to help them back to work – dismissal should be a last resort and could be deemed unfair if not managed properly.

If continued employment is no longer achievable because there are no reasonable adjustments that can be made, it may be fair for you to dismiss them.

The Fair Work Act 2009 states that an employer must not dismiss an employee because the employee is temporarily absent from work due to illness or injury.

The Fair Work Regulation 2009 provides that it is not a “temporary absence” if the employees absence from work extends for more than 3 months, or the total absences of the employee, within a 12 month period, have been more than 3 months. The employer still requires a valid reason to dismiss the employee, even if the employee has been absent on unpaid leave for three months or over.

We suggest you ask the employee to provide medical information on his capacity for work and what support he might need to return to work.

2: EVIDENCE OF ILLNESS

You can insist on employees providing evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that they are entitled to sick leave, for example, a medical certificate or statutory declaration. That being said there is no specific timeframe as the timeframe required is “as soon as practicable”.

For this reason you should devise a written policy that stipulates that your employees provide such information within a specific timeframe. Your policy should also specify that your employees inform their manager directly of their absence (when possible), or phone their manager within a certain timeframe to explain why they cannot make it to work and when they expect to return.

3: NOTICE OF REDUNDANCY

When dismissing an employee it is necessary to give them notice. The notice commences when the employer tells the employee that they want to end the employment. If you notify them of their redundancy just before leave, the time spent on annual leave will count towards their notice period.

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Employment Success Tips – How to Contribute Your Knowledge and Skills at Work

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Tip #1 – Collaborate When Asked

Team work is an essential component of success in any business endeavor. This is why it is essential that you learn how to collaborate with your peers and colleagues and practice it regularly.

Tip #2 – Always Be Early or On Time

When you’re late to a meeting, everyone notices, including your boss. This is why it is vital to be early or on time, so that you don’t stick out as a bad example.

Tip #3 – Think and Contribute Critically

When you’re at meetings or when a co-worker or boss asks for advice, think critically and try to make an important contribution. Don’t let the words go in one ear and other the other.

Tip #4 – Don’t Sit Quietly at Meetings

If you want to be successful in the workplace, you cannot sit passively at meetings. Instead, you must take charge and make comments. Get recognized; and make important contributions.

Tip #5 – Empathize with Co-Workers and Higher-Ups

Empathy is important. Getting it from others makes you feel wanted and cared for. And giving it to others will improve your status within the company. It will show people that they can come to you if others do not understand their position.

Tip #6 – Don’t Make Enemies

If you want to be successful in the workplace, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up locking horns with a few people on the way. However, at the end of the day, it is vital that you don’t take these disputes personally; and work hard to avoid making enemies.

Tip #7 – Generate High-Quality Work

At the end of the day, the quality of work that you produce will determine whether your boss thinks that you are barely fit to carry out your current job; or whether you are over-qualified and should be promoted.

Tip #8 – Share Your Work and Ideas with Others

If you have good ideas, then share them with others. Let your co-workers and bosses benefit from your insights. Occasionally, you might get no credit for this, but over time, the praise you receive here and there will help to improve your profile within the company.

Tip #9 – Be Honest with Follow Co-Workers and Higher-Ups

Above all else, honesty is an important quality in the workplace. Being honest with your co-workers and your boss means that they can trust you and come to you for advice in the future.

Tip #10 – Be a Self-Starter

One of the most clearly identifiable traits of successful individuals is their ability to self-start. Instead of needing to be pushed around by bosses, they take action immediately and accomplish tasks on their own. If you want to get promoted, you should also get in the habit of doing this.

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How Employment Agencies Work

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

If you have any misunderstandings about the working of employment agencies, then it is time you cleared any misgivings you might have in your mind regarding their working. The little fee that you may or may not pay is really worth every penny and even more. Here is how a typical recruitment agency goes about with its chores.

  1. Big staffing agencies employ dozens of calling agents who have expert knowledge in locating talents around the world. Their principal sources of information are social media, news paper advertisements and people who contact them by word of mouth. The second source of information is applicants who approach the agency directly. Though it was the norm several years before to send in a CV by post, things have changed vastly nowadays with the advent of computers, internet and email.
  2. The second element in the working of any employment agency is maintaining a cordial relationship with employers, for which purpose agencies appoint agents too. They liaise with the employer and begin to study their requirements. Once a detailed study has been completed, the agency takes the permission of the employer to publicise their requirement to go on a head hunting spree on their behalf.
  3. The first place that recruiters look for information is the office database. Though most of the matching is done automatically by computers, it is not uncommon to tweak the final match manually. It is normal for agencies to recommend more than one applicant to the employer. The employer after receipt of information shortlists candidates they find fit. Now the deck is cleared for the agency to arrange a meeting between the employer and a prospective employee.
  4. Sometimes the process may become more complex, especially if the skills set expected of the candidate are very special. It can take several days or even weeks if a match is not available in the agency’s database. In such situation, the agency turns to the social media. They will list out applicants in job portals and even in social media like LinkedIn for example.
  5. The climax is the culmination of a meeting between the employer and applicant. During such meetings the agency represents itself through a report detailing the applicant’s claims and the documents he or she has presented before it.
  6. The crowing of the effort is the employer issuing a letter of appointment by the employer. Employment agencies take an active role in the preparation of contracts and other peripheral activities connected with it.

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5 Steps Employment Lawyers Advise You To Take If Your Rights Have Been Violated

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

You feel your rights have been violated at work, you’ve done a thorough job researching your issue, and you think you have a good case to pursue against your employer. Now what? It can be hard to find a qualified and experienced attorney as there are few employment lawyers that work on behalf of employees compared to how many work for employers. Follow these five steps to make sure that your claim has the greatest chance of success.

1. Have A Conversation With Your Employer

First, you should file your statement of complaint with the human resources department at your company. Filing with HR first can sometimes provide a temporary or even permanent solution to the issue. You may also want to speak with your boss to see if the issue can be resolved before moving forward with a formal complaint. Make sure to stay professional and polite and avoid personal attacks. Keep a written record of all conversations and try not to gossip with your co-workers about the situation. If a conversation occurs, follow up via email with a summary of that conversation.

2. Determine If Your Employer Is Bound By Federal Law

The Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and a few other federal laws govern employers that engage in interstate commerce. If you’re not sure about your company, call the Wages and Hours Division of the Department of Labor, and they will tell you. They will also tell you if you need to file a state claim before proceeding with a federal claim as sometimes all state remedies must be exhausted before you can file at the federal level. Experienced employment lawyers can be particularly useful at this stage.

3. Gather Together All Required Information

When preparing to file your complaint, make sure you have gathered all of the required information. You will need your contact information as well as your employer’s, and documentation that shows your position and pay. The court will look more favorably on written documents and evidence such as wage stubs, work transcripts, hiring and/or firing forms, and any relevant receipts. If you have any witness statements, employment lawyers will advise you to get these in writing.

4. File The Formal Complaint

When it’s time to file with the appropriate government agency, you will generally start with the agency that governs your type of claim depending on if you are alleging discrimination, unfair hiring practices, workplace safety issues, etc. You will then be directed to your local office. An investigation will be conducted, and a determination made if your employer is liable. Based on that determination, a remedy may be issued such as an award for damages or an order for a change in the employer’s work policies.

5. Follow The Progress Of The Complaint

If no violation is found, or you and your employer were not able to reach a settlement, then it is up to you to decide if you want to pursue private action. Interviewing employment lawyers at this point and having them review your case is likely your best solution.

Following these five steps should help you build the most successful employment case.

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The Effects of Compensation on Employees Work Performance

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

HRM strives to achieve organizational goals and the goals of employees through effective personnel programs policies and procedures. Successful performances of the personnel function can greatly enhance the bottom line of any organization. The personnel practitioners however are challenged more today than at any time in the history by a changing and more demanding labor force that has high expectation about the work place. At the same time, rapidly advancing technologies and outside influences are changing the nature of our jobs. It is thus more critical and more difficult to maintain a work environment that motivates and satisfies Human Resources.

 

Edward flippo states: “personnel management is the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accomplished.”

 

According to Wayne. F. Cascio “Compensation which includes direct cash payment, indirect payments in the form of employee benefits and incentives to motivate employees to strive for higher levels of productivity is a critical component of the employment relationship. Compensation affected by forces as diverse as labor market factors. Collective bargaining, government legislation and top management philosophy regarding pay and benefits”     

Compensation may be defined as money received for the performance of work plus many kind of benefits and services that organizations provide their employee.

Compensation is recompense, reward, wage or salary given by an organization to persons or a group of persons in return to a work done, services rendered, or a contribution made towards the accomplishment of organizational goals. Wage, dearness allowance, bonus and other allowance are examples of monetary compensation, while good accommodation, children education, transport facilities, subsidized ration of essential commodities, etc. come under non-monetary compensation. In short, wage paid to collar workers or salaries paid to white collar employee can be classified as compensation.

A good compensation package is a good motivator. Hence, the primary responsibility of the HR manager is to ensure that the company’s employees are well paid.

OBJECTIVES OF COMPENSATION:

To attract capable applicants. To retain current employee so that they don’t quit. The employee is motivated for better performance. Reward desired behavior. To ensure equity. To control cost.Facilitate easy understanding by all i.e. employee operating manager and HR personnel

BASIC COMPENSATION

 

WAGE:

The remuneration paid, for the service of labour in production, periodically to an employee/worker. Wages means any economic compensation paid by the employer under some contract to his workers for the services rendered by them. Usually refer to the hourly rate paid to such groups as production and maintenance employees’ wages include family allowance, relief, pay, financial support etc.

SALARY:

Salary is influenced by the size of a company by the specific industry, and in part by the contribution of the incumbent to the process of decision-making. Salary refers to the weekly or monthly rates paid to clerical, administrative and professional employees. Salary is determined by mutual agreement between the individual and the employer.

INCENTIVE:

An incentive scheme is a plan or programs to motivate industries or group performance. An incentive program is most frequently built on monetary, but may also include a variety of non- monetary rewards or prizes.

DETERMINATS

The effective use of incentives depends on three variables. They are:

1. The individual.

2. The work situation.

3. The incentive plan.

Factors influencing compensation:

1. Organization’s capacity to pay

2. Prevailing pay and benefits in the industry:

3. Compensation in the industry and availability of special competent personnel

4. Flexibility, i.e. kind of competencies and abilities in managers:

5. Performance/productivity/responsibilities of individual.

6. Organization philosophy such as to be leader or pay prevailing rates.

7. Qualifications and relevant experience.

8. Stability of employment and advancement opportunities.  

 

“Compensation literally means to counterbalance to offset, and to make up for. It implies an exchange. Compensation translates into different meaning among countries and even overtime”.

Society View:

According to G.T Milkovich and bloom “perception of compensation differ within countries as well. Some in society may see pay difference as a measure of justice.

 

Stockholder View:

To stockholder, executive’s pay is of special interest. In united state stock option are commonly believed to tie pay of executives to the financing performance of the company.

 

Employees:

Employee may see compensation as an exchange of service rendered or as a reward for a job well done. Compensation to some reflects the value for their personal skills and abilities, or the return for the education training they have acquired. The pay individual receive for the work they perform is usually the major source of personal income and financial security and hence a vital determinants of an individual economic and social well being.

 

Managers:

Managers also have a stake in compensation: it directly influences their success in two ways. First it is a major expense competitive pressure both internationally and domestically, forces managers to consider the affordability of their compensation decisions. Studies show that many enterprises labor costs account for more than 50% of total costs. Among some industries, such as service or public employment, this figure is even higher.

In addition to treating pay as an expense, a manager also treats compensation as a possible influence on employee work attitude and behavior and their organization performance. The way the people are paid affects the quality of their work, their focus on customer needs, and their willingness to be flexible and learn new skills, to suggest innovation and improvement, and even their interest in union or legal action against their employer. 

 

FORMS OF PAY

Total compensation includes pay received directly as cash (e.g., base wage, merit increases, incentives, and cost of living adjustment) or indirectly through benefits and services (e.g., pensions, health insurance, paid time off). Programs that distribute compensation to employees can be designed in an unlimited number of ways, and a single employer typically uses more than one program. The major categories of compensation include base wage, merit pay, short and long term incentives, and employee benefits and services.

Base wage

Base wage is the basic cash compensation that an employer pays for the work performed. Base wage tends to reflect the value of the work or skills and generally ignores difference attributable to individual employees. Some pay systems set base wage as a function of the skill or education an employee possesses; this is common for engineers and scientists. Periodic adjustments to base wages may be made on the basis of change in the overall cost of living or inflation, changes in what other employers are paying for the same work, or changes in experience/ performance/ skills of employees.

Incentives

Incentives also tie pay directly to performance. Sometimes referred to as variable compensation, incentives may be long or short term, and can be tied to the performance of an individual employee, a team of employees, combination of individuals, team of employees, a total business unit, or some combination of individuals, teamed unit. Performance objectives may be defined as cost savings, volume produced, quality standards met, revenues, return on investments or increased profits; the possibilities are endless.   

Long-term incentives are intended to focus employee efforts on multi year result. Top managers or professionals are often offered stock ownership or bonuses to focus on long-term organizational objectives such return on investments, market share, return on net assets and the like. Coca-Cola grants shares of stock to selected “key contributors” who make outstanding contribution to the firm’s success. Microsoft, Pepsi, Wal Mart and Proctor & Gamble offer stock options to all their employees. These companies believe that having a stake in the company supports a culture of ownership. Employees will behave like owners. 

Incentives and merit pay differs. Although both may influence performance, incentives do so by offering pay to influence future behavior. Merit on the other hand, recognizes outstanding past performance. The distinction is a matter of timing. Incentives systems are offered prior to the actual performance; merit pay on the other hand, typically is not communicated beforehand. 

The national commission on labor makes the following recommendation with respect to incentives:

(a) The application of incentives schemes has usually to be selected and restricted to industries and occupations where it is possible to measure on an agreed basis, the output of workers or a group of concerned workers and maintain a substantial amount of control over its quality.

(b) Incentive schemes have to embrace as many employees of an enterprise as possible and need not be limited only to operative or direct workers.

(c) A careful selection of occupations should be made for launching incentives scheme with the help of work-study teams commanding the confidence of both the employer and employees. The incentive scheme is required to be simple so that the workers are able to understand its full implications. The employers need to ensure that external factors such as non-availability of raw material and components, transport difficulties and accumulation of stock do not exert an unfavorable impact on incentive schemes.

 

(d)   Production has to be organized in such a way, which does not provide incentive wage on one day, and unemployment on the other day- there should be a provision of the fullback wage as a safeguard against it.

(e)    According to Subramaniam, there are several prerequisites to the effective installation and operation of payment system:

a.) It should be developed and introduced with the involvement of the workers concerned in a harmonious climate of industrial relations.

b) Work-study precedes the installation of incentive programs.

c) The wage structure should be rationalized on the basis of job evaluation before devising an incentive plan.

d) The objective to be accomplished through incentives should be defined and accordingly, an attempt should be made to select a scheme, which is most suitable to accomplish them.

BENEFITS & SERVICES

The fringe benefit systems purported to develop a climate for healthy employer-employee relationship, minimize excessive labor turnover costs and provide a feeling of individual security against hazards and problems of life with a view to eventually enhancing employee loyalty to the company and improving productivity.

M.Chandra lucidly describes fringe benefits provided by the employers to their employees under the statutory provision or on a voluntary basis. The social services provided under the factories Act, 1948, in the manufacturing industries include canteen, rest shelters, crèche , storage or lockers, sitting arrangement, bathing and washing facilities and appointment of welfare officers, etc. other benefits include festival, year-end profit sharing, attendance and production bonuses, protective equipment’s, free supply of food items on concessional rates. Social security system provides benefits such as provident fund, employees state insurance (ESI) scheme, retrenchment compensation, employment injury compensation, maternity benefits, gratuity, pension, dependent allowance and contribution toward pension and gratuity claims.

In addition, other facilities enjoyed by the workers include medical and health care, restaurants, cooperative credit societies and consumer stores, company housing, house rent allowance. Recreational and cultural services, clubs, cash assistance. Some employers also provide education, transport facilities and conveyance allowance.

Laxmi Narain points that fringe benefits are an integral part of the reward system in the public sector undertaking and relate to management motivation similar to basic compensation.

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Stop Job-Blocking Yourself: 5 Golden Employment Opportunities You’re Missing

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Gone are the days of getting a well fit, well-compensated position simply by attending college after high school. Not only has entrepreneurship risen so drastically in the last 20 years, unconventional opportunities for gainful employment are also plentiful. Ditch the old paradigms and adopt some of these new ideas to get the most of your job search and find work where you’re not only valued and appreciated, but well-compensated to match.

1. Apply for positions you think you’re unqualified for.

These days quality work ethic is just as hard to find in an applicant than the desired credentials for a position. With more companies and their owners striving to work smarter, not harder, they know how costly turnover can be and they are willing to invest time and training into a promising candidate. Do not sell your character short! Lead with your relevant experience and training, and express both your coachability and commitment to an employer who will invest in you.

2. Apply for positions that aren’t open.

The best company owners and managers will tell you “we’ll always make room for a good employee to come on board”. Don’t wait for the perfect position to open, or be advertised publicly. Dress to impress and bring your resume to them whether or not an open position was advertised. It may be your stopping in that pushes them to evaluate their current staff and fire a derf to make room for you, or create a position that utilizes your talent and experience.

3. Widen your search to national companies that may entertain remote positions.

Have a dream job in mind, but it’s working for an out of state company? Don’t write it off as a pipe dream just yet. Visit their website and scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and look for an employment link. If no remote positions are advertised or listed, make your own open door by sending a resume and cover letter to the email address of a hiring manager. Be sure to inform them of your location and how you are proficient in programs that will make training and correspondence with you a breeze.

4. Consider careers without required college credentials.

There are many careers that require education higher than a high school diploma, but less than a college degree. Most are part of a certification programs or apprenticeships. Some of these professions include funeral arranging, real estate, plumbing, electric, tree service, personal caring or nursing assistance.

5. Look for better opportunities when you’re employed.

The best time to look for a perfect fitting job is while you’re still employed. When we are job searching and unemployed, we are directing a different vibe toward our potential employers. Our energy is often tainted by past disappointment and fear, insecurity or doubt, and sometimes worse, our desperateness. While still employed, we have a unique opportunity to take advantage of our current confidence and security. While your commitment to your current employer is commendable, it’s often unreturned and you should never deprive you and yours the opportunity for a brighter future. The best employers will understand. If they can’t find respect for that, that should only confirm you can find a better fitting position elsewhere.

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6 Strategies to Ensure Employees Return to Work Following a Work Comp Injury

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Link between Worker’s Comp and the ADA

In 2009, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a record-setting consent decree settling a class action lawsuit against Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for $6.2 million. The EEOC’s suit alleged that Sears maintained an inflexible workers’ compensation leave exhaustion policy and terminated employees instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, in violation of the ADA.

This case highlights the importance of having a proactive return to work program that addresses the ADA accommodation requirements. When employees are injured on the job, employers must have a plan that addresses return to work options and ADA accommodations.

Return to Work Strategies

Normally, when employees are released to work following a worker’s comp injury, they will return to their previous position. However, employees may have an occupational injury or illness where they are released to work but can’t perform all of the essential functions of their regular job or need an accommodation.

When creating return to work opportunities consider several strategies. Think “out of the box” in your approach to getting employees back to the workforce. There are many tasks to keep workers productive and involved in the workforce.

1-Prepare a physical binder

Create a binder full of alternative job descriptions within the company or sister companies that employees can easily access. Have Human Resources regularly update the binder with all job openings, full and part time, temporary and permanent. Make sure the supervisor and the employee are aware of the binder and regularly check it for openings.

2-Promote internal onlinejob listing resources

As with the physical binder, make sure there is an on-line job listing resource that the employee can access. Email all job openings to the employee in addition to what is available in the physical binder.

3-Create a return-to-work resource center

Have your Human Resources Department encourage the injured employee that they are wanted back at work. Make sure that HR is a resource to support the employee in creatively finding a way to return to work, even if it is in another position more compatible with the employee’s limitations. Have HR consult with the employee about any reasonable accommodations that would make it possible for the employee to return to work in any available positions. Have a written Return to Work Policy so that all management and supervisors understand the goals and methods of having employees successfully return to work.

4-Consider outside resources to accommodate transitional duty workers

Vocational rehabilitation (voc rehab). Voc rehab is a federally funded agency in every state that offers vocational rehabilitation, employment opportunities and independent living services for disabled people. The programs vary by state but may include medical, psychological and vocational assessments, counseling services, therapy, training, job placement and rehabilitation.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free consulting services to employers.. Services include one-on-one consultation about all aspects of job accommodations, including the accommodation process, accommodation ideas, product vendors, referral to other resources, and ADA compliance assistance. https://askjan.org/empl/index.htm. JAN has several on-line tools and publications to help employers accommodate employees with a disability.

Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) regulates safety compliance in the workplace. In some instances, OSHA safety regulations may prevent certain accommodations for an injured employee. OSHA has a website that employers can consult for guidance. Sometimes OSHA will publish bulletins with innovative safety accommodation ideas, e.g. how to safely accommodate employees with hearing loss injuries. http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib072205.html.

5-Encourage volunteerism and partner with local employment agencies or volunteer groups to enhance workers’ options.

Often employers want to offer modified duty but do not have appropriate positions available. Some states have Workers Compensation Funds that have partnered with charitable organizations to offer a return-to-work plan that provides modified duty for injured employees. These plans can lower claims costs, decrease workers’ compensation insurance costs and increase morale.

In addition, employers who do not have appropriate position available may want to partner with local employment agencies that may have appropriate temporary or permanent positions available for the employee.

6-Consider home-based employment

Telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for an injured or ill worker. Have HR consult with the supervisor and the employee to see if there are any tasks that the employee can perform from home on a temporary or permanent basis.

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Work From Home – Employment Or Business?

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Most people would prefer to be employed because of the security and stability that it can offer especially for high demand jobs. When you work for a company with the credibility and stability, you will surely have something to expect every week, two weeks or every month, depending on the pay schedule. The security is what makes employment more attractive than setting up your own business.

When you setup your own business, there is a need for you to invest, whether it is a physical business or an online venture. There is a required amount of cash that you should spend to start. There is no business that can give results without at least shelling out some money. There may be some Internet ventures that you can engage into without any investment but the amount of money that you will get will not be enough to provide for the needs of your family. Also, if you are a newbie in the Internet marketing world, it will help to have a coach or mentor to guide you through the processes and ensure good results. This mentoring program will never be free but you are guaranteed of assistance and support from an expert or experts.

If you are the kind of person who would love to take some risks, then you can engage into some business ventures. You only have to take some calculated risks to control the impact in case the business does not work. This is something that is taken from some exposure to business and management dealings.

Family orientation will have an influence in your inclination of whether you will go for employment or business. If you have been raised by parents who have run a business, most likely, you will also work on setting up your own business in the future. However, when the exposure is more of plain employment and expecting a monthly or bi-weekly pay, you will never see the benefits of running a business and may not be something that you will be open to.

This highly competitive world and with the high cost of living, the best way to live comfortably is to engage both in employment and business. Employment does not necessarily mean having a job where you are required to report for work 8 or 9 hours a day. It may be an online work-from-home job where you can get a regular source of income. At the same time, you can set up a business that answers the needs in your community or learn how to manage an online business, even by just being an affiliate. You need time to learn the processes. You also need some investment for some tools and services. With determination and commitment, you will be able to know the ropes and you can achieve your objectives. There is no such thing as get-rich-quick schemes in the Internet world. You still have to work and spend time to generate results.

If you are not business-minded, this is the time to start learning about running one. Employment and running a business can go together if you know how to manage your time and resources.

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Employment And Severance Scenarios

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

In prior articles I have alluded to the fact that many people think being an entertainment lawyer is a romantic existence. Yet the brass-tacks principles of employment law and the harshness of employee severance and termination scenarios often overtake that romanticism. Being an entertainment lawyer entails a lot more than hanging-out with talent backstage or on the tour bus. In prior articles I have also alluded to the fact that artists often have “day jobs” providing their paying employment to subsidize their artistic ventures. As a New York entertainment attorney who grew up in a show business family in the midst of performers, I’m used to this. Most of these artists intend to abandon these day jobs, with or without an employment severance package, once they get signed to a development deal, record contract, or otherwise “make it”. But what happens in the meantime? What if an artist works for a company that intends to jettison him or her as an employee, rather than the other way around? What if the company counts on using an employment severance package as a hedge against risk of an after-occurring wrongful-termination lawsuit?

These past few years have comprised a particularly bad time in terms of employee and contractor lay-offs and firings. As a working entertainment lawyer in New York I have seen many artists and others downscale and change jobs in recent years. Many situations which used to prompt a severance package to materialize in the prior decade, do not do so any longer. The fact of the matter is, a large proportion of employees and other workers misplay the handling of their job exit, if and when it occurs in the employment law context. In the interests of employee and worker empowerment before the blue-ink dries on the release and settlement agreement or other severance documents, this article follows. Though written by me as a media and entertainment attorney working with entertainers, the same principles apply to employment work in other industries and sectors.

I suppose that the first rule of employee empowerment is fairly pedestrian-sounding, but vitally important. An employee must read and review every employment document pertaining to his or her job and career, carefully – including the following disclaimer. The employee should secure counsel promptly, if he or she sees any legal issue looming on the horizon which may affect the employee’s career or rights – including legal issues relating to employment and severance packages. As an entertainment lawyer friend and entertainment law professor of mine used to say, “every deal is different”. What applies in one employment context may not apply to the next one. The employee must make sure that he or she seeks individualized legal advice as to any important matter pertaining to the employee’s career or rights generally. It is not uncommon that a soon-to-be-terminated worker starts calling attorneys as soon as offered an employment severance package.

There are attorneys, entertainment attorneys and otherwise, who routinely handle “employee-side” legal matters. A number of attorneys may be able to do so affordably for even a modestly-compensated employee, in the context of a severance proposal or otherwise. An employee-side lawyer should be accustomed to representing people who have limited financial resources, and this is a particularly-familiar fact-pattern for an entertainment lawyer handling artist-side work. There are parallels. And, assuming that one is not a lawyer, one should no sooner handle one’s own legal work than handle one’s own dental or medical needs oneself. The severance and employee-exit scenario most often entails some analysis of employment legal issues governing the exit. Given the economic realities faced by those in the artistic world, all entertainment lawyers need to be familiar with these employment legal issues.

The employee should remember that most employers themselves have in-house or outside attorneys. Indeed, the employment, severance, settlement, release, and exit documents are most often drafted by these attorneys. They may be entertainment attorneys, employment attorneys, litigators, or generalists. However monikered, often an employee’s securing of his or her own counsel is the only way to equilibrate the proverbial scales of justice in a severance or other job-related scenario. Exploitative and even abusive treatment of employees is unfortunately rampant in the employment law context, including at the time of worker exit – particularly in highly-competitive cities like New York and Los Angeles, and in highly-competitive industries like entertainment and media as any entertainment attorney will tell you. The good works and lessons taught by historical pro-labor figures like Samuel Gompers should not go for naught. The employee should not look to the employer, or the vicissitudes of chance, to protect the employee and the employee’s own legal rights in the workplace or in the context of a severance or other exit from employment. Rather, the employee should empower himself or herself, and should not be inhibited in seeking out the advice and opinions of those professionals who handle employee-side legal work for a living.

On to the substance and detail.

The lead singer of a rock band about to step onto a live television set is furnished a “release” for signature five minutes before scheduled air time. The entertainment lawyer representing the singer might cry, “No!”. While this could sound like an entertainment attorney observation meant only for the golden days of the Ed Sullivan Show, the rule of not signing on-the-spot is true in the employment context and across all other subject-matter areas and sectors as well. Like the artist, the employee, too, should never sign any document, employment document, severance document, or otherwise, on-the-spot. The employee should not be bullied into signing on the spot, as a product of fear, or the purposeful manipulation of same by oppressive employers or ex-employers. There are very few situations in life where one truly must sign a document on-the-spot, and an employment-related signature is usually not one of them. One of the only valid such situations that I can recall from my own experience is when an attorney must sign a stipulation on-the-spot before a judge, as the only way to preserve the attorney’s client’s rights. This will not likely be a situation that one will ever have to encounter as an employee or terminated employee in an employment severance context or otherwise. Employers typically offer severance to terminated workers out of fear of being sued by them, meaning that the worker often has more leverage in the employment context than he or she initially thinks.

It is astounding, though, as to how many people make this mistake of “on-the-spot” signing, time and time again, in the entertainment law context, and in the employment severance context and in the workplace and business-world generally – even if these signatories know better. The employee should trust his or her own instincts. If it smells bad, it is bad. If anyone, be it a car salesman, a manager or talent agent you’ve never heard of before, or, yes, an employer offering an employment severance package while terminating your employee services, waves a document at you as panaceatic – you should be suspect. The entertainment attorney’s first instinct is that a document waved at you for on-the-spot signing is not worth to you the paper it is printed on. In the employment context, if the employer presents the employee with a severance document or other document and tries to pressure the employee to sign that document on-the-spot, the instinctual reaction should be similar. The odds are better than 99% that the employer is trying to take advantage of the employee in that latter case – and trying to force the employee to thoughtlessly relinquish in haste valid and enforceable legal rights that the employee already and otherwise possesses.

By comparison, what does an entertainment attorney do, when given or forwarded a document intended for signature in the context of a rights deal, for example? The entertainment lawyer will typically indicate to the party who proffers the document for signature: “Thank you – my client and I will review and respond to this document”. Period. If the “proffering” party then says: “Hey entertainment lawyer, aren’t you or your client going to sign it now?”, the entertainment attorney answers with a flat “No”. Although it is possible that the proffering party will thereafter withdraw whatever offer the document contains and take it permanently off-the-table, they typically won’t. And if they do, it probably was not an offer worth taking anyway. This analysis also applies to written employment severance packages, releases, and settlement agreements, just as it does to talent agreements, agent and manager agreements, car purchase agreements, and just about any other form of proposed contract that one might ever be offered. Again, this rule is by no means entertainment attorney-specific, but instead is generalizable to the employment context and across all sectors and industries.

The protocols of professionalism create an expectation that all parties should be given a reasonable opportunity to review a document, including a proposed employment severance document, prior to either: (1) signing it as written (an extremely unlikely occurrence, by the way, if a good attorney reviews it for the employee); or else (2) responding to the proposed document with a fax, letter, red-line comparison draft, or mark-up indicating the receiving party’s proposed changes. This would normally be the way entertainment attorneys would interact with and between each other on a proposed license agreement, for example. The two entertainment lawyers would expect careful reading and deliberation on either end. If a proffering employer-party in the severance context, however, instead threatens to withdraw the document “since it wasn’t signed on-the-spot”, then they are just being ridiculous and overbearing. The odds are, again, better than 99% that their “non-negotiable” document would have been a legal disaster for the employee to sign as initially proposed. Again, this observation applies to employment severance packages, and most all other forms of proposed draft agreements in most all contexts other than employment, too.

Some employers in the media and entertainment industry context and otherwise even have the unmitigated gall these days to ask employees to prospectively waive their right to a jury trial in the context of so-called “non-negotiable” employment agreements including severance or other exit agreements, as but one type of egregious example of the foregoing. It is jungle out there. If one is asked to sign an employment severance agreement with jury trial waiver or other exit document on-the-spot, it is entirely fair and within one’s rights to say that “I will need to review this document with my attorney”, or “I don’t sign documents of a legal nature without attorney review”. And, if the proffering party disputes the employee’s right to legal representation, perhaps this is someone that the employee doesn’t want to accommodate anyway, on principle. This country’s entire legal history was predicated, in substantial part, on the rights of the individual, and the individual’s right to counsel. The framers of the Constitution worked hard. It would be a mistake to let them down now.

The next rule is a corollary to the prohibition on “on-the-spot” signing: The employee should never believe the employer, when the employer offers a “standard” form of employment severance agreement or otherwise. An entertainment attorney will tell you that “standard” is the biggest lie in the entertainment industry. It should be considered comparably fallacious in the employment context. If the employee wants to empower himself or herself in the workplace and in the commercial world, what the employee needs to do is repeat the following phrase repeatedly, like a mantra: “There is no such thing as a ‘standard form’. There is no such thing as a ‘standard form'”. Because, there isn’t, as any entertainment lawyer should tell you.

Rather, “standard form”, after an entertainment attorney on the receiving end translates it, just means “get over on you”. Similarly, a “standard form” employment severance document is synonymous for “oppressive and one-sided form that takes advantage of the employee”. The employee should remember that the draftsperson of a so-called “standard form” is probably a fairly predatory-minded employer-side lawyer handling the company’s employment severance protocols en masse who is under absolutely no obligation to protect – or indeed even acknowledge or accommodate – the employee’s interests. Indeed, the opposite is true. The employer-counsel’s professional obligation as a member of the Bar handling the employer-side severance work is to be a zealous advocate of only his or her own client’s interests – that is, the employer’s interests only. If the employee signs an employment severance document because the other side tells the employee it is a “standard” or “non-negotiable” form, then the employee might as well be walking off the roof of the proverbial building just because the employee was told to do it. The employee should not trust “standard forms” in the employment severance context or otherwise, or those employers who purport to furnish them. Again, this may be an entertainment attorney observation, but it applies to all workplaces and other contracting situations as well.

The employee should make sure to have retained copies of every single scrap of paper pertaining to his or her employment relationship with any company, up to and including the time of the severance communications. The employee should not trust or rely upon the employer to give the employee copies of – or even access to – those employment documents and the employee’s human resources file, if and when the employee’s work honeymoon period with the employer ends, or if and when the employee’s services are, or are about to be, terminated in a severance or other context. Remember that the Japanese model of “employment for life”, and the antiquarian U.S. model of the gold watch after 40 years of service, just simply do not apply anymore. Severance and parachutes – and these days the absence of them too – often replace the old model of dutiful loyalty.

Our United States work-force is more mobile and transient than it ever has been. The workforce I see as an entertainment attorney practicing in New York, is most decidedly such a miasma. People change jobs all the time, with or without accompanying employment severance packages and exit agreements. The motility of the workforce, by the way, greatly empowers employees to seek out their market-value salary and non-abusive working conditions – so it is not necessarily a bad thing. As a practical matter, in New York or elsewhere, entertainment industry or otherwise, the employee should work with the assumption that the employee will one day have to depart every job ever taken with or without severance, no matter how rosy the employment picture of any job looks initially. If the employee stays at that job until retirement, more power to the employee. But the employee should realize that the statistics indicate this would be an extremely unlikely occurrence in this day and age given current job-market employment conditions.

The employee should make sure that, prior to any severance scenario, his or her exhaustive, fully-complete “job file” is kept at the employee’s home – not in an office desk drawer, not in the company’s file cabinet – not anywhere near the employment workplace. It is astonishing as to how many employees fail to do this simple thing. The employee should remember that the old-fashioned paradigm of “two weeks advance notice and severance” is rapidly becoming a vestige of the past, particularly in the media employment context as I see it from my vantage-point as an entertainment attorney. Many media, software, and other types of employers will now think nothing of having an employee escorted out of the workplace by a human resources rep, or even by security personnel, the day and even moment the employee is terminated. Usually when this happens, the employee is not smiling and holding a severance check when led out of the building towards the parking lot or subway.

Why is this happening? Because employers are becoming increasingly afraid of disgruntled employee (or ex-employee) theft of company material, misappropriation of software, and even sabotage and violence in rarer cases. The employment misappropriation threat is felt particularly by media and entertainment companies, and unfortunately workplace violence incidents are on the rise everywhere. Some employers see the promise of severance – carrot-on-a-stick illusory, or not, as finally offered – to be a hedge against these risks as well. The moral of the story – the employee should keep perfect and thorough contemporaneous documentation of his or her employment file, at home, well prior to any severance scenario.

The employee should save copies of everything – offer letters, acceptance letters, employment contracts, “non-compete” documents, non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements, employee handbooks, time cards or time sheets, performance reviews, expense and reimbursement forms and receipts, insurance and COBRA documents, inter-office memos relating to work and performance, and anything else relating to the employment relationship with the company. The only exception would be, the employee should not remove any material from the workplace which is the employer’s or someone else’s property, or which the employee is contractually or otherwise obligated not to remove from the place of work. As an entertainment attorney handling production matters, I expect this issue to arise often, since an employee will usually depart while at least some non-fungible projects are still in development or production at the employer’s premises. This question of property ownership, intellectual property and otherwise, is sometimes a more difficult judgment to make than it sounds. If ever in doubt – you guessed it – the employee should seek an attorney’s advice prior to any such removal and prior to the closure of the employment severance or other exit documents.

Prior to the severance scenario materializing, the employee should be making thoughtful dated written notes to the employee’s own files and keep them at home, anytime any legally-relevant event happens during employ – such as a supervisor expressing either approval or disapproval with one’s work, or a fellow employee making suggestive or harassing comments in one’s presence. These written notes should be reduced to writing privately, immediately after the event occurs, as opposed to a day or more later. These written notes should quote what was said verbatim (yes, using actual quotation marks, and accurately). The employee should not let these notes merely rely on paraphrases, if possible.

These written notes should be taken home to the extent allowed and feasible, by the employee, on the date of the event so recorded, and should be stored securely in the employee’s employment file at home until ever needed. One would be surprised to learn just how many otherwise-valid employee-side severance-related and other legal causes must be wholly abandoned, simply for the employee’s idle failure to make a written verbatim record of important workplace conversations. This overall issue arises in the context of employment attorney and entertainment attorney work, though familiar to most all other legal practitioners as well. For legal purposes, the employee must assume that a re-constructive written record made in retrospect the following week instead, or a non-verbatim note, is near-worthless relative to one taken at the moment. What the employee wants is what is known as a “contemporaneous written record” – that means, “at the same time as the occurrence of the event itself”. And yes, for most forensic purposes in the employment context, that also could include a careful verbatim written record made by the employee five minutes after the event ends. The employment severance dialogues themselves, if and when verbal alone, should be reduced to writing by the employee in this fashion, too.

Finally, the last rule is a corollary to some of the others mentioned immediately above: The employee should bring or forward a complete photocopy (not originals) of the employment file which the employee kept at home, to the attorney or attorneys – entertainment attorney or otherwise – that the employee is considering to represent the employee in the negotiation of any employment exit and severance agreement, or any litigation or proceeding for wrongful termination of the employment or otherwise.

The employee should remember that what he or she discloses to an entertainment lawyer or any other attorney is strictly confidential, even if the employee never ends up retaining that lawyer to handle the employment severance or exit agreement or any other work. This rule of confidentiality is a serious and inviolate rule. That lawyer could lose his or her license to practice law, if he or she ever betrays the employee’s confidences. Accordingly, after first making sure that the lawyer doesn’t also represent the employer on the employment severance matter (or even otherwise), the employee should be totally candid and thorough in terms of the facts brought to that lawyer’s attention. The employee should not “screen out” facts that the employee thinks are irrelevant or that the entertainment or employment attorney “would never be interested in”. After all, if the employee is not an attorney himself or herself, he or she could be well wrong about this type of conclusion. It is the attorney’s job, not the employee’s, to filter out the irrelevant from the relevant. The employee should give the lawyer all the raw data. The matter may be the first employment severance deal which the employee has ever lived through, but probably not the lawyer’s.

The employee should cover any packet furnished to his or her actual or intended lawyer with a transmittal letter bearing the legend “Strictly Confidential”, or words to similar effect. That cover letter should include a typewritten or word-processed narrative in the employee’s own words, of all the facts and chronology of the severance or other employment matter about which the attorney is being contacted. The employee should not rely upon an oral soliloquy to make his or her point. Rather, the employee should write it all down, in legible font or typeface, before contacting the lawyer. Again, the employee should ensure, prior to divulging these facts to any such attorney, that the attorney does not already represent the employer or any other party closely affiliated with the employer on the employment severance matter (or even otherwise). It is a small world, and the entertainment and employment law bar in the employee’s locale may be even smaller.

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