You may or may not have heard of this trend.Currently Sick Leave Banks are most popular in government agencies and higher education yet it seems that many companies are considering this type of program.
Sick Leave Banks are programs designed with the best of intentions, one employee donating unused sick leave to another employee in need.Some programs use direct donations from one employee to another and others pool all donations and then hand out as requested.
The following thinking points can help you decide if Sick Leave Banks are for your company.
Consider the extra time and cost to administer this program versus the benefits of the program.
If donating from one employee directly to another:Can it be misconstrued as unfair when the next person makes a request and no one donates? What about employees that aren’t so “popular” or misuse or abuse the system?
What will be done if the employee(s) that donated become ill or have an accident? Are you willing to say “NO” to additional time because they were generous and donated all their sick leave and there is none in the bank?
How will you handle people who feel pressured by others to donate (because that will happened whether it is internal or external pressure)?
What about that employee that you would be glad to have leave because of poor job performance?
Be aware that there are some question marks about how the ADA thinks about Sick Leave Banks and what is considered reasonable accommodation or undue hardship…this could open up a really bad can of worms if someone raised the issue.
If you have more than 49 employees:How will the Sick Leave Bank impact FMLA? FMLA is meant for situations like this and because most employers can’t hold a job forever. FMLA draws the line relatively succinctly and is applied to everyone fairly. If the employee is terminated because FMLA leave is exhausted then they can always reapply when the issue is over. Good former employees always head the list when hiring!
This type of program has nothing but the best of intentions behind it.Yet after considering all the above it may be more beneficial to let the employees take up donations to help financially challenged co-workers.
Are Your Personnel Files a Loaded Keg?
Expert witness work taught me one thing for sure.Don’t EVER let your personnel files be the dumping ground for stuff you don’t know where else to put. Not only are you running the risk of violating HIPPA and several other laws regardingprivacy, you could also be setting your bank up to lose an unlawful termination claim. And who ever thought we’d have to guard data against identity theft?
First some fundamentals:Are the files kept in a fireproof, secure location?Is it clear who has access to a file?Is there a consistent policy on whether an employee can see their own file?Is there set of guidelines as to what can be placed in a file?Can an employee bring documents to be put in the file? How long will information be kept?And that’s the short list!
Employers keep at least two separate personnel files these days.The main personnel file contains employee performance information and the medical/confidential file that contains protected, non-job-related or confidential information. Documents that include medical information, Social Security numbers, or other protected class information (including but not limited to age, race, gender, national origin, disability, marital status, need for religious accommodation) should be filed elsewhere.Any EEO collection data should be maintained separate from personnel files and I-9’s should be kept together and in one place.
Here are some general guidelines for determining where documents should be filed.In the main personnel file, keep records such as the job application, theoffer letter (remember this is required by the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act), handbook acknowledgement, performance evaluations, and records certifying attendance forrequiredtraining on subjects such as unlawful harassment.
Most experts warn against keeping these in the main file:I-9’s and any copies of identification, investigation notes and reports, any drug test results, payroll records containing SSN’s or other protected information including W 4’s and garnishments, medical or confidential records, and anything that has protected information such as date of birth.And of course, benefit information and absence documentation (FMLA and non FMLA) or anything related to Worker’s Compensation.
Most companies find it best to develop an internal set of guidelines on the basics for personnel file management.
As published on the West Virginia Banker Association's website.
I love West Virginia and don’t think you could find a better place to live.And I definitely want us to help people, but the resources to do it have to be there first, just like the way we do our family budgets.
Sometimes I just don’t get our legislature . . . we can barely afford to pay for the unemployment compensation system we currently have and look at what they want to do!
(Excerpt from an email sent out by the WV Chamber of Commerce)
Senate Bill 310 passed out of Senate Labor Committee today. It broadens eligibility for unemployment compensation to include:
1)Part-time employees to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits
2)Employees who have left employment due to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
3)Employees who have left employment to care for disabled or ill immediate family members to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
4)Employees who have left employment due to the transfer or relocation of a spouse to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
I’ll keep you posted in my blog, but geesh!
Keep Your Team Informed!
You can run the jazziest ads in town. But if employees can’t provide clients and prospects with accurate information, you won’t win and retain the business. Employees need to know who, what, when, where, why, and how your institution is marketing products and services. Employees need these essentials before they are public knowledge.
When employees say Gosh, I’m not familiar with thatpeople lose interest. Furthermore, they lose respect for your company and its ability to provide professional, knowledgeable service.
To keep your team informed, regularly review your company’s…
Web site.Walk your team through any website changes during meetings. This helps give employees a hands-on feel.
Intranet.Available only to employees, an intranet is often used as a central repository for training material, product information, marketing promotions, and newsletters.
Newsletters.This includes internal and external newsletters.
Marketing literature.Make sure employees see everything the public gets. This includes statement stuffers, brochures, and direct mail pieces. Also, alert your staff to ads – print and other media.
TIP:Create a book with copies of everything that goes out to clients. Include even direct mail pieces restricted to certain zip codes, as recipients can show up at any location.
Policies, procedures, and disclosure statements.This type of information can influence how a product or service works, eligibility, fees, restrictions, etc. Keeping current with procedural and regulatory requirements is all part of being a providing great service.
Lana Chandler shared this article from her February edition of Branch Manager's Letter.
Executive coaching is fulfilling for me because it’s almost always an opportunity to work with a supersmart person and perhaps tap some of their unrealized talent. That means I get to learn something every time too.
I’m finding that several of them have what I’ve named the “HG Syndrome”.
You’ll recall that I’ve been intrigued by the Holly Graf derailment because she had it all. Navy Academy graduate (etc.) plus she had so many people who wanted to help her experience the full scope of her abilities and she ignored them all. Her superiors, subordinates, friends, enemies, family, peers, casual acquaintances, and even strangers all tried to tell her that she would never win her co-workers respect by insulting, demeaning, and humiliating them. (She allegedly even put one of them in time out). And to top it all off, she used curse words that made sailors blush!! Now that’s saying something.
But Holly was absolutely certain that everyone was either out to get her, picking on her because she’s female, lying because they were envious of her success or had some other hidden agenda for getting in the way of her success.
Yet, when you boil it all down, it was all about her choice. She could be right about all that, or she could be effective. And it was more important to her to be right about how she saw herself than it was to be the best commander the Navy ever had.
Some of my clients are doing the same thing. Absolutely brilliant people with enormous academic achievements, prominent credentials, well known for their expertise. And there are lots of people in their circle telling them that if they made a few minor adjustments, they would double their odds for success. Yet, they see themselves as the exception, the one person who nobody understands. The fact is, they’re the ones who don’t get it.
I hope I can help them see it. Their companies would gain so much if the individual would just look at the information they are receiving a little differently. Sure, there may be some people who don’t wish them well and contrive to make them look bad. But that doesn’t explain why so many had a negative opinion of her.
That brings to mind an incident from my early career when I worked at One Valley Bank. Super smart woman but not good with people. HR got quite a few complaints about her. My boss could never get her to understand he was trying to help by telling her she needed to improve her people skills. She always had a reason the others were wrong. They weren’t used to people from the north, employees thought she was being snooty because she didn’t greet them with “Hey” when passing them in the hall. (I remember her saying she “absolutely deplored” hearing people say that.) -- that the people at the bank were too unsophisticated to understand when she used three syllable words.
And then my boss used a phrase I’ll never forget: “I know you think these complaints aren’t valid, but ten thousand One Valley Bankers can’t be wrong”.
Too bad she never got it. She has a job now that’s about 5 levels below what she is capable of and she’s the one who made that choice. But at least she gets to tell herself that she was right.
I’ve learned a new writing technique that you might benefit from. I’ve never had much confidence in my writing skills because someone may think “boy she’s stupid” or “Who does she think she is?” And of course my fear of reaction blocks my ability to put down on paper what could be some good ideas.
And then along came Debbie.
Actually Debbie and I worked together early in our careers but once she moved away we lost touch. And then a couple of years ago I needed help on a project and she was able to make sense of a mess and make it look good. That gradually grew and now she’s an integral part of DeemHR.
She does marvelous work, and she helps bring out the best in me by being very supportive of the things I write. She’ll send me little notes – “That was funny” or “you should publish this”.
So now, when I want to share some good information, I imagine I’m writing to Debbie. The words just flow. I don’t relentlessly ponder whether something makes sense, or if I explained it well, or the odds of someone thinking I’m stupid. I just write.