Issue 86 - April 2019
News: Worthy-Employment Liability – Resources to Protect Your Agency
Employment liability remains one of the largest exposures facing the Authority’s membership. With exposures leading to employment practice claims increasing over the years due to economic conditions, demographics, and the ever-evolving legal environment, it is important human resource professionals and practitioners effectively navigate the current employment environment.
Human Resources Academy
Human resource issues—including employment liability—impact every public agency in some way. That’s why it’s important to understand the fundamental issues surrounding human resources. To that end, the California JPIA’s Human Resources Academy, April 9-11 in Indian Wells, provided an educational opportunity for human resource professionals to learn about recent trends and management practices to better mitigate their agency’s employment-related exposures.
The Academy provided essential training in basic theory, practical knowledge, and problem-solving techniques presented by the Authority’s subject matter experts. Topics presented and discussed at the Academy included conducting effective workplace investigations, practical tips for reducing your agency’s workers’ compensation costs, legislative and case law updates, and creating a culture of mentoring.
Attendees, including 24 professionals representing 21 member agencies, expressed enthusiasm for the Academy’s content and environment. “I appreciated the comprehensive information presented at the disability management session,” said Lyanne Mendoza, management analyst with the city of Loma Linda. “The workers’ compensation session gave me a significant understanding of the resources and services offered by the Authority.”
“The Academy was a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with other HR professionals. The sessions were relevant and informative. I highly recommend the Academy,” says Deborah Dixon, human resources analyst with the city of Lomita.
The next Human Resources Academy will be offered April 22-23, 2020.
A new resource for members is the Authority’s Employment Hotline! The Employment Hotline! provides members assistance when they send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining their circumstances. That email is received directly by the law firm of Burke, Williams and Sorenson (BWS), the Authority’s strategic partner on this program. BWS will assign an employment attorney and reply to the member via email, commencing the assignment. Generally, these assignments are conducted by way of email exchanges and conference calls. The Authority’s Liability Program Manager
and the member’s assigned regional Risk Manager will oversee all communication. The types of employment matters that this program is designed to encompass include:
- Discipline to include reduced pay, demotion, suspension or termination
- Complaints of harassment or discrimination
- Complex leave issues
- Abusive employees
- Suspicion of embezzlement or other criminal activity
- FEHA or EEOC complaints (although we do not actually handle those matters directly)
- POBR or FOBR matters
- Accommodation issues
Employment Assistance and Intervention Program
The Authority continues to provide employment-related assistance through its Employment Assistance and Intervention Program, designed to supplement the guidance and legal counsel provided by a member’s employment counsel. By engaging one or more of the Authority’s defense attorneys that specialize in employment practices and litigation, the Authority can provide a comprehensive perspective on an employment practices scenario. By working together with a member’s human resources department and employment counsel, this early intervention may limit or even eliminate any potential liability in the areas of harassment and discrimination allegations, adverse employment actions such as suspensions or terminations, leaves of absences, and the interactive process.
For more information about the academies and training offered by the Authority, please contact Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator.
For more information about the Employment Hotline! or the Employment Assistance and Intervention Program, please contact the Authority’s Liability Program Manager, Paul Zeglovitch.< Back to Full Issue Print Article