Tag Archives: sexual harassment

Questions For Andrew Puzder, Trump Nominee for Labor Secretary

 

(Post by Rick Dacri, January 12, 2017)

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President-Elect Trump has nominated Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor. Puzder is a successful businessperson, lawyer, and CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast food chain’s Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

The mission of Labor is “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.” They are also responsible for investigating minimum wage violations, overtime infractions, and worker safety laws.

Puzder has taken positions in opposition to many of the regulations the DOL oversees, including the federal minimum wage, worker eligibility for overtime, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and sick leave polices.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to begin confirmation hearings on Puzder in February.

I have put together 18 questions that I believe the Senate should ask the nominee:

  1. What qualifies you to be the next Secretary of Labor?
  2. You have opposed the raising of the federal minimum wage. Why? What do you believe is an adequate minimum wage?
  3. You indicated a proposed $15 minimum wage would force businesses to automate their operations and thereby eliminate jobs. Do you believe that a minimum wage increase drives the need for automation or is automation a tool for productivity? If wages collapsed, would businesses stop automating?
  4. According to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO pay has grown 90 times faster than the typical worker pay since 1978. Due to this unequal growth, average top CEOs now make over 300 times what typical workers earn. Do believe wage disparity is a problem in this country and what, if anything, should Labor or the Trump administration do about this?
  5. The Department of Labor oversees the federal wage and hour division, which ensures that workers are paid for all the hours they work. Yet in California, your franchise restaurants have been fined over $20 million for wage and hour violations. Can you address this issue and what steps did you take to remedy this problem in franchises you control. Secondly, what steps will the DOL take, under your reign, to enforce wage and hour laws?
  6. A Roc United survey given to your franchise store employees in California, found that a third of those employees were not given meal breaks after working at least 5 hours, in violation of the state’s worker break laws. 79% said they also served or prepared food while they were sick. Can you address these issues and what steps did you take to remedy these problems in franchises you control. Secondly, what steps will the DOL take, under your reign, to enforce break laws?
  7. You are also on record opposing sick leave policies, yet many workers in your franchise restaurants are preparing and serving food while sick. Are you concerned about endangering both your customers and employees? Should sick leave laws be mandated?
  8. Bloomberg did an investigation of your company’s franchises. They found that in 60% of the DOL investigations in your restaurants, there were minimum wage and overtime violations. Again, can you address this issue and what steps did you take to remedy this problem? Secondly, what steps will the DOL take, under your reign, to enforce wage and hour laws?
  9. President-Elect Trump has indicated he supports 6 weeks of paid maternity leave. You have stated that mandatory leave creates undue burdens on business. How directly do leaves create a burden, and as Labor Secretary, will you support or ignore the President-Elect’s initiative?
  10. According to a review of inspection records with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2000, the year your took over as chief executive of CKE, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. locations have incurred at least 98 safety violations, 36 of them listed as serious. OSHA defines a “serious” violation as one that could result in death or grave physical harm that the employer should have been aware of. Can you address this issue and what steps did you take to remedy this problem in franchises you control? Secondly, since OSHA and worker safety fall under DOL’s responsibility, what steps will the DOL take to enforce these laws?
  11. Your company has introduced commercials that include women wearing skimpy bikinis and lingerie while eating burgers. In response, you stated in a 2015 Entrepreneur interview, “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.” My questions, is this your personality, as you stated? Do you believe these ads objectify women? What kind of tone does this set in your workplaces?
  12. 2/3 of female workers in restaurants operated by you, claim that they have been sexually harassed by your customers. Many employees indicated that these customers mentioned those ads. Were you aware of this and what is your plan to address this?
  13. Do you believe that sexual harassment in the workplace is a legitimate issue and what steps should employers take to eradicate it?
  14. Are there any federal labor laws that you would eliminate and if so, which ones and why?
  15. Do you believe there are any new labor laws that should be initiated? What are they and why are they needed?
  16. President-Elect Trump stated that he would like to eliminate unemployment compensation fraud. How big a problem is it and how could you eliminate it? Please be specific.
  17. You have opposed the Affordable Care Act. What specifically is the problem with the Act? Are their components of it that you would like to keep? What would you replace the Act with, what would it cover and not cover, and will it be cheaper than the current ACA?
  18. You have stated that we should cut government benefit programs because workers turn down promotions to keep such benefits, such as food stamps. Please explain this and tell us how wide-spread a problem this is?

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NEW How To Make Managing Easy Webinar Series

This program has been postponed

Answers to

Complex Workplace Issues Managers Struggle With new 2

 Five, 60-Minute Webinars

Begins Wednesday, April 20 @ 2PM ET

Ask any manager what’s the hardest part of their job and you’ll hear the same thing: “Managing People!”

Not the technical aspects of their job, not the budgeting, or even the dealing with customers. It’s the people aspect of it. Managing people is just plain hard.

And it is. You can read a lot of articles and books discussing the theory of management, but when you’re face to face with an employee, theory, fads and the latest gimmicks go flying out the window, so you better really know what to do.

For over 25 years I’ve advised managers and supervisors on what to do and say when faced with an employee. I’ve always provided practical, understandable and uncomplicated techniques designed to deal with the situation, making the job as a manager easier and ultimately making managers better at their jobs. And it works. I know because managers repeatedly tell me I’ve helped. And I even wrote a book about it, which you can get.

I know that when you understand what you have to do, how to do it and what to say (and not say) to your employees, you can ultimately improve overall performance, solve problems, and make your job as a manager easier. And that’s what this webinar series is all about.

  • Manage your people well, and they become happier and more productive.
  • Manage your people poorly, and performance tanks and your life is miserable.

In these 5, information packed webinars, I’ll show you how making a few essential changes and improvements to how you manage will vastly increase your effectiveness as a manager.

The 5 webinars in the “How To Make Managing Easy” series include:

  1. How to Quickly Cut Your Workers’ Compensation Costs April 20 @ 2PM

Includes role of supervisor in controlling cost; 7 steps to reduce W/C costs; spotting & preventing fraud; creating a post-injury response program; managing claims; benefits of light duty; developing a relationship with a medical provider and insurer; getting employees to return to work; and more

 

2.How to Deal with Substance Abuse & Use May 4 @ 2PM

Includes awareness of issue; performance versus diagnosis; medical marijuana; drug testing; reasonable suspicion rules; DOT requirements; drug free policies; role of supervisor; and more

 

3. How to Control Ten Difficult Conversations May 18 @ 2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; 11 steps to stress free conversations; handling emotional employees; topics: absenteeism/tardiness; poor performance; inappropriate dress; insubordination; raise in pay denial; and more

 

4. How to Discipline, Terminate & Win at Unemployment June 2 @2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; differences between discipline, counseling, coaching; lay off vs. firing vs. quitting; airtight documentation; what disqualifies an employee from collecting; how to lose an unemployment claim; what happens at a hearing; and more

5. How To Create a Respectful Work Culture June 15 @ 2PM

Includes the warning signs for discrimination, harassment & bullying; what managers & supervisors must do to foster a respectful culture; how to model respectful behaviors;  scripts/talking points when talking to an alleged victim; requirements under the law; investigating a claim; addressing “he said/she said;” and more

 Here’s what you’ll learn from these 5 webinars:

  • How to quickly spot, understand and manage employee issues
  • How to confront problem employees & resolve tough issues, including attitude, performance and behavior
  • How to provide honest feedback
  • What the words you should use (“the script”) when talking to an employee
  • How to avoid stepping on a legal landmine
  • What systems and polices must you have in place & what should they include
  • What can you expect at an unemployment hearing & how you should respond
  • How to spot and address workers’ compensation fraud
  • How to handle an employee who threatens to sue
  • What to do if you suspect an employee has been drinking
  • And much, much more

Each 60-minute webinar is filled with real life examples and scripts to follow. Prior to each session and right after, you will be able to call or email me with your specific questions and feedback.

Total Cost? $125 for each individual webinar or $500 for all five, a $125 savings (20% off).

Clients of Dacri & Associates enjoy an additional 10% off. Not a bad investment for something that will dramatically make a difference in how you manage.

And yes, you can sign up for 1 or 2 or all 5 webinars if you want.

I hope you’ll join us.

Each webinar will be limited to the first 25 who sign up. They will be approximately 60 minutes in length.

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To register, call me at 207-229-5954 or email me at rick@dacri.com.

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Rick Dacri

 Rick

President

Dacri & Associates, LLC

207-229-5954 (Cell)

rick@dacri.com

www.dacri.com

 

P.S. Can’t make it to the live sessions? No problem, go ahead and sign up anyway. I will be recording (audio and visual) each session and each registrant will receive a link to the recording within 24 hours after the session is over.

P.P.S. Be one of the first three to sign up and I’ll send you a copy of my book Uncomplicating Management.How To Make Managing Easy

Uncomplicating Management

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Sexual Harassment Outside of the Workplace

(Post by Rick Dacri, September 25, 2015)

UnknownThe issue of sexual harassment just won’t go away. Most employers work hard to make sure that they develop a workplace culture of respect, where issues of harassment are not tolerated. But it is hard enough to constantly monitor behaviors in the workplace. Do you also have to scrutinize your employees actions outside? This is a question I frequently get from clients and unfortunately, the answers is often “maybe.”

The law may apply to harassment that occurs between co-workers that takes place outside the workplace. When the conduct complained of occurs outside of the workplace, consider the following factors in assessing whether the conduct constitutes sexual harassment:

  1. Whether the event at which the conduct occurred is linked to the workplace in any way, such as at an employer-sponsored function;
  2. Whether the conduct occurred during work hours;
  3. The severity of the alleged outside-of-work conduct;
  4. The work relationship of the complainant and alleged harasser, which includes whether the alleged harasser is a supervisor and whether the alleged harasser and complainant come into contact with one another on the job;
  5. Whether the conduct adversely affected the terms and conditions of the complainant’s employment or impacted the complainant’s work environment.

If you become aware of a situation or if a complaint is presented, take it seriously. Listen to the complainant. Evaluate the situation. Contact the Dacri HR HelpLine or your attorney to determine your next steps. Just because the actions took place outside of work, does not mean the harassment did not occur. And remember, if it is determined to be harassment or not, the impact of the situation is sure to bleed into your workplace, impacting your employees, productivity and employee relations.

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6 Sexual Harassment Warning Signs

Unknown-1(Post by Rick Dacri, September 24, 2015)

When discussing sexual harassment, I am frequently asked what to watch for to determine whether harassment might be occurring in their workplace. It is a problem for managers, who are rightfully concerned about it, but can’t be everywhere all the time.

As a manager, you might not be present when an alleged incident of sexual harassment takes place. But, some warning signs may point to potential problems. Here are a few things you should watch for:

  1. Whispered sexual comments and staring when members of the opposite sex pass by.
  2. People frequently gather and tell sexual jokes, stories, or make innuendos.
  3. Employees are subjected to sexual looks, stares, leering or ogling.
  4. Sexually explicit materials, screen savers, pictures, or calendars are in the workplace.
  5. There is deliberate touching, cornering, back rubs or leaning over individuals.
  6. Employees get addressed in a sexual manner.

Management Principal: Make clear to your employees that harassment by supervisors, co-workers and third parties will not be tolerated and that reporting objectionable behavior will not result in any form or retaliation–even when the harasser is a key person in the organization.

So what should you do to ensure that they have a harassment free workplace? There are five key steps to take:

  1. Send the message loud and clear to all employees (and vendors, customers, and visitors) that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated here. And if it does occur, it will be dealt with swiftly and severely.
  2. Model respectful behavior. Position and power does not mean dominance and disrespect. Productive companies value and respect all their employees, regardless of their position or gender. They foster a culture that can best be described as egalitarian.
  3. Train all managers annually on harassment prevention and investigation procedures. Educate all employees on harassment with a clear message that we won’t tolerate it, but if it occurs we will protect you and we will do something about it.
  4. Have clear policy in place—and make sure that everyone reads it and understands it. There must never be any question in anyone’s mind about the company’s position and everyone must know what will happen if harassment occurs.
  5. Train everyone in interpersonal communications and conflict resolution. Give employees the tools to address problems as they occur—but always provide them with a safety net if they can’t resolve the issue.

    There is no place in the workplace for harassment. Employers and employees need to get that.

If you need assistance developing a sexual harassment prevention program or want training for your managers, call me. I can help.

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Maine Mandates Sexual Harassment Training

hammer1(Post by Rick Dacri, June 16, 2014)

Maine is one of three states nationally that mandates sexual harassment training for all their employees (California and Connecticut are the other two). Many other states, like Massachusetts, strongly encourage it.

Under Maine law, employers with at least 15 employees must conduct training for all its new employees within one year of their start date. Additional training for supervisors and managers is required within one year of becoming a supervisor or manager.

Training for all employees must include:

  1. notice that sexual harassment is illegal
  2. a definition of sexual harassment
  3. a description of sexual harassment utilizing examples
  4. a description of any internal compliant process available
  5. a description of the Maine Human Rights Commission complaint process
  6. a statement that any complainant will be protected against retaliation

Supervisory training must include everything that is included in the employee training plus clarification of the supervisor’s responsibilities and methods for prevention and correcting sexual harassment.

While Maine only requires that initial training, I have found that those organizations that regularly (usually annually) train and educate their managers and employees rarely have harassment claims and enjoy a respectful and productive workforce.

Call me if you would like to learn more about training and your responsibilities under the law and if you would like to schedule training for your company. For a description of my online supervisory training program, click Training.

Incidentally, the Maine Human Rights Commission has included Rick Dacri on their “Sexual Harassment Trainers Referral List.”

Other posts you may want to read:

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Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Webinar

workplaceharassment-225Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Webinar

For Managers and Supervisors

July 9 at 9AM

 

Claims of sexual harassment continue to be in the news on nearly a daily basis. A sexual harassment problem can disrupt your organization, scar lives, ruin reputations, and send employee morale plummeting and lawyer fees soaring.

For the past 20 years, I have trained hundreds of managers and supervisors in harassment prevention…always at a company setting. While I will continue to do this, many managers would like to like this same program offered online, for all of their managers and supervisors to hear. To meet that need I am introducing:

 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Webinar

For Managers and Supervisors

July 9 at 9AM

This 60-minute webinar-based sexual harassment prevention program is designed to teach managers and supervisors to recognize behaviors and situations that could lead to claims of harassment. They will learn their legal responsibilities, how to respond to workplace situations, and most importantly, how to create an environment where harassment does not exist.

The value of this program to you will be that your managers will know:

  • How to eliminate harassment claims;
  • How to handle to any potential claims;
  • How to prevent claims of retaliation;
  • How to assist any victims of harassment;
  • How to conduct an investigation; and
  • How to implement an effective prevention program.

By training your management and supervisory staff, you will demonstrate your commitment to a harassment free workplace—a critical piece in defending your organization against any potential harassment claim. And many states, like Maine and Connecticut, mandate sexual harassment training while others, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, “strongly encourage it.”

The cost of the program is $200 for an individual and $400 for a company with unlimited participants. To enroll, simply give me a call at 207-967-0837 or send me an email at rick@dacri.com. It’s that simple. Once enrolled, I’ll send you your webinar log-in information.

Added bonus:

I will also provide you a model Sexual Harassment Policy that meets all state and federal requirements and a copy of the training program slides.

I hope you’ll register now. Again, send me an email to rick@dacri.com or call me direct at 207-967-0837.

 P.S. Still have questions? Just send me an email or give me a call (my direct line: 207-967-0837), and I’ll be happy to address and questions or concerns you may have.

P.P.S Hurry, as this program will fill fast. And, if you prefer to offer our onsite training at your facility, give me a call and we can schedule it.

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Cultural Issues Makes Employee Uncomfortable

imagesThis question came in from one of Dacri’s HR HelpLine clients.

Question: I have a male international worker who has made one of my female non-international worker uncomfortable with some of the comments he has made to her. I am going to address this with him, but I want to make sure I handle this correctly. Some of the comments were how she needs to learn to cook for her husband and the like. She said he also has an attitude that she can’t handle some of the tasks because she is female. I know the Jamaican culture is quite different from here, so I want to let him know that he is making her uncomfortable without discounting what he believes to be true…Any insight you can provide, will be most helpful.

Expert Advice: While it is important to be sensitive to different cultures and an individuals personal beliefs, that does not give anyone license to espouse their beliefs to all. I would pull him aside, let him know that you have something to discuss with him that may make him uncomfortable, but his comments (walk him through them) are making some people uncomfortable. Let him know that this kind of language is unacceptable in the workplace and you expect it to stop immediately. At this point, stop talking and wait for his response. Assuming it goes well (it should), tell him you hope this is the end of it. Then, document your discussion. Let the female employee know you’ve talked to him and let her know if it happens again to let you know immediately. If it does happen again, I recommend a formal written warning, but let’s further discuss at that point.

It is important to be sensitive to cultural issues, but in this case, his comments are making your other employee very uncomfortable. After you address this, follow-up with the female employee in a few days to be sure everything is OK.

If you would like to learn more about Dacri’s HR HelpLine service, where you can get all your workforce questions answered, click HR HelpLine.

Other posts you may want to read:

  1. HR HelpLine: When You Need Expert Advice
  2. Body Odor: It’s a Problem Supervisors Must address
  3. Medical Marijuana: Hospitality Issues

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