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					MAY/JUNE 2003
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VOLUME 12, Issue 9

HReSource
A newsletter for members and friends of the

MetroWest Human Resource Management Association 18th annual “Legal Issues and Updates for Human Resource Professionals” June 17, 2003
This seminar will be presented by attorneys (including our Program Chair, Mark Whitney) from Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, a law firm specializing in representing employers in the area of labor and employment law (www.morganbrown.com). This full-day presentation offers a comprehensive employment law update presented in a unique way and formatted for various levels of HR experience. The program will be held at the Clark University Graduate Management Center, 1671 Worcester Rd. (Route 9) in Framingham. For directions and information, contact the MetroWest HRMA at 508-655-0808 or by email at mwhradmin@netzero.net. The fee for the program (including buffet lunch) is MWHRMA Members $95.00 Non-Members $135.00 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. Check in and continental breakfast. 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. “The Human Resources Compliance Audit - Getting The Most Protection From Your Company’s Policies, Practices and Procedures” - Designed for both veteran and new human resource professionals, this seminar will give you a roadmap to audit your practices that will help ensure your company’s compliance with the law. A comprehensive handout will be presented to each participant. Topics that will be covered in the morning include audits of: ¦ The Hiring Process ¦ The Employee Handbook ¦ Personnel Policies ¦ ¦ Wage and Hour Compliance ¦ Performance Management Practices ¦ Investigation of Complaints ¦ Procedures for Employee Discipline ¦ Employee Termination ¦ 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. This portion of the afternoon session will be comprised of our traditional review of developments in the law, except that the presenters will relate the legal developments with the morning session’s focus on HR audits. Legislative/Regulatory Update - A review of the most significant federal and state legislative and regulatory developments, including the new HIPAA privacy and wage and hour regulations. Case Law Review - Our presenters will track through selected decisions from state and federal courts that will most affect the HR professional during the coming year. 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Two breakout opportunities will be offered which are designed to provide attendees the opportunity to explore both detailed information and strategic planning aspects regarding employment law issues. Because both sessions will be Q&A sessions, you have the opportunity to ask questions that concern you specifically. You will be asked to provide your questions in advance of the seminar.
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SPONSORED BY: Clark University Graduate Management Center, 1671 Worcester
Rd. Framingham, MA 01701. NOW offering a Graduate Human Resource Certificate for Today’s HR Professional. For more information please contact Marty Breinlinger at 508-793-7212 or visit our website at www.copace.clarku.edu.

How (if at all) has SARS affected your organization?
The recent outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) cases has impacted some business practices regionally and globally. What changes are companies implementing to address this issue? SHRM conducted a survey during the week of April 29 through May 5, 2003, regarding organizational responses to SARS. When asked, “How (if at all) has SARS affected your organization?” respondents answered with the following: · 69 percent reported no effect. · 20 percent reported cuts back in employee business travel. · 12 percent reported providing literature to employees. · 5 percent arranged for medical/health personnel to speak to employees. · 4 percent reported increased use in video conferencing to educate staff about SARS. · 1 percent reported curtailed product shipments to/from affected regions. · 1 percent said they closed offices in affected region.

The survey was based on the response of 423 human resource professionals with an error rate of +/- 4.5 percent. Provided by The Society for Human Resource Management.

MetroWest HRMA

2002 - 2003 SEMINAR SCHEDULE
FEBRUARY 11, 2003 Annual Wage and Hour, FLSA and FMLA Review and Update Performance Management, Effective Discipline, and Terminations Workplace Discrimination Training Substance Abuse in the Workplace Annual Employment Law Update

SEPTEMBER 17, 2002 ANNUAL MEETING and Managing the Angry Employee OCTOBER 22, 2002 Second Annual Inside the MCAD: How it Works and How it Affects You NOVEMBER 19, 2002 DECEMBER 10, 2002 Who are you hiring? The Ups and Downs of Unemployment Insurance HR Case Studies Program

MARCH 18, 2003

APRIL 15, 2003 MAY 20, 2003

JANUARY 21, 2003

JUNE 17, 2003

For additional information, please visit the calendar section of our website at www.metrowesthrma.com

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EQUAL PAY STILL THE TOPIC DU JOUR IN THE WORKPLACE
You may have missed the "celebration" of Equal Pay Day in April (yes, there is indeed such a day and it wasn't invented by greeting card companies or flower delivery services). But you better not miss the boat when it comes to actual equal pay practices. These companies did and they're drowning in courtroom misery. * A female factory worker claimed she was making less than male workers who started at the same time she did and worked in the same position. Her EEOC-backed lawsuit garnered her $3.8 million. (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., D.C. AL, No. 99-CV-3137, 2003) * After a company audit revealed a female manager was underpaid in comparison to her male predecessor, her salary was substantially increased. Still not enough, she claimed in court. Buoyed by a statistical expert, her claim was judged worthy by a jury that awarded her $2.27 million. (Hemmings v. Tidyman's, Inc., 9th Cir., No. 9935932, 2002) * For seven years, a black labor relations rep was paid less than her three white co-workers in the same job. When she found the discrepancy and sued, an initial court ruled she was too late with the accusation. An appeals court reversed and allowed her to proceed, ruling that each paycheck that delivered less money than her colleagues constituted a new claim. (Goodwin v. General Motors Corp., 10th Cir., No. 01-3019, 2002) The courts are not the only venue for equal pay activity. Earlier this spring, two pay equity bills were reintroduced in Congress. The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.1688) would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by allowing women to sue for punitive damages as well as the compensatory damages now available. The Fair Pay Act (S.841) would require equal pay for work of equal value, not just when the jobs were the same. Ensuring Equal Pay Practices Every day must be equal pay day at your workplace. So consider these steps to make sure you never stray over the legal or legislative line for pay practices. 1. Review your compensation system early and often. Check that all standards are consistent across the board, based solely on job tasks, skills, efforts, and responsibilities, not the individuals who perform them. 2. Review perceptions. You may believe your system is unbiased, but over the years, discrepancies may have crept in. Pretend you are an outside third party analyzing your company's pay practices. Would perception line up with reality? 3. Put all pay program criteria in writing, especially involving bonuses, commissions, etc. Specify pay rates and raise criteria so no one can read unintended bias into your results. 4. Keep careful compensation records, and regularly review them. Make sure they contain explanations for any anomalies, like a higher-than-usual starting salary based on experience, or a raise triggered by an exceptional achievement. 5. Ask for help. Keep an open mind and an open door to gain input from all layers in your workforce -colleagues, subordinates, supervisors, other department managers, top executives. If anyone spies a loophole, you can then plug it before it becomes a legal tidal wave.

From Alexander Hamilton Institute, Inc., May 20, 2003, www.ahipubs.com

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MWHRMA BOARD MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS
Cheryl Cushman, President & Chair of the Board Cushman and Graham Maura Grossman, Secretary Grafton Suburban Credit Union Mike Sabin, Administrator Bay State Advisors, Inc. Dianne Davidson, Editor Human Resource Partners, Inc. Gregg Andonian, Membership Chair Beantown Benefits Debbie Bercume, SHRM Coordinator CMEA The Employers Association
HReSource is published by the MetroWest HRMA, 12 West Central Street, Natick, MA 01760. Dianne Davidson, Editor, 508-655-0808.

Rana Hosseini, Vice President & Benefits Coordinator Apex Benefits Consultants, Inc. Kathleen Mahoney, Treasurer Middlesex Savings Bank Mary Hassan, Diversity Coordinator First Act, Inc. Mark Whitney, Esq., Program Chair Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP Bob Murphy, Past Chair (Ex-officio) Human Resource Partners, Inc.

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