IN THIS ISSUE:
Welcome to the Fall 2007 edition of our e-newsletter, RESOURCES. We are excited to produce this exciting forum for the communication of issues pertinent and relevant to HR Professionals.
We hope you enjoy the newsletter. It can only get better with your input and comments. If you have any articles for inclusion, comments or requests, please email them to Jim Guynup: KGJ906@aol.com.
by Patrick Hicks, Founding Shareholder and Wesley Shelton, Associate of Littler Mendelson, Las Vegas
Editor's Note: Because of the recent rash of discrimination suits we asked our Legal Advisor Patrick Hicks and Wesley Shelton to enlighten us on what is involved with these suits):
Touching, groping, forced kisses, dirty jokes, pornography. Instruction from a Union official to female iron miners without access to women’s bathrooms: “If you want to work like a man, you got to learn to piss like a man.” As recently portrayed in the film North Country, this behavior is only part of the history of harassment told by female mine workers in the first class action lawsuit for sexual harassment, Jensen v. Eveleth Mines. After ten years of exhausting litigation, Eveleth settled with the female miners for $3.5 million, and ushered in a new era of discrimination awareness.
Federal and State laws prohibit discrimination/ harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (gender), national origin, age or disability. Unfortunately for employers and bona fide victims alike, baseless claims for discrimination by disgruntled employees are common. Therefore, it is important for employers to understand their rights and obligations when receiving a charge of discrimination.
An employee initiates a discrimination claim by filing a charge with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which recently opened an office in Las Vegas. There are two important limitations: (1) the employee must file no later than 180 days or 300 days after the alleged discrimination, depending on the claim and where the charge is filed, and (2) in most cases, the employer must employ 15 or more employees. After receiving a complaint, NERC or the EEOC will notify the employer within 10 working days by certified mail. Usually, the employer must then submit a written position statement describing its side of the facts and law. Employers can find additional information about responding to an EEOC charge at www.eeoc.gov/employers or a NERC charge at www.nvdetr.org.
Both NERC and the EEOC strongly encourage employers to participate in an informal settlement meeting or mediation with a NERC or EEOC investigator. NERC reports that more than half of all disputes are settled through informal settlement meetings. If the dispute is not settled at the informal settlement meeting, NERC or the EEOC will commence a formal investigation. Even if NERC or the EEOC conclude that the evidence shows the employer did not engage in illegal discrimination, the employee may still request a right-to-sue letter and file a lawsuit. However, prior to filing a lawsuit, an employee must exhaust his or her administrative remedies by going through the EEOC or NERC process.
The employee has the initial burden of proof to show that the employer engaged in discrimination. If the employee can produce evidence of disparate treatment, the burden of proof shifts to the employer to show that any disparate treatment was not for an illegal purpose. If the employer is able to show a legitimate reason for its conduct, the burden of proof shifts back to the employee to show that the employer’s explanation is a pretext.
Remedies for discrimination include injunctive relief, lost wages, attorneys fees, compensatory damages, liquidated/double damages and punitive damages up to $300,000.
Patrick H. Hicks is Founding Shareholder of Littler Mendelson’s Las Vegas and Reno offices. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Since the year is moving along so quickly I thought that it would be a good idea to get to know our President-Elect Bud Pierce both on a business and personal level .
Q: How Long have you been involved with SNHRA?
A: I've been a member of SHRM for approx. 20 years and joined SNHRA shortly after relocationg to Las Vegas in June 1997 . My first real involvement with the chapter began with the last national conference in 2001.
Q: Can you share with us how many people are employed at the Library District and what are some of your responsibilities?
A: We have 751 positions throughout the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. My responsibilities encompass providing personal policies & procedures throughout the District, including with the union that represents 95% of our full-time staff.
Q: For a city its size how does the Las Vegas Library District compare with other libraries across the nation?
A: Our Library District is one of the largest and most cutting-edge systems in North America. We stand along side of perhaps less than 25 library systems as large or that serve a population in excess of one million patrons.
Q: Are there any services that the library offers that people may not be aware of?
A: Besides providing basically FREE services to residents,our meeting room facilities are some of the finest in Las Vegas for small groups at an extremely reasonable price, and our six Performing Arts Theatres within the city limits of Las Vegas are unsurpassed in terms of functionality,appeal and access.
Q: Getting back to SNHRA since you will be the President next year do you have any special ideas or plans for the upcoming year that you would like members to be aware of?
A: One of my plans for next year presidency in SNHRA is to continue the task of increasing the presence of the Chapter locally by reaching out to other organizations to partner with in our business community.
As a example, SNHRA is finally solidifying a strong partnership with the Southern Nevada Hispanic Employment Program (SNHEP) Council by supporting its mission to assist at-risk kids in futhering their education by providing job-readiness training at the high school level and by furnishing college scholarships to these kids as they graduate.
This is only one example of the kinds of outreach that will develop SNHRA into a truly viable organization in the Vegas Valley. We are a large group of successful business professions, and by offering back to our community it will serve to make our organization much stronger.
Q: What do you do to unwind from the stressful work week?
A: My favorite thing about Las Vegas is the vitality of the city itself- the life it takes on and the energy of this place. I travel some throughout the year usually attending three of four conferences and there is no other place like it anywhere.
Q: Who are some of your favorite Las Vegas Entertainers?
A: We don't go to a lot of shows in town,but two that really stand out for me are Danny Ganns and Barry Manilow. My wife and I had a great time seeing both of these wonderful entertainers.
Q: Las Vegas needs to improve in -----------------------
A: Las Vegas needs to improve in a couple of areas in my estimation-schools and roads. Our infastructure of transportation is inadquate at best. Having worked many year for the Kansas Department of Transportation, I have some awareness of what it takes to plan,design and construct a viable network of highways and roads to serve a population.
Editor note: SNHRA would like to welcome Meredith Johnson of United Staffing as shares with us news about United Staffing and also some of her personal thoughts:
Q: Meredith tell us a little about United Staffing Associates
A: United Staffing Associates is a full service employment agency. We provide temporary,temp to hire and direct placement services. We currently have one location here in Las Vegas and seven in California.
We are a 5 year old company. We specialize in many diverse divisions. They are : Clerical, Accounting, Customer service, call center,Sales/Telemarketing,Warehouse, Laborer, Manufacturing and Administrative.
Q: Why did you chose to just recently join SNHRA?
A: To learn about new up and coming laws and regulations in the Human Resource arena.
Q:What do you feel is one of the greatest needs for Las Vegas is?
A: Las Vegas needs to have more resources for people that need jobs
I think there are a lot of resources like Job Connect and all the other staffing agencies that are doing a good job. But I would love to see more of the employment newspapers that would reach more people with open job positions posted
Q: Tell us a little about you:
A: Besides providing excellent staffing solutions to companies,I am a musician! I have been playing guitar and harmonica. I compose my own music and love to sing. I enjoy helping people in general. I am a honest person and believe that in order to succeed in business and personal,you need to be honest about everything!!! I take pride in that! I love life and take it one day at a time! I have lived in Las Vegas for over 15 years and I adore the city.
Q: Meredith who will be the next President?
A: I think Hilary Clinton will be our next US President.
SNHRA's Fall Mixer is being held at Cili on October 25, 2007. The event is a benefit for United Healthcare Children's Foundation (UHCF), sponsored by Custom Benefit Consultants in celebration of their 10 year anniversary.
The party is titled "DecadeFuture" to represent the 10 years of CBC's Service "Decade" and the aspect of fundraising for children, our "Future". Click here to find out more and to rsvp.
There is no direct charge to members/guests for the mixer in lieu of donations to UHCF.
In a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, hiring managers and human resource professionals across the nation shared the most unusual résumé blunders they've come across in their careers. Top slip-ups from the survey included:
Applicant attached a letter from her mother.
Applicant specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday and Sunday was "drinking time."
Applicant explained that he works well nude.
Applicant explained an arrest by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."
Applicant drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said it was the hiring manager's gift.
Applicant explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.
Note from the Editor:
How about making a New Year"s Resoultion of expanding the cultural horizons in your family? Please Call me at: 688-3406 or E-Mail me at KGJ906@aol.com to learn more about having an exchange student for the 2nd semester with the student matched to your interests.
Thanks, Jim Guynup
I hope that you all enjoy and find the articles contained within useful for your HR environment. Many thanks to all of you who so quickly responded to my requests for this newsletter. If you have anything you wish to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to email me at KGJ906@aol.com.
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Newsletter: October 2007 Issue