Blog Archives

For some reason last week, my Facebook feed was full of people complaining about the fact that it was Monday and they had to go back to work.  It was a little unusual to see so many posts complaining about Monday, and I almost thought that there was an internet movement that I wasn’t aware of where everybody was supposed to say how much they hated Mondays.  Poor Mondays, they never did anything wrong…

mondays

Today (also a Monday), strangely enough, I did not see a single post from anybody in my Facebook feed complaining about Monday. But then again, I was only on Facebook for about 5 minutes during my lunch break.  Nevertheless, because a large segment of my readership includes HR professionals, I thought I’d share a funny HR article entitled “31 of the Stupidest Things Ever Put on a Resume” to bring some lightheartedness to our Monday.  The article comes from the HR Morning website, and compiles a list of user comments from Reddit in response to a thread asking other HR professionals to share “the most ridiculous things [they've] seen on a resume.”  Some gems from the article include the following resume items:

  • “None of my references really like me, so please don’t believe what they say.”
  • “Grate communication and atention to details”
  • “Applied to Harvard” (under the education profile)
  • “2.0 GPA”
  • “Italian Cuisine Logistics Engineer” (he was a pizza guy)

You can see the entire list on the HRMorning.com’s website here:  31 Things…  Happy Monday, everybody!

 

Linda Chu Takayama has been confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate to serve as the newest Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (“DLIR”).  She was appointed by Governor Ige to lead the DLIR after the Governor’s earlier appointment of Elizabeth Kim ran into some technical difficulties because Ms. Kim had not lived in Hawaii for at least one year immediately preceding her appointment.

Ms. Takayama’s appointment sailed right through the Senate confirmation process and she did not receive any “no” votes in either the Advise and Consent hearing held before the Senate commitee on Judiciary and Labor or during the full floor vote of the Senate.  Prior to serving as the DLIR Director, Ms. Takayama was the executive director of the Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.  She also previously served as the Deputy Director of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and as Insurance Commissioner.  You can read more about Ms. Takayama in the Governor’s press release here:  Takayama Press Release.

 

This is just a reminder that the NLRB’s new rules regarding representation elections have taken effect today, April 14, 2015.

vote

These new set of rules have been called “Ambush Election Rules” or “Quickie Election Rules” by many because they shorten the amount of time between when a petition for an election is filed and when the election takes place by removing or expediting many of the procedures that took place under the old rules.  In effect, this shorter time period will reduce the amount of time employers will have to talk to their employees about what it means to join a union or how being represented by a union will affect their workplace.

Some components of the Final Rule include the following:

  • the pre-election hearing that determines the logistics and scope of the election must be held within 8-days of the filing of the election petition;
  • less issues are allowed to be addressed during the pre-election hearing;
  • post-hearing briefs which are used to present arguments to the hearing office will no longer be permitted, unless the Regional Director allows it;
  • no “automatic stay” (or delay of the election) upon the filing an appeal of the hearing officer’s decision; and
  • hearings on any legal challenges that a party may file regarding the conduct of the election must be held within 21 days of the date of the election.

In addition, the Final Rule also imposes new requirements on employers who are facing a union organizing campaign, such as the following:

  • posting and distributing a notice of the union petition and possible election to all employees;
  • filing a detailed and written position statement one day prior to the pre-election hearing identifying the issues they wish to litigate (and any arguments not posited in the position statement are deemed waived);
  • providing the union with a more detailed “Excelsior List” within 2 days (instead of 7 days) to now also include email and phone numbers, as well as information about the employees’ job shifts, job classifications and work locations;
  • delivering an electronic copy of the Notice of Election to all employees.

On April 6, 2015, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a Guidance Memorandum on the new representation election rules.  This 30+ page document provides an explanation of how the General Counsel will interpret the changes to the rule and provides guidance to NLRB regional offices, employers, labor consultants, and attorneys on how to work with the new rules.  A copy of the Guidance Memorandum can be viewed here:  GC Memo 15-06.

The majority of the Final Rule is similar to what the NLRB attempted to implement in 2011, with some revisions.  (The 2011 version of the new rules was invalidated by a Federal Court because the Board did not have a quorum of members when it tried to adopt those rules.  See Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, 879 F.Supp.2d 18 (D.D.C. 2012).  The Board had only two members at the time it adopted the 2011 rules.)

 

Today, the Hawaii Senate confirmed the appointment of Leonard Hoshijo to serve as the Deputy Director for the Hawaii State Department of Labor Relations (“DLIR”).  While I think it’s a little odd that we have a Deputy Director, but no Director of the DLIR, which means there is currently nobody for Hoshijo to serve as the director to, I’m sure that’ll be worked out in the upcoming weeks.  To read more about Hoshijo’s appointment, please see my earlier blog post here:  Hoshijo Advise and Consent.

 

This morning, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor approved the appointment of Leonard Hoshijo to serve as the Deputy Director of the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (“DLIR”).  The next step in the process is for the full Senate to vote on whether to confirm Hoshijo’s appointment.

hoshijo

According to a press release issued by Governor Ige, Hoshijo is currently the Education and Policy Director for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters.  He also previously worked for many years and in many positions for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (“ILWU”).  Several organizations and individuals, including the ILWU, submitted testimony in support of Hoshijo’s appointment.  The testimony can be viewed on the Legislature’s website here:  Hoshijo Testimony.

Interestingly, during the hearing, Senator Keith-Agaran asked Hoshijo whether his extensive background with labor unions would allow him to bring “balance” to the DLIR.  Hoshijo responded he would bring “the perspective of the working people.”  Senator Keith-Agaran then tried to clarify his question by asking whether Hoshijo would be bringing the perspective of unions to his position at the DLIR, and Hoshijo responded that the programs administered by the DLIR serve non-union employees as well.  It appeared from the line of questioning that Senator Keith-Agaran was really asking whether Hoshijo can bring balance between unions and management, but the Senator and appointee were not on the same wavelength.

In addition, Senator Keith-Agaran also asked the representative from Governor Ige’s office about the status of the search for the DLIR Director, but the representative did not have any news to share.

At the conclusion of the hearing, all four senators who were present (Senators Keith-Agaran, Shimabukuro, Espero and Slom) voted in favor of Hosjijo’s appointment.

 

Last week, I conducted a webinar at HEC to share my thoughts on what type of legislation employers can expect for the 2015 legislative session.  The webinar lasted about 90 minutes and we discussed over 20 areas of the law that could be addressed this year.  Several of the potential bills we discussed included those covering the following issues and areas of law:

  • Hawaii Family Leave Law
  • Sick Leave
  • Meal Breaks
  • Workers’ Compensation and IMEs
  • Workers’ Compensation and Voc Rehab
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Abusive Workplaces
  • Discrimination
  • Successor Employers
  • Insurance Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Health Care Connector
  • State Innovation Waiver Task Force
  • Workplace Security
  • Temporary Restraining Orders
  • Defenses to Workplace Harassment Claims

In addition, we also briefly discussed our new Governor David Ige and new Director of Labor and Industrial Relations Elizabeth Kim, and how their involvement in the legislative process could impact employment-related bills this year.

For those of you out there who will be tracking the same legislation:  see you at the Capitol next week!

 

 

Hi everybody, the minimum wage just went up!  Yeah, yeah, I get it…old news…you all already know about minimum wage increase. Well, I realize that it’s been discussed ad nauseum, but just in case there are a handful of people out there who forgot to make the requisite changes with their payroll, here’s a quick reminder that the minimum wage has gone up (and will continue to rise) according to the following schedule:

  • January 1, 2015 – $7.75
  • January 1, 2016 – $8.50
  • January 1, 2017 – $9.25
  • January 1, 2018 – $10.10

In addition to the higher minimum wage, there are a couple other things you should know.  First, the tip credit also increased to $0.50 an hour on January 1, 2015 and will tick up to $0.75 an hour on January 1, 2016, provided that the employee earns at least $7.00 above the minimum wage in tipped income and wages.  What does this mean?  Basically, in 2015, employees must make at least 7.50 an hour in tips to qualify for the $0.50 tip credit, which means that employers just lost the $0.25 tip credit they used to have for employees who earn less than $7.50 an hour in tips.  In other words, for employees in low tipped categories who might make just $5-6 an hour in tips, there is no longer a tip credit.

Second, in July 2014, the state DLIR issued a new Wage and Hour that discussed the new minimum wage amounts.  You can get a copy of the new poster here:  July 2014 Wage and Hour Poster.

You can also view the state’s tip credit and minimum wage guide here:  Minimum Wage and Tip Credits.