It’s a Wrap: Avoiding End of the Year Employment Pitfalls

The Yale Club
50 Vanderbilt Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Evan J. Spelfogel
Susan Gross Sholinsky
Cristina González*

With a struggling economy and a new, pro-labor Administration and Congress, business this year has been anything but usual. Both the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have promised vigorous enforcement of wage and hour and fair employment practices laws, and, in a time of high job loss and insecurity, employers should expect employees to hold these agencies to their promises.

Thus, as 2009 draws to a close, employers need to be mindful of how the new economic and legal realities can impact typically "routine" year-end personnel matters, such as performance reviews, compensation decisions and document retention. Similarly, holiday work schedules, and even the seemingly innocuous holiday party, present a variety of legal risks.

This program will provide practical advice on how to:

  • Conduct performance evaluations (both written and in-person) that will withstand potential legal scrutiny;
  • Make legally sound compensation decisions, including bonuses, and conduct a pay audit to ensure compliance with the new Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act;
  • Decide which documents to save and which to toss under the latest laws relevant to document retention;
  • Review and assess other personnel policies which may be vulnerable now or in 2010 in light of new laws and regulations (e.g., ADA, FMLA, COBRA) and proposed legislation (e.g., ENDA, EFCA, FOREWARN); and
  • Avoid the holiday season's legal pitfalls, including the obligation to accommodate employees' religious beliefs and improper conduct at holiday parties.

* Admitted to practice in Spain only