Equal Employment Opportunity State Requirements: Fair Employment Practices


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Employee Policy & Independent Contract Labor Policy


Federal and State Employment Laws Applicable to Conservation District Employment Policy

  • Equal Employment Opportunity

  • State Requirements: Fair Employment Practices

  • Chapter 9; 27-9-105, which states that:

  • (a) It is a discriminatory or unfair employment practice:

  • (i) For an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, or to discriminate in matters of compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment against, a qualified handicapped person or any person otherwise qualified, because of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry;

  • Federal Requirements: EEO for individuals with disabilities 29 CFR Part 1630 and Parts 1602 and 1627



Federal and State Employment Laws Applicable to Conservation District Employment Policy

  • Sexual Harassment

  • State Requirements: Executive Order 1993-4, Governor Sullivan

  • Sample policy: Harassment of employees or of applicants by other employees is prohibited. Harassment includes, without limitation, verbal harassment (epithets, derogatory statements, slurs), physical harassment (assault, physical interference with normal work or involvement). Visual harassment (poster, cartoons, drawings), and innuendo.

  • Federal Requirements: Civil Rights Act - Section 703, Title VII of 1964



Personnel Records

  • Personnel Records

  • State Requirements:

  • 27-4-203. Record of work of employees required.

  • Every employer subject to this act [§§ 27-4-201 through 27-4-204] shall make, and keep for a period of not less than two (2) years in or about the premises wherein any employee is employed, a record of the name, address and occupation of each of his employees, the rate of pay, and the amount paid each pay period to each such employee, the hours worked each day and each work week by such employee.



Compensation Time

  • Compensation Time

  • No state requirements

  • Federal Requirements: Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Family and Medical Leave Act

  • State Requirements: None

  • Federal Requirements: Family and Medical Leave Act of '93

    • Covered employers must grant eligible employees up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period, for one or more of the following reasons:


To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition

      • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition
      • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition Federal Requirements: Family and Medical Leave Act of '93
    • The FMLA also
    • Maintains health benefits during leave
    • Restores an employee’s job after leave
    • Sets requirements for notice and certification of the need for leave
    • Protects employees who request or take leave; and includes certain employer record keeping laws
    • For more information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, visit: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla


Employee Compensation

  • An employee compensation package consists of both salary and benefits. In designing a compensation package, the employer should make every effort to provide employees with a fair and equitable return for their work.

  • Copies of example salary scales can be obtained from WACD



Retirement

  • District employees qualify for the Wyoming State Retirement Plan. W.S. 9-3-427

  • Information on the Wyoming Retirement System can be obtained by contacting the Director at (307)777-7691 or FAX (307)777-5995 or visiting their website at http://retirement.state.wy.us/



WACD Delta Dental Plan

  • District employees and supervisors are eligible to receive dental insurance through the WACD Delta Dental Group plan. Contact WACD for enrollment procedures, rates and benefits.



Employee Policy

  • Each Conservation District should develop an Employee Policy and employee position descriptions if these have not already been established.

  • Each employee of the District should be required to read and sign the policy. The signature page of the policy should then be kept in the employee’s personnel file.

  • Copies of Employee policy and position descriptions can be obtained from WACD



Employee Policy

  • The District Board of Supervisors may choose to have the policy reviewed by an attorney specializing in employment law to ensure that all applicable state and federal labor laws are complied with.

  • The Laramie County CD has completed a very rigorous review by an attorney specializing in employment law, when completing their Personnel Policy Book. Copies of the manual may be obtained from WACD.



Employee Policies should contain information on:

  • Employee Policies should contain information on:

    • Salaries and compensation such as compensatory time for non-exempt employees (based on the Fair Labor Standards Act)
      • Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA exempts executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees from the minimum wage and overtime requirements, provided they meet certain tests regarding job duties and responsibilities and are salaried employees.
      • It is not acceptable to simply place employees on salary and classify them as exempt without regard to duties or percentage of time spent in exempt duties
      • Contact WACD or visit the Department of Labor Wage-Hour website at www.wagehour.dol.gov or call 1-866-4USWAGE.


Benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, bereavement leave, holiday leave, etc – Wyoming State Statutes require an employer to provide one hour of leave with pay for the purposes of voting in an official public election. (See W.S. 22-2-111)

    • Benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, bereavement leave, holiday leave, etc – Wyoming State Statutes require an employer to provide one hour of leave with pay for the purposes of voting in an official public election. (See W.S. 22-2-111)
    • Leave policy to define what types of leave may be used for what purposes
    • Drug and alcohol policies – Many federal grants require a drug free workplace form be included in each employee’s personnel record
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
    • Work related injuries


Compensation Time Vs. Cash Overtime Pay

  • Employees of state and local government can earn and accrue compensatory time off (comp time) in lieu of immediate cash payment for overtime

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that comp time be earned at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour worked overtime

  • See 29 CRF 553.22



Compensation Time Vs. Cash Overtime Pay (continued)

  • An agreement or understanding between the employee and employer to use comp time in lieu of overtime payment in cash must be reached prior to the performance of work

  • The agreement should be put in writing, and can become part of position description

  • Such an agreement does not automatically extend to all employees; employer does not have to provide similar agreement to all employees

  • See 29 CFR 553.23



Compensation Time Vs. Cash Overtime Pay (continued)

  • Records must be kept containing basic employee data (see 29 CRF 510.2) and must also contain:

    • Number of hours of comp time earned each work period
    • Number of hours of comp time used each work period
    • Number of hours of comp time compensated in case
    • Copy of written agreement of compensation time in lieu of cash overtime pay
    • See 29 CRF 553.50


Example Policy Book Table of Contents

  • At Will Employment Statement

  • Salary and Compensation

  • a. Salary

  • b. Overtime payments and Compensatory Time

  • for Non-exempt Employees

  • c. Compensation Upon Separation

  • d. Performance Appraisals



3. Hours of work defined

  • 3. Hours of work defined

  • 4. Benefits

  • a. Leave benefits

  • b. Health and dental insurance

  • c. Retirement

  • d. Life Insurance



Leave Policy

  • Leave Policy

  • Security

  • Drug and alcohol policy

  • Equal Employment Opportunity



Employee Privacy Expectations

  • Employee Privacy Expectations

  • Civil Rights

  • Personnel Records

  • Work Related Injuries



Independent Contract Labor

  • For federal tax purposes, the distinction between employee and independent contractor is important. Worker classification affects how the district will pay federal income tax, social security and Medical taxes.



Independent Contractor vs. Employee

  • Three main categories determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee

  • Behavioral Control

  • Financial Control

  • Relationship of the Parties



Behavioral Control

  • A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the worker.

  • An employee receives extensive instructions on how the work is to be done, including how, where or when to do the work, what tools or equipment to use, what assistants to hire, where to purchase supplies

  • If the business provides the worker with training about required procedures and methods, this indicates the business wants the work done a certain way and suggests the worker may be an employee.



Financial Control

  • Significant Investment – if the worker has a significant financial investment in his/her work, may be an independent contractor.

  • Expenses- if worker is not reimbursed for some or all business expenses, the worker may be an independent contractor.

  • Opportunity for Profit or Loss – if worker can realize a profit or incur a loss, it suggests they are in business for themselves as an independent contractor.



Relationship to the Parties

  • If the worker receives benefits, such as insurance, pension or paid leave, this indicates they are an employee.

  • Written contracts show what both parties intend.



Contract labor persons need to have a contract in file. (See your attorney or use a copy of the “independent contractor” contract found on page 93 of the Special Districts Accounting Handbook available online at http://audit.state.wy.us/PFUNDS/specialdistricts.htm or contact WACD)

  • Contract labor persons need to have a contract in file. (See your attorney or use a copy of the “independent contractor” contract found on page 93 of the Special Districts Accounting Handbook available online at http://audit.state.wy.us/PFUNDS/specialdistricts.htm or contact WACD)

  • Amounts paid, if over $600, must be reported to IRS on a Form 1099. This includes banquet entertainment, speakers, etc.

  • Contact WACD or visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov for more information on determining if your worker is an independent contractor.



Worker’s Compensation/ Unemployment Insurance



Termination of Employees

  • Conduct employee evaluations, making sure expectations of the board are clear.

  • Follow up on evaluations

  • Issues on failure to perform job duties should be issued to employees in writing, signed and dated.

  • Compensation increases should be based on performance evaluations.



Workers Compensation Workers Compensation is a MANDATORY insurance policy, which pays medical bills and job benefits to workers injured on the job.

  • If a District employee performs work in the field, the Conservation District should establish an account and pay premiums on the gross salary of each employee.

  • Clerical workers can be exempt from the program, however it is not recommended. If the District has not elected total coverage for all of their employees, no premiums should be paid and injuries that occur on the job are not covered.



Workers Compensation Workers Compensation is a MANDATORY insurance policy, which pays medical bills and job benefits to workers injured on the job.

  • All Districts must open an account with Workers Compensation and then make monthly payroll reports to the Dept. of Employment. If an account has not been opened the District may be required to pay back premiums of up to two years.

  • If an employee is injured on the job and no account has been opened, nor premiums have been paid, and the job is covered by Workers Compensation, Workers Compensation will pay the medical bills and job benefits. They will then collect these funds from the employer.



Unemployment Insurance

  • Conservation Districts are subject to Wyoming Unemployment Laws and should have an “account” with the Department of Employment in Casper. Payments should be made to the account on a quarterly basis.



Unemployment Insurance

  • Government employers, such as Districts, may elect to reimburse the Unemployment Compensation Fund for the amount of benefits paid to their former employees in lieu of payroll tax deductions. In cases such as these, the District should set aside funds in a separate account to be utilized in the case of an unemployment claim. District boards need to maintain consistency with the account. It is recommended that the District make quarterly payments to the account, based on past claims and salaries.

  • In general, both full and part time employees are eligible for benefits if they are laid off.



The Wyoming Department of Employment, Workers Compensation can be reached at 777-6763. For more information on Unemployment Insurance contact 235-3217




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