International Door & Operator Industry

JAN-FEB 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 14 of 142

12 International Door & Operator Industry™ LEGAL&LEGISLATION Continued from page 11 sure it is serving its intended purposes. In the last five years, smartphones and tablets have become almost ubiquitous. Is your business utilizing them in the field? If so, are they being used as part of an integrated business program, such that all information is pulled into an easily usable database? Or alternatively, is all of the information that is gathered simply put into the digital equivalent of a filing cabinet which is wholly dependent on how searchable the information is? When dealing with a client dispute, and especially if it results in litigation, your lawyer is going to need you to be able to pull together two very disparate sets of documentation. On one hand, all of the documents for a job file will be needed. This means being able to quickly compile the contract forms, the invoices, the as-built documents, and the photographs and videos from the site. On the other hand, the "contact information" will also have to be compiled. This includes letters, telephone contacts, e-mails, and text messages. If you would be challenged to compile those materials, and particularly if you would be challenged to match up those categories for a specific customer and job, you may want to investigate technology and systems for doing that organizing. The front-end costs could ultimately prove to be lower than the time and expense of doing the work, especially if you have more than one such matter. Workforce Files: Complete and Up to Date Separate from customer documents, IDA members have to properly manage and maintain a range of documents relating to employees also. Much of this paperwork is mandated by federal and/ or state requirements, including tax forms, insurance and benefits paperwork, and the like. Dealers should periodically review their employee file management procedures to make sure they have everything they are required to, and that it is kept current. In addition, there have been some recent developments of which members should be aware. For new hires, IDA members need to make sure they are using the new version of the I-9 form for confirming employment eligibility. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued the newest iteration of the I-9 on July 17, 2017, and the new form must be used for all new employees. Among other elements, the new I-9 includes an additional page specifically for reverification of current employees who may have expiring paperwork, and for rehiring of former employees. And as with other iterations of the form, the I-9 needs to be prepared and executed by the employee, and confirmed by the employer, within three business days after the beginning of employment. Another new personnel requirement is the OSHA electronic reporting rule for workplace incidents. Implementation of this rule was delayed by several months, but the reports for the 2016 calendar year were required to be filed by December 15, 2017. For 2017 incidents, the electronic report will have to be filed by July 1, 2018. The rule does not apply to states which have their own state OSHA plans but which have not adopted the electronic filing requirement, including California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. As a final tip, in light of the growing awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, employers should evaluate their HR policies for how to address and review complaints. Most importantly, employers should develop written guidelines for how employees can register complaints, how they will be reviewed, and what consequences will be imposed for violations. Every claim should be properly documented, for the protection of both the accuser and the accused. The information should be carefully maintained, so the rights of all involved are not compromised by mishandling of such delicate materials. Goodwill: Protecting What You've Got Protecting your physical property is fairly straightforward. You install alarms, locks, and other security equipment to safeguard your business location. You securely lock up your tools and your inventory. But when it comes to your intangible property – your goodwill – it's just as important to review that those things are being properly protected. • Business information: Are your customer lists and pricing information available to anyone in the company, or can Continued on page 14 Another new personnel requirement is the OSHA electronic reporting rule for workplace incidents. For new hires, IDA members need to make sure they are using the new version of the I-9 form for confirming employment eligibility.

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