The 6 Ways “Covfefe” Can Improve HR Compliance

@RealDonaldTrump on Twitter

It all began last week with a (possible) typographical error in a tweet from our 45th President, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.

At first, President Trump’s tweet confused us; “covfefe” even stumped a spelling bee champ while creating a spike in demand for novelty license plates.

But then President Trump doubled down on Twitter“Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!” Well, his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters, “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”

Folks, you’re in luck! As part of that small group of people, I know exactly what President Trump met. You see, “covfefe” is the solution to all of your HR-compliance problems.

Who knew?!?

Well, I did of course. And I’m here to share six ways in which covfefe can improve your company’s HR compliance:

First, covfefe nails exempt versus non-exempt under the FLSA every time!

One of the biggest employer pitfalls under the Fair Labor Standards Act is when employers misclassify a non-exempt employee as an exempt employee. The former is entitled to minimum wage, and overtime when working more than 40 hours in a workweek. Check enough boxes, however, and an exempt employee is, well, exempt from these requirements. Distinguishing between a non-exempt employee and an exempt employee can hinge on a few facts and, ultimately, that difference can mean millions in business costs and litigation risks.

What is covfefe? It’s the key to properly classifying an employee under the FLSA every single time.

Second, covfefe is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee.

A closely-related FLSA nightmare is when employers misclassify employees as independent contractors. As you know from the first section above, misclassification can result in folks who are entitled by law to minimum wage and overtime not receiving it. That’s a problem when non-exempt employees get misclassified as independent contractors. While it’s yet to be seen how the current administration will handle this, under President Obama, misclassification was a monster issue! So, much so that the feds partnered with 37 states to fight it together.

What is covfefe? You’ll never mistake an employee for an independent contractor again. Like Colt 45, it works every time. Except, without the misogyny. And covfefe is n/a. So, serve it at your holiday parties too!

Third, covfefe calculates the right amount of leave under the ADA every time.

Covfefe isn’t just limited to wage and hour problems. Covfefe has you covered on the thorniest issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to a “qualified individual” with a “disability” when doing so won’t create an undue hardship for the employer. The bar for what constitutes a disability has been set so low such that nearly all of us have a disability under the ADA. Therefore, the focus under the ADA has shifted to whether an individual with a disability is a qualified individual. A qualified individual is someone who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

The way we determine whether there exists a reasonable accommodation that enables a qualified individual to perform the essential functions of the job is to engage in a good faith interactive dialogue with that person. By now, most of us have gotten the hang of that. However, there are some accommodations that still leave human resource professionals scratching their heads.

One common head-scratcher is leave as a form of a reasonable accommodation. It’s not so much whether leave is a reasonable accommodation, it usually is. It’s rather how much leave is a reasonable accommodation, especially with smaller employers when the employee with a disability is not eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Yes, the EEOC has a resource document to help employers. But, I can do better.

That’s where covfefe comes in. Not only does covfefe calculate the precise, reasonable amount of leave every time, but covfefe knows when to stop permitting multiple extensions of initial leave requests.

Fourth, covfefe documents FMLA and sniffs out leave misuse like a boss!

The FMLA permits eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a 12-month period. That’s about as straightforward as the FMLA gets. Because, after that, it can be clear as mud.

For example, there’s determining whether an employee is eligible for leave. There’s also the different forms of leave. (Oh, the agony of intermittent leave administration!!!). Then, there’s the leave documentation and tracking the leave properly. And what happens when you suspect that someone using FMLA leave is misusing or abusing it? How do you prove it?

Fortunately, we have covfefe. Covfefe not only calculates leave, but documents it, and further protects employers my keenly sniffing out employee FMLA misuse and stopping it dead in its tracks. Heck, covfefe is so good that it can substitute for second and third opinions to bust every suspicious migraine, back pain, fibromyalgia outbreak, and just about anything else that won’t show up on an MRI. It even makes workplace stress disappear — and, if you desire, those complaining about workplace stress too.

Fifth, employee handbook issues are now a thing of the past.

I want to let you in on a little secret, beyond covfefe. Here it is. There is a secret cadre of employment lawyers that meets at a secret location each year to come up with new, creative ways to try to drum up business. One of them, a particularly devious scheme that we hatched several years ago, was to create and market social media policies.

Indeed, social media policies have been the bane of the existence of many employers. The National Labor Relations Board has taken a particular dislike to social media policies and employee handbooks too that are overly broad. The Board takes the position that any work policy that is so broad so as to chill employees from talking about working conditions with one another, also known as protected concerted activity, violates the National Labor Relations Act. And, what many people don’t realize is that the National Labor Relations Act governs most employers, whether unionized or not.

Well, thank the heavens for covfefe. Covfeve not only eliminates the need for social media policies but streamlines your employee handbooks to just the right length to protect your business and avoid any potential Board, EEOC, DOL, OFCCP, you name it, headache.

Sorry again, cadre. (But, ask me what covfefe can do to help your law practice make rain.)

Sixth, covfefe is your new HR “Easy Button.”

In reality, covfefe is so dynamic. It’s such a — dare I say it — outside-the-box-thinking change agent.

  • Open enrollment: covfefe
  • I-9 compliance: covfefe
  • Calculating the right amount of severance to get a departing employee to sign that separation agreement: covfefe
  • Correcting a potentially hostile work environment: covfefe
  • Correcting that employee who constantly complains about a “hostile work environment”: covfefe

Covfefe is your multi-functioning, one-stop-shop, HR hack to improve just about any facet of your company’s compliance. After all, it’s covfefe.

And now, we all know its true meaning!



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