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President’s Corner

What a Surprise! California Supremes Break Toward Business

As my son, Ben, remarked, “For a second, I thought I was reading The Onion”.

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a decision on a case that had been pending before it since 2008. Referred to as the “Brinker Case”, the decision addresses employer and non-exempt employee rights and responsibilities regarding meal and rest period wage-hour policies.

Under the current California Labor Code, employers are required to provide employees two rest breaks and a meal break on a very strict time schedule. No issue with that here. It’s the right thing to do. The “however”, here, is that an employer can be found in violation of the Code by missing on the timing of breaks and meals by a single minute. Penalties are potentially huge.

For years, labor groups have insisted that employers are obligated to “police” their employees to ensure that no work is actually being done on break and lunch periods. A violation of the rule generally requires the employer to pay an additional hour of compensation for any part of a compromised meal period.

The larger win, I think is for the employee, not the employer, and that’s equally fine by me. I can’t count the times when an employee has asked to work through a half-hour lunch break in order to leave early for an appointment in the afternoon. We’d be happy to accommodate the requests but for the rule. It would be a violation of California’s Labor Code to permit it. Now that the California Supremes have decided on the Brinker case, we can be more flexible. Of course, the lunch period still exists (as it, of course, should), but exceptions can be made in order to help employees with meeting other obligations outside of work.

Too many times I’m asked if I know what would help businesses grow in this economy. One of my most frequent answers is for the regulators to get out of the way. Score one for employees and employers!

Until next month…

-John Belzer

P.S.

Just thought I’d include a list of 2012 upcoming events. It’s going to be a busy year for us on the road in 2012. Although the traditional trade show climate has changed over the past few years, we still believe in presenting eyeball-to-eyeball given the right opportunities. Here’s how it stacks up for the year (so far):

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2012
April 30-May 3
Houston, TX
Booth # 11819
The OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources focusing on drilling, exploration, production and environmental production.

Mfg4 2012
May 8-10
Hartford, CT
Booth # 1310
Mfg4 (Manufacturing for the Future) is designed by SME to take place biennially alternating with Eastec, normally held annually in Springfield, MA. This show will be its first.

Amerimold 2012
June 13-14
Novi, MI
Booth # 322
Amerimold is an event for tool and mold making, molds and additive manufacturing. It is being held in conjunction with the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) Purchasing Fair.

IMTS 2012
September 10-15
Chicago, IL
Booth # W-1267
IMTS is simply the largest, must-attend event in the industry, held every other year in Chicago. We have exhibited at IMTS since the 60s.

We hope that you’ll be attending one or more of the shows and take the opportunity to stop by to say hi. It’s always good to see old friends and make new ones as we take our message on the road.

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This Month’s Featured Process – Double-Disc Grinding

Double-Disc Grinding is a highly efficient grinding method that reduces premachining costs up to 50% and provides dimensional tolerances, parallelism, and flatness to ±.0002″. Double-Disc Grinding uses two opposing abrasive wheels to simultaneously grind two sides of a blank. In one operation, equal amounts of material are removed from both sides.

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