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Annual Sexual Harassment Prevention Training is Now Available.

What’s new for FY 2023?

The Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Employees and the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors/Managers have been shortened. The length of each training is now 30 minutes. The shortened versions will be available beginning July 1, 2022, kickoff of the FY 2023 training period. Check with your Human Resources Director for dates and the availability of training at your agency or entity.

Who is required to take the training?

Employees of Executive Branch agencies, authorities, boards, and commissions are required to complete annual mandatory sexual harassment prevention training, as well as supervisor and manager-specific training before or by July 1, 2023. The requirement follows the State’s implementation of a Statewide Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Investigation Procedures that promote a workplace free from sexual harassment and retaliation.

On January 14, 2019, Governor Brian P. Kemp signed an Executive Order for Preventing Sexual Harassment in the workplace, furthering Georgia’s commitment to providing a harassment-free environment for employees and citizens who interact with State Government.

The Executive Order, signed on the Governor’s first day in office, required a Statewide Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and affirmed that the State of Georgia does not tolerate sexual harassment or retaliation in any form.

Need more information?

The Department of Administrative Services (DOAS)/Human Resources Administration (HRA) Division has a dedicated website that provides information on the policy and the mandatory training. For more info, visit doas.ga.gov.

Employee Purchasing Program!

The Employee Purchasing Program allows state employees to buy today and pay tomorrow; right from their paychecks!

House Bill 551, passed during the 2015 Legislative Session, authorizes the Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) to facilitate the Employee Purchasing Program. DOAS has partnered with Purchasing Power®, the leading specialty e-retailer offering an employee purchase program with more than 50,000 name brand consumer products and services through payroll deduction at the workplace.

Want to learn more about the Employee Purchasing Program? Click on this video, which:

  • Describes the benefits of the employee purchasing program;
  • Determines your eligibility to participate in the program;
  • Lists the requirements to register for the program; and
  • Helps you to determine who to contact with questions, comments, or concerns.

For the best viewing experience we recommend using Chrome. For auditory assistance, download the course transcript from the Resources tab in the course player after you launch the course.

Click on the following links for more information about the Employee Purchasing Program, the Employee Purchasing Program Policy, Frequently Asked Questions, and a Purchasing Power video.

Ready to get started? Go to TEAMGeorgia.PurchasingPower.com or call 1-800-537-3134. Send questions and comments to employee.purchasing@doas.ga.gov.

                     

Ask Consumer Ed: Store charging restocking fee on undelivered merchandise

Dear Consumer Ed:

I ordered a sofa from an online furniture company. The sofa was supposedly shipped, but we never received it. The company does not know where it is and cannot provide any tracking information. They have agreed to cancel this order and refund our money, but they want to charge a restocking fee. Can they do that?

Consumer Ed says:

In Georgia, companies are allowed to set their own policies regarding refunds and exchanges, including those related to “restocking fees”. Restocking fees have become increasingly common in our online marketplace and are typically charged to recoup various costs associated with a product return, such as shipping costs and repacking costs. They may also be charged to compensate a company for the reduced selling price that they may charge other customers for a returned product. But, as with any material term, the company must clearly and conspicuously disclose the existence of these charges to the customer before the purchase becomes final.

However, while the collection of these fees is permissible, there may be circumstances where a company should not enforce such a fee, or where charging it would be illegal. Although state laws vary, restocking fees are generally unfair or deceptive if:  they are being charged in connection with the return of defective merchandise; they are being charged because the company delivered the wrong merchandise; they are being charged because the company failed to deliver the merchandise within the promised time period; they exceed 50% of the purchase price of the merchandise; or the restocking fees are not adequately disclosed to the customer. In brief, when the company makes the mistake, they should not pass the cost of the mistake onto the customer.

Since, in your case, the company failed to deliver the sofa to you at all – let alone within the promised time period – you likely should not be responsible for a restocking fee.  In a situation where the company may be charging unfair restocking fees, there are several options.  First, if the fee was charged to your credit card you can try to dispute the charge with your credit card company.  Second, you could submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau to see if they can help mediate the situation between you and the company.  Finally, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov or to the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division at consumer.ga.gov or by calling 404-651-8600.

***The best way to protect yourself from consumer problems is to become an educated consumer. That means knowing your rights and obligations under the law, how to find a reputable business and how to spot a scam. Do you have a question concerning a consumer-related issue? Want to know whether a certain practice by a business is legitimate? Wondering what your rights are?

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed. 

Remember…Consumer Ed does not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.