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The Advantages of Hiring Unemployed Workers

22 September 2020

The Advantages of Hiring Unemployed Workers

Author: Sheila Hoover

The United States’ unemployment rate in February 2020 was 3.8%, and in April 2020 it shot up to 14.7% due to the pandemic.  Thankfully, it has slowly been decreasing during the past few months, however some economists worry a weak economy, or spike in pandemic cases, could spur more layoffs. 

OSHA and MIOSHA Ramp Up Fines for COVID Safety Breaches

22 September 2020

OSHA and MIOSHA Ramp Up Fines for COVID Safety Breaches

Author: Michael Burns

As reported a couple of weeks ago in EPTW, the fines and penalties for breach of employer safety obligations surrounding COVID contagion continues to ramp up. Late last week fines by MIOSHA against 19 more employers were announced. These fines amounted to over $50,000 for infractions including:

Is Diversity a Serious Goal for Organizations?

22 September 2020

Is Diversity a Serious Goal for Organizations?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Given all the events in the past few months, diversity has been a focus for many organizations.  More specifically, there have been a number of pledges to have greater diversity.  Jaime Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, took a knee with employees to protest racial injustice in law enforcement.  There have also been a number of marketing changes by organizations to promote the diversity theme.

Survey Finds 51% Have Been More Productive Working from Home During COVID-19

22 September 2020

Survey Finds 51% Have Been More Productive Working from Home During COVID-19

Author: Heather Nezich

According to a FlexJobs survey of approximately 4,000 people who have been working remotely during the pandemic, 51% report they have been much more productive working from home than they were in the traditional office. 44% said their productivity was about the same, and only 5% say they have been less productive in their home office.

Quick Hits - September 23, 2020

22 September 2020

Quick Hits - September 23, 2020

Author: ASE Staff

Remote I-9 completion continued to November 19:   U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is again extending the flexibilities in rules concerning Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) compliance that were granted earlier this year. Because of the continued COVID-19 precautions, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the policy for another 60 days with the accommodations now set to expire November 19, 2020.

Vertical Joint Employment - DOL’s Attempt to Limit and Clarify “Joint Employer” Rule Struct Down

15 September 2020

Vertical Joint Employment - DOL’s Attempt to Limit and Clarify “Joint Employer” Rule Struct Down

Author: Michael Burns

Last week a New York district court judge found the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules limiting when businesses that use other businesses’ workers (vertical) may also be sued by the workers if a wage and hour (FLSA) violation is alleged.

When Does Computer Fraud Rise to an Opportunity to Stop Rogue Employees?

15 September 2020

When Does Computer Fraud Rise to an Opportunity to Stop Rogue Employees?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When employees, especially sales people, have access to various electronic devices, databases, and documents from an organization, at what point does a company have a right under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to bring a case against an exiting employee for computer fraud? 

Time to Vote: How Companies Can Help Employees Get Out and Vote During the Pandemic

15 September 2020

Time to Vote: How Companies Can Help Employees Get Out and Vote During the Pandemic

Author: Heather Nezich

The Center for American Progress (CAP) and Business for America have released a new brief that outlines 17 ways in which the business community can help boost voter turnout and ensure that Americans can vote safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Importance of Having a Reasonable Suspicion Policy

15 September 2020

The Importance of Having a Reasonable Suspicion Policy

Author: Susan Chance

Reasonable suspicion drug testing can be a challenge for employers, especially with so many states making recreational marijuana legal. Whether you have a current drug testing program or if you are new to drug testing, make sure that you have a clear, documented policy on your drug testing program that includes reasonable suspicion procedures. If you are subject to federally regulated drug testing, make sure you follow the steps as required by the federal agency under which you are covered.
Communication Etiquette

15 September 2020

Communication Etiquette

Author: Linda Olejniczak

Four generations at work, numerous mediums to use, and new technology to master – does your organization have a need for a class on communication etiquette? 

Quick Hits - September 16, 2020

15 September 2020

Quick Hits - September 16, 2020

Author: ASE Staff

U.S. DOL updates FFCRA regulations:  The U.S. Department of labor updated their FFCRA regulations to conform with the Southern District of New York’s August 3, 2020 decision invalidating certain parts of the regulations.  
Quick Hits - September 9, 2020

8 September 2020

Quick Hits - September 9, 2020

Author: ASE Staff

Positive drug tests are the highest reported in long time:  According to a new Quest Diagnostics study, employers saw the highest rate of positive workforce drug test results since 2003. As expected, marijuana was the most detected drug, including in states where marijuana remains illegal. The study reported a surge in positive results in the Midwest for cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. 
Sixth Circuit Revives Mixed Motive Age Discrimination Suit

8 September 2020

Sixth Circuit Revives Mixed Motive Age Discrimination Suit

Author: Michael Burns

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision determining that an auto parts supplier in Caro, MI, had not committed age discrimination under Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Right Act. Walbro LLC fired the plaintiff, a department manager and 41-year veteran, allegedly based upon his age. He was 60 years old at the time. Lowe v. Walbro LLC (Case 19-2386)

Discrimination Cases May Be Easier to Prove Because of the LGBTQ Supreme Court Decision

8 September 2020

Discrimination Cases May Be Easier to Prove Because of the LGBTQ Supreme Court Decision

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Bostock decision on LGBTQ rights under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a civil rights victory long coming.  From the American perception of same sex marriage to LGBTQ rights, the country took a mighty swing to a new direction since the 1990s when the Defense of Marriage Act was enacted by Congress under the Clinton Administration.  The decision itself was groundbreaking in that it was a 6-3 decision with two of the “conservative” justices voting with the...
CDC Outlines Workplace Strategies for COVID-19 Prevention-Related Violence

8 September 2020

CDC Outlines Workplace Strategies for COVID-19 Prevention-Related Violence

Author: Heather Nezich

The CDC has posted information on limiting workplace violence related to retail and service businesses’ COVID-19 prevention policies. Based on a 1996 Current Intelligence Bulletin, threats and assaults can happen in any workplace, but may be more likely to occur in retail, services (e.g., restaurants), and other customer- or client-based businesses.

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