ASE is receiving calls asking whether worker pandemic safety rules are still in effect. Yes, they are. MIOSHA Emergency Rules put in place last October remain in effect until at least April 16th and are, at this point with Michigan cases on the rise, expected to be extended possibly for another six months.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer committed an unfair labor practice when it fired an employee for participating in an interview with a journalist about minimum wage law in Arkansas.
Last week the CDC published guidance for employer vaccination programs. The CDC is encouraging employers to promote the value of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes building employee confidence toward getting vaccinated, helping determine when employees can get vaccinated, deciding whether onsite or offsite vaccination programs make sense to promote, and suggestions about how to avoid workers unexpectedly having to be off work due to vaccine side effects.
Vaccine passports, documentation that an individual received a vaccination and is presumably better protected against a virus or has recently been tested and found negative, are being debated and considered by many before allowing employees to return to work. Having one’s shots to travel internationally is not new. But expanding the use of a vaccine passport for entry into concert venues, sport events, or using that passport to come to work is new.
Skill: noun – In the workplace it is “A particular ability that you develop through training and experience and that is useful in a job.”
Skilling: noun/verb – Also in the workplace is “The action of training a worker to do a particular task.”
The Governor’s office has formed a diverse group of leaders, including business, to work with and assist with its COVID vaccination campaign. As vaccination ramps up in Michigan, employers will benefit from inoculated healthy and safe workers. However, it is recognized that education is needed about how and when workers can line up for the COVID-19 vaccination.
To no one’s surprise, the Democrats re-introduced a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage from 7.25/hr. first set in 2009 up to $15/hr. over four years. This has been a long-time objective of the Democratic Party. With President Biden now in the White House (Executive Branch) and the Democrats holding the majority in the House and also by a thin margin, the Senate (Legislative Branch), this legislation has the best chance of passing in years.
A fairly common technical issue found in many employer handbooks is the use of what is called the limitation of actions clause. The limitation of actions clause is a term that sets a maximum length of time an employee agrees to bring a wrongful employment action claim, complaint, or lawsuit against the employer.
On January 6, 2021 the DOL published its final rule to help employers determine whether workers can be legally treated as independent contractors (I/C) or employees of the business. If a worker is an independent contractor the business does not have to pay them minimum wage, overtime, do recordkeeping, provide benefits, or even collect employment taxes as they would if the worker is, in fact, an employee.
Due to the pandemic, remote work is bubbling up new wage and hour issues for employers. Is a non-exempt employee that works from home but must travel into the office during the day legally owed payment for travel time from home to office?
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