EverythingPeople This Week!

14

Nov

2017

Flu Season is Upon Us

Author: Heather Nezich

With November arriving, so has the official start of the flu season.  An outbreak of the flu in the workplace can cause significant reduction in productivity.  Employers should educate their employees on how to avoid the flu and how their sick policies apply should an employee get sick.

14

Nov

2017

Family Responsibility Discrimination on the Rise and Employees are Winning

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Employers take notice, according to a recent 2016 study released by the University of California, Hastings’ Center for WorkLife Law, employee lawsuits alleging family responsibility discrimination (FRD) are on a dramatic rise.  More importantly, employees are winning these cases.  Over the past decade, the study detailed that FRD increased by 269% resulting in nearly $500 million paid out in verdicts and settlements.  If the case goes to trial, employees win 67% of the...

7

Nov

2017

Michigan Wage Theft Legislation Scheduled for Introduction

Author: Michael Burns

Michigan Democratic Legislators are introducing legislation intended to curtail illegal deductions from pay.  Any illegal deduction from pay is being called wage theft. Wage theft is described as the “denial of wages or employee benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee.”

31

Oct

2017

An Ounce of Prevention

Author: Susan Chance

Why should I run background checks on my applicants? What do other employers check on backgrounds? These are questions that I get quite often from our customers. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin.

17

Oct

2017

Private Employer Rights to Censure Employee On-line Speech

Author: Michael Burns

Employers are more and more often pushed into situations where an employee’s speech online negatively impacts an organization’s business. Employers spend large amounts of money trying to project a positive public image and brand of the company and then without expectation, an employee “publishes” something that makes the organization look like it fosters and supports social misfits, to put it kindly. Employers must prepare to take action should an employee publish a...

12

Sep

2017

Though Hurricanes are Not a Michigan Occurance, Other Natural Disasters Could Be. Is Your Organization Ready?

Author: Michael Burns

With Hurricane Harvey and Irma causing widespread destruction and also severe business disruption, employers everywhere should plan for disasters and disruptions caused by any form of natural disaster.  What laws may come into play that the employer should be aware of?

5

Sep

2017

Federal District Court Permanently Enjoins DOL Salary Level Test

Author: Michael Burns

Another blow was landed against the Obama administration’s effort to change US wage and hour law without passing an amendment to the almost 80-year old Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The same Texas federal court that originally temporarily stayed the implementation of a new salary level test rule issued a permanent injunction against those rules last week. The Court’s reason for the permanent injunction remained the same: the salary level set by the new regulations was too high...

29

Aug

2017

US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Another Employer-Friendly Decision on Employer Policies

Author: Michael Burns

Earlier this month EPTW reported on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the employers favor upholding that employer’s clearly stated directions on reporting discrimination. The US Fifth Circuit issued another opinion at the end of July that also supported clearly written employer policies or rules and at the same time, pushed back at the pro-labor National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings in the last few years.

29

Aug

2017

First, Do No Harm

Author: Susan Chance

Medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath in an important step to becoming a doctor. One of the most well-known premises of that oath is, “first, do no harm.” That is a good oath for any profession and is certainly something to be considered in background screening.

22

Aug

2017

Expanded Bereavement Leave – The Latest Trend in Employee Benefits

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Over the last several years organizations, especially in Silicon Valley, compete with each other by offering expanded parental leave benefits or unlimited PTO policies as a way to attract and retain talent.   Over the last several months the newest growing trend in leave benefits is offering expanded time off for bereavement.

22

Aug

2017

Should an Employer Fire a Worker that Engages in Extreme Off-duty Activity or Speech?

Author: Michael Burns

With the racist rallies in Charlottesville resulting in a death and a multitude of injuries, the nation is taking a hard look at hate speech and those that express extreme or controversial views on issues of politics, race, gender, ethnicity, religion or any social or belief issues that polarize. This introspection is entering the workplace as employers ask whether they have to tolerate or even employ someone that holds and expresses extreme views – even if not communicated in the...

15

Aug

2017

Don’t Want to Rehire a Former Employee? Watch Out!

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Many employers have a rehire policy for former employees.  However, a recent case may make it more difficult to ban former employees from future employment with your organization.

15

Aug

2017

Employee Handbooks Continue to Rule as Far as Courts are Concerned

Author: Michael Burns

The value and purpose of an updated and thorough employee handbook is apparent in a recent case. In July, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for an employer in a disability discrimination case in large part because the company clearly communicated its complaint procedure in its employee handbook. The Plaintiff (former employee) failed to follow the procedure as detailed in the employee handbook.

25

Jul

2017

Non-Compete Agreement Battle Continues Around Country

Author: Michael Burns

Non-compete agreements are a common employer approach to protecting their business from customer poaching, losing business process secrets, and losing valuable employees. These agreements have always been somewhat controversial because they can be used to restrict employment opportunities. 

11

Jul

2017

To Ask or Not to Ask

Author: Heather Nezich

The salary history question has become quite controversial in recent months, and some cities and states have created laws around it.  It used to be an expected question during the interview process, but there is debate over whether the question is a fair one and could cause pay inequality to prevail as women progress through their careers.

11

Jul

2017

Amazon Prime Day – The Latest Cybershopping Headache for Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

If Cyber Monday during the holidays isn’t bad enough with on-line shopping distracting employees and impacting productivity, now employers have to deal with the latest online shopping “holiday” mid-year with Amazon Prime Day.  For those who aren’t familiar with Amazon Prime Day, it is the mid-summer sales equivalent of Christmas in July.

20

Jun

2017

Website Title III ADA Violation Impacts Employers

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although seemingly far-fetched, a lawsuit which hit grocer Winn-Dixie concerning accessibility to its website should make HR take notice.  A federal trial court in Florida ruled that Winn-Dixie violated Title III of the ADA by having a website that was not useable by plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil to download coupons, order prescriptions, and find store locations.  Mr. Gil is blind and uses screen reader software to access websites.  The judge ordered injunctive relief, including a...

20

Jun

2017

Lights Out! Now What?

Author: Jason Rowe

Summer is here, the sun is out, the wind is blowing and there is not a lot to worry about. That is until the next summer thunderstorm rolls in and the office loses power. Do you know what your next steps would be or how other businesses react in a similar situation? ASE’s 2017 Business Disruption and Disaster Planning Survey reveals how local companies handle business disruptions like the power outage event this past March or more recently the boil water event in Livonia.

13

Jun

2017

Failure to Communicate Leads to FMLA Liability

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under FMLA regulations, employers are required to provide multiple types of notices to the employee, when the employee requests FMLA leave.  One of those notices is to provide the employee with information about the amount of time available under FMLA leave.   Failure to do so could lead to unintended consequences for the employer.

13

Jun

2017

Independent Contractor Guidance Withdrawn by US Department of Labor – More Freedom or More Potential Liability?

Author: Michael Burns

Signaling the start of the Trump Administration’s rollback of employment and labor Obama era regulations, the Department of Labor announced it is withdrawing its two guidance letters that further defined the restrictions on engaging a worker as an independent contractor. 

6

Jun

2017

Orlando Workplace Shooting Serves as Wake-Up Call for Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

On Monday, June 5, John Neumann, Jr., a former employee of Fiamma Inc. located in Orlando Florida, went on a fatal workplace shooting spree killing six employees before he killed himself.  He was fired in April by his former employer.  According to Orlando County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Neumann targeted his victims and had a “negative relationship” with at least one of them.  While we all want to think something like this will never happen to us, it can, and...

6

Jun

2017

No Jerks Allowed

Author: Heather Nezich

It’s likely fair to say that we’ve all come across a jerk or two in our work lives.  In a recent survey by Connectria Hosting, 83% of respondents said they’d worked with one or more jerks during the past five years.  Connectria and others have now created “No Jerks Allowed” policies for their workplaces.

6

Jun

2017

Employer Policy Provisions Hold Up Against FMLA Violation in Court

Author: Michael Burns

Most employer Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies restate the notice requirements and other information mandated by the FMLA posting rules. In addition, they should state any company-specific policies regarding FMLA leave.  If certain issues are not specifically addressed in the policy, it may end up in the court’s hand to decide during a law suit.

 

23

May

2017

Can Drug Tests Be Multiple Choice?

Author: Susan Chance

Kurt Rambis, former NBA champion and coach, is quoted as saying, “I’m in favor of drug tests, just so long as they are multiple choice.” There are many different types of drug tests available for screening applicants and employees for drug use, but can they be multiple choice? In a way they can. How? Well I’m so glad you asked.

16

May

2017

Michigan Appeals Court Looks to Handbook Language to Settle Compensation Claim

Author: Michael Burns

A recent Michigan Appeals Court decision (unpublished) again affirms that courts regularly and purposely use employee handbook policy language to determine what the employer means when a dispute arises about payment of wages or fringe benefits. In the case of Robert E. Heine v. Mack 1 Global Services, Inc. (No.328964) 4/25/2017, the issue for the court was whether the organization’s incentive plan was properly followed in the payment of monies allegedly earned under the employer’s...
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