EverythingPeople This Week!

14

Nov

2017

Will Congress Pass a Federal Sick Leave Law?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

For many employers with employees across state lines, they are dealing with a myriad of local and state laws that impact the workplace.  One of the most vexing issues for employers is the growth of paid sick leave laws across multiple jurisdictions.   There are at least 41 State, County and City jurisdictions that have paid sick leave laws.  Federal contractors that fall under the Service Contract Act are also covered.  A federal law may be on its way pre-empting...

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.”

24

Oct

2017

Supervisor Personally Liable for FMLA Interference Claims

Author: Anthony Kaylin

What happens when an employee is hospitalized without notice and informs via a surrogate (her son) that she is in the hospital and won’t be at work?  Should the employer provide FMLA paperwork (assuming the employee is eligible) or terminate the employee for a no call/no show attendance rule violation?  

24

Oct

2017

Sixth Circuit Rules in Favor of Employer in Travel Pay Suit

Author: Michael Burns

One of the trickier areas of wage and hour compliance is calculating hours worked when non-exempt employees travel on company business. There are several different situations that the wage and hour regulations address. One is “travel that is all in a day’s work” another is “home to work on a special one-day assignment in another city,” and the third is “travel away from home community.”

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...

10

Oct

2017

Despite Court Injunction of Revised Exemption Rule and USDOL Rule Review – Do Employers Still Need to Comply?

Author: Michael Burns

When the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor increased the Exempt Rule’s salary level test to $913/week, this forced most employers to review many of their positions for exempt compliance. For the past few years employers have had the opportunity to re-classify jobs properly – hopefully avoiding a compliance complaint in the rule “changeover and controversy fog.” 

3

Oct

2017

Indefinite Time Off is not a Reasonable Accommodation

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When an employee takes an approved leave which is covered by the American’s with Disability Act (ADA), many times the employee will need additional time off.  The question generally becomes how long should leave be extended as a reasonable accommodation.  A trial court in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals region, which covers Michigan, provides some guidance.

12

Sep

2017

How Trump’s DACA Decision Impacts Employers

Author: Anthony Kaylin

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) established by President Obama by executive order in 2012 has impact on employers.  The program now covers 787,580 people who have been approved for the program, according to the latest government figures.  To be eligible, applicants had to have arrived in the US before age 16 and have lived here since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland...

5

Sep

2017

EEO-1 Report Due March 31, 2018 – No Pay Reporting Required

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Good news for employers!  On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that the pay reporting requirement of the EEO-1 will be delayed and not required in the March 31, 2018 EEO-1 reporting cycle.  This news was greeted as a sign of relief by the employer community.  The standard EEO-1 report, though, will still be required for filing on March 31, 2018.

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.

8

Aug

2017

Time to Smell the Roses or Else Pay Up

Author: Anthony Kaylin

With workplaces moving more to the open floor plan, a difficult issue is raising its head more and more.  Whether its food odors like tuna, perfume, cologne, or body odor, the issue of scent allergies has grown among the workforce.  In one case, retaliation and failure to properly accommodate cost an employer $3.3 million.

1

Aug

2017

DOL Solicits Comments on the Overtime Rule

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As previously reported in the EPTW, the Trump administration was going to publish a Request for Information (RFI) on the White-Collar Overtime Exemption. It did so on July 26, 2017.  Previously, the Obama administration had published rules that would be effective December 1, 2017, that increased the exemption salary level test from $433/week up to $913/week with an escalation every three years.  This would have dramatically impacted employers.  Essentially most employees would...

25

Jul

2017

Common Mistakes Employers Make On Their Employment Applications

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Smart employers use employment applications to gather consistent data in a uniform format about their applicants.  This allows for easier comparison of their backgrounds and skill sets in order to help make better hiring decisions.  Some of the other benefits of using applications include gathering information that an applicant wouldn’t typically include on their resume such as reasons for leaving a prior employer and gaining a signoff regarding the accuracy of the information...

25

Jul

2017

Cannot Fire Employee for Profanity Laced Facebook Post

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It's always a question to employers as to what extent off duty actions can be held against an employee.  Certain situations may be easier than others to assess, such as an employee arrested for a crime.  But what about an employee’s Facebook rantings?  

18

Jul

2017

A First: Google Beats OFCCP on Access to Records Case

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a highly unusual victory by the employer, Google beat back the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) attempt to force them to respond to an exhaustive data request.  The case started as a regularly scheduled compliance review of Google’s headquarters by letter dated September 20, 2015.  In the course of the audit indicators arose.  Google had a $600,000 federal contract with the General Services Administration it won in 2014.  

11

Jul

2017

U.S. DOL Walks a Fine Line as it “Walks Back” Overtime Rules

Author: Michael Burns

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is working toward rescinding its judicially enjoined overtime rules. These rules were published during the Obama Administration and dramatically increased the exemption salary level test from $433/week up to $913/week.  It was intended to reduce the number of jobs that could be classified non-exempt by employers.  

27

Jun

2017

MIOSHA Fine Maximums to Increase Under New Bill

Author: Michael Burns

The republicans, who control the Michigan State Senate, introduced legislation last Wednesday to increase MIOSHA fines to maintain parity with the federal OSHA fine maximums. Why would our business friendly legislature do this? It appears not by choice, but by necessity, if MIOSHA is to remain compliant and independent from federal OSHA oversite.

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

Department of Labor’s “Persuader” Rules Being Rescinded

Author: Michael Burns

Under the Obama Administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL), two sets of rules intended to tip the scales in favor of labor organizing were published in 2011 – the Quickie Election Rules and the Persuader Rules.  One of them is going away.

13

Jun

2017

Do Ban-the-Box Laws Work as Intended?

Author: Susan Chance

Ban-the-Box laws were instituted with the idea that by delaying the point in the hiring process in which an employer can ask an applicant about conviction history, the applicants would have a fair chance at gaining employment, but do the laws work? 

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

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.

 

30

May

2017

Should OFCCP and EEOC Merge?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Trump administration issued its first line item budget on May 23rd.  Among the items in the budget include the merger of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) by the end of Fiscal Year 2018.  These agencies have two separate roles and separate laws they enforce, but overlap when it comes to discrimination enforcement. The EEOC investigates worker-reported violations of federal nondiscrimination statutes...

23

May

2017

Summer Vacation is Rapidly Approaching – Do You Know the Guidelines for Employing Minors?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

As the summer rapidly approaches, many employers will supplement their seasonal workforce with minors under the age of 18.  While this is a great opportunity to give a youth the ability to learn work skills, employers need to be aware of the special requirements and their obligations for employing a minor.

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