EverythingPeople This Week!

17

Sep

2019

No Pay Collection by EEOC in 2020 (Or Likely Thereafter for a While)

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although for 2019, employers with 100 or more employees are required to report Box 1 W-2 pay and hours worked for 2018 and 2017, that won’t be the case in the coming year.  The EEOC is under a court order, although appealed, to collect this data.  The EEOC is determined to collect both 2017 and 2018 data by end of September as opposed to pushing the reporting requirements to 2020 by collecting 2018 and 2019 pay data.

10

Sep

2019

W-4 is Changing for 2020

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The W-4 is changing. On September 20, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the major revisions previously proposed to the 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, will be delayed to 2020.  In August 2019, after releasing the second draft of the 2020 W-4, the IRS released the second draft of Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods, for 2020. 

20

Aug

2019

Michigan’s New Marijuana Law Does Not Protect Being Under the Influence at Work, But Other Legal Protections May Apply

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is monitoring both Michigan law and employer policy and practices in response to the legalization of marijuana in this state. Though Michigan has joined a growing number of states that have legalized marijuana use, employers do not have to change their policies against the use of marijuana if they are satisfied with how their policies and practices are working.

13

Aug

2019

Sometimes Attendance Policies and FMLA Don’t Mix

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Many companies, union and nonunion, have point attendance policies.  The following is instructive on how to approach reduction of points when FMLA leave is applied.

6

Aug

2019

Running Background Checks on Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Author: Michael Burns

It makes sense to check on the qualifications of an independent contractor just as you would an employee, right? After all, you are letting a new individual enter your workplace.  It would seem prudent to make sure they can do the job and check for any security concerns. Should an employment background check be run?

30

Jul

2019

OIG Exclusion Lists Need to Be Reviewed Often

Author: Susan Chance

If you are in the healthcare business, you should be familiar with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Exclusions List. The list is made up of individuals and entities which are excluded from federally funded health care programs.

29

Jul

2019

Legalization of Marijuana Movement Compels Employer Policy Considerations

Author: Michael Burns

Marijuana use legalization continues to sweep across the United States. Michigan adopted recreational marijuana use late in 2018, and the state is awaiting commercial licensing approval for the sale of marijuana. Illinois is expecting to pass recreational marijuana use next year, and the New York Times (NYT) sees New York and New Jersey following suit in the near future.

23

Jul

2019

Most Common Employee Handbook Mistakes

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s hard to believe that summer is halfway over, and Labor Day is going to be here before you know it.  While the office is a little quieter due to heavier vacation schedules, this is a great time of year to tackle that handbook update project before things get busy again in the fall.

16

Jul

2019

$15 Federal Minimum Wage? CBO Report Spurs Action

Author: Michael Burns

Earlier this week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published its report on the economic viability of increasing the federal minimum wage. This information has particular weight in the debate over the national minimum wage because the CBO report is viewed as a reliable and non-partisan analysis of a proposed law.

9

Jul

2019

DOL Wage and Hour Division Issues Opinion Letters Addressing Overtime and Hours Worked Issues

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published three Opinion Letters on various wage and hour issues. Opinion Letters provide guidance on wage and hour questions but do not bind a court to its position on that question or issue. The three opinion letters address compliance issues surrounding overtime pay in various aspects.

2

Jul

2019

Overtime Pay Calculation – Are you Doing it Correctly?

Author: Michael Burns

At ASE we often get questions from our members about proper overtime pay calculation when different pay plans are at play. To calculate overtime pay for non-exempt hourly employees correctly, one should first determine a few things.

2

Jul

2019

Are the Equal Pay Initiatives What They Seem to Be?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was passed in 1963, it made it illegal for employers to pay women lower wages than men for equal work on jobs requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility.  Over the years, these cases were far and few between and difficult to win.  As a result, the previous administration as well as a growing number of blue (Democratic controlled) states have passed more rigorous pay discrimination laws, pushing for pay transparency as a solution for the wage...

25

Jun

2019

Employers – Ensure Your Grooming Policies Aren’t Discriminatory

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Most employers have policies that outline requirements regarding dress and appearance.  These can range from business vs. casual dress, if body piercings or visible tattoos are allowed, and some outline grooming standards.  Some employer grooming standards not only require a neat appearance but may also detail whether certain hairstyles or certain hair colors are prohibited or whether male employees must be clean shaven or have short hair.  As employers define their dress code...

25

Jun

2019

Swing of NLRB Pendulum Continues to Compel Employee Handbook Policy Review

Author: Michael Burns

The Trump National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its pro-business course. Until 2017, the NLRB regularly attacked employer rules that it deemed restrictive, directly or indirectly, on employees' right to organize. Employers, including non-union, were compelled to review employee handbook policies/rules to correct rules that were viewed as restrictive toward union organizing rights.

18

Jun

2019

Severance Agreement Term Does Not Circumvent Discrimination and Equal Pay Actions

Author: Michael Burns

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, ruled against a machine parts manufacturer last August when it overturned a lower court decision that held an employee’s severance agreement barred her lawsuit alleging Title VII discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act.

11

Jun

2019

JP Morgan Chase Settles for $5 Million in Largest Paternity Leave Lawsuit

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In May 2019, JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative settlement of $5 million dollars to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging the bank’s parental leave policy was biased against dads.  It is the largest recorded settlement in a U.S. parental leave discrimination complaint. 

11

Jun

2019

Work Restrictions are not Disabilities

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Consider the following scenario.  An employee is injured (whether at work or outside of work) and sees a doctor.  When the employee returns, the employee provides a doctor note with work restrictions because of the underlying condition of the injury. 

4

Jun

2019

States Across U.S. Adopt Myriad of Wage and Benefit Laws

Author: Michael Burns

Late last year Michigan passed a minimum wage increase that increased this state’s minimum wage for the next 10 years. It also passed the Paid Medical Leave Act requiring employers with over 50 employees to provide five paid days off.

21

May

2019

Summer is Almost Here – If You Hire Minors, Remember Your Employer Responsibilities

Author: Michael Burns

As we noted a couple of weeks ago in the EPTW article, Summer Interns – To Pay or Not to Pay, employers operating internships must know what is required of them, and many may also be minors. Most internships should be paid ones pursuant to the law.

14

May

2019

“I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends…”

Author: Michael Burns

Did you know friendship as a hiring factor can beat off a discrimination allegation? A recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling affirms other court decisions holding the same.

7

May

2019

EEOC to Collect 2017 and 2018 Pay Data by September 30th

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Last Friday, May 3, the Federal Register published the EEOC’s notice for pay collection for the 2019 EEO-1 cycle.  The surprising turn of events began when The National Women's Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement challenged OMB’s decision to rescind the Obama Era change to the EEO-1 reporting to add pay reporting as unfair and poorly reasoned in November 2017.  In March 2019 the judge granted summary judgement to the two groups requiring the...

30

Apr

2019

Job Offers in Michigan can be Rescinded for Medical Marijuana Positive Testing

Author: Anthony Kaylin

According to a recent (April 23rd) case from the Michigan Appellate Court located in Ingham County, a job offer may be revoked if the applicant tests positive for marijuana, even if it is considered medical marijuana.

30

Apr

2019

Michigan Addressing Independent Contractor Misclassification

Author: Michael Burns

As EPTW readers know, joint employment, independent contractors, and worker misclassification confusion has been an ongoing federal concern. New federal joint employer regulations were published by the U.S. Department of Labor late last month.

25

Apr

2019

Judge Orders EEO-1 Pay Reporting by September 30

Author: Anthony Kaylin

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the EEOC to have employers submit their 2018 pay data by September 30, 2019. She then ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of pay data, either collecting employers' 2017 data or collecting 2019 data in 2020.  The EEOC has until April 29 to put a statement on its website informing employers of the decision and requirement and to decide by May 3rd whether it will collect 2017 data or 2019 data.  

23

Apr

2019

Summer Interns – To Pay or Not to Pay

Author: Michael Burns

As summer approaches and the colleges empty out, many employers may be gearing up for a new batch of summer interns. Though ASE surveys show many employers pay their interns, some intern positions may be set up as unpaid because the work experience is what counts, right?  The Department of Labor has a seven-part test to determine if an internship should be classified paid or unpaid.

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