EverythingPeople This Week!

18

Feb

2020

Keeping Up With Cannabis in the Workplace in Michigan

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is monitoring Michigan’s experience with recreational marijuana and its impact on the workplace. Though not providing too much in the way of new information a recent article provided by CCH Ideas and Trends puts a finer point on employer compliance responsibilities in states where recreational marijuana use is legal.

18

Feb

2020

When Will the EEO-1 Demographic Survey be Open?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It’s anyone’s guess.  Just last week the parties to the EEO-1 Component 2 lawsuit agreed that collection can stop.  The trial court’s order last Monday February 10th stated that as of February 6, 2020, 88.8% of eligible filers have submitted EEO-1 Component 2 data for calendar year 2017, and 89.6% of eligible filers have submitted such data for calendar year 2018.

11

Feb

2020

Remote/Virtual Workforce Management – Make Sure Your Organization Puts Legal Compliance in Place

Author: Michael Burns

It may not be that widely known, but ASE has implemented remote working schedules for up to 75% of its staff. This is allowing ASE to downsize its total brick and mortar footprint, reduce facility costs, and also expand our reach to serve our members more directly for our training and networking programming.

4

Feb

2020

Compliance with Ontario’s Pay Equity Act

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In 1987 the Ontario government passed the Pay Equity Act (PEA). The Act describes the minimum requirements for ensuring that an employer's compensation practices provide pay equity for all employees in female job classes. It is only a gender-based discrimination law.  The purpose of this Act is to redress systemic gender discrimination in compensation for work performed by employees in female job classes.

28

Jan

2020

Grand Rapids, MI Human Rights Ordinance

Author: Susan Chance

Former Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, placed a ban on ban-the-box ordinances when it comes to cities in Michigan and other local governments limiting private employers from asking about criminal histories at any point in the hiring process. This legislation, Act. No. 84, heads in the opposite direction that many other states, cities, and local municipalities are heading. However, one city in Michigan, Grand Rapids, enacted a new “Human Rights” ordinance regarding discrimination...

21

Jan

2020

Proposed Michigan Ballot Initiative Will Amend Civil Rights Act to Extend to LGBT Community

Author: Michael Burns

For years, if not decades, the debate over whether Michigan’s Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) covers LGBT has raged. Court challenges have been the preferred method to change the law, but the courts have been split over whether the characteristic of Sex enumerated in the law was intended to also cover sexual orientation.

21

Jan

2020

The SECURE Act Changes to Retirement Plans

Author: Anthony Kaylin

On December 20, 2019 President Trump signed into law the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”).  This law has made significant changes to retirement planning and accounts by amending the IRS Code and ERISA law.  Plan sponsors should understand the different provisions of the SECURE Act, some of which became effective on January 1, 2020.

14

Jan

2020

What’s New in California?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

A lot it seems.  Starting in 2020 a number of new laws became effective.   From additional leave for organ transplant to no more independent contractors (maybe), California is leading the way to more costly and complex HR problem identification/solution scenarios.  The following is a list of new laws that HR now has to be aware of when administrating policies in California.

14

Jan

2020

USDOL Finalizes Joint Employer Test Regulations

Author: Michael Burns

On Sunday, January 12 of this week the U.S. Department of Labor issued final rules updating and clarifying joint employer status for workers employed by “affiliated businesses under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” The Final Rule, which will take effect March 16, 2020, changes the pro-worker guidance about joint employment status issued in 2016. That 2016 DOL guidance broadened liability for joint employment and treated virtually all employees in franchise operations also as...

7

Jan

2020

Lawsuits Continue to Grow Due to Noncompliant Background Screening

Author: Susan Chance

It is usually best to look forward, and not back at the past. However, as we head into this new year, and new decade, it is worth looking back at 2019 to see how much the number of lawsuits, both individual and class action, have grown in the background screening arena. According to statistics from WebRecon LLC, by the end of October 2019, the year was on track to break the record for the highest number of lawsuits brought by the FCRA.  

7

Jan

2020

Chipotle Settles Sexual Harassment Suit – Female Supervisor Propositioned Male Subordinate

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In early December, fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill settled a lawsuit in which a male employee alleged he was sexually harassed by his female supervisor.  He also alleged that he was later subjected to retaliation by his supervisor after he reported her behavior.  Chipotle has agreed to pay $95,000 to the employee and make substantial changes to their sexual harassment policies and training in order to settle the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S....

7

Jan

2020

NLRB Continues to Roll Back Obama Era Employer Policy Restrictions

Author: Michael Burns

As 2019 came to an end, the Trump National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued two more decisions rolling back the pro-labor decisions rendered during the Obama administration’s NLRB. These are NLRB decisions that apply to non-union employers as well as unionized employers.

7

Jan

2020

U.S. DOL Updates FLSA Regular Rate of Pay for Overtime Calculation Purposes

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a highly technical environment, a major issue that has gained momentum in the growing wage and hour lawsuits is the determination of base pay wage rate for calculating overtime.  The question is what needs to be included and what can be excluded for the overtime pay base wage rate. The new rule, which was published on December 16, 2019, will be effective as of 1/15/2020 and HR needs to be prepared for the updated calculations.

17

Dec

2019

Top 10 Compliance Concerns for Employers in 2020

Author: Heather Nezich

A new report by Paychex, Inc. identifies the top 10 regulatory issues that employers should be aware of and prepared for in 2020. As business owners and HR managers plan for the year ahead, the list outlines the compliance topics that should be kept top of mind as they are likely to shape the legislative and regulatory landscape of the next 12 months, especially heading into an unpredictable election year.

17

Dec

2019

Will Oracle Sink OFCCP Enforcement Authority?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a long running battle with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Oracle filed a complaint in the DC District Court that alleges “[t]he OFCCP has subjected Oracle to administrative proceedings that are unauthorized and impermissible, in violation of the law, and separation of powers.” 

10

Dec

2019

EEOC Continues Its Punitive Policies on Employer Use of Pre-employment Criminal History Checks

Author: Michael Burns

Last month the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded six years of litigation against a national retailer by settling for a $6 million dollar judgement and requiring the employer to change some of its pre-employment screening practices.

3

Dec

2019

Removing a Check Box from an Application May Not be Enough to Comply with Ban-the-Box Laws

Author: Susan Chance

We all know the theory behind the “Ban-the-Box” movement and how it is supposed to give people with a criminal record (one in three Americans according to a resolution from Suffolk County, NY) a fair chance at obtaining employment and even the field against racial discrimination. There are 35 states and at least 150 cities and counties who agree with this theory; and therefore, have ban-the-box policies on record. While most states have the ban for public employers, at least 11...

3

Dec

2019

DOL Wage and Hour Issues Fact Sheet to Clarify New Exemption Regulations

Author: Michael Burns

The new salary level test for wage and hour exempt status goes into effect January 1, 2020. The new regulation raises the salary level test to $684/week or $35,568/year. This means for a position to be classified as exempt (Executive, Professional, or Administrative) and be paid on a salary basis while meeting the duties tests of those exemptions, it must be paid at least the salary above. That is unless the employer chooses to use a non-discretionary bonus to meet, at most, 10% of the...

12

Nov

2019

Running Background Checks in New York

Author: Susan Chance

If you run employment backgrounds, you know the laws are constantly changing. Some states and cities have laws which are stricter than those of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. New York State and New York City are two such locations.

12

Nov

2019

U.S. DOL Issues Proposed Regulations Addressing Fluctuating Workweek Schedules and Overtime

Author: Michael Burns

On November 4, 2019 the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced it would revise its fluctuating workweek rules. These rules apply to a fairly narrow segment of the total U.S. labor force. The revised rule would apply to salaried non-exempt employees whose hours vary each week.

5

Nov

2019

Final Rules for Hardship Distribution for Qualified Retirement Plans Issued by IRS

Author: Anthony Kaylin

On November 9, 2018, the IRS published proposed rules to change the requirements for hardship distributions from a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan.  These rules grew out of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which opened the door for easing the rules governing hardship withdrawals from these plans.  On September 23, 2019 the IRS published final rules governing hardship distributions.

29

Oct

2019

Governor Proposes New State Exemption Salary Level Test for Overtime Eligibility

Author: Michael Burns

Governor Whitmer has joined seven other states in proposing a higher salary level test for job exemption status. Currently Michigan’s exempt salary level test for executive, professional, and administrative positions is only $250/week or $13,000/year. A very low salary level to meet that particular exemption test. The federal salary level test for those same positions is now $684/week or $35,568/year.

22

Oct

2019

Employer Jury Duty Leave Practices Reviewed by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Author: Michael Burns

As required by Michigan law, employers must provide time off to serve jury duty when summoned by the court. Though employers are not required to pay an employee for time off to serve jury duty, most ASE members report (93.6%) that they pay either full pay (50.7%) or the difference between full pay and jury duty pay (42.9%).  Further, though many employers will provide pay for a limited amount of time, over 63% indicated in ASE’s last Michigan Policies and Benefits Survey that they...

15

Oct

2019

And You Thought Exempt Wage Level Was Done

Author: Anthony Kaylin

For many, the wait for the exemption wage level is over.  The final regulations published at the end of September raises the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week or from $23,600 to $35,568 per year.  Yet for those employers with multi-state locations, that’s only the beginning of the analysis.  A number of states are starting to act on their own to determine exempt level wages, and Michigan may eventually be one of...

8

Oct

2019

Female HR Manager Marries Male Plant Manager – She Gets Fired, He Gets Promotion and a Raise

Author: Michael Burns

Plaintiff-HR Manager worked for a chicken processing plant in Alabama. During the course of her employment she met and started dating a plant manager in the company’s processing complex. At that time, she did not report to the plant manager so technically she was not violating the company’s existing anti-fraternization policy.

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