All posts by zach.kohlmeier

PER Human Resources – June 2019

PER Human Resources – June 2019

June 2019
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Be Wary Before Denying Religious Accommodations
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

Most workplaces have dress codes that employees must follow, and, on occasion, you’ve probably had to discuss appropriate work attire. But what would you do if your employee showed up wearing
a cloak and informed you it was for a religious accommodation? That’s exactly what happened to HR Director Riley.*

Read on to see how she handled the situation gracefully.

 

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES

Why Properly Worded Cell Phone Policies Are A Must
REMINDER: Mandatory Vaccination Policies Are Subject To Religious Accommodation Requirements
NEW CASE: Reliable Employee Attendance Is Still Essential Says Fourth Circuit Court
$3.8 Million Reasons To Take Lactation Laws Seriously

STATE UPDATES
California:
NEW CASE: Fictitious Business Names Are Permissible On California Paystubs
NEW POSTER: California Issues Updated Family Care And Medical Leave And Pregnancy Disability Leave Poster
Bad News For California Employers: Dynamex Applies Retroactively

Connecticut:
NEW GUIDANCE: Connecticut Publishes Guidance Materials Regarding Pregnancy Accommodation
NEW LAW: Connecticut Minimum Wage To Increase To $15 By 2023

Florida:
NEW LAW: Florida Amends Clean Indoor Air Act To Prohibit Vaping

Indiana:
NEW LAW: Wage Deductions for Uniform Rental Now Permissible In Indiana
Maine:
NEW LAW: Maine Passes Salary History Ban and Pay Transparency Law
Massachusetts:
REMINDER: Massachusetts Employers Be Sure To Distribute The Massachusetts Paid Family And Medical Leave Notice By May 31, 2019
South Carolina:
NEW LAW: South Carolina Passes Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Tennessee:
NEW LAW: Tennessee Amends Its Healthy Workplace Act

Texas:
NEW LAW: Dallas, TX Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Washington:
NEW LAW: Washington Enacts A Pay Transparency and Salary History Ban


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …

Question #1
We have a general manager who has been accused of engaging in a romantic relationship with a subordinate employee. If this accusation is true, it would be a violation of our company policy. How should we best address this complaint?

Question #2
Our IT Manager is not meeting our company’s attendance expectations. The IT Manager is an exempt employee and, when we have talked to him about this problem, he has told us that as an exempt employee, he is able to have a flexible schedule and work when/where he chooses.
Are we able to hold him accountable to work a consistent schedule?

View the Answer

Religious Discrimination

 

Brain Teaser

You run a 24 hour/7 day a week manufacturing operation. On the application form, you ask applicants for their availability throughout the week. On his application, Kevin stated he can work any time, any day of the week. Once hired, he lets you know he cannot work on Saturdays for religious reasons. Company policy states all employees will be rotated to work weekends and no accommodations will be made for any reason. While you can probably accommodate Kevin’s request, you fear others will complain the accommodation is unfair and employee morale will be affected.

How should you handle this issue?

  1. You must accommodate the employee. Your policy or the fact that other employees think it is unfair has no bearing on your requirement to accommodate under the law.
  2. You cannot accommodate Kevin’s schedule. Your company policy does not allow for any accommodation. This would not be fair to others and would be “reverse discrimination.”
  3. Kevin did not indicate his need for accommodation and lied on his application; therefore, he forfeited his right to a religious accommodation.

View the answer.

 

This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.

PER Human Resources – May 2019

PER Human Resources – May 2019

May 2019
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Don’t Ever Say This to a Pregnant Employee
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

Most people have good intentions, especially when accommodating the needs of a pregnant employee. Unfortunately, making recommendations for pregnancy leave without being asked for them can get you in hot water.*

Read on to learn how one employer mishandled this delicate situation and how you can avoid doing the same.

 

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES

NEW CASE: Hostile Work Environments Are Prohibited Under The Americans With Disabilities Act
NEW CASE: OSHA’s Review Commission Rules that Workplace Violence May Lead to Citations
NEW GUIDANCE: DOL Clarifies Circumstances Where Salary Basis Requirement Is Satisfied
What Can Companies Do To Prevent A Measles Outbreak In Their Workplace

STATE UPDATES
Arizona:
NEW LAW: Arizona Amends Its Wage Garnishment Law
Kentucky:
NEW LAW: Kentucky Employers May Make Signing An Arbitration Agreement A Condition To Employment
NEW LAW: Kentucky Passes New Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Maryland:
NEW LAW: Baltimore Employers Must Provide Lactation Accommodations To Nursing Employees

Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Court Has Determined that Employees Exempt from Federal Overtime Laws May Not Always Be Exempt from State Law
New Mexico:
NEW LAW: Gender-Neutral Restrooms Coming to New Mexico
NEW LAW: Kin Care Leave Coming to New Mexico
NEW LAW: New Mexico Becomes The Latest State To “Ban The Box”
NEW LAW: New Mexico Enacts The Safe Harbor For Nurses Act
NEW LAW: New Mexico minimum wage to increase to $12 by 2023
NEW LAW: New Protections for Medical Marijuana Users in New Mexico

New York:
NEW CASE: New York Appellate Court Reversal is a Huge Break for Health Care Companies
NEW GUIDANCE: Westchester County (NY) Releases FAQs And Model Notice For Earned Sick Leave Law
NEW LAW: New York Employees Get Three Hours Of Paid Voting Leave
NEW LAW: Reproductive Choices are Now a Protected Class in NYC
NEW LAW: NYC Passes Law Prohibiting Pre-Employment Drug Testing For Marijuana Use

Wisconsin:
NEW CASE: Wisconsin Supreme Court Clarifies Compensability Of Commute Home in a Company Vehicle


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …

Question #1
We are planning to install video surveillance in the workplace. Is posting a sign in the workplace considered sufficient notice of the surveillance to employees?

Question #2
We have an employee who has an extreme case of psoriasis and works in our deli department. Her skin condition makes it difficult for her to work around food due to health and safety requirements of the grocery store and deli. We have engaged in the interactive process with this employee, but none of the accommodations have worked. We even offered to switch the employee’s schedule so she can work the overnight shift in the warehouse instead of her usual day shift in the deli department. Do you have any other suggestions?

View the Answer

Sign This Write Up Or Else?

 

Brain Teaser

Every company has one, a difficult employee to deal with. They are late, insubordinate, poor performers and, well…just bad! To add insult to injury, you attempt to discipline this employee by writing her up. During your discussion, the employee exclaims, “I’m not signing that, it’s not true and I don’t agree with it!”

How should you handle this issue?

  1. You stop the meeting and shred the write up. What’s the point, she won’t sign it.
  2. Terminate the employee for not signing the write up. That’s insubordination.
  3. Write in “Refused to Sign” and date on the employee signature line. The disciplinary action is valid and in force.

View the answer.

 

This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.

PER Human Resources April 2019

PER Human Resources April 2019

April 2019
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Is an Off-Duty Lap Dance Request Cause for Alarm?
HR Stories From The Front Lines* 

Many employees moonlight to make ends meet, which is permissible as long as their other job doesn’t interfere with the workplace. What would you do if you learned that an employee’s second job caused one of your managers to engage in questionable off-duty behavior?*

Read ahead to learn how one HR Manager handled this unique situation.

 

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
NEW CASE: Explains The Importance of Squashing Rumors And Gossiping At The Water Cooler
NEW CASE: Failing to Provide Lactation Accommodations Cost One Employer 1.5 Million Dollars
NEW GUIDANCE: DOL Clarifies FMLA Leave Use And Designation
NEW LAW: US DOL Increases the Penalties for Violations of Several Laws
New Tip Credit Rules – Give credit where credit is due
The DOL Publishes Proposed Rule Clarifying The Calculation Of The Regular Rate Of Pay
The DOL Strikes Back With Proposed Overtime Rule Version 2.0
The New Biometric Data Ruling You Need to Know About!
What is Your Company’s Definition of Outside Sales?

STATE UPDATES
California:
California Safeguards For Workplace Violence Investigations
Clarifying The New California Anti-Harassment Training Requirements (SB 1343)
Modern Timekeeping Warning: California Court Rules That Employee’s Imprecise Evidence Is Better Than Employer’s Lack Of Records
NEW CASE: 9th Circuit Court Appeals Rules Federal And State Background Check Disclosure Forms Are Required In California
NEW CASE: Explaining Compensable Time In California
NEW CASE: Ignoring Employees’ Sexual Harassment Complaints Costs One Employer $11 Million
NEW CASE: Limits Wage And Hour Liability For Payroll Service Providers In California
NEW LAW: Daly City Minimum Wage To Increase To $15 By 2021
NEW LAW: Fremont, CA Minimum Wage To Increase To $15 By 2020
NEW LAW: Pasadena, CA Minimum Wage To Increase To $15 By 2020
Maryland:
NEW LAW: Maryland Minimum Wage To Increase To $15 By 2025
Massachusetts:
Contingent Commissions Agreements Are Not Required to Be Paid Upon Termination Under the Massachusetts Wage Act
NEW GUIDANCE: Massachusetts Department Of Family And Medical Leave Publishes Paid Family And Medical Leave Employer Guide And Mandatory Workplace Poster
Michigan:
NEW CASE: The Michigan Court Of Appeals Reinforces Zero-Tolerance Workplace Rules
Minnesota:
NEW CASE: Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance Upheld By Minnesota Court Of Appeals
Missouri:
NEW CASE: While Sexual Orientation Is NOT Protected, Missouri Supreme Court Holds Sex Stereotyping Violates Missouri Human Rights Act
New Jersey:
NEW CASE: New Jersey Federal Court Tests A Drug Testing Policy
NEW LAW: Important Changes To New Jersey Family Leave Act And The New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program
NEW LAW: Important Changes To New Jersey SAFE Act
New York:
Be In The Know: Sexual Harassment Training in New York And New York City
NOW AVAILABLE: NY City Online Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Program
NEW GUIDANCE: NY City Publishes Model Policy For NYC Lactation Room Law
NEW LAW: The Hair-Raising Adventures of Grooming Policies In New York City
Ohio:
NEW LAW: Cincinnati Passes Salary History Ban
Oregon:
NEW CASE: New Risk For Oregon Employers Encouraging Alcohol At After Work Gatherings
NEW LAW: Portland, Oregon Defends “Non-Believers”
Pennsylvania:
NEW LAW: Philadelphia Passes Predictable Scheduling Law
NEW LAW: Pregnancy Accommodation Now Required For Pittsburgh Employees And Partners
Washington:
Clarification For Washington Employers With Tipped Employees


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …
Question #1
Our company is currently experiencing a measles outbreak amongst our workforce. Are we able require employees stay home while they are contagious? Also, do you have any recommendations on steps we can take to prevent future outbreaks?

Question #2
We have a cook who recently returned from a medical leave of absence. The cook is on light duty, but we recently discovered that he is taking medication related to his recovery. We are concerned that the medication may have side effects (such as drowsiness or dizziness) that may place the employee in danger. What can we do to ensure that the employee remains safe at work?

View the Answer

Can You Ask This Question During An Interview?

 

Brain Teaser

You are interviewing for an all-night cashier/manager position at your convenience store. The candidate you are about to interview seems like a perfect fit for the job. She has managed other convenience stores and has no problem working the graveyard shift.

When this candidate comes in, you are quickly disappointed. You are not quite sure, but it appears she may be a few months pregnant. You are worried about her safety and the safety of her baby if she is pregnant. You want to make sure she’s able to do the job. In addition, it has been really hard to find someone to fill this position. Having her leave for a few weeks, after being newly hired would be a hardship on your business.

How should you handle this issue?

  1. You have the right to ask, especially if she’s going to take time off immediately after you hire her.
  2. You cannot ask a woman if she’s pregnant. This is discrimination.
  3. OSHA requires you to keep your employee’s safe. This job can be dangerous. You cannot put her safety at risk, or the safety of her unborn child.
  4. While asking the question is not illegal, exposure to a claim of discrimination may be established by the known information.

View the answer.

PER Human Resources – March 2019

PER Human Resources – March 2019

March 2019
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

How to Fire an Employee Without Him Firing His Weapon
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

The news has been inundated with stories of workplace violence — from shootings, to bomb threats — and no company wants to be the next headline. As such, employers must be extremely cautious in the face of situations that may spark aggressive behavior. See how one HR Director handled the termination of a potentially violent employee…*

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
Cautious Optimism for Holding Disabled Employees Accountable for Attendance Issues
Does Your Company Website Really Have To Be ADA Compliant?
Don’t Tell Me How To Dress, Or Can You?
Employers Beware — You Cannot Always Require Employees Exhaust Paid Leave Benefits During FMLA Leave
Federal Tip Credit and Tip Pooling Basics
Going Wild About Service Animals at Work
NEW EEOC Case Reminds Employers That Sex Discrimination Isn’t Just for Women – Men Can Be Victims Too
Turning a Blind Eye Can Cost a Company High Dollar Settlements

STATE UPDATES
California: California Employers — Are You Providing School Activities Leave?
California: NEW CASE: Employee’s Voluntary Use Of Company Vehicle For Commuting Is Not Compensable
California: NEW CASE: Major Changes to California’s Reporting Time Pay Requirements
Illinois: NEW LAW: Illinois To Incrementally Increase Minimum Wage to $15.00 Per Hour
New Jersey: NEW LAW: New Jersey To Incrementally Increase Minimum Wage to $15.00 Per Hour
New York: NEW LAW: Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression in New York
New York: NEW LAW: Coming Soon to Westchester County – Sick Leave
New York: NEW LAW: Suffolk County, New York Bans Salary History Inquiries
Pennsylvania: NEW LAW: Predictive Scheduling Coming to Philadelphia

Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …
Question #1
We have an exempt employee who has been out on a leave of absence since mid-January. This employee has been choosing to work 2-3 hours every day. How should I compensate this employee for the time worked? Do I pay him just for the hours worked or am I required to pay the employee his full weekly salary?

Question #2
We have an employee who was recently in a (non-work-related) car accident and is going to be off work for several weeks. This employee is asking for FMLA leave. What are our responsibilities with respect to providing this employee with FMLA?

View the Answer

Deductions To An Exempt Employee’s Salary

 

Brain Teaser

You know deductions to an exempt employee’s salary are limited under federal and sometimes state law. You have an exempt employee who quit in the middle of a workweek. The employee states you must pay her for the entire week.

How should you handle this issue?

  1. You must pay the employee for the entire week.
  2. During the initial or terminal week of employment an individual’s pay may be reduced to reflect days actually worked.
  3. You are not required to pay any portion of the week since the employee ended employment in the middle of a workweek.

View the answer.

 

PER Human Resources – February 2019

PER Human Resources – February 2019

February 2019

Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Avoid Potential Lawsuits by Calling an HR Professional
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

 

Have you ever wondered why we encourage you to call an HR Professional before every termination? Simple. 85 percent of all employment lawsuits can be prevented just by making one simple call. Sounds too good to be true, right? This story illustrates how one simple call to our HR Professionals saved a company from not one but several potential lawsuits.*

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
NEW CASE: Without More, Full-Time Attendance Is Not An Essential Job Function
NEW CASE: NLRB Changes Its Independent Contractor Test
NEW GUIDANCE: DOL Reminds Employers How To Properly Calculate The Regular Rate Of Pay

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW CASE: California Employers Beware – Business Owners Can Be Held Personally Liable For Wage And Hour Violations
California: CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS – Be Sure To Reset The Clock On Employee Sexual Harassment Training
California: NEW DEVELOPMENT: Certain Truck Drivers Exempted From California’s Rest and Meal Period Requirements
California: NEW CASE: Non-Solicitation Clauses In Employment Agreements Are Unenforceable In California
California: NEW CASE Reminds California Employers Of The Business Expense Reimbursement Requirement
Connecticut: NEW LAW: Connecticut Employers, Remember That The New Pay Equity Law Prohibits Salary History Inquiries
Connecticut: REMINDER: Connecticut Employers Must Provide Rebuttal Opportunity For Employee Discipline
Illinois: NEW LAW: Illinois Employers Are Your Handbooks Compliant With The New Sexual harassment Notice Requirements?
Massachusetts: REMINDER: Massachusetts Employers Have New Requirements For Tipped Employees
Massachusetts: NEW GUIDANCE: Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Publishes FAQs on Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law
Michigan: NEW GUIDANCE: FAQs Regarding Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act Published
Ohio: NEW LAW: Cuyhoga County, Ohio Protects LGBTQ Employees From Discrimination
Pennsylvania: NEW LAW: Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission Expands Protections Of Pennsylvania Human Relations Act To Include LGBT Bias


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …
Question #1
We have three employees who have been out of work due to serious health conditions. We have not provided any of these employees with FMLA paperwork, but all of these employees have worked for the company for over a year.
Are we required to continue the employees’ healthcare benefits during their time off?
Question #2
We have an employee who requested accommodations for him to return to work or to extend his leave of absence. Right now, he has exhausted his FMLA and has been on leave for about 8 months. If it is difficult for the business to accommodate this request, could we simply extend his leave till further restrictions (like the requirement of a chair while working.) are removed?Are there any liability risks to the business that we should be aware of if we simply extend this leave?
Untangling the Protected Leave of Absence Web

 

Brain Teaser

Managing leaves can be complex, especially when multiple leave laws may apply to a situation.

You are the owner of two restaurants that are approximately 40 miles apart. You employ 35 employees at one location and 25 employees at the second location.

Sally has worked for your company for two years as a server. In the past 12 months, Sally has worked a total of 1485 hours.

Yesterday, Sally slipped in the kitchen and twisted her ankle. According to her doctor, she needs to be off of her feet for 6 weeks for her ankle to heal.

To further complicate matters, Sally is 6 months pregnant and is planning to take time off after the baby is born for post-partum recovery and baby bonding.

How do you handle Sally’s leave of absence request?

The leave of absence should be categorized as:

  1. Family Medical Leave Act – She has a serious medical condition that prevents her from working.
  2. State Pregnancy Disability Leave – She’s pregnant and disabled so this leave must apply.
  3. Workers’ Compensation Leave – She was hurt on the job, so it has to be designated as workers’ comp.
  4. Americans with Disabilities Act – Since she is disabled, she would have protections under this law.

View the answer.

PER Human Resources – January 2019

PER Human Resources – January 2019

January 2019
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

How to Avoid a Costly Leave of Absence Mistake
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

 

 

Managing an employee’s leave of absence can be very tricky – especially when it spans several months. While you may be tempted to “cut ties” with an employee on extended leave, don’t make that move without reading this
cautionary tale
.*
Read more

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

STATE UPDATES
All States: New Laws Effective January 2019
All States: 2019 Minimum Wage Check-Up
California: NEW CASE: California Court Approves Employer’s Rounding Practice
California: NEW GUIDANCE: California Pay Equity Task Force Issues Guidelines for Complying with the California Equal Pay Act
Michigan: NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Earned Sick Time Act
Michigan: NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Improved Workforce Opportunity Act
Oregon: NEW GUIDANCE: Final Rules Regarding Oregon’s Equal Pay Law Issued
Washington: NEW LAW: Washington Employers, Are You Ready for Washington Paid Family Medical Leave?


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …


Question #1

I have an employee who faxed over a doctor’s note taking her out of work for a month. She is due back on 1/17/19, however she was only mailed the Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibility notifications. Would it be too late to send out a Designation Notice? I am concerned she may not be counting this time off towards her FMLA leave since we never designated it.

Question #2
We have a foreman whose job performance has declined over the past several months. We have spoken to him several times about his recent job performance problems, but this employee has not shown any improvement. While we are not at the point where we are looking to terminate this employee, we are looking for suggestions on how to best proceed to address this situation.

View the Answer

Is Termination the Best Option?

 

Brain Teaser

Consider the following situation: You hired Roberta in September. She seemed fine during the interview…just a little nervous. She was the best candidate interviewed, so you extended her an offer of employment.

After she was hired, you discovered that Roberta is a slow learner (and you suspect that she might have a learning disability). She also has a difficult time receiving criticism.

Now, four months into her employment, Roberta has been having what appear to be panic attacks. You have moved her to several different positions. Unfortunately, her panic attacks have continued and hinder her ability to interact with the public, which is an essential function of her job.

While you’re always willing to give an employee a chance, you really don’t think Roberta is going to improve. You would like to terminate her; after all, she’s an at-will employee.

Is termination the best option?

  1. Absolutely; though you feel sorry for Roberta, you need people who can work, and you don’t have time to babysit her.
  2. Maybe; since Roberta has not told you she has a disability or needs an accommodation, you do not have to worry about potential disability discrimination.
  3. Yes; if Roberta had some type of physical condition or disability, you understand you’d have to accommodate her, but you cannot accommodate a mental problem.
  4. No, or at least not yet. You need to learn more about Roberta’s condition before making any decisions.

View the answer.

PER Human Resources – December 2018

PER Human Resources – December 2018

December 2018
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

The Most Shocking Terminations of 2018
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

Our HR Professionals provide support for thousands of terminations throughout the year, most of which involve typical “run-of-the-mill” offenses. Surprisingly, there are always a handful of cases where the employee’s conduct shocks us, and we’re left wondering how someone could actually act that way at work. Click here to read about the top five shockers from 2018..*

Read more

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
NEW CASE: Employer Must Pay for Post-Offer Medical Exams
NEW CASE: Harassment Policies Should Be Provided In Multiple Languages
NEW RULE: DOL Eliminates “80/20” Tip Credit Rule

STATE UPDATES
All States: 2019 Minimum Wage Check-Up
All States: Is The Minimum Required Salary For Exempt Employees Increasing In Your State In 2019?
Arkansas: NEW LAW: Arkansas Voters Approve Increase Of Minimum Wage
California: NEW LAW – Minimum Wage Increases For Certain California Cities
Illinois: REMINDER – Illinois Business Expense Reimbursement Requirement Begins January 1st
Illinois: NEW LAW – Illinois Health Care Violence Prevention Act Takes Effect January 1st
Illinois: NEW LAW: Starting January 1st Illinois Service Member Employment And Reemployment Rights Act To Protect Illinois’ Military Service Members
Minnesota: NEW LAW – St. Paul To Increase Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour
Missouri: NEW LAW: Missouri Voters Approve Increase Of Minimum Wage
Missouri: NEW LAW: Missouri Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana
New Mexico: NEW LAW – Minimum Wage Increases For Certain New Mexico Localities
New York: NEW LAW – New York City To Require Lactation Rooms
Washington: NEW LAW – Minimum Wage Increases For Certain Washington Cities
Washington: COMING SOON: New Posting Requirements For All DC Employers
Washington: NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination Of Tip Credit Repealed
Washington: NEW LAW: DC To Require Sexual Harassment Training For Tipped Employees


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …

Question #1
I recently received an anonymous complaint via our Employee Complaint Hotline where the employee complained that one of our Area Coaches was acting in a discriminatory manner towards women. Can you please provide me with guidance on how to best investigate this complaint?

View the Answer

Even Easy Terminations Lead to Claims

 

Brain Teaser

Henry has worked for your company for over a decade and, until recently, has been a good performer. However, over the past six months, Henry’s performance has started to slide.

You have talked to Henry about your observations with his performance on several occasions, but you did not document any of these conversations. During your conversations, Henry admitted that his performance has slipped and that he has been making several mistakes. Each time, Henry promises he will improve, but he hasn’t shown any improvement.

Last week, Henry asked for a few days off to attend a convention for his church. While he was out, you discovered he had failed to complete a project by the deadline, negatively impacting a customer.

Based on his decline in performance and the recently discovered error, you decide to terminate Henry.

Yesterday, you were shocked when you received a charge from the EEOC claiming discrimination based on religion. You didn’t fire Henry because of his religion. Henry was fired because he wasn’t doing his job.

You tried to explain that to the EEOC. Likely, the EEOC responded:

  1. They completely understood. Once you explained the course of events, they could understand why Henry needed to be terminated and dismissed the charge.
  2. They asked you and Henry’s supervisor a lot of questions. It seemed like they were looking for ways that you’d discriminated against him. Making implications that you didn’t feel were accurate. You didn’t feel it went well and you don’t know what will happen next.
  3. They asked to see documentation of Henry’s performance problems. They wanted to see the evidence that you’d talked to him about his poor performance. They asked if Henry was disciplined for his poor performance, in writing. They asked a lot of questions about his absence and why you terminated Henry immediately following his return to work. In the end, the EEOC concluded you had discriminated against Henry and his termination was retaliation for taking time off to attend a church conference.

View the answer.

 

Year End Checklist for 2018
HR Trends

The end of the year is a busy time for all HR Professionals. Along with the critical year end tasks that must be completed, there are also other items that should be completed to help your organization move seamlessly into 2019. To help you prepare for the new year, we have prepared a checklist of some of the key tasks you should complete before the start of 2019 …

Read more.


 

PER Human Resources – November 2018

PER Human Resources – November 2018

November 2018
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

When Jack Becomes Diane: How to Treat Transgender Employees in Today’s Workplace
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

As an HR manager, you’re confronted with various scenarios on a daily basis. For Marie, a Monday morning discussion with a warehouse employee presented a challenging situation that, unfortunately, she didn’t initially respond to properly. Thinking someone was playing a joke on her, she inappropriately laughed at the employee’s pronouncement that he was transitioning from a man to a woman. Read on to learn how she recovered her composure and took the appropriate steps regarding his transition and his privacy.*

Read more

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
EEOC Reports Uptick In Sexual Harassment Claims for 2018

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW LAW: California Amends Its Criminal History Inquiry Law
California: NEW LAW: California Amends Its Inspection of Pay Records Law
California: NEW LAW: California Enacts Wide Reaching Law In Response to #MeToo Movement
California: NEW LAW: California Exempts Certain Employees At Petroleum Facilities From Rest And Recovery Period Requirements
California: NEW LAW: California Expands Existing Lactation Accommodation Law
California: NEW LAW: New Requirements For California Talent Agencies
California: NEW LAW: New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements For California Employers
California: NEW LAW: Berkeley, California’s Minimum Wage to Increase October 1, 2018
California: NEW LAW: California To Require Human Trafficking Training In The Hospitality Industry
California: NEW LAW: California To Require Human Trafficking Training In The Transportation Industry
California: NEW LAW: San Diego, California’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
Florida: NEW LAW: Florida’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
Illinois: NEW POSTER: Illinois Requires Anti-Harassment Poster
Massachusetts: NEW LAW: New Requirements For Leave For Veterans In Massachusetts
Minnesota: NEW LAW: Minnesota’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
Montana: NEW LAW: Montana’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
New Jersey: NEW GUIDANCE: New Jersey Publishes FAQs Regarding Paid Sick Leave Law
New Jersey: NEW LAW: New Jersey’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
New Jersey: NEW POSTER: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Issues New Paid Sick Leave Mandatory Poster
New York: Good News For New York Employers – The Deadline To Provide Employees With Sexual Harassment Training Has Been Extended
New York: NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Final Sexual Harassment Model Policy & Sexual Harassment Training Programs Released
New York: NEW GUIDANCE: New York Publishes Sexual Harassment Materials In Several Languages
New York: NEW LAW: New York Requires Human Trafficking Informational Cards Be Posted In Hotels
Ohio: NEW LAW: Ohio’s Minimum Wage To Increase January 1, 2019
South Dakota: NEW LAW: South Dakota’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019
Vermont: NEW LAW: Vermont’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following questions were submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …
Question #1
If an employee comes to us with an injury that happened outside of work, what are our obligations to him for holding his job (or not) while he is out?
This person has been working with us less than 3 months. He has not sought medical treatment yet for an injured hand when he punched a wall. Here’s what I have done so far:

  • Determined that he is ineligible for FMLA because he has not worked with us long enough
  • Encouraged him to seek medical treatment so that he could apply for state temporary disability benefits

In the meantime, his manager is saying that he needs to fill the position because now his “set crew” is one down and there needs to be a replacement.
So, are we obligated to hold his job while he is out and what if there isn’t a position for him when he returns? My first thought is the ADA, but I don’t know enough about it to reference it for this case.

Question #2
We have a manager that we strongly suspect of theft. A lot of number manipulation and missing money has come to light recently.
She is pregnant right now, so I am wondering how much concrete evidence we need to be able to terminate her?
Being aware she is a red flag is a concern to us but missing potentially thousands of dollars is of course a bigger concern to us. Please let me know how we can proceed with best practices in mind.

View the Answers

Lactation Breaks at Work – What is Required?

 

Brain Teaser

An employee has just returned from pregnancy leave and is requesting time and space to “pump” at work. You’re not sure what this entails or how this is going to impact your business – not to mention the comfort level of your other employees.

Which of the following accommodations are you required to offer?

  1. You have to give her several paid breaks throughout the day lasting 30 minutes or more.
  2. You must provide a private area for her to “pump” – someplace other than a bathroom.
  3. You must provide her unpaid time off to go home up to three times in an 8-hour shift to feed her baby.
  4. You do not have to accommodate the employee’s request. She can pump on her lunch break.

View the answer.

 

Minimize FMLA Woes in 5 Easy Steps
HR Trends

Managing FMLA leave can be stressful for HR Professionals, so the following guidelines are intended to eliminate potential headaches in five easy steps.

Click here.

PER Human Resources – October 2018

PER Human Resources – October 2018

October 2018
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Three is a Crowd – No Doubt!
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

 

Managers are expected to exercise good judgement at work, but what happens when managers “hang out” with employees after work? Are they still expected to use good judgment? One HR manager decided that, yes, the company’s expectation extended beyond the workplace – at least when it comes to interacting with subordinates. See if you agree.*

Read more

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
NEW GUIDANCE: Department of Labor Publishes 6 New Opinion Letters
NEW GUIDANCE: Department of Labor Releases New Websites for Workers and Employers and Creates Office of Compliance Initiatives
NEW LAW: Federal Contractor Minimum Wage to Increase in 2019
NEW FORM: Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases New Model FCRA Summary of Rights

STATE UPDATES
Illinois: NEW LAW: Illinois To Require Business Expense Reimbursement
Maine: NEW LAW: Maine’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Michigan: NEW LAW: Michigan To Incrementally Increase Minimum Wage to $12.00 Per Hour
Michigan: NEW LAW: Michigan’s New Earned Sick Time Law
New Jersey: PROPOSED REGULATION: New Jersey Department Of Labor Publishes Proposed Paid Sick Leave Regulations
New York: ATTENTION NYC EMPLOYERS: Did You Comply With The New Sexual Harassment Notice Requirements?
Tennessee: NEW LAW: New Drug Free Workplace Requirements For Tennessee Employers
Tennessee: NEW LAW: Tennessee Amends Workplace Weapons Laws To Allow Carrying Concealed Weapons
Washington: NEW GUIDANCE: Washington State Attorney General Publishes New Guide on Pregnancy Accommodations


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following questions were submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …
Question #1
Can employers require employees to speak English only during work hours?

Question #2
What is the procedure when denying an applicant due to credit and what documentation is needed?

View the Answers

End of Year Employee Gifts

 

Brain Teaser

After your company’s fantastic year, you’ve decided to reward your employees with a holiday “thank you” gift.

Some ideas include an option of cash, gift cards, or one of those delicious honey baked hams – save them from slaving away in the kitchen. Although cash is always popular, you want to ensure your gift doesn’t come with any unwanted consequences.

You remember vague details about gifts being taxable, but don’t know if:

  1. You can give your employees a gift of any value without it being taxable;
  2. All employee gifts are taxable income to the employee;
  3. Gifts up to $100 are not considered taxable;
  4. Nominal gifts are not taxable, but cash and gift cards always are.

View the answer.

 

Ban-The-Box Cheat Sheet
HR Trends

Nationwide, over 150 localities and 30 states have adopted some form of “ban-thebox”
legislation.

While many of these prohibitions apply only to government employers, an
increasing number of these laws also apply to private employers.

Click here to view a brief synopsis of which states and localities have “ban-the-box” laws that
affect private employers.


This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.

PER Human Resources – September 2018

PER Human Resources – September 2018

September 2018
Want to know the latest buzz in the HR arena?  Professional Employer Resources has a world of information in our newsletter. Not only is it fun, it’s resourceful! Including, important changes to federal and state employment practices.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all employment lawsuits can be prevented!

Help! I Hired a Registered Sex Offender!
HR Stories From The Front Lines* 

As an HR Manager, you do your best to follow your company’s guidelines when making a hiring decision. Sometimes, though, new information comes to light after an employee has been with the company for a while.
What if you suddenly learned that one of your new hires was a registered sex offender? Would you terminate that person based on what you learned? More importantly, could you do so legally? Read on to learn how one
HR Manager handled this challenging situation.*

Read more

(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

 

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates

FEDERAL UPDATES
NEW CASE: Court Reminds Employers That Reasonable Accommodation ≠ Employee’s Demand Where There Are Other Reasonable Alternatives
NEW FORMS: Department of Labor Publishes New FMLA Forms

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW CASE: California Employers Must Comply With Strictest Background Check Law
California: NEW GUIDANCE: DFEH Publishes Model Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Delaware: NEW LAW: Sexual Harassment Training Now Required For Delaware Employees
Illinois: NEW LAW: Illinois Amends the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act
Massachusetts: NEW LAW: Massachusetts Restricts Non-Compete Agreements
New Jersey: NEW FORMS: New Jersey Publishes Equal Pay Data Reporting Forms
New York: NEW POSTER: NYC Publishes New Sexual Harassment Poster
New York: NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Publishes DRAFT Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Training
North Carolina: NEW LAW: North Carolina Amendment of Its Certificate of Relief Law Impacts Employers
Texas: Austin Local Paid Sick Leave Law Enjoined
Texas: NEW LAW: San Antonio Passes Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Texas: NEW POSTER: Texas Updates Two Workplace Posters


Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following questions were submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month …

Question #1
When asking if the candidate is able to perform the essential functions of a job, can we simply ask “Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job WITHOUT reasonable accommodation?” Or do we have to say “with or without” legally?

When should this question be asked at the interview stage or job offer stage?

Question #2
Yesterday, our female employee’s daughter called out for her and told a staff member that her mom was in the ER (and therefore unable to come into work).

There is a Facebook video of this employee partying at a nightclub and getting very drunk. The video was taken yesterday and is timestamped around the same time as the daughter’s phone call. This is the third time this employee’s daughter has called off for her in the past month.

When the employee reported for work this morning, the manager asked her for a doctor’s note. The employee refused to provide a note and told her manager that it’s illegal to ask for a doctor’s note.

Technically our policy requires employees provide a doctor’s note only after two consecutive call offs, but we’re concerned about the falsification of information and the violation of the call off procedure.

We would like to issue at minimum a warning notice. What do you recommend?

View the Answers 

Resignation vs. Termination

 

Brain Teaser

This morning Andrea, your most disgruntled employee, turned in her resignation and will be leaving in two weeks.

You are thrilled. Andrea has been a problem employee for years. In fact, over the last couple of weeks, she has been doing even less work than before and has made several disparaging remarks about the company.

You tell Andrea to pack up her things and go.

Andrea reminds you she gave a two-week notice and she wants to work through the notice period.

How should you handle this issue?

  1. Let Andrea continue to work. You are required to let her work through her notice period by law.
  2. Ask Andrea if she wants to shorten her notice (and get it in writing). If she chooses not to, let Andrea know she no longer needs to report to work and that you will pay her through the notice period.
  3. Get rid of Andrea, the sooner the better. No harm done since she gave her notice.

View the answer.

 

Everyone is Depressed Sometimes … Is Depression a Disability I Must Accommodate?
HR Trends

BarNone Factory has an employee (Mark) with increasingly poor attendance. These days, Mark is absent more often than he shows up to work. Management wants to terminate him for poor attendance. One day before the termination meeting, Mark tells Amy, the HR Director, that he is depressed and cannot come into work for the remainder of the week.

This is all too familiar to employers. Read more to learn how to properly manage this employee’s request.