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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.


 

PER Human Resources – August 2018

August 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!

Hell Hath No Fury
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

While relationships between employees are inevitable, sometimes they end badly. Aside from hurt feelings, there’s occasionally backlash from the scorned party. When it happens outside the workplace,
there’s little you can do about it, but what happens when your workplace Romeo’s ex starts bullying his new girlfriend – and both women are your employees? For now, be thankful you’re only reading about it,
but read on to see how one HR Manager responded to the new girlfriend’s complaint.*
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
Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation to Deaf Employee Costs Costco $775,000
NEW GUIDANCE: NLRB Clarifies Its Stance on Employee Handbooks

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW CASE: Rounding Time is OK in California
California: NEW LAW: California Includes Sexual Harassment Claims in Privileged Communication Law
California: NEW LAW: California Clarifies Salary History Ban
California: NEW POSTER: California’s Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Program Poster Released
California: NEW CASE: California Supreme Court Rejects Federal De Minimis Rule
Hawaii: NEW LAW: Hawaii Passes Pay Transparency and Salary History Ban
Michigan: NEW GUIDANCE: Michigan OSHA Releases New Guidance Regarding Eyewashes and Safety Showers
South Carolina: NEW GUIDANCE: South Carolina Publishes FAQs For New State Pregnancy Accommodations Act
Utah: Utah Employer Learns a $832,500 Lesson about Disability Discrimination
Vermont: NEW GUIDANCE: Vermont Attorney General Issues Guidance On Vermont’s Marijuana Law

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
We have an employee that was hired last week contingent to drug test results. The employee started working last week and we just received the results today and he tested positive for the use of marijuana.

How do you recommend we approach this matter? Our company handbook states the following:

It is the Company’s desire to provide a drug-free, healthful, and safe workplace. To promote this goal, employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a safe and satisfactory manner. While on Company property and while conducting business-related activities off Company property, no employee may use, possess, distribute, sell, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted on the job only if it does not impair an employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace.
Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment, and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program. Such violations may also have legal consequences.

Question #2
Yesterday, our general manager clocked in to the restaurant early and begin yelling at the assistant manager about the speed with which the employees were handling the lunch rush. The assistant manager became frustrated with the general manager’s conduct and walked off the job.

We conducted an investigation into this incident and believe the general manager was “out of line” and have spoken to the general manager about her conduct.

We would like to know what we should do about the assistant manager. She is a valuable member of our team and someone whom we see could go far in our organization. How should we handle this situation?

View the Answers

May the 4th Be With You … While I’m Off Work

 

Brain Teaser

You operate a popular Mexican restaurant. Last week, one of your employees, Lando, informed you that he has just converted to a new faith – Jedism – and, as a tenant of his religious faith, he is prohibited from working on May the 4th, which is its major holiday. Lando then asked for May the 4th off from work as a religious accommodation.

Coincidentally, due to its proximity to Cinco de Mayo, May 4th is also one of your restaurant’s busiest working days. In fact, it’s so busy that you require all employees to work that day.

In response, you told Lando, “Wait, you agreed to cover that day when I hired you; if you’re not available, I’ll have to pay overtime which I can’t afford.”

Lando’s reply, “It’s required by my faith.”
What should you do?

  1. Require him to bring you written proof from a religious authority, that he’s a member of this new faith, and that his faith requires him not to perform any work on May the 4th.
  2. Grant the request – you have no choice!
  3. Talk to him to see if there’s another option, other than not reporting to work, that would allow him to satisfy his religious belief.
  4. Deny the request.

View the answer.

 

Six Common HR Mistakes to Avoid
HR Trends

Nobody’s perfect, but in the field of human resources, making certain mistakes are a surefire way to expose your organization to a claim. Luckily, some of the most common HR mistakes are the easiest to avoid when you take a proactive approach to planning.

Read ahead to identify the six most common HR mistakes and how to avoid them.


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 – July 2018

July 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!

One Employee, One Homeless Man, and One Big Problem
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

As an HR Professional, you’ve probably had your fair share of unusual occurrences that required your attention. Imagine arriving at work and finding out that one of your employees was involved in a
fight during his break period with someone who didn’t even work for your company. What would you do? The following story is a real-life nightmare from the HR front lines.
Read on and think about how you’d handle things.*
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
The EEOC Claims Another Victory in Fight for Disabled Workers
US Supreme Court’s Cakeshop Decision Does Not Equal Right To Discriminate

STATE UPDATES
All States: New Laws Effective July 1, 2018
All States: 2018 Mid-Year Minimum Wage Check-Up
California: NEW REGULATIONS – FEHA Regulations Clarify National Origin Discrimination
Delaware: NEW LAW: Delaware’s Minimum Wage to Increase October 1, 2018
Georgia: Hands-Free Georgia Act Becomes Law
Georgia: To Compete or Non-Compete, that is the Question (in Georgia)
Maryland: NEW LAW – Maryland’s New Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement
Massachusetts: NEW LAW: Massachusetts to Increase Minimum Wage with Grand Bargain
Massachusetts: NEW LAW – Paid Family and Medical Leave Coming to Massachusetts
New Hampshire: NEW LAW: New Hampshire Adds Gender Identity As Protected Class
Oklahoma: NEW LAW: Oklahoma Voters Approve Ballot Initiative Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Oregon: NEW RULES: Oregon BOLI Publishes Rules Regarding New Predictable Scheduling Law
South Carolina: NEW POSTER – South Carolina Publishes New Employment Discrimination Poster
Vermont: NEW LAW – Vermont Amends Its Sexual Harassment Law
Vermont: NEW LAW – Vermont Enacts New Protections for Crime Victims
Vermont: NEW LAW – Gender-Neutral Restrooms Coming to Vermont


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
We have a Chef who has been having medical issues. She has also informed us that the doctors do not know what is wrong with her at this point in time – despite having run a series of tests.

We are trying to see what we should do- legally how we can handle her and our situation as her absences have affected our company’s functionality and ability to operate our systems and serve our guests.

Ownership is considering a couple of options: (1) termination or (2) providing her with a leave of absence. However, if we provide a leave of absence, she has not even worked for the company for an entire year,
so she doesn’t qualify for FMLA. How should we proceed to avoid a potential claim?

Question #2
We have an employee who recently approached us about the company allowing him to wear
gauges in both ears, and nasal jewelry as a religious accommodation. We are meeting with the
employee tomorrow about his request and want to know what we can do to validate this
employee’s religious belief.

View the Answers

We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here… Handling a Customer Complaint of Discrimination

 

Brain Teaser

Employers often deal with customer complaints ranging from slow service to under cooked food. But what happens when you receive a customer complaint claiming discrimination?

You receive a letter in the mail that states:

We came in on Saturday for a special dinner celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We were pleasantly greeted and seated right away. The server was very knowledgeable and gave us great meal recommendations.
When she asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion, we told her about our anniversary. She looked stunned, nodded and walked away. The rest of the evening she rarely came by our table. It took her 30 minutes
to come back and take our order and it took over an hour for our food to arrive, which was cold indicating it had been sitting for a while. When we tried to ask about the delay she was very short and rudely replied,
“If you don’t like it here, why don’t you go somewhere else”. We noticed that other parties she waited on were treated well and were given excellent service. I’m not sure why we were treated this way, but
I can guess it is because my partner and I are a same-sex couple. I don’t wish for anyone else to be treated this way and hope the issue is addressed.

What do you do with this complaint?

  1. It’s just a letter expressing this person’s experience. Put it in the circular file.
  2. This may be discrimination complaint, but this person is not your employee. You can’t do much about the issue. Just send him a coupon for his next meal.
  3. Anti-discrimination and harassment laws protect customers, clients, and vendors from harassment and discrimination. You will need to investigate, make a determination and take any necessary remedial action to ensure
    discrimination stops and does not continue.

View the answer.

 

Paid Sick Leave Cheat Sheet
HR Trends

Since 2014, the number of paid sick leave laws at the state and local
level have increased dramatically.

Click here for a brief synopsis of which states and localities offer paid sick leave.


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.

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PER provides solutions for my administrative questions and frustrations. The HR department has really helped my company to run like a well oiled machine.

Jim - President - Window Repairs - Orlando, Florida

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