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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

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

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.


 

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