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PER Human Resources – October 2017

October 2017
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!

Worse than a Soap Opera: How to Handle a Workplace Love Triangle
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

As an HR Professional, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of awkward situations. But what if you learned about a workplace relationship that involved not one but two subordinates and a manager?
Avoiding potential sexual harassment claims means handling sticky situations with extreme caution. Let’s see what we can learn from one HR Professional’s love triangle nightmare. *

Let’s join “Workplace Love Triangle” on HR Stories from the Frontlines.

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
REMINDER — Engaging In The Interactive Process Is An Ongoing Duty
REMINDER – Pay Attention To Local Minimum Wage Laws
NEW POSTER – New E-Verify Poster Published
Federal Contractor Minimum Wage to Increase In 2018
New Form I-9 Now In Effect

STATE UPDATES
Connecticut: NEW CASE: Fluctuating Workweek Prohibited for Certain Connecticut Employees
Connecticut: NEW LAWS – Three New Laws Going Into Effect on October 1, 2017
Florida: Wage And Hour Laws To Keep In Mind In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Irma
Michigan: IMPORTANT REMINDER for Michigan Employers Regarding Reasonable Accommodation
Minnesota: NEW LAW – Minnesota’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2018
North Carolina: NEW LAW:  North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act
Washington: NEW LAW: Washington’s Healthy Starts Act Now In Effect


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
An employee got married and wants to change all her information to a new last name. Does the employee need to complete a new I9 and W4?

Question #2
We have an employee that was fired on Tuesday. He wrecked the company truck in which he was driving. He is responsible for the deductible on the damage which will be $500.
This is his last check. He will not be available to sign any paperwork stating that he will make compensation so we want to take it out of his last check. How do I go about handling this situation?
Thanks for your help. The client cannot take the $500 out of his last check without his written permission. Correct?

View the Answers

Are You Adequately Prepared For An EEOC Charge?

 

Brain Teaser

Mary Anne has been a Legal Secretary at D.C.H. Law Firm since 2010. Until recently, she has been a good performer. However, over the past year, she has missed deadlines, become sloppy with her work, and overall isn’t performing as she had in the past.

The managing partner at the firm has spoken to Mary Anne numerous times about her declining performance. Each time, Mary Anne promised that her performance would improve, but instead, her performance worsened. None of these conversations were documented and all of Mary Anne’s performance reviews reflect good performance.

Last month, Mary Anne took a week off work to attend a convention for her church. When she requested the time off, she informed the Firm of the reason for the time off.

During her absence, the managing partner discovered that Mary Anne had made a significant error that negatively impacted a client and exposed the Firm to a potential malpractice claim. This most recent error was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Based on her decline in performance and the recently discovered error, Mary Anne is terminated. From the Firm’s perspective, it shouldn’t have been a surprise; they have been talking to her about the problems for quite some time.

Last week, the Firm received an EEOC charge claiming that Mary Anne had been discriminated against and terminated because of her religion. In its response to the EEOC, the Firm asserts that Mary Anne was terminated due to poor performance and cites several examples. However, no documentation was provided to support these examples. What is the EEOC’s likely response?

  1. The EEOC completely understood the situation. Once Mary Anne’s decline in performance was explained, the EEOC investigator understood why Mary Anne was terminated and dismissed the charge.
  2. The EEOC investigator responded by scheduling personal interviews with the managing partner and other members of the Firm. By “ramping up” its investigation, it appears that the EEOC sided with Mary Anne and completely discounted the Firm’s written response.
  3. The EEOC investigator asked to see documentation of Mary Anne’s performance problems and any written evidence that she was disciplined for her poor performance. When the Firm was unable to provide any documents, the investigator asked a lot of questions about Mary Anne’s absence and why she was terminated immediately following the time off. In the end, the investigator concluded Mary Anne had faced religious discrimination in the workplace and that she was terminated in retaliation for taking the time off to attend her church conference.

View the answer.

 

Avoid HR Disasters – Document, Document, Document
HR Trends

The final article of our three-part series emphasizes documentation.

“Did you document that?” This is a question that all HR Professionals receive relating to employees. Whether it’s communicating a company-wide change in policy, reporting a change in compensation,
or memorializing a performance issue, it is vital that you document these events so that the company has a clear record of an employee’s history with the company – good or bad.

Read ahead for part three of our series to Avoid HR Disasters – Document, Document, Document.


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 2017

September 2017
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 Nightmare Overpayment You Need to Know About
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

Payroll mistakes happen. After all, you’re human. But what if a data entry error turned into a five-figure overpayment?

As an employer, you do your best to hire honest employees, but you can’t foresee every possible situation. So, if you accidentally overpay someone, it’s reasonable to hope that person will bring it to your attention.

The nightmare situation that follows serves as an important reminder that not all employees will fess up to an undeserved windfall …
and that getting repaid for the mistake may require actions that cost you more in the long run.*

Let’s join “Nightmare Overpayment” on HR Stories from the Frontlines.

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
REMINDER – New Form I-9 goes into effect September 18, 2017
UPDATE: The DOL Overtime Rule is Officially Dead!

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW REGULATIONS – California’s New Transgender Regulations Now In Effect
Connecticut: NEW LAW – Connecticut Extends Protections to Veterans and National Guard Members of Other States
Florida: NEW POSTER: St. Petersberg, Florida Publishes New Wage Theft Notice
Illinois: Proposed Amendments to Illinois Equal Pay Act Vetoed
Maine: NEW LAW – Maine Reinstates Tip Credit For Tipped Workers
New Jersey: NEW LAW – Scope of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination Expanded to Include Military Members
New York: NEW REGULATIONS – New York’s Final Paid Family Leave Law Regulations Adopted
Oregon: NEW LAW – Oregon’s New Equal Pay Act
Oregon: NEW LAW – Oregon Passes Employee Scheduling Law
Oregon: NEW LAW: Oregon Amends Manufacturing Overtime Rules
Pennsylvania: NEW LAW – Pennsylvania Now Allows Payment of Wages Via Payroll Debit Cards
Rhode Island: NEW LAW – Rhode Island’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2018
Texas: NEW LAW – Leave Rights for Texas Foster Parents Effective Sept. 1, 2017
Texas: Employment Laws to Keep in Mind in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Washington DC: NEW LAW — Washington DC Universal Paid Leave Act
West Virginia: NEW LAW – West Virginia Extends Protections to Members of the State Wing of the Civil Air Patrol


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
Our company recently surpassed 50 employees. We have an employee who will most likely need one to three months off to care for her ill mother. What are the steps I should take to ensure I comply with FMLA?

Question #2
I am the HR manager of a family-owned business that has several different entities – each of which is a separate corporation owned by the family.
In recent months, I have noticed a trend of former employees applying for positions at one of the other locations and some of these former employees are not subject to rehire at their previous location.
To avoid this problem, can I provide a report of former employees who are not eligible for rehire to the managers of our other locations?View the Answers

Handling the Helicopter Parent of
Your Minor Employees

 

Brain Teaser

Cindy owns a local fast food restaurant and employs many minor employees. She has never had any issues with employing minors until she hired Hank (who is 16).

Hank regularly reports to work late and, after 5 tardies, Cindy issues a written warning. Hank is immediately apologetic. He signs the written warning and promises that he will work harder to report to work on time.

The next day, Cindy receives a phone call from Hank’s mother, Pamela. She is very upset that she was not contacted before Hank received a written warning. Pamela also accuses Cindy of breaking the law because she asked a minor to sign a written warning. Finally, Pamela informs Cindy that, in the future, she must be present anytime Cindy speaks with her son.

Does Cindy have to comply with Pamela’s demands?

  1. Yes, because Hank is a minor and he cannot legally sign a document without a parent present.
  2. Maybe, because Hank is a minor, Cindy should at least consult Hank’s parents before taking disciplinary action.
  3. No, there is not any obligation to involve Hank’s parents. The employment relationship is with Hank.

View the answer.

 

 

6 Communication Tips to Avoid HR Disasters + Manager Cheat Sheet
HR Trends

You’re busy. We get that, but our quick tips for being a better HR Director will help you avoid HR nightmares with ease. We’ve even created a checklist for your managers, so they can learn to lead better without burdening you unnecessarily.

Read ahead for part two of our series to gain valuable tips and guidelines for communicating with employees about HR issues..


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 – August 2017

August 2017
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!

Hide and Go Seek:
A Workplace Surprise
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

 

If you’ve ever had to investigate a situation to determine who wasn’t doing his or her job properly (and we’re sure you have), then you know that
things aren’t always easy to unravel.
It can be difficult to get to the bottom of things, but what happens when the investigation reveals an unexpected upper level employee is at fault?
The following case study offers insight into events that even the most experienced HR manager might find troubling. *

Let’s join “HR Stories from the Frontlines” in progress.

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 Form I-9 Published

STATE UPDATES
California: NEW LAW – Salary History Questions are Banned in San Francisco
California: NEW NOTICE — California Publishes A New Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking Notice
California: NEW LAW – San Francisco Expands Protections for Nursing Mothers
Connecticut: NEW LAW – Connecticut Extends Additional Protections to Pregnant Employees
Massachusetts: NEW LAW — Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Minnesota: NEW LAW — Minneapolis Enacts New Minimum Wage Ordinance
Missouri: NEW LAW – Local Minimum Wages Banned in Missouri
Missouri: NEW LAW – Missouri Amends Its Human Rights Act
Nevada: Fluctuating Work Week Method Of Compensation Is Permissible For Certain Nevada Employees
Nevada: NEW LAW — Nevada to Require Domestic Violence Leave January 1, 2018
Nevada: NEW LAW — Nevada’s Wage Disclosure Law
New Jersey: New Jersey Salary History Bill Vetoed By Governor
New York: NEW LAW: Salary History Questions are Banned in New York City
Oregon: NEW LAW – Oregon Prohibits Past Salary History Inquiries
Oregon: AMENDED LAW – Oregon Amends Its Sick Leave Law
Pennsylvania: Former Employees Have No Right to Inspect Personnel Files in Pennsylvania
Tennessee: NEW LAW – New Reporting Requirements for Tennessee Employers of Healthcare Practitioners
Washington: NEW LAW: Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave
Washington: NEW CASE: Clarifies Meal Period Requirements For Washington Employers


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
Our company is switching from paper checks to direct deposit in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. We used to print time cards and have the employees sign
those time cards to verify their hours were correct before giving them the paper check. Now that we are switching to direct deposit by bank account or debit card, their choice, do we still need to have them sign a paper
time card verifying correct hours to keep us compliant with the DOL in each state and the federal government?

Question #2
Is it legal for a company to hire a new employee and put them on a 3-month probation period to see if the worker and the job are a good fit and if not a good fit is that grounds for termination?

View the Answers

Are Remote Employees Eligible for FMLA?
Brain Teaser

Stella has worked from home as a full-time virtual assistant at AB Virtual Inc. for 2 years. The office from where Stella’s work is assigned is located 85 miles away from her home.

Last week, Stella informed George, her manager, that she is having surgery and needs to take a medical leave of absence for 6 weeks. Stella then asked if she could take FMLA leave.

George is not sure if Stella is eligible for leave because she works from home. He tells Stella that he will get back to her and then approaches the company’s HR Director with Stella’s request.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, Stella must have:

  • Worked for the company for 12 months;
  • Worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months prior to the leave beginning;
  • Worked at a site with at least 50 other employees within 75 miles of the worksite.

Is Stella eligible for FMLA?

  1. No, Stella’s residence is more than 75 miles away from corporate headquarters.
  2. No, remote employees are not eligible to receive FMLA because they work remotely.
  3. Maybe, if the company employs more than 50 employees, remote employees are automatically eligible for FMLA.
  4. Yes, if the site from which Stella’s work is assigned or the site to which Stella reports employs at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite.

View the answer.

 

 

Avoid HR Disasters –
Recognizing Workplace Problems
HR Trends

Knowing how to recognize workplace problems is a critical component of an HR Director’s job duties. Over the next three HR Trends articles, we will provide you with tips to assist you
in spotting and managing potential HR disasters.

Read More.


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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