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PER Human Resources – July 2019

July 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!

What To Do When A Non-Employee Is
Breaking Your Company’s Rules

 

HR Stories From The Front Lines*

 

 

Recently, one of our clients was struggling to unravel a mystery that had the company’s employees up in arms. Despite the company’s non-proselytizing policy, mysterious Bible verses kept appearing on the chalkboard in the employee break room.*

Read on to learn about their surprising source and how the HR manager dealt with the 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

DOL Plans On Clarifying Joint Employer Relationship
Opinion Letter Address Independent Contractors In A Gig Economy
SSA No-Match Letters: A 7-Step Guide On How Employers Should Respond

STATE UPDATES
All States:
2019 Minimum Wage Check-Up
New Laws Effective July 1, 2019
Alabama:
NEW LAW – Alabama Enacts Salary History Ban
Colorado:
NEW LAW: Colorado Is The Latest State To Ban-The-Box
NEW LAW: Colorado Passes New Pay Equity Law Including Salary History Ban

Connecticut:
NEW LAW – Connecticut Expands Its Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Indiana:
NEW LAW – Indiana Now Allows Payroll Deductions For Uniform Rentals
Maine:
NEW LAW: Maine To Require Employers Provide Mandatory Paid Leave
NEW LAW – Maine Provides Protected Leave For Veterans’ VA Appointments

Maryland:
NEW LAW: Maryland Prohibits Noncompete Agreements For “Low-Wage” Employees
NEW POSTER: Maryland Publishes New Minimum Wage Poster

Minnesota:
NEW LAW: Minnesota New Wage Theft Law Imposes New Requirements On Employers
Nevada:
NEW LAW: Nevada Becomes First State To Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Drug Tests
NEW LAW: Nevada Defines “Health Benefits” For Purposes of Nevada’s Minimum Wage Laws
NEW LAW: Nevada Minimum Wage To Increase To $12 By 2024
NEW LAW: Nevada Passes Mandatory Paid Leave Law

New Jersey:
Groundbreaking New Jersey Transit Benefit Law
New York:
New York State Election Law Reminder

Oregon:
NEW LAW – Oregon Expands Oregon Family Leave Act To Include Leave For Living Donors
NEW LAW: Oregon Expands Protections to Pregnant Employees
NEW LAW: Oregon Modifies Its Noncompete Law
Why Should a Family Business Investigate Itself?

Tennessee:
NEW LAW – Tennessee Changes Its Independent Contractor Test To The IRS 20-Factor Test

Virgina:
NEW LAW: Virginia Employers Required To Release Personnel Records

Washington:
NEW LAW: Washington Enacts New Noncompete Law

Wisconsin:
The LIRC in Wisconsin determines that Criminal Convictions Deeply Upsetting may NOT be Substantially Related to the Job


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
We have an employee who will soon be returning from a workers’ compensation injury. The employee has been released to work full time; however, due to the residual pain this employee is experiencing, she has requested to work a work schedule of 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. instead of her normal schedule of 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. We are unable to accommodate that schedule request, but can offer her a schedule of 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Are we able to offer that schedule to the employee as an accommodation?View the Answer

FMLA Leave

 

Brain Teaser

Six weeks ago, Peter requested FMLA leave to care for his wife, who has terminal cancer. He provided medical certification and complied with all requirements for taking FMLA leave. His leave was designated as FMLA for a period of 12 weeks.

Yesterday, Julie, Peter’s coworker, told you that she saw pictures on Instagram of Peter and his wife on Waikiki Beach. Julie then showed you the pictures. Peter’s wife appears to be the picture of health and, from what you have seen, they appear to be thoroughly enjoying their Hawaiian getaway with snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and other strenuous physical activities.

You are shocked by this information and disappointed that Peter would abuse FMLA in such a manner. Your first instinct is to terminate Peter’s employment, but is this allowable? How should you proceed?

  1. Peter should be terminated. He was clearly lying about his need for FMLA leave.
  2. Peter should remain on FMLA leave and should not be disciplined for how his time on FMLA was spent. Peter provided all of the required information to take FMLA leave to care for his wife. It is not your place to question his methods for providing care for his wife.
  3. Call Peter and instruct him to return to work immediately, since the pictures prove that his wife no longer needs him to care for her.
  4. Conduct an investigation and make a determination as to whether Peter is actually abusing FMLA leave.

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 – 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

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.

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PER has done a great job for our small business, helping us respond to our ever changing personnel and benefit needs in this challenging economy. I would wholeheartedly recommend them!

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