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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.

PER Human Resources – June 2018

June 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 Joking Around Goes Too Far
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

The work day is always more enjoyable when you get along with your coworkers. But what happens when employees joke around to the point of making potentially racist comments? We’re not saying that humor is bad, but the work environment has limits that must be respected to protect all involved.

When a joke goes too far, HR Professionals need to be prepared to handle the situation at once. Read on to see how name calling in the workplace quickly turned into complaints of harassing and discriminating behavior.*

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
Employers May Not Rely on Salary History for Current Pay Rate
Big Win for Employers: Supreme Court Rules Arbitration Agreements Lawful Under Federal Law

STATE UPDATES
California: San Francisco Amends “Fair Chance Ordinance” to Expand On California’s Ban-the-Box Law
Connecticut: Connecticut Becomes Sixth State to Pass Salary History Ban
Iowa: Iowa “Relaxes” Drug and Alcohol Testing
Maryland: Maryland Passes New Sexual Harassment Disclosure Requirements
Massachusetts: Massachusetts Enlarges the “Ban” in its Ban-the-Box Law
New Jersey: NEW LAW: New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Law
South Carolina: South Carolina Adds to Existing Pregnancy Accommodation Requirements
Vermont: Vermont Becomes Fifth State to Pass Salary History Ban


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 recently ran a background check on a job applicant and learned that this applicant has a criminal record. All the charges are within the last 7yrs, and we are not closed to the idea of hiring the applicant,
but we were hoping that you could offer some guidance on how we can respond to the results of a potential new hire’s back ground check?

Question #2
We have employees that we send for outside safety training classes. The employees who attend take a two-day course (as a refresher) every year and for some of the attendees, that would potentially put them into overtime.
Am I required to pay employees to attend this training class and, if so, I am required to pay them overtime (if applicable)?

View the Answers

The Resignation Letter Isn’t Always the End of It

 

Brain Teaser

On Friday, you received a resignation letter from Maxine, your company’s nightmare employee. Maxine has made your life challenging to say the least; she constantly complains about insignificant matters such as the quality of the snacks in the breakroom, argues with co-workers, and questions her supervisor on every assignment given to her. In addition, Maxine is rude to customers and frequently makes errors, despite receiving follow-up training. In fact, Maxine’s conduct towards customers recently cost your company one of its most valuable accounts.

Needless to say, upon receipt of Maxine’s resignation letter, you were overjoyed. Yet, before you were able to break out the champagne, you received an email from Maxine claiming she had no choice but to quit because of her manager’s inappropriate behavior.

Can you just ignore her email?

  1. No. You must conduct an investigation and take corrective action, if necessary. You must also respond to Maxine’s complaint, but since she was a nightmare employee, there is no need to offer reinstatement.
  2. Yes. You do not have to take any action because the complaint was not mentioned in Maxine’s resignation letter. You can just delete her email.
  3. Yes. Only current employees can complain about workplace conditions. Maxine resigned, and the company has no legal obligation to investigate the complaint or to reinstate Maxine.
  4. No. You must conduct an investigation and take corrective action, if necessary. You must also respond to Maxine’s complaint and should offer reinstatement with the assurance that the complaint has been addressed.

View the answer.

 

Master the Interactive Process in Five Easy Steps
HR Trends

It’s a scenario faced by all HR Professionals . . . an employee comes into your office and tells you that he has a disability and requires an accommodation to perform the essential functions of his job.

While you are aware that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are required to engage in a “good faith, interactive process” with the employee, you are not entirely certain on how to accomplish this.

Read ahead to learn how to master the interactive process in five easy steps.


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 2018

 

May 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!

A #MeToo Dilemma: CEO aka Problem Employee
HR Stories From The Front Lines*

In your career as an HR Professional, you’ve likely handled more than your fair share of problematic situations. Usually, there’s an initial meeting, an investigation, and then a follow-up phase where you address whatever
has come to light. But what if one of your employees wasn’t forthcoming with details about a rumor-fueled workplace situation that involved the company CEO? Read on to see how one creative HR Professional handled this very
delicate and troublesome dilemma.*
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
FLSA Requirements for Tip Pooling Quietly Changed
Supreme Court (Finally) Rules Auto Dealership Services Advisors Are Exempt from Overtime

STATE UPDATES
California: Adopts New Test for Independent Contractors
Michigan: Invalidates Local Ban-the-Box Laws
New Jersey: Enacts Equal Pay Law
New York: New York State and New York City Amend Sexual Harassment Laws
Washington: Expands Domestic Violence Leave Law to Prohibit Employment Discrimination
Washington: Expands Equal Pay Protections
Washington: Takes a #MeToo Stand with Passage of New Laws
West Virginia: Will Allow Employees to Carry Guns in Their Vehicles


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 asking about bringing her emotional support dog to work with her. She works at a desk and would like him to sit under the desk with her. He is hypo allergenic and a small dog. He does have a certification for an emotional support animal, but not a service animal. We’re worried if we say yes to her, we will then have to say yes to other employees. How should we respond to this request?

Question #2
Currently, our salaried Managers work 5 days a week, 9-10 hours a day. We’re opening a new restaurant soon and funds are tight, so the owner is asking me to tell all salaried Managers that they must work 6 days a week now.

We have told him that this is not a good idea for several reasons, but he’s only concerned with knowing if this is legal or not. I understand it changes the terms of the original employment agreement with the Managers (while we have no contracts, obviously, they were hired and have been working under the understanding that their job is a 5-day a week job), but what is the law here and what can we do, legally?

If we require they work 6 days, but without any additional compensation/pay increase – is that legal? What kinds of breaks/meal & rest periods would we have to make available to an exempt salaried manager working 10 hours per day, 6 days a week. If they are told they must begin working 6 days a week and they refuse, can we fire them?

View the Answers

It’s Only a Flesh Wound…Do I File Workers’ Comp?

 

Brain Teaser

Four days ago, Andy, one of your employees, fell down the stairs. You asked Andy if he wanted to file a workers’ compensation claim, but he refused. Andy said that he was fine and did not need to see a doctor. Andy worked the remainder of his shift without further incident and went home. Andy then called in sick the next three days.

This morning, Andy comes to work on crutches and wearing a neck brace. Andy tells you that, after work, his neck was bothering him, so he went to Urgent Care for treatment. Andy hands you a doctor’s note, which excuses him from work for the past three days and places him on light duty for the rest of the week – a request that is granted.

You again ask Andy if he wants to file a workers’ compensation claim. Once again, Andy refuses, saying that his problems are resolved and he does not want to be a bother.

How should you handle this issue?

  1. All injuries beyond first aid should be reported to your workers’ compensation carrier immediately – regardless of what Andy has requested.
  2. Andy has the right to refuse to file a claim. You have fulfilled your obligation under the law by asking him if he would like to file a claim and need to take no further action.
  3. You can ask Andy to sign a waiver. Once signed, Andy cannot later file a workers’ compensation claim for this injury.
  4. Andy should be terminated because he did not report his injury to you immediately.

View the answer.

 

 

Conducting Effective Performance Reviews
HR Trends

Part of your job as an HR Professional is to work with your managers to provide honest, constructive feedback to your employees. An effective performance review includes providing both positive and negative feedback to employees so that they know exactly how management feels about their job performance.

Learn how both your company and employees can benefit from an effective performance review.

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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Every employee at PER is friendly, helpful and dependable. Their outstanding service is unequivocal and they always go above and beyond to ensure total satisfaction!

Stephanie - President - Wellness Spa - Florida

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