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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.

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.

Testimonials

It is great to know that payroll, checks and taxes are in expert hands! The staff at PER are always accessible, professional, courteous, provide personalized service and able to meet all our needs in a very cooperative and friendly manner.

Wanda and Gerald - Owners - Law Firm - Greater Orlando Area

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