Prosecutors and regulatory agencies in several jurisdictions are ramping up efforts to address crime in the workplace, but the crimes they are targeting may surprise you.
Your employee wants to use two hours of PTO to attend a conference or a school event for a minor child. You deny the request, reasoning that PTO should be taken in whole day increments for the purpose of vacations, and allowing the employee to take two hours of PTO may disrupt business operations for the day. Are you complying with the law?
Employers have long been aware of laws prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, and other protected characteristics. But what about uncivil or intimidating behavior unrelated to protected class status? Many employees complain to employers about coworkers creating “toxic” work environments, but the offending behavior falls outside of the umbrella of state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. How should employers handle these situations?
On May 9, 2019, Washington governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1696, “an act relating to wage and salary information,” adding sections to the existing Equal Pay Act, as amended by the Equal Pay Opportunity Act. The new sections, which will take effect on July 28, 2019, are intended to promote equal pay by limiting inquiries into salary history and requiring wage scale transparency. Starting July 28, 2019, employers with 15 or more employees are:
Even though the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer reporting deadlines for tax year 2018 are behind us, the work with the ACA never stops. Several years into the reporting process, the IRS is still reviewing employer submissions from 2015 and 2016, and is still sending 226J penalty letters. Employers can receive a penalty letter if their submission to the IRS shows (a) a less than 95% offer of coverage rate, or (b) that a specific employee was not offered compliant coverage.
On March 13, 2019, Cincinnati, Ohio became the latest jurisdiction to join the growing trend into adopting an ordinance which prohibits employers from asking about or relying on salary history of a prospective employee as they determine the starting pay. This ordinance will go into effect 365 days after becoming law and more detailed rules regarding implementation have been made available.
On December 14, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed two laws which modified the current minimum wage and paid sick leave legislation. The changes are due to take effect on April 1, 2019. The new law, “Paid Medical Leave Act”, will replace the current “Earned Sick Time Act,” which was only recently passed. Under the new law there are several changes that will impact many businesses. For starters, this applies to all businesses with 50 or more employees.
Picture this scenario: your employee, a delivery driver, makes regular stops at a production facility. The facility is not owned by your company, and your company does not employ any of the production facility workers. While at the facility, your driver is subjected to unwanted comments and touching by an employee of the facility. Your employee complains, and your HR Manager states they’ll work with management at the production facility to handle it. Your employee later returns to the facility, and the harassment continues. Your employee resigns as a result of the ongoing harassment.
On Monday February 18, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released legal guidance on our protections and enforcement actions against racial discrimination on the basis natural hair and hairstyles. These guidelines will now consider the targeting of people based on their hairstyle at work, school, or in public places racial discrimination.