HR

Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying in the Workplace

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?

Washington Joins Growing Number of States to Limit Salary History Inquiries

Washington Joins Growing Number of States to Limit Salary History Inquiries

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:

Retain Your ACA Records

Retain Your ACA Records

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.

Employers Face Costly Lawsuits for Misuse of Biometric Information

Employers Face Costly Lawsuits for Misuse of Biometric Information

Retail giant H&M just became the latest corporation to face liability for allegedly failing to follow legal requirements regulating its use of fingerprint scan time clocks.  A Cook County, Illinois resident is seeking class certification for a lawsuit alleging that H&M failed to abide by the provisions of the Biometric Information Privacy Act between 2012 and 2017.  The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount in liquidated monetary damages, costs, attorney’s fees, and further relief.

Final Pay Laws by State

Final Pay Laws by State

We know that employers have a lot to consider when an employee separates, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. One such consideration is when final payment is due to that employee. As the answer varies from state to state, and from one situation to the next, we’ve compiled the table below to make the determination easier. As always, we encourage you to seek legal counsel with questions and specific factual scenarios.

US Department of Labor Issues New FMLA Guidance

US Department of Labor Issues New FMLA Guidance

An employee requests the use of sick leave, vacation, or PTO to care for his ill mother.  Your first instinct (and the 100% correct one) is to set that FMLA process in motion.  But what if your employee wants to “save up” FMLA for scheduled surgery later in the year, or the expected birth of a child in a couple of months?  What do you do if your employee says, “thanks, but no thanks” to FMLA?

Michigan's New Paid Medical Leave Act- Effective Soon!

Michigan's New Paid Medical Leave Act- Effective Soon!

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.

Violence in the Workplace

Violence in the Workplace

Workplace violence is a disturbing, but real issue facing employers nationwide. News stories remind us of this reality with examples such as a recent workplace shooting in Illinois, in which a disgruntled employee shot several coworkers and police officers after learning that his employment was terminated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about two million workers report workplace violence every year. OSHA also states that employers must provide a place of employment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” So what should employers do about this growing concern?

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