This is an issue raised in the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC case, for which the Supreme Court will hear arguments next month. In this case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued a Detroit area funeral home chain because the owner fired an employee due to disclosing her intent to transition from male to female. The lower court ruled in favor of the funeral home, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, arguing that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. The Supreme Court agreed to review the decision.
Employers desiring to require low-wage earners to sign and comply with non-competition agreements will find that such agreements are becoming increasingly less enforceable. Courts across the country are refusing to enforce non-competes against low-wage employees, and some states are also taking legislative action to prohibit these agreements.
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?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at myHRcounsel is: do you do employee handbooks? The answer is always an emphatic, “YES!” Anyone who is a client of myHRcounsel gets an attorney-drafted, 50-state compliant, employee handbook. However, inquiring minds still want to know, “What should be in an employee handbook?” Every state’s laws are different, so your company will need different policies for each of the states where you employ workers. To that end, this list is illustrative and not exhaustive and is mostly based on federal laws only. But here we go:
Beginning August 1, 2019 in Minnesota, e-cigarettes and vaping will be banned in most indoor workplaces and public places. As part of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) that went into effect in 2007, it was amended so that vaping will have the same rules as traditional cigarettes in the state, which means they will no longer be allowed in stores, restaurants, bars, offices or industrial workspaces, or other public spaces. Local law enforcement will have the authority to issue petty misdemeanor citations to proprietors or individuals who knowing fail to comply with the requirements of the MCIAA.
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.