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Regulatory Analysis
We are continually updating our state and national regulatory analysis to help you keep up with the changing regs. See the updated section below to find all of the topics.
New Documents
  • HR Audio Presentations:
    Strains and sprains are the leading cause of workplace injuries and illnesses, and the back and shoulders are the parts of the body most affected. Ergonomics is the science of fitting working conditions to the people who have to do the work through the design of equipment and safety procedures. Use this Back Safety (Spanish) audio presentation to train your workers on ergonomics.
  • HR experts and labor and employment attorneys agree that businesses--regardless of their industry or size--should be concerned about the ethical conduct of their employees. Use this Business Ethics for Employees - Spanish audio presentation to train your workers on ethics.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. These deaths, as well as accident-related injuries and costs, however, are preventable. Training employees to drive safely and defensively can significantly reduce the risks. Use this Defensive Driving for Noncommercial Motorists audio presentation to train your workers on motor vehicles.
  • HR Calculators:
    Tracking turnover can help to identify trends that provide an early indication of potential problems in compensation, management practices, workload, etc. This provides the HR professional with valuable information that can be used to address issues before key employees leave the organization. This worksheet will calculate monthly, quarterly, and annual turnover rates.
  • HR Forms:
    California paid sick leave employee notice (Spanish). For use in compliance with California state Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522).
  • Employee notice for California state paid sick leave.
  • HR Guidance:
    The provisions of the ACA go into effect over several years. Following is a summary of the most important provisions of the law that are already in effect and those that will take effect in the next 2 years and beyond arranged by year. This timeline is excerpted from BLR's HR Compliance Focus Healthcare Reform Countdown to 2014.
  • USCIS E-Verify Guidance for Employers
  • HR Job Descriptions:
    Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign documents under a power of attorney. Represent clients in meetings with customs officials and apply for duty refunds and tariff reclassifications. Coordinate transportation and storage of imported goods.
  • Obtain evidence, take statements, produce reports, and testify to findings regarding resolution of fraud allegations. May coordinate fraud detection and prevention activities.
  • Care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients’ physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.
  • Apply knowledge of nursing and informatics to assist in the design, development, and ongoing modification of computerized health care systems. May educate staff and assist in problem solving to promote the implementation of the health care system.
  • Design or configure voice, video, and data communications systems. Supervise installation and postinstallation service and maintenance.
  • Care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
  • Solicit donations or orders for goods or services over the telephone.
  • Implement and administer enterprise-wide document management systems and related procedures that allow organizations to capture, store, retrieve, share, and destroy electronic records and documents.
  • Plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers. Determine destination, modes of transportation, travel dates, costs, and accommodations required. May also describe, plan, and arrange itineraries and sell tour packages. May assist in resolving clients’ travel problems.
  • Plan, direct, or coordinate the storage or distribution operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that are engaged in storing or distributing materials or products.
  • Plan, direct, or coordinate the selling, buying, leasing, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties. Includes managers of homeowner and condominium associations, rented or leased housing units, buildings, or land (including rights-of-way).
  • Drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers. May occasionally carry cargo. Includes hearse drivers.
  • Direct financial activities, such as planning, procurement, and investments for all or part of an organization.
  • Implement and administer enterprise-wide document management systems and related procedures that allow organizations to capture, store, retrieve, share, and destroy electronic records and documents.
  • Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.
  • Plan, initiate, and manage information technology (IT) projects. Lead and guide the work of technical staff. Serve as liaison between business and technical aspects of projects. Plan project stages and assess business implications for each stage. Monitor progress to ensure deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met.
  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.
  • Assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. Perform other tasks as needed.
  • Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, harvesting, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.
  • Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries.
  • Maintain a sterile field to provide support for physicians and nurses during endoscopy procedures. Prepare and maintain instruments and equipment. May obtain specimens.
  • Apply knowledge of health care and database management to analyze clinical data, and to identify and report trends.
  • Perform a variety of activities to weatherize homes and make them more energy efficient. Duties include repairing windows, insulating ducts, and performing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work. May perform energy audits and advise clients on energy conservation measures.
  • Produce financial and market intelligence by querying data repositories and generating periodic reports. Devise methods for identifying data patterns and trends in available information sources.
  • Select and fit hearing aids for customers. Administer and interpret tests of hearing. Assess hearing instrument efficacy. Take ear impressions and prepare, design, and modify ear molds.
  • Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decision making and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.
  • Assist patrons at hotel, apartment, or office building with personal services. May take messages, arrange or give advice on transportation, business services, or entertainment, or monitor guest requests for housekeeping and maintenance.
  • HR News:
    This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed EVP, Preemployment, and the future. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • A jury in federal court recently awarded Rosario Juarez $185 million in punitive damages for pregnancy and gender discrimination against AutoZone. It was also reported that the $185 million in punitive damages was $25 million more than what Juarez was asking for. So what happened? And is this verdict likely to stand?
  • In retaliation cases, an employee must show that his employer took an adverse employment action because of his participation in "protected activity" as that term is defined under the law. Early last year, the Tennessee Court of Appeals took up the issue of whether an employee must prove that the specific decision maker taking the adverse action knew of the protected activity at the time the action was taken.
  • When it comes to safety and health, smaller establishments experience a disproportionate number of fatalities when compared to larger firms, and they have higher rates of serious injuries. They typically have smaller safety budgets, and in many cases, especially with the smallest of the small, no trained safety staff.
  • Does the First Amendment protect the head of an adjunct faculty union who writes a letter critical of the community college that fired her? Read on to find out.
  • OSHA uses a formula for small business safety success and is recommended for companies of all sizes that wish to protect their employees and improve their bottom line. Here are five awareness elements to use for protecting your employees' safety.
  • By Lori Alford, COO for Avanti Senior Living
    People who feel valued and respected show a greater work ethic and initiative. In order for your team members to feel valued, they should be treated as the “first customers,” as they are the ones who have the power to make customers’ experiences extraordinary.
  • Despite the policy interests favoring arbitration, some courts have become hostile to employers' attempts to enforce arbitration agreements against employees, holding certain agreements to be invalid. That apparent contradiction was evident in a recent opinion from the Mississippi Supreme Court.
  • The 6th Circuit recently ruled that comments about the age of the person providing the services permitted a jury to decide whether the failure to renew a third-party personal services contract constituted age discrimination.
  • A New Jersey employer recently defeated a sympathetic former employee's wrongful termination lawsuit because its employee handbook clearly disclaimed the existence of an employment contract.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York recently found that a group of tipped servers, hostesses, and bartenders were not properly compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • It's pretty obvious that firefighters, soldiers, and pilots all have the most stress. But what about hair stylists, audiologists, and professors? They have low demands, deadlines, and danger which places them in the least stressful job category. So what other jobs are considered to be the most—or least—stressful of 2015?
  • When you provide employees with training in business skills, you want to ensure success. So what can you do? “There are certain best practices that all human resources reps should keep in mind in order to make sure online training for employees goes smoothly,” says Harman Singh, CEO of WizIQ, a comprehensive online education platform.
  • CareerBuilder's annual forecast reveals the best employment outlook since 2006 and five trends to watch out for in 2015.
  • OFCCP’s new itemized listing contains a lot of changes for federal contractors responding to requests for data and documents. One item in particular, Item 19 on the itemized listing, is causing concern in the contracting community. As of October 1, 2014, contractors are now required to produce individual compensation data for all employees when responding to a revised OFCCP scheduling letter for affirmative action plan compliance evaluations.
  • A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—provides another primer for employers that need guidance on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. This isn’t the first case (and likely won’t be the last) in which we have recounted an employer’s infirm response to a disabled employee’s request for accommodation.
  • The good-faith interactive process required by the ADA is not exhausted by one attempt. Rather, employers that are aware that an initial accommodation is failing and that another accommodation is needed are required to reengage in the interactive process with the employee.
  • According to the just-released Harris Allied 2014 Tech Hiring and Retention Survey, finding and hiring top technology talent is the biggest concern for 42% of managers surveyed. This is consistent with the findings of Harris Allied’s surveys conducted in 2013 and 2012, when 39% and 41.8% reported the same biggest concern respectively.
  • Unavoidably, the question of marijuana use is finding itself on the HR radar. This is because there are currently over 20 jurisdictions with laws that legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. What’s more, five of those jurisdictions have legalized the drug for recreational use. The trend continues, as proponents are actively lobbying the issue in other states.
  • This social media posting decision tree provides a series of probing questions to help you decide whether something you're planning to post on social media is a good idea.
  • By Frank Rox, Esq.
    As we look ahead to 2015, it’s important to take a look back at noteworthy National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions of 2014, so we can see what’s likely in store on the road ahead.
  • An employee's allegations of discrimination based on favoritism toward younger workers were insufficient to survive summary judgment (pretrial dismissal) in light of her documented attendance and performance problems.
  • Employers often feel as if they have no choice when it comes to accommodating an employee's disability. A recent decision by the 11th Circuit, however, reaffirms the notion that there are "outer bounds" of an employer's duty to accommodate. Not all accommodations are reasonable accommodations.
  • What happens when a participant fails to comply with the review process, but the summary plan descriptions does not sufficiently explain the process? A recent case before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—sheds a little light on that question.
  • According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, one in two employers know if a candidate is a good fit within 5 minutes. Also, poor eye contact, bad posture, and weak handshakes are among the most common body language mistakes.
  • A group of workers sued their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court dismissed the lawsuit and ordered the workers to arbitrate their claims individually in accordance with the mandatory arbitration agreement each had entered into as a condition of employment. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found the agreements violated federal labor law by restricting the workers' right to collectively litigate.
  • Today is Martin Luther King Day, and to honor his memory, here are five of his famous quotes regarding the dignity of work.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed recruiting, assessment, and a lesson from Google. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • A Fred Meyer employee who was fired for the methods he used to stop a shoplifter has been given another chance to have a jury decide his wrongful discharge lawsuit. The Alaska Supreme Court has reversed the summary dismissal of his lawsuit.
  • January is living up to its reputation with below-average temperatures and snow piling up in many parts of the country. However, if you rely on space heaters to keep workers comfortable in your workplace, you might want to reconsider.
  • Although a carefully drafted employee handbook is a business necessity, poorly drafted or outdated handbooks often serve as litigation magnets. A recent case highlights the very real possibility that passages in an employee handbook may be interpreted as binding contractual obligations the employer never intended to create.
  • Reading, writing, and arithmetic might cover the basics in elementary school, but the “three Rs” have a different meaning when it comes to employer-sponsored training.
  • Winter-related slips and falls have a significant negative impact on American businesses each year, resulting in time off work, temporary employee costs, overtime for existing employees and increased insurance costs. To avoid these costs this winter, employers need to be extra vigilant, and employees should exercise extreme caution in the months ahead.
  • A former HR employee of Lowe's, sued the home improvement warehouse for unpaid overtime. She claimed that Lowe's willfully and uniformly misclassified its HR managers as exempt employees to avoid paying them overtime. The suit was broadened to include all store HR managers and HR employees nationwide.
  • The newly enacted Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771), signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014, has equalized the mass transit and parking benefits retroactively to January 1, 2014 by increasing the mass transit benefit to $250.00.
  • By Terri L. Rhodes, executive director of the Disability Management Employer Coalition
    The disability and absence management landscape continues to undergo significant change. One of the more significant changes, of course, is the Affordable Care Act. We are only now beginning to see the disability management impacts driven by an increased emphasis on wellness, prevention, and obesity.
  • The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently held that the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) correctly ruled that an employee's low testosterone therapy was reasonably necessary to counteract side effects of medicine prescribed for his compensable back injury.
  • By Dr. Susan Weinberger
    Most if not all employees can easily identify with at least one person who has helped them professionally. Unfortunately, there are many companies in America that have not yet designed and implemented formal quality and sustainable mentoring and coaching programs.
  • An employee claims he was injured at work. He also says that because his employer delayed approving his medical treatment, he was unable to return to work because of his incapacity. Once he is fired for exhausting available leave, can he maintain a retaliatory discharge suit? Read on to find out.
  • Should you allow e-cigarettes in the workplace? Whether you do or you don't decide to allow vaping in the workplace, you should have a policy that's clear and effective. In this video, Charlie Plumb of McAfee Taft explains what an employer's e-cigarette policy should include.
  • Shift work has been associated with a number of adverse health effects, from heart disease to cancer. Employers have tried many strategies to help shiftworkers stay safe, well rested, and healthy, but these strategies have fallen more into the “common sense” category than into the “scientifically validated best practices” category. Here are four strategies that offer the greatest positive effect on chronic disease outcomes.
  • The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act provides a remedy for employees who suffer injuries caused by accidents arising out of, and in the course of, the employment. Some situations are obvious, but others are closer calls. Read the facts and decide whether the employees' injuries are compensable in this case.
  • The 6th Circuit recently rejected an employee's discrimination claim because she didn't produce enough evidence of discrimination and because the employer had legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for firing her.
  • The pension deficit has increased as funding status dropped nine percentage points, according to a new survey by Towers Watson.
  • Are e-cigarettes safer to use than smoking tobacco? Are e-cigarettes an effective way to quit smoking? In this video, attorneys John Vering and Charlie Plumb explore these issues and how they relate to your emeployees and the workplace.
  • It’s official—OFCCP’s new scheduling letter and itemized listing for affirmative action plan compliance evaluations are in effect. The new requirements significantly change the way in which federal contractors must respond to OFCCP’s notice of an impending review of their affirmative action plans by government officials. For all audits occurring after October 15, 2014, the OFCCP is using the new scheduling letter and itemized listing.
  • A substitute teacher showed her tenacity in representing herself through years of internal complaint procedures, trial court rulings, and the California Court of Appeal process. Her efforts, however, didn't support her claim that she was misclassified and thus entitled to a retroactive increase in pay for the year she worked as a substitute teacher.
  • Indiana courts generally disfavor noncompete agreements because they restrain trade. In a recent case, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that a previously signed noncompete agreement didn't apply to a rehired employee.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed finance, wellness, and quiet time. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • The workplace underwent significant changes in 2014, with a shift towards eliminating “old school” management practices and embracing more open work environments and increasing in flexibility on the job. While significant changes occurred in 2014, Fierce, Inc. predicts 2015 will prove to be even more groundbreaking.
  • The number of employees seriously injured on the job is down in the United States, but millions of workers still get hurt on the job every year.
  • HR Policies:
    Sample alcohol and drug policy, including provisions for medical marijuana.
  • Sample language to insert in your alcohol and drug policy to include medical marijuana.
  • HR Posters:
    California paid sick leave poster in Spanish. For compliance with the California state Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522).
  • HR PowerPoints:
    HR experts and labor and employment attorneys agree that businesses--regardless of their industry or size--should be concerned about the ethical conduct of their employees. Use this Business Ethics for Employees - Spanish PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on ethics.
  • Strains and sprains are the leading cause of workplace injuries and illnesses, and the back and shoulders are the parts of the body most affected. Ergonomics is the science of fitting working conditions to the people who have to do the work through the design of equipment and safety procedures. Use this Back Safety (Spanish) PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on ergonomics.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. These deaths, as well as accident-related injuries and costs, however, are preventable. Training employees to drive safely and defensively can significantly reduce the risks. Use this Defensive Driving for Noncommercial Motorists PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on motor vehicles.
  • HR Speaker's Notes:
    Strains and sprains are the leading cause of workplace injuries and illnesses, and the back and shoulders are the parts of the body most affected. Ergonomics is the science of fitting working conditions to the people who have to do the work through the design of equipment and safety procedures. Use these Back Safety (Spanish) speaker's notes to train your workers on ergonomics.
  • HR experts and labor and employment attorneys agree that businesses--regardless of their industry or size--should be concerned about the ethical conduct of their employees. Use this Business Ethics for Employees - Spanish Speaker's Notes to train your workers on ethics.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. These deaths, as well as accident-related injuries and costs, however, are preventable. Training employees to drive safely and defensively can significantly reduce the risks. Use these Defensive Driving for Noncommercial Motorists speaker's notes to train your workers on motor vehicles.
  • HR Surveys:
    BLR's 2015 Termination and Exit Interviews Survey Data is available for download below. (Summary also available.)
  • BLR's 2015 Termination and Exit Interviews Survey Summary is available for download below. (Data also available.)
Updated Documents
Questions & Answers
• Yes, an employer has the absolute right to enforce a zero-tolerance policy and discharge an employee who tests positive for marijuana.
• No, an employee’s off-duty marijuana use is protected by various laws.
• Depends.
 HR Strange But True
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