What's New on HR.BLR.com
HR.BLR.com's What's New page is where you will find all of the most recent content added and updated to the site in the last 14 days. See the latest news, updated topic analysis, training sessions, and more.
HR Regulatory Analysis
We are continually updating our state and national regulatory analysis to help you keep up with the changing regulations. See the updated section on the What's New page, below, to find all of the updated topics.
New Documents
  • HR Audio Presentations:
    Training in basic business writing skills is essential because so many of your supervisors’ and managers’ job functions involve written communication. Their success in the job depends on being able to produce well-written documents. Use this Business Writing for Supervisors and Managers audio presentation to train your workers on communication.
  • There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping audio presentation to train your workers on safety and health.
  • FLSA rules regulate the exempt and nonexempt status of employees by defining “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. It is critical that supervisors and HR professionals understand the new FLSA regulations so they can properly classify their employees and compensate them in accordance with the law, reducing the potential for costly litigation. Use this FLSA--What Supervisors Need to Know audio presentation to train your workers on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires all employers to report information about newly hired or rehired employees to a designated state agency shortly after the date of hire. New hire reports are matched against child support records at the state and national level to locate parents who owe child support.
  • Does the state restrict employers' collection or use of employees' social security numbers? Does your state have special reporting requirements when a security/data breach occurs?
  • Does your state have employer restrictions or obligations on immigration/ employee eligibility verification that go beyond federal law? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    View this chart in HTML.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Aliens and Immigration.

  • Does your state have employer restrictions or obligations on immigration/employee eligibility verification that go beyond federal law?
  • What is required of employers regarding new-hire reporting? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    View this chart in HTML.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Hiring.

  • Does the state restrict employers' collection or use of employees' social security numbers? Does your state have special reporting requirements when a security/data breach occurs? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    View this chart in HTML.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Privacy.

  • View the 2016 updated Minimum Wage chart. This chart features all current minimum wage changes, as well as any future changes, states with annual indexed changes, and tipped employee wages.
  • HR Handouts:
    There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping handout to train your workers on safety and health.
  • HR News:

    In preparation for the new regulations coming on December 1, we’d like to conduct a comprehensive FLSA audit of all of our positions. We expect that some positions will be reclassified based on salary threshold, but we may also have some positions that need to be reclassified based on job duties. We are concerned this could result in misclassification liability. How can we minimize the potential for liability of back pay claims

  • More than half of American workers surveyed—55%—left vacation days unused in 2015, according to research conducted by the Project: Time Off Coalition (PTO). This is the first time PTO has ever reported a majority of American workers not using all their vacation time; previous research by the group indicated that only 42% of Americans were leaving vacation time on the table.
  • Like countless other “essential employee benefits” you’ve heard of over the years, student loan assistance sounds like a good idea. But you’re probably wondering: Is this one going to last? Based on the results of recent survey, all signs point to yes.
  • A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—demonstrates some fine distinctions between discriminatory and legitimate business decisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina claiming an Asheville hospital did not fulfill its obligation to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs of employees who objected to mandatory flu shots.
  • Judge Richard D. Bennett of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland recently ruled that an exotic dancer's wage and hour claims couldn't remain in federal court but were instead subject to binding arbitration. Let's take a closer look at this interesting decision.
  • The law requires employers to work with employees to reasonably accommodate their disabilities. Fair enough. However, employers must realize that their duty to accommodate is an ongoing one—sort of like marriage vows in which you promise to love and cherish your spouse in good times and bad. The obligation is constant and is not conditional. One Texas employer recently learned that lesson in litigation.
  • By Rajeev Behera, CEO of Reflektive

    Gone are the days when “job hopping” placed a big red flag on a résumé. Today, young employees move up by moving on. To engage employees, and prevent your company from guzzling talent, take these measures.

  • According to a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, a majority of employers discourage politics in workplace, but only about one-third have policies addressing political activities.
  • HR professionals have a dual role when it comes to workplace relationships: They have to manage their own, and they have to step in when other relationships are floundering. Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud joins us to provide perspective and best practices for how HR can enact change in a toxic or dysfunctional workplace environment.
  • A new report reveals that in order to build a healthy company culture, employers should prioritize core benefits and compensation before introducing employee engagement perks like recognition, wellness, or rewards programs.
  • By Tom Perrotti

    Knowing how valuable benefits are to their workforce, it’s up to HR leaders to actively engage their employees in the benefits selection process so they make appropriate healthcare decisions. Here are a few strategies to consider.

  • The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—recently affirmed an Arkansas district court's ruling that a white police chief didn't present sufficient evidence to show that he was terminated in retaliation for his desire to promote an African-American staff member.
  • Guidance on employment law issues from South Dakota courts is few and far between. Here's a look at a case in the federal district court that is coming down the pike. Not only does the case address sex discrimination and retaliation, but it also involves the slightly rarer claims of constructive discharge and tortious interference with an employment contract.
  • In a final rule published in the June 2 Federal Register, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the maximum penalty per violation is going from $210 to $525—an increase of 150 percent—effective July 5.
  • By Sarah Perry, CEO of SnapComms

    There’s a lot of pressure to get internal communications (IC) right. Even more so these days, when “too much information” is choking employees’ inboxes. Whether you’re a newcomer to IC, or a seasoned pro, it’s imperative to avoid these six common fails when communicating with your teams.

  • BLR's editors attended several sessions at the 2016 SHRM Conference in Washington D.C. this week. We covered a number of sessions in detail, but also wanted to share some 'snapshots' from other presentations. Here we provide quick takeaways on sessions that addressed how female executives can assert themselves and how to handle 'bad egg' employees.
  • A one-sentence ruling from a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court means that President Obama’s executive action immigration reforms, proposed 2 years ago, will continue to be blocked from taking effect.

  • Today, June 24, is national Bring Your Dog to Work Day and a new report has shed some light on the impact of pet-friendly policies in the workplace.
  • In New Mexico, employment is still technically "at will" and employees can be terminated at will. "Retaliatory" or "wrongful" discharge is one exception to the at-will rule. The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently examined the requirements for an employee to establish a wrongful discharge claim.
  • Prior to 2014, there were only 4 paid sick leave laws in effect nationwide. That number has grown in the past 2 years to about two dozen laws, covering several states, cities, and counties.  The infographic below provides a broader picture of which states, cities, and counties offer paid sick leave laws.
  • This article series highlights the requirements for determining Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility. The last installment focused on determining in loco parentis. Now we'll look at what to do when your state leave law differs from the federal FMLA law.
  • Warning letters from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) can be challenged in court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled in Rhea Lana, Inc. v. Department of Labor, No. 15-5014 (D.C. Cir. June 3, 2016).

  • How can you defend your company against Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims? According to presenters at the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference, your best line of defense is to create current and accurate job descriptions.

  • By Michael Timms

    Yes, I realize that saying “recruiting is broken” may sound like something Donald Trump would say if he was in the HR business. But as inflammatory as it may sound, it’s true. Think about it. Is your recruiting process delivering, on a regular basis, the top-tier leaders that your company is desperately seeking?

  • Recent decisions from the 7th Circuit—which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—have drastically lowered the burden required for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prove a willful violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). It's important to be aware of these decisions because the penalty for a willful violation is 10 times the penalty for a serious one.
  • U.S. employers indicate stable hiring plans for the third quarter of 2016, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released by ManpowerGroup. Taking into account seasonal variations, the Net Employment Outlook is +15%, making anticipated hiring relatively stable, both quarter over quarter and year over year.
  • It’s been a while since the Oklahoma Supreme Court weighed in on the ability of fired employees to sue their employers for wrongful discharge. Now a vomiting nurse gets to take a shot at the nursing center that terminated his employment.
  • Many Texas employers are nonsubscribers to the workers' compensation system. Thus, they are not immune from personal injury lawsuits filed by injured employees. But there is an exception we want to tell you about from a recent case from Waco. Read on.
  • Over the past 20 years, employers have increased and decreased benefits strategically in response to the needs of the workplace and employees as well as to economic and technological changes, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2016 Employee Benefits Survey report, released on June 20.
  • By Dane Hurtubise, vice president of New Initiatives, Greenhouse

    Unboxing doesn’t just apply to opening a new product, it can also be used to describe a new hire’s first day on the job. A new employee’s first day should be seen as another type of unboxing, and the experience they have as they begin their new career can determine whether they’ll instantly celebrate—or regret—their decision to join the team.

  • The California Tort Claims Act requires public employers to defend and indemnify their employees for third-party claims arising out of acts within the scope of employment. Does that mean public employers must defend and indemnify an employee against a sexual harassment lawsuit?
  • Yesterday, David Weil, administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, told attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference that the new overtime regulations are here to stay. He also refuted claims that employers will cut hours or pay rates in response to the new rules.
  • In a new guidance dated April 14, 2016, the IRS states that an employer may not exclude from an employee’s gross income payments of cash rewards for participating in a wellness program. Additionally, reimbursements of premiums for participating in a wellness program may not be excluded from an employee’s gross income if the premiums were originally made via salary reduction through a section 125 cafeteria plan.
  • According to a recent survey, nearly 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience and of those, 72% actually talk about it.
  • The Children’s Place Inc. (CPI) may be a fun spot for kids, but it’s apparently a lousy place to be an employee covered under the company health plan.
  • According to a new CareerBuilder survey, three in four employers say 2 or more hours a day are lost in productivity because employees are distracted.
  • The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals— which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—recently affirmed an Arkansas district court's decision that a truck driver hadn't presented sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on his race discrimination claim.
  • By Jane Meacham, retirement plans editor

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, 13-1339, U.S. (May 16, 2016), which encourages Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plaintiffs to allege a “concrete” injury, is viewed by many in the ERISA legal community as likely to reshape litigation against employer-sponsored retirement plans.

  • A sassy vet tech with a history of a catty attitude toward clients started a hissy fit with the wrong feline owner. However, there were no cat fights, only a termination letter. The tech was awarded unemployment benefits, but was she able to claw her way into the judge's good graces on appeal?
  • By Tara Kelly, president and CEO of SPLICE Software

    Determining cultural fit is a crucial part of the hiring process for businesses that want to achieve a stable workforce and consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience. There are a number of ways to assess cultural fit for prospective employees. Here are five methods that have proven highly effective in a dynamic startup to medium-sized environment.

  • By Stephan Aarstol

    What if I told you that you could work fewer hours and be paid the same, or even more? Here's how a 5-hour workday can improve the quality of life for your staff and yourself tenfold!

  • The first waves of young people born from 1995 through 2010, aka "Generation Z", are in the process of leaving school for the labor market. According to a new CareerCast report, some of the best jobs for Generation Z are positions that tie directly into the needs of this younger demographic.
  • If an employee is injured while using her personal vehicle for company business, can she recover under the company's auto insurance policy? A recent decision by the Montana Supreme Court has the answer.
  • A federal judge in Hawaii recently dismissed claims by a fired patrol officer who alleged his former employer, an apartment complex, failed to accommodate his disability. The employer ultimately prevailed in a case that demonstrates you can terminate an employee for performance reasons and a court will uphold the termination even when the employee has sought accommodations for a protected disability.
  • Even the most robust wellness programs are not likely to change employee behavior unless employees are engaged in the process. That’s why savvy companies make engagement a top priority when it comes to educating their employees about wellness.
  • This article series highlights the requirements for determining Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility. The last installment focused on the requirements that are used to determine FMLA family care, now we'll look at determining in loco parentis status.
  • A recent decision from a federal judge in Louisiana, underscores the importance of ensuring that all personnel actions that affect employees—no matter how minor—are supported by facts and properly documented. That's especially true when an action involves an employee who previously made a discrimination or harassment complaint.
  • By Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink

    Over the past 2 decades, our perception of an organization’s culture has become conflated with foosball tables and craft beer on tap. More often than not, work perks are just the aesthetics of culture. Your company’s culture is actually defined by the work you and your teams do every day.

  • One HR challenge that won’t go away is dealing with the EEOC and responding to charges. Recently, the EEOC has begun a new digital processing program for its activities. Naomi Oglesby, an associate with The Murray Law Group, joins us to provide clearer understanding of the new EEOC program, and some practical tips.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor released updated sex discrimination regulations for federal contractors on June 14. Among other things, the final rules specify that discrimination based on gender identity or transgender status is considered sex discrimination.

  • HR PowerPoints:
    Training in basic business writing skills is essential because so many of your supervisors’ and managers’ job functions involve written communication. Their success in the job depends on being able to produce well-written documents. Use this Business Writing for Supervisors and Managers PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on communication.
  • There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on safety and health.
  • FLSA rules regulate the exempt and nonexempt status of employees by defining “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. It is critical that supervisors and HR professionals understand the new FLSA regulations so they can properly classify their employees and compensate them in accordance with the law, reducing the potential for costly litigation. Use this FLSA--What Supervisors Need to Know PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • When a serious injury occurs in your workplace, your employees have to think and act quickly. Medical assistance may be only minutes away, but sometimes seconds count. What your workers do in those first few seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death. Use this Basic First Aid PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on first aid.
  • HR Speaker's Notes:
    There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use these Good Housekeeping speaker's notes to train your workers on safety and health.
  • FLSA rules regulate the exempt and nonexempt status of employees by defining “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. It is critical that supervisors and HR professionals understand the new FLSA regulations so they can properly classify their employees and compensate them in accordance with the law, reducing the potential for costly litigation. Use these FLSA--What Supervisors Need to Know speaker's notes to train your workers on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • HR Trainer's Guides:
    There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping guide to train your workers on safety and health.
  • FLSA rules regulate the exempt and nonexempt status of employees by defining “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. It is critical that supervisors and HR professionals understand the new FLSA regulations so they can properly classify their employees and compensate them in accordance with the law, reducing the potential for costly litigation. Use this FLSA--What Supervisors Need to Know guide to train your workers on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • HR Training Exercises:
    There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping exercise to train your workers on safety and health.
  • There is a direct correlation between a clean, neat, and orderly workplace and a safe, successful organization. Poor housekeeping, on the other hand, creates hazards and invites accidents. Use this Good Housekeeping exercise to train your workers on safety and health.
Updated Documents
Questions & Answers
• Because a majority vote did not occur, the immigration actions were overturned as outside the reach of executive powers.
• The immigration actions will take effect on December 1, 2016.
• Because the vote was tied, the decision of the lower court stands and the actions will remain on the books, but be delayed indefinitely.
• Until a ninth justice can be confirmed, the Supreme Court may hear oral arguments, but is not issuing binding decisions on cases.
 HR Strange But True
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