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HR.BLR.com legal editors provide expertise and commentary on the hottest and latest employment law compliance news and HR trends.
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.
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  • HR Audio Presentations:
    The purpose of this training session is to prepare employees who work in hot conditions to recognize the hazards and take effective precautions to prevent heat stress on the job. Use these Working in Hot Conditions speaker's notes to train your workers on safety and health.
  • HR News:
    This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed talent management, internal investigations, and achieving your goals. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • A Hawaii electrician sued his employer, claiming he was terminated for complaining about alleged safety violations. A federal judge dismissed his claims, citing an in-house investigation during which the company learned the electrician had been sexually harassing a female coworker and intimidating his male coworkers. In other words, the company's investigation helped it short-circuit the electrician's whistleblower claim.
  • The number one trend seen with OSHA inspections right now involves temporary workers, says a noted safety and health practice attorney.
  • An employee who was terminated after requesting light-duty work claimed he was subjected to retaliation for being disabled. How was the employer able to save the day? By providing good documentation.
  • The Supreme Court of Ohio recently held that unless an employment agreement expressly provides for reinstatement as a remedy, an arbitration panel cannot reinstate someone to his former job to resolve a breach of the employment agreement.
  • A disaster or tragedy is usually unexpected and often brings out strong emotions in everyone. Now employees who may need help in handling their emotions can obtain free crisis counseling through the federal Disaster Distress Helpline.
  • Failing to accommodate a disabled employee can place you in the crosshairs of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit. But what if implementing an accommodation takes time? Can you be held liable for a delay? A recent decision from a Virginia federal court answered that question, and the answer was not favorable to the employer.
  • By Miranda Nash
    For most HR professionals, hiring is primarily a reactionary effort: a position opens up, and it’s time to get to work filling it. In most cases, many HR teams can only dream of having time to plan ahead for hiring. They’re simply too pre-occupied with other responsibilities. In order to prioritize and plan ahead, recruiters instead must take a more strategic, forward-thinking approach to hiring.
  • The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released by ManpowerGroup, demonstrates a continuation of United States employers' growing optimism about hiring and the labor market.
  • By Julie Long
    Thoughts of IT, engineering, and computer science don’t normally conjure up images of people who are the life of the party. Or even those who enjoy exchanging pleasantries. But, these unicorns of the tech world—those that have technical talent and people skills—do actually exist. You just have to know how and where to find them.

  • As we have previously informed you, on December 15, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its final rules regarding union representation case procedures. Many labor experts believe that these rules basically seek to ambush employers, and affect their ability to respond to a union organizing campaign.
  • Most employers send FMLA notices to employees via regular U.S. mail. However, in a game-changing decision, a federal appellate court recently ruled that sending these notices only by U.S. mail (without proof of receipt) may not be sufficient if the employee denies receipt.
  • A Texas jury recently awarded almost half a million dollars to three employees in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. For the details of the case and a few lessons, read on.
  • An employer’s obligation to raise the issue of potential accommodations for religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will soon receive clarification by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • It is very important that recruiters must have a broad set of hard and soft skills to attract the right talent and enable organizations to maintain a competitive advantage.
  • In a recent decision, a New York appellate court affirmed the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals' determination that a partner who helped run a Chinese restaurant was an employer under New York state's Labor Law. The court's decision subjected the partner to personal liability for unpaid wages.
  • While the majority of full-time employees (74%) use some form of file-sharing system, nearly all full-time employees (98%) still face document collaboration challenges, such as trouble sharing or editing documents and staying up-to-date on company projects, according to a new study by Soonr.
  • BYOD describes the scenario when employees use their own devices to do their jobs and use an organization’s data or information systems in the process. Although there are advantages for both employers and employees to implementing a BYOD program, there are also challenges and problems. Thus, you need to consider all the issues that go along with BYOD before allowing your employees to bring and use their own devices for work purposes.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed holiday time-off, hiring mistakes, and recruitment and retention. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • By Tammy Binford
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has adopted a much criticized rule to change and speed up union representation elections – an action that’s drawing fire from opponents of the change.
  • Most individual contributors are believed to lack a great deal of leadership ability or influence over others, according to a survey of executives and managers by American Management Association
  • Do you 'engage' workers to provide services as independent contractors? Under a new California court decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, workers may qualify as employees (rather than independent contractors) simply because they were 'engaged' and 'suffered or permitted' to work.
  • Employers continue to adjust to increasing health care costs and the Affordable Care Act, but a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has found that most organizations are not eliminating health care coverage for their employees in 2015.
  • The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeal—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently reminded employers that providing proper notice to employees is key to administering the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The 6th Circuit upheld the district court's ruling that the employer interfered with its employee's FMLA rights when it failed to notify her of the consequences for not turning in an FMLA leave certification form.
  • By Alan C. Fox
    Money is one reason the annual review is dreaded. A second reason is that the employer needs to give the employee “constructive” criticism. But why should we think of the review as being about the employee?
  • If a corporate officer who is the majority owner of a business stops taking a salary but continues to work full-time, is he entitled to receive unemployment benefits under Montana's Unemployment Insurance Law?
  • Communication is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to effective protection of temporary workers, according to Adele Abrams, JD, safety law expert, whose firm has handled many temporary worker injury and fatality cases.
  • Employers must ensure they do not discriminate against applicants who have a criminal record. Employers may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by excluding an applicant because of his criminal history unless the decision is job-related and consistent with business necessity. What if the applicant is currently in prison?
  • On December 9, 2014, the EEOC got its tables turned. A federal court ordered the agency to disclose its own background check policy to an employer.
  • In perhaps one of its boldest moves, on December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned existing precedent and held that employees have the right to utilize their employer’s email system for Section 7 concerted activity, including union organizing activities, during non-business hours. This decision obviously impacts employers’ policies about employee email use.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes.
  • The United States Supreme Court has handed down a unanimous decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, that employers do not need to pay employees for time employees spend in post-shift security screenings under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Think you have intermittent leave and medical certifications finally figured out? A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—illustrates that not all employers do.
  • Employers should take solace in the fact that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit— which covers Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—recently concluded that you need not tolerate workplace misconduct, even if it's caused by an employee's disability. This case demonstrates that there just comes a point when enough is enough.
  • By Joshua H. Viau
    While severance agreements can be valuable litigation avoidance tools, some employers have learned the hard way that severance agreements are not always the best course of action.
  • By Susan Fentin
    Since the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, more and more employees are able to claim that they are disabled in some way, leading to an increase in claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. However, employers who develop full and accurate job descriptions have an easier time beating disability discrimination claims.
  • By Joe Pergola, President of AccuPOS
    Companies that employ POS systems can reduce employee frustration; create better, overall workplace environments.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website reports that nearly 111 million workdays are lost as a result of flu each season. That puts the tab at approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. Want to save your share of that $7 billion?
  • Under both state and federal civil rights laws, employers may not discriminate against employees because of their race. Further, circumstantial evidence of race discrimination can be established by a supervisor's inconsistent application of workplace rules. Read on to learn about a judge's decision to deny an employer's motion for summary judgment (pretrial dismissal) because of inconsistent enforcement of company rules.
  • On December 9, 2014, the OFCCP published a final rule implementing Executive Order 13672, which extended sexual orientation and gender identity protections to employees and applicants in the federal contracting workplace.
  • On December 5, the City of Minneapolis updated its clean indoor air ordinance to prohibit electronic cigarette use in all indoor public places and places of employment effective immediately.
  • As you’re ringing in the New Year and singing your own version of 'Auld Lang Syne', we hope that the last thing on your mind will be your company’s employee handbook. Why? Because we hope the following article will provide you with the guidance you need to have your policies up to date and ready to embrace any brand new laws affecting your operations in 2015.
  • Since the enactment of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in 2008, employers have had to walk a fine line when responding to requests for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to ensure that they don't request or acquire genetic information while processing the request. A recent Arizona case highlights the problem.
  • New research shows that nearly half of working professionals think their employer isn't investing enough in their health and wellness.
  • A recent report shows that compensation is on the rise for most executives. The report, released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), reveals that almost half (44%) of executives at the CEO/President level experienced a rise in total compensation in the last fiscal year.
  • How would you like to improve your (and your company’s) data security in less than 90 seconds? If you’ve got time to read this article, then you’ve got time to perform this very simple security test
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed wellness plans, e-learning, and recruitment and retention. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • What should federal contractors expect from an OFCCP audit? In this video, Emily Bristol of Fortney Scott explains how proposed OFCCP regulations can have a direct impact on what federal contractors experience in the audit process.
  • By Carrie B. Rosen
    With the arrival of the new year, now is the time to take a comprehensive look and perform an HR audit to ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws, as well as best practices.
  • The starting point for determining whether a company is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is deciding whether there is an employer-employee relationship. Recently, a pathologist's filed discrimination claims against a hospital—but was he an employee?
  • HR PowerPoints:
    The purpose of this training session is to prepare employees who work in hot conditions to recognize the hazards and take effective precautions to prevent heat stress on the job. Use this Working in Hot Conditions PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on safety and health.
  • HR Speaker's Notes:
    The purpose of this training session is to prepare employees who work in hot conditions to recognize the hazards and take effective precautions to prevent heat stress on the job. Use these Working in Hot Conditions speaker's notes to train your workers on safety and health.
  • HR Surveys:
    BLR's 2014 Recruiting and Retention Survey is available for download below.
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