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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:
    In the healthcare industry, it’s been estimated that over 70 percent of workers’ compensation costs are caused by MSDs. Because healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries, you should train all employees—from patient care workers and housekeepers to office workers to laundry and kitchen workers—to work safely and prevent MSDs. Use this Ergonomics--Healthcare Workers audio presentation to train your workers on ergonomics.
  • HR Guidance:
    View the 2015 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.
  • Depression, bipolar conditions, phobias, anxiety...over 62 million Americans experience mental illness in any given year, so it's no surprise that so many employers find themselves dealing with the legal and practical impact on the workplace.
  • HR News:
    DiversityInc has announced its ‘2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity’ with news that Novartis Pharmaceutical Company is the first company in history to take the top spot for 2 consecutive years!
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed negotiation, retirement plans, and fake job references! Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • Individuals who want to increase their effectiveness at work and aspire to become leaders should consider taking a higher-risk, higher-reward path. Instead of moving surely and safely up the career ladder, they should cultivate "learning agility," a quality related to being more extroverted, more focused, more original, more resilient, less accommodating, and—ultimately—more successful.
  • A Jewish employee's allegations that she was subjected to, among other things, her supervisor's comments that she was "dead" because she did not "reveal Jesus" to herself were sufficient to advance her claim of a hostile work environment based on religion, according to an Arizona federal court.
  • The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—recently ruled that pretext wouldn’t be found if an employer terminated an employee based on a genuine belief that she had violated company policy.
  • In a recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the unemployment compensation statute requires the legislature to specifically designate positions as policy-making or advisory for them to be disqualified for unemployment benefits.
  • An employee alleging interference and retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) needs more than a single doctor's visit to raise a viable claim against his employer. A recent 8th Circuit—which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—decision demonstrates that to succeed in an FMLA case, an employee must establish that he suffers from a "serious health condition."
  • The Remote Collaborative Worker Survey shows clear cost-savings and productivity gains for companies that employ remote workers. There are personal and professional benefits for the workers as well.
  • By Dan Kurber of Moxie
    The impact of unengaged employees in your organization can be costly. According to Gallup’s most recent study of the American workplace, 52% of United States workers are unengaged and 18% are actively disengaged. The question leaders should be asking themselves today is, how are unengaged employees in my organization impacting the bottom line?
  • By Angela R. Matney
    Employees of private companies may feel they can work more efficiently using devices and platforms that are familiar to them. But, allowing employees to access corporate data with personal resources raises a number of issues related to data security, employees’ privacy rights, and document retention.
  • About two-thirds (62%) of respondents to a recent BLR poll said the frigid temperatures and record amounts of snow in some areas of the country did not really affect their workplaces.
  • Only one-third of companies focus on developing and retaining current employees rather than recruiting from outside, according to a survey of more than 1,200 executives and managers by American Management Association (AMA).
  • A recent case from the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—dealt with the intersection of those two issues. An employee alleged he was terminated in retaliation for taking "informal" FMLA leave, while his employer claimed he was terminated for improperly clocking in and out for lunch every day.
  • Recently, an employee of AT&T voluntarily submitted to being tested by numerous doctors in an effort to obtain disability benefits from AT&T. However, he didn't get what he wanted. Angry, he sued AT&T, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
  • A Pennsylvania federal court recently refused to dismiss a high school teacher's claims for age and sex discrimination and retaliation after it analyzed the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the employer's actions.
  • The 6th Circuit—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently refused to enforce a collective action waiver contained in an employee's separation agreement. The court's ruling permits the employee, who was classified as an outside salesman, to pursue a misclassification claim on a classwide basis.
  • In a recent DOL blog, Sandy Steiner, a former investigator within the Northern New Jersey District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, writes about what makes WHD’s “strategic enforcement” initiative successful. He says it’s not about the money.
  • By Jeff Ellman, cofounder & president of UrbanBound
    High employee turnover rates can wreak havoc on your business. But reducing turnover is easier said than done, especially when it comes to relocated employees. Although turnover rates are exceptionally high for relocated new hires, retention is also a concern for employees who are being asked to relocate.
  • Actuary, mathematician, statistician, and data scientist rank among best jobs for 2015. While newspaper reporter, cook, and lumberjack are among the worst professions, says CareerCast.
  • The Randstad Employee Confidence Index (ECI) reached 62.3 in the first quarter 2015, the highest figure reported since the survey's inception in the third quarter of 2004. The ECI, which is calculated from the results of an online survey, measures employed workers' perceptions regarding the overall strength of the economy, availability of jobs, confidence in current employer, and their ability to find a new job.
  • It’s that time of year again. The trees begin to bud, the chill finally leaves the air, peoples’ moods seem to lift…and we consider whether we need to pay our summer interns.
  • As a preview to Gordon Berger's webinar, "Workers ‘On Demand’: How to Avoid Legal Risks that Come with Contingent Employees," he has supplied a brief insight into commonly asked questions related to the topic.
  • A former employee filed several claims against her employer, including claims for failure to take reasonable steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment and sex discrimination by customers. The employer asked for two different special verdict forms allowing the jury to find in favor of the employee only if it first found liability for sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination, the underlying claims of misconduct.
  • Recently, a Dallas judge dismissed an HR manager's claim that he was fired in retaliation for protesting his employer's purported violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Find out why.
  • As many employers are aware, the EEOC has focused its recent enforcement efforts on employers' use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia—recently had an opportunity to review one of the EEOC's cases and examine whether the agency was able to provide convincing evidence of a disparate impact.
  • This year marks the first time companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, as defined by the ACA, are required to record extensive healthcare data under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Pleading the Fifth—which is the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination—is as American as apple pie. But even the Fifth Amendment has its limitations on what it protects, especially in the workplace. Read on to see where one federal court drew the line.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed training, compensation, and spring! Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • According to Careerbuilder, 90 percent of the highest-paying nondesk jobs are in health care, and there are 170 growing nondesk jobs that pay more than $15 per hour and require an associate degree or less.
  • Better weather has arrived, and employees will be spending more time outdoors, increasing their changes of acquiring Lyme disease, transmitted by a bite from a tick infected by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. While the disease had long been considered easy to treat, usually requiring a single doctor’s visit and a few weeks of antibiotics, new research suggests the illness can be prolonged—and costly—in some patients.
  • A nurse who contracted Ebola from a patient at a Texas hospital last fall has filed a lawsuit in the Dallas County district court arguing, among other things, that she should have received training on treating a patient with the disease.
  • A recent court case demonstrates why it is a best practice to train supervisors so they are well-versed in documenting performance issues and in knowing their responsibilities following allegations of employee misconduct.
  • The federal appeals court in New Orleans recently revived a community college instructor's race and national origin discrimination claims after they were dismissed by the trial court. The court's opinion is educational for all employers.
  • In the ongoing tug-of-war between at-will and "for cause" employment, the Vermont Supreme Court recently pulled hard on one side of the cause. The court considered a statute of very narrow application and once again suggested that it is generally inclined to come down on the side of requiring an employer to demonstrate cause for terminating an employee absent unambiguous language defining the employment relationship as at will.
  • A former Atlanta fire chief wrote a book that's landed him in hot water. The chief filed a lawsuit in February claiming he was terminated for expressing his religious beliefs outside of work. Was his book freedom of speech or was he legitimately terminated for his offensive religious views?
  • A new Korn Ferry survey has revealed gaps in leadership development opportunities.
  • By James W. Southworth
    In the chaos of integrating company cultures, operations, information systems, marketing, and human resources, employment agreements—especially noncompete agreements, and the enforceability of any restrictive covenants—are often overlooked.
  • Employers must follow both the form and the substance of the Indiana wage deduction statute when making wage deductions or assignments. In a recent case in which an employer deducted the cost of uniform rentals from an employee's paycheck without proper written authorization (which violated both the form and the substance of the wage deduction law), the court ordered the employer to pay triple damages to the employee.
  • By Michelle Tennant Nicholson
    This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (TODASTW) program, and businesses all over the country are stepping up to join the organization in encouraging the youth of our nation to feel empowered to join the workforce one day and achieve their personal best in life.
  • Are you addressing psychiatric injuries at work? Even though they are often an afterthought when it comes to worker safety, there is no doubt that psychiatric stress cases involve expensive litigation. It's an area that employers can't afford to overlook.
  • The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has obtained a settlement by consent judgment that provides for the recovery of $1.42 million in back wages and liquidated damages for more than 300 current and former employees of four Long Island City plumbing and heating contractors.
  • Equal pay for equal work. Everyone pays lip service to the idea, but with women still making 77 cents for each dollar a man makes, it's clear there is a long way to go. Nonetheless, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and the current nondiscrimination laws can be effective remedies for unequal pay in some circumstances, as illustrated by a recent case from the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming).
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court recently changed Kentucky law, making it a little more difficult for employees to sue employers for defamation.
  • Recently, the White House announced the release of a resource guide to assist employers in recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting people with disabilities. The online guide is part of a federal “Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative” through which federal agencies, including the EEOC, are working to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • What if you came face to face with the realization that for your company to thrive 5 to 10 years from now, you would have to throw out all the old policies and procedures—the way things have always been done—and rebuild them from the ground up in the next 30 days? Are you tough enough?
  • By Robert P. Hewes, PhD, senior partner, Camden Consulting Group
    Getting the bigger picture about any initiatives and your organization is more important than ever. Technical leaders can’t keep their head down and just do their work. Rather, they need to start seeing the big picture, and understand “the why we are doing something.” There are three practical parts of the bigger picture: the motivation, how to get the bigger picture, and how to use it.
  • A former employee sued Sephora U.S.A., Inc., alleging wage and hour violations, including misclassification and a failure to pay overtime or provide mandated breaks. The trial court blocked the employee's attempt to certify the lawsuit as a class action, and the California Court of Appeal affirmed.
  • Sometimes it's good to get back to the basics. A recent case from the court of appeals covering Texas helps us do just that. For a solid primer on defending against discrimination and retaliation claims, read on.
  • Does your recordkeeping indicate that some employees are repeatedly involved in safety incidents, while others work for years without so much as a minor scrape? What’s the issue? Are certain people more inclined to risky behaviors than others?
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed HR metrics, unlimited vacation, and training. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • More than one-third of midsized business owners reported being fined or penalized for not complying with laws pertaining to how they manage their workforces, according to the 2014 Midsized Business Owners Study.
  • At least one in three employers are unsure about the legality of certain interview questions, according to a new survey conducted by CareerBuilder. The survey also highlights hiring managers' favorite off-the-cuff interview questions.
  • A three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeals (DCA) recently reversed the dismissal of the claims of a former employee of Charlotte Honda in Port Charlotte, Florida. The trial ended abruptly, and the jury was dismissed. However, the employee appealed, and the appeals court reversed the judge's decision.
  • An Illinois transportation company found out the hard way what can happen when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decides to take you to federal court in search of injunctive relief.
  • HR Policies:
    This sample HR Jury Duty/Court Appearance policy, “Jury Duty (Standard),” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing benefits & leave issues in the workplace. Download this Jury Duty/Court Appearance sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Privacy policy, “Privacy (Standard IV),” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing HR administration issues in the workplace. Download this Privacy sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Aliens and Immigration policy, “No-Match Letters,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing privacy & immigration issues in the workplace. Download this Aliens and Immigration sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Privacy policy, “Privacy—Social Security Numbers,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing HR administration issues in the workplace. Download this Privacy sample policy to your computer or print it out.
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