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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.
New Documents
  • HR Audio Presentations:
    The National Guard and Reserve units of the armed forces are a crucial part of the country’s defense system, filing approximately half of the nation’s military ranks. Many of these individuals serve part-time in the military while maintaining their regular civilian employment. Use this How to Manage Military Leave audio presentation to train your workers on military service (USERRA).
  • On the job, the negative fallout of substance abuse includes a steady deterioration of work performance, unreliability, recklessness that can jeopardize the safety of co-workers, the integrity of company products and services, and the company’s reputation. Use this Substance Abuse in the Workplace--What Employees Need to Know audio presentation to train your workers on alcohol and drugs.
  • Excessive absenteeism and lateness are serious problems that disrupt operations and negatively affect productivity, quality, customer service, and employee morale. Supervisors need to understand the costs and causes of attendance problems as well as the possible solutions. Use this Attendance Management--What Supervisors Need to Know audio presentation to train your workers on attendance.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to eliminate discrimination and provide all Americans—with or without disabilities—with equal employment opportunities. Since supervisors make many hiring, promotion, and job assignment decisions, they should understand the basic requirements of the ADA. Use this ADA--What Supervisors Need to Know audio presentation to train your workers on disabilities (ADA).
  • HR Guidance:
  • HR Handouts:
    The National Guard and Reserve units of the armed forces are a crucial part of the country’s defense system, filing approximately half of the nation’s military ranks. Many of these individuals serve part-time in the military while maintaining their regular civilian employment. Use this How to Manage Military Leave handout to train your workers on military service (USERRA).
  • HR News:
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit—which covers Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—decided that an employee's race discrimination case could go to trial because of some unfortunate comments about whether he would be a good "fit" for a coveted job assignment. The court's decision provides a valuable lesson fort employers on how to—and, more important, how not to—explain hiring decisions.
  • A recent case decided by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina illustrates the importance of having an effective antiharassment policy and the consequences when a victim of harassment doesn't use the policy.
  • Almost one-third of U.S. employees are concerned about losing data at work, but many engage in activities that put company files at risk anyway.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is concerned about the safety and health of temporary workers and wants employers to do more to protect this large and growing population.
  • By Dr. Anton Franckeiss of Acuity Global Development
    Dr. Franckeiss offers advice on how HR professionals can effectively deliver and measure the success of coaching assignments.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed training, I-9 compliance, and big ideas. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • We have to believe that most people who are overweight would not apply for a job as a waitress (or "Borgata Babe") at the Atlantic City, New Jersey, resort that weighs its waitstaff monthly to ensure no one has gained more than 7 pounds. But what about all the other jobs in the country? Attorneys Steve Miller and Myra Creighton from Fisher & Phillips offer a number of guidelines about accommodations.
  • As a preview to J. Timothy O’Rourke's webinar, Compensation Budgets for 2015: How to Develop and Manage Your Employee Pay Plan, he has supplied some frequently asked questions—and answers—to this HR topic.
  • In a pro-employee ruling, the Missouri Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court's decision and held that an employee with cerebral palsy who admitted that she did not suffer an adverse employment action (e.g., termination, demotion, or reduction in pay) could submit her discrimination and harassment claims to a jury.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the settlement of a lawsuit against Food Rite Community Supermarket. The lawsuit challenged Food Rite's refusal to hire a woman out of fear that she would be at a greater risk of being assaulted on the job than a male employee. The settlement shows that discrimination in the workplace is dangerous, even when decisions are made for benevolent or altruistic reasons.
  • Establishing a claim for sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires an employee to show that a similarly situated person who isn’t in the protected class was treated more favorably. A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—reminds us that 'similar' doesn’t necessarily mean 'identical.'
  • Joining the 7th and 10th Circuits, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Alabama, Florida and Georgia--reaffirmed that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a job applicant to prove he is disabled under the Act in order to prevail on a claim of discrimination based on an employer's post-offer medical entrance exam.
  • Bipolar disorder definitely qualifies as a disability under the ADA, but that doesn't make accommodations simple. Employers have a lot of questions on how to handle employees with bipolar disorder in the workplace. In a recent webinar, experts Maureen Duffy, Susan G. Fentin, and Tom Wootton lent their expertise to answer participant questions on handling employees with bipolar disorder.
  • At some point every workplace is faced with allegations that a supervisor behaved badly. Even if a supervisor hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, passivity in the face of others' actions can create major legal headaches. As a preview to her upcoming webinar, Merrily Archer has answered some questions related to this HR topic.
  • By Julie Farraj, Vice President of ADP Garnishment Services
    The garnishment process was created in most states to allow creditors to ensure debtors couldn’t avoid paying debts by giving their assets to a third party for safe keeping. Today, businesses continue to be held accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities to creditors through garnishment laws while balancing obligations to employees under wage payment laws.
  • By Attorney Lester Rosen, ESR
    California has unique rules for background checks that go beyond those of the other 49 states and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates background checks in the United States.While California employers always need to follow the FCRA, there are additional rules and requirements in the state when it comes to background checks for employment purposes.
  • Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults have pre-diabetes. With such a high likelihood of having employees with the disease, all employers need answers to questions about how to treat employees with diabetes while remaining ADA compliant.
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently dismissed a former employee's age and race discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims, finding that the employer's decisions were made before the employee engaged in protected activity. Moreover, the employer had legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for the termination.
  • The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—recently ruled that an employee could pursue her Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims because there was insufficient evidence that her employer gave her notice that her leave of absence qualified as FMLA leave.
  • If you decide to implement a 'bring your own device" (BYOD) policy, it should be very unique to your organization and its particular needs and circumstances. The following is an overview of some important points and provisions you may want to think about including when developing your own BYOD policy.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed active shooters in the workplace, BLR's Variable Pay survey results, and taking action. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning the validity of arbitration awards and the grounds under which a court can overturn such an award. Because of employers' increasing use of arbitration clauses in labor and employment matters, the opinion, which reinforces and strengthens the arbitration process by narrowly construing limits to arbitration awards, carries great importance.
  • Employees repeatedly taking intermittent leave can be disruptive, yet employers need follow the law’s requirements. How can an employer stay compliant while reducing the chance of employees gaming the system?
  • In a recent case, the 2nd Circuit— which covers Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—provided some insight and clarity on the application of the FLSA's learned professional exemption.
  • Employers must provide applicants and employees with reasonable accommodations that are needed because of limitations caused by cancer, the side effects of medication or treatment for the cancer, or both, according to the EEOC.
  • Daylight Savings Time is here again. Poor lighting in a work area can affect safety and quality of work; cause can cause eyestrain, eye discomfort, and burning; and give some workers the winter doldrums, also known as seasonal affective disorder, which can lower productivity. Find out how how to insure your workplace is properly lighted.
  • One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to effective workplace-sponsored weight control approaches, says a new report from Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH). Employers would do well to consider adding innovative technology applications, among other things, as supplements to traditional healthy eating and exercise programs.
  • Isolated remarks related to an employee’s national origin may not be enough to support a claim of discrimination, but they can lead to costly lawsuits. During training, be sure that managers and supervisors understand the negative consequences of making “politically incorrect” comments.
  • By Donna Goss and Don Robertson, Northampton (PA) Community College
    A business is the by-product of innovation; taking an idea for a product or a service and translating it into an exchange for money. That does not happen without a strategy for the translation along with being able to get people interested in purchasing it, executing in a fiscally successful way, and using technology to be both effective and efficient in generating the output.
  • We have cautioned many times that employers must engage in the interactive process when there is a situation involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and an employee's job duties. A recent case from the federal trial court in Jackson, Mississippi highlights some of the difficulties employers face.
  • After a jury awarded a former Iowa State University (ISU) employee $500,000 in emotional distress damages for an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, the state appealed, claiming the harm suffered by the employee didn’t meet the legal threshold. The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed, upholding the award.
  • A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—interprets the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in ways that have many employers scratching their head. Read on to learn how employee rights under the FMLA have been given a boost.
  • Recently, the Tennessee Court of Appeals emphasized that an employee can't succeed on a retaliatory discharge claim unless his discharge violates a clear and important public policy. This article explores the narrow limits of the retaliatory discharge exception to employment at will and explains how newly enacted legislation affects employers' potential liability under the Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA).
  • Subject to certain exceptions, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from requiring medical exams or asking "disability-related" questions. The restriction applies to both job applicants and employees. When is it okay for an employer to ask medical questions or require a medical exam? And what kinds of questions are okay to ask?
  • The gun violence that took place in Ottawa yesterday in a place of business is all too familiar-- and underscores the importance of being prepared. Do you have a workplace gun policy? What are the important components an employer's gun policy that will make it effective?
  • The impact of contagious diseases such as ebola in the workplace is undeniable. However, in such hazardous situations, employees, as well as their employers, must assume responsibility for their own health and safety.
  • A new survey on managers in the workplace was recently conducted to examine the qualities various generations prefer in managers, how generations perceive the importance of the managerial role, and Millennials’ appetite for leadership.
  • By Attorney Marylou Fabbo, Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
    Last year saw the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Department of Labor (DOL) celebrated the anniversary with a report that cited the positive impact that the FMLA has had over the course of its first two decades.
  • Flu season can affect workplaces with both missed work days and presenteeism. The Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority offers helpful business practices to lessen the impact on productivity.
  • The release of The Great Generational Shift report by Hudson coincides with dramatic changes taking place within companies right now as a result of the simultaneous employment of multiple generations.
  • With new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations on the horizon, a recent case from Massachusetts may be the last of its kind. A recent case from the Massachusetts federal district court shows how part of the current regulations work, but is a new analytical regime on the horizon?
  • The California Supreme Court recently issued a key decision on whether a franchiser can be held vicariously liable for sexual harassment committed by a franchisee's employee. The answer depends on whether the franchiser retained or assumed the right of general control over daily operations at its franchised location.
  • Words have power, so choose them carefully! If not for the court's careful consideration of a supervisor's words, his explanation for an employee's termination could have been used as evidence of retaliation in a recent case before the U.S. Court for the District of Minnesota.
  • A New Jersey employer succeeded in getting an employee's claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) dismissed after it proved he would have been terminated regardless of whether he took a protected leave of absence.
  • Performing background checks in some form is a recommended practice and can give you peace of mind in knowing that who hire is who he or she claims to be. Also, background checks are a useful tool for minimizing the risk of negligent hiring claims down the line. As a preview, Attorney Lester Rosen has supplied some frequently asked questions—and answers—to this HR topic.
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) is currently undergoing the rulemaking process. Proposed rules were originally due out in November 2014 according to the Agenda, but now have been delayed until early 2015. DOL changes to the overtime regulations could increase the number of employees nationwide who qualify for overtime in several ways.
  • The results of a recent BLR Poll asking if readers were aware of attendance issues due to domestic violence against employees or their families.
  • This week, the HR Daily Advisor discussed employer branding, recruitment, and childhood taunts. Here’s the HR Daily Advisor week in review.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor will award $169,771,960 in grants to expedite the employment of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment.
  • By Edward G. Brown
    If your company is experiencing excessive employee turnover, there is one culprit that you might be overlooking: interruptions.
  • We are seeing more and more litigation over noncompetes. And more employers are asking us to draft noncompetes, while more employees are asking us if they are enforceable. Here's a recent case out of the Dallas Court of Appeals that sheds some light on this issue.
  • Can the number of times an employee has been turned down for a promotion be considered evidence of retaliation? Not necessarily. That's especially true when different individuals made the promotion decisions. It's even truer when the employee seeking the promotion was previously demoted after being found naked on the roof of the elementary school where he worked.
  • After an employee sued, claiming she was terminated for race and age discrimination and whistleblowing, her former employer asked a federal judge in Hawaii to compel her to arbitrate her claims pursuant to its arbitration policy.
  • In this recent case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas analyzed the circumstances under which an employer may be held liable for a nonemployee's harassment of one of its employees.
  • By Russell Harley
    Project sponsorship is an important role in the project management process. Just like project managers and project teams, project sponsorship is also needed to make the difference between successful projects versus failures. Project sponsorship is important for HR managers because it can help improve management practices.
  • Going beyond traditional healthcare offerings, Astellas, a pharmaceutical company based in Northbrook, Illinois, has launched a new benefits program for its almost 3,000 U.S. based employees that offers a culture of support for multigenerational family responsibilities.
  • Are employers doing enough to close the so-called skills gap? According to a survey of employed and unemployed Americans by Mindflash, the answer is “No.”
  • HR Policies:
    This sample HR Athletics policy, “Athletics,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing HR administration issues in the workplace. Download this Athletics sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • HR PowerPoints:
    The National Guard and Reserve units of the armed forces are a crucial part of the country’s defense system, filing approximately half of the nation’s military ranks. Many of these individuals serve part-time in the military while maintaining their regular civilian employment. Use this How to Manage Military Leave PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on military service (USERRA).
  • On the job, the negative fallout of substance abuse includes a steady deterioration of work performance, unreliability, recklessness that can jeopardize the safety of co-workers, the integrity of company products and services, and the company’s reputation. Use this Substance Abuse in the Workplace--What Employees Need to Know PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on alcohol and drugs.
  • Excessive absenteeism and lateness are serious problems that disrupt operations and negatively affect productivity, quality, customer service, and employee morale. Supervisors need to understand the costs and causes of attendance problems as well as the possible solutions. Use this Attendance Management--What Supervisors Need to Know PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on attendance.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to eliminate discrimination and provide all Americans—with or without disabilities—with equal employment opportunities. Since supervisors make many hiring, promotion, and job assignment decisions, they should understand the basic requirements of the ADA. Use this ADA--What Supervisors Need to Know PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on disabilities (ADA).
  • HR Quizzes:
    The National Guard and Reserve units of the armed forces are a crucial part of the country’s defense system, filing approximately half of the nation’s military ranks. Many of these individuals serve part-time in the military while maintaining their regular civilian employment. Use this How to Manage Military Leave quiz to train your workers on military service (USERRA).
  • On the job, the negative fallout of substance abuse includes a steady deterioration of work performance, unreliability, recklessness that can jeopardize the safety of co-workers, the integrity of company products and services, and the company’s reputation. Use this Substance Abuse in the Workplace--What Employees Need to Know quiz to train your workers on alcohol and drugs.
  • HR Speaker's Notes:
    The National Guard and Reserve units of the armed forces are a crucial part of the country’s defense system, filing approximately half of the nation’s military ranks. Many of these individuals serve part-time in the military while maintaining their regular civilian employment. Use these How to Manage Military Leave speaker's notes to train your workers on military service (USERRA).
  • On the job, the negative fallout of substance abuse includes a steady deterioration of work performance, unreliability, recklessness that can jeopardize the safety of co-workers, the integrity of company products and services, and the company’s reputation. Use these Substance Abuse in the Workplace--What Employees Need to Know speaker's notes to train your workers on alcohol and drugs.
  • Excessive absenteeism and lateness are serious problems that disrupt operations and negatively affect productivity, quality, customer service, and employee morale. Supervisors need to understand the costs and causes of attendance problems as well as the possible solutions. Use these Attendance Management--What Supervisors Need to Know speaker's notes to train your workers on attendance.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to eliminate discrimination and provide all Americans—with or without disabilities—with equal employment opportunities. Since supervisors make many hiring, promotion, and job assignment decisions, they should understand the basic requirements of the ADA. Use these ADA--What Supervisors Need to Know speaker's notes to train your workers on disabilities (ADA).
  • HR Surveys:
    BLR's 2014 Employee Leave Survey is available for download below.
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