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  • HR Checklists:
    This sample HR Complaints and Investigations checklist, “Supervisor Guidance for Conducting Searches,” can be used when conducting investigations in the workplace. Download this Complaints and Investigations sample checklist to your computer or print it out.
  • HR Guidance:

    How do your state courts or statutes address noncompete agreements? 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 Employment Contracts.

  • How do your state courts or statutes address noncompete agreements? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.
  • Several states, Washington D.C., and over 100 cities and counties now extend the fair-chance policy—otherwise known as “ban the box”—to government contractors, public, and private employers. Use this chart to check your state’s “ban the box” legislation.
  • HR News:
    Are employers allowed to use different physical fitness standards for men and women during training? A court recently had to address that question. Here’s what the court had to say.
  • A New Hampshire employee's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claim recently survived the employer's attempt to get it thrown out before trial. The court rejected the employer's argument that there was a lack of evidence of retaliation on its part.
  • As older Americans approach retirement, many may be realizing their financial planning isn’t what it should have been. That could mean they need to postpone retirement—or abandon the idea altogether.
  • A series of accidents and complaints led to a truck driver losing his job. Despite the accidents being considered preventable and a contractor's complaint about his driving, he was awarded unemployment benefits. Let's see why.
  • By Stefanie Renaud, Esq., of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.

    Although research shows that telecommuting improves morale, increases productivity, and improves employee quality of life, there are many legal issues for employers that may complicate this popular work arrangement.

  • Under Executive Order (EO) 13672, which took effect in 2015, federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed several lawsuits alleging discrimination based on employees’ sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently addressed which factors the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) and courts can examine when analyzing a change in an employee's condition after the initial injury.
  • On April 19, 2016, the Los Angeles, California city council voted in favor of a proposed ordinance that would provide 6 days of paid sick leave per year to Los Angeles employees.
  • A new survey—released by Future Workplace and Beyond—has found a disconnect between employers and job seekers. The "Active Job Seeker Dilemma" survey includes a national sample of 4,347 job seekers, as well as 129 human resource (HR) professionals.
  • Have you ever wondered why public-sector employees are willing to risk their jobs and careers when they "blow the whistle" on some unlawful practice or abusive action committed by their employer? It's because they are protected from retaliatory employment actions by both the federal whistleblower protection law and the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). In this case, the MPA did not help a former employee who was terminated.
  • This article series highlights the requirements for determining Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)eligibility. The last installment focused on the third area of the three-prong test used to determine FMLA eligibility, the minimum worksite requirement. However, how do you handle FMLA eligibility for temporary workers? Let's have a look..
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit—which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—recently upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss an employee's claim that his employer retaliated against him for engaging in protected activity. According to the court, any adverse employment actions that may have occurred were unrelated to the employee's protected activity.
  • Taking action against an employee after she returns from a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence can expose an employer to claims of FMLA retaliation. But sometimes it takes an employee’s absence to learn about her performance issues. So how should an employer handle disciplining someone who is returning from protected leave when the misconduct was discovered during her absence?

  • Employers take note—the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a new FMLA poster (WH 1420a) for use by employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The new poster, dated April 2016, is reformatted and contains additional information on servicemember caregiver leave, intermittent leave and use of accrued paid leave, as well as new information on requesting FMLA leave.

  • Is an employee protected by his Constitutional right to free speech even if he didn’t actually engage in any protected speech or activity? Yes—according to yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280 (2016).
  • By Kate Donovan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions

    ManpowerGroup Solutions has uncovered some practical tips that companies can implement to help them better recruit and retain the best talent. These tips include a wide range of strategies, all of which place the candidate at the center of the process.
  • From entry-level to C-level positions, women workers are facing more barriers and advancing more slowly than their male counterparts according to a new survey, “The Impact of Women in the Workforce.” Even when training is made available, the opportunity for female employees to apply their skills and advance within the company may just not be there.
  • According to a new CareerBuilder survey, women (49%) are more likely than men (39%) to report gaining weight. While a quarter of employees have access to employer-sponsored wellness benefits, 55% of this group does not take advantage of them. Also, fewer than half of workers with extremely low stress levels (41%) feel they are overweight compared to 77% of workers with extremely high stress levels.
  • When it comes to furthering career advancement and driving employee engagement, it’s no secret that recognition and appreciation play a major role. But just how much of a role, in what forms, and what frequency?
  • A recent decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals— which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—reminds us that employee acts of perceived “disloyalty” or “insubordination” could be protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
  • A New Jersey federal court recently allowed an employee's claim for unpaid wages to proceed despite the employer's mandatory time-reporting policies because the employee alleged that her supervisor instructed her to underreport her hours.

  • Arkansas, Delaware, and Michigan have updated leave laws. For more information on these and other recent developments in state leave law, see the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), sick leave, and maternity and pregnancy topic analyses for your state.
  • A Kentucky federal court recently heard a claim in which a former employee says he was retaliated against for filing for workers' comp 3 and 5 years before he was terminated. He also claims the employer discriminated against him due to his age. Does he have a case?
  • In 2012, a group of servers that eventually included 220 employees who worked at two St. Augustine seafood restaurants sued their employers, claiming unpaid wages and overtime under Florida law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Florida federal court's recent decision in the case illustrates some of the issues associated with wages paid to tipped employees.
  • Recently, the relationship between women and leadership has become a popular topic. However, most of the discussion focuses on understanding the issue, instead of ideas for action, according to AAUW, which just released new research documenting why women are still woefully underrepresented in top leadership positions.
  • By Greg Autuori, manager, Benefits Consulting, at Namely

    You made it. Somehow, some way, you found a way to make sure your company was compliant with the first year of IRC 6055/6056 reporting regulations and associated distribution of Forms 1094/1095. That said, ensuring a less painful process in the future requires preparation today.

  • With the release of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime regulations, not only will employers and human resources (HR) professionals be dealing with the dollars and cents of shifting numerous employees from the exempt to nonexempt categories under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but they will be tasked with bolstering employee morale and handling various emotions about the changes.
  • By Tammy Binford

    Drivers for ride-hailing giant Uber will continue to be independent contractors under the terms of a settlement of class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts if the settlement receives court approval.
  • In recognition of Earth Day, April 22, FlexJobs highlights how telecommuting policies are both beneficial to a company’s bottom line as well as an important long-term strategy to protect the environment. Remote workforces contribute to environmentally sustainable workplaces by reducing congestion, lowering fuel consumption, minimizing construction, lessening pollution emissions, reducing the strain on transportation systems, and improving air quality.
  • To gauge the role of social networks such as LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook in the job application process, iCIMS has released a new report, Job Seekers Get Social, that presents data on the number of applications submitted through these social networks in each quarter of 2015.
  • The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled that the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA), the state's version of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, extends as much protection from discrimination to non-Hispanics as it does to Hispanics.
  • In a recent case from the federal trial court in Natchez, the jury found for the employee and awarded significant damages for lost wages and emotional distress. But, those damages were nearly doubled by the time the court awarded other statutory amounts to the employee.
  • It used to be that employers had to hire an outside firm to create custom videos for training, but a new app from Vidlet simplifies the process.
  • Which states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation? Which states also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity? The LGBT employment rights map below provides a snapshot of which states around the country have enacted such laws. Below the interactive map is a listing of cities and municipalities that have similar prohibitions.
  • Full-time, part-time, temporary, or even seasonal workers may be eligible for FMLA leave, as long as they are on the payroll and satisfy a three-prong test that includes a minimum service requirement, a minimum hours requirement, and a minimum worksite requirement.
  • An employer cannot retaliate against an employee by discharging, disciplining, or penalizing her for engaging in whistleblowing. The Minnesota Supreme Court recently extended the Minnesota Whistleblower Act's 2-year statute of limitations when it ruled that certain claims may be brought under the Act up to 6 years after the fact.
  • According to ManpowerGroup Right Management's new report, 89% of employees believe they are responsible for their own career development. Also, employees still rely on managers for guidance on how to grow and advance their careers; 24% feel they aren’t currently getting the right advice. Right Management’s new "Career Conversations" process can better engage and retain employees, optimizing business performance.
  • More employers are investing in “total well-being” programs that address areas such as financial and emotional health, according to the 7th annual survey on corporate health and well-being from Fidelity Investments Benefits Consulting and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). The survey revealed employers are adding programs that help their workers manage stress, improve their resiliency, and assist with their financial challenges.
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently released a study of revenues needed for PBGC to continue to protect participants in multiemployer plans that are likely to run out of money—and the news isn’t good.
  • According to research from Randstad US, base pay is expected to increase an average of 3% across all industries, with in-demand jobs trending up to three times higher.
  • Employee referral programs can play an important role in your recruiting efforts, but many aren't as effective as they could be. In this episode of HR Works, Jody Ordioni, Chief Brand Officer & President of Brandemix, provides the basics of what makes a productive referral program.
  • The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently heard an employer's argument that male-on-male bottom slapping was simply "horseplay." Was the evidence sufficient to prove same-sex sexual harassment?
  • According to Attorneys Leslie A. Stout-Tabackman, principal in the Washington, D.C., region office of Jackson Lewis, and Patricia Anderson Pryor, principal in the firm’s Cincinnati office, the paid sick leave requirements coming for federal contractors will create higher costs and a potential competitive disadvantage, causing concern among some federal contractors.
  • By Anne Torregrossa

    Calculating overtime for salaried employees can be a bit tricky because they don't have a traditional hourly rate. To solve this problem, federal regulations allow you to calculate a salaried employee's overtime rate based on a fluctuating workweek (FWW). The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Maine employers) recently decided a case that helps define how to apply the FWW calculation if weekly bonuses are also part of the compensation package.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a report showing that states can improve access to behavioral health services for residents by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The New Jersey Appellate Division recently denied a motion to compel arbitration, finding a former employee didn't knowingly waive his right to sue when he received an employee handbook that contained an arbitration policy.

  • Employers, get ready for a busy summer! Just when you are about to embark on your summer getaways, dreaming of sun and relaxation … you are probably going to have 60 days to make sure you are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes. Well, if you don’t see the sun, the stress of these changes for employers will certainly keep you hot under the collar!
  • A new survey of corporate executives underscores a major shift in how companies are making real estate decisions today, with more than half saying that talent now trumps cost as the top strategic consideration involved.
  • Nearly half of U.S. adults report they have experienced a major form of unfair treatment or discrimination, including in the workplace, among other situations. Those who have experienced discrimination may anticipate it and be constantly in a state of high vigilance, which leads to increased stress and health problems, says a new survey by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • The latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey concerned the minimum wage, with nearly 75% of minimum-wage paying firms in the United States saying they would reduce current or future employment if the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour.
  • A recent decision from a Kentucky federal court is a reminder of the implications of a company being deemed a joint employer.

  • The challenge of how and when to accommodate pregnant employees has moved to the forefront as a result of recent changes to the law and recent guidance coming from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • By Matt Poepsel, PhD

    2016 is well underway! If you’re like most people, you’ve been putting in long hours at work. Unfortunately, you may not feel that you’re making meaningful progress in terms of your career prospects. If you feel as though you’re working hard but not getting ahead, a set of shiny new career goals is exactly what you need.
  • PeopleMatter has announced the results of its research into employee engagement in the service industry as part of its “How Hourly Workforces Work” survey. Based on the responses of nearly 1,000 service industry professionals, the results reveal the challenges employers face in engaging their hourly workers, and the strategies that help them motivate and drive performance among their teams.
  • HR Policies:
    This sample HR Disability Insurance policy, “Short-Term Disability,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing benefits & leave issues in the workplace. Download this Disability Insurance sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Emergencies policy, “Emergency Closing/Natural Disaster,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing health & safety issues in the workplace. Download this Emergencies sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample Complaints and Investigations policy, “Investigations—Workplace Searches,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing general investigation issues in the workplace. Download this Complaints and Investigations sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Civil Rights policy, “Discrimination and Retaliation,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. Download this Civil Rights sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Complaints and Investigations policy, “E-mail Investigation,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing e-mail investigations in the workplace. Download this Complaints and Investigations sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample HR Payroll policy, “Emergency Payroll Issues,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing payroll issues in the workplace. Download this Payroll sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample Complaints and Investigations policy, “Investigations—General,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing general investigation issues in the workplace. Download this Complaints and Investigations sample policy to your computer or print it out.
  • This sample Paychecks policy, “Paychecks,” can be used in an employee handbook or as a standalone policy addressing paycheck issues in the workplace. Download this Complaints and Investigations sample policy to your computer or print it out.
Questions & Answers
• Proposed automatic annual adjustments to the salary threshold for exemption
• A proposed salary level increase more than doubling the current requirement for exemption
• Proposed changes to the duties tests for exemption
• A proposed increase to the salary threshold of highly compensated employees (HCEs) to $122,148 per year
 HR Strange But True
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