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 Checklists:
    There are many federal laws that apply to employers, yet not every law will apply to every employer all of the time. Often, whether a law applies to a particular organization depends on the number of people employed by the company. This chart provides an overview of major employment laws and the employee threshold for each.
  • HR News:
    By Brad Cave
    Jackson recently became the second Wyoming town to adopt an ordinance prohibiting discriminatory employment practices based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. (The first was Laramie in May 2015.) Here's what you need to know.
  • By Bridget Miller, Contributing Editor
    In a highly competitive hiring landscape, employers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves to prospective employees. One option is to provide a more attractive or unique benefits package by including new and interesting benefit options.
  • By Emeka Oguh, Founder and CEO of PeopleJoy
    Employees in every industry are burdened with student loan debt. According to the latest Federal Reserve data, Americans carry over $1.5 trillion in student loans. The amount continues to grow every quarter. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey revealed that 54% of employees are stressed about their finances, and 64% are impacted by student loans. So, what can we do about it?
  • By Cathleen S. Yonahara, Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
    Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a flurry of legislation into law. Here, we address two important pieces of legislation concerning paid family leave (PFL) and lactation accommodations.
  • The percentage of private-sector employers offering group health coverage rebounded slightly in 2017 after a long gradual decline, according to an issue brief from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
  • By Jacob M. Monty, Monty & Ramirez, LLP
    Over the summer, San Antonio became the second Texas city to enact a municipal paid sick leave law. While advocates applauded the city council’s decision to pass the law, numerous state lawmakers and the state attorney general (AG) immediately drew their swords against the mandate. But opposition to San Antonio’s ordinance came as no surprise.
  • By Richard J. Morgan
    Two years ago, we wrote about a noncompete decision in which a special referee found a business seller had breached a sales agreement by violating both a noncompete covenant and an exclusive sales provision contained in the agreement. The South Carolina Supreme Court reviewed the appeals court’s decision and has now issued its own ruling.
  • By Kathryn M. Grigg
    Employers that don’t prohibit employees from engaging in sexual harassment may be liable for sex discrimination under federal law if the harassing behavior is directed solely at employees of one gender. A recent case from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—shows why the victim’s gender, and not the harasser’s gender, is relevant in discrimination cases.
  • By Clarke Sugar
    Employers and employees should agree and have clarity about the conditions under which employment will terminate and what compensation, if any, will be paid at that time.
  • By Dinesh Sheth, CEO & Founder, Green Circle Health
    A struggle many employers face is deriving the most value from their benefits investments and encouraging employee participation in company health and wellness programs. To derive the most value from their benefits investments, employers must develop a clearly defined communications strategy to educate employees on their benefits and ensure their programs are personalized to an employee’s unique needs.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributing Editor
    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took steps toward allowing automatic small-balance 401(k) plan transfers to a new employer’s plan in a job change by proposing to exempt a vendor’s auto-portability program from some prohibited-transaction restrictions.
  • Minimum wage increases will affect numerous states across the country in January 2019.
  • By Patricia Heyen
    A new North Carolina law offering protections against negligent hiring and retention claims is set to take effect on December 1.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributing Editor
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), earlier this fall, announced two updates to procedures that plan sponsors and their service providers should note.
  • By Jennifer D. Sims
    Employers are generally prohibited from asking questions or conducting examinations to determine whether an employee has a disability unless the inquiries or exams are job-related and consistent with business necessity. When you permissibly ask whether an employee can perform job-related functions, you generally must treat any information about the individual's medical condition or history as a confidential record.
  • By Harris S. Freier and Justine L. Abrams
    Does the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination require employers to accommodate medical marijuana users by waiving the requirement that they pass a drug test for federally prohibited narcotics?
  • Prior to 2014, there were only 4 paid sick leave laws in effect nationwide. That number has since grown to more than 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.
  • By Kelly Creighton
    Many employers think that they need to offer things like table tennis in large and custom-designed breakrooms, organic juice bars, bring-your-dog-to-work days, and free lunch every other day—especially when it comes to hiring younger employees—to retain employees and keep them happy.
  • By Jeremy M. Brenner
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws prohibit discriminating against a qualified employee or job applicant on the basis of an actual or perceived disability. The ADA requires you to engage in the interactive process with an employee who has requested an accommodation to determine if it will permit the individual to perform the essential job functions. It may be difficult, however, to identify when you have done enough to fulfill the obligation, particularly when no accommodation can be identified.
  • By Martin J. Regimbal
    Most workers are employed at will, meaning they don't have an employment contract, and either they or the employer can end the relationship at any time. In some instances, however, employees receive written employment contracts for specific periods of time. Sometimes the contracts are necessary to hire and retain personnel in important positions.
  • By Tammy Binford, Contributing Editor
    Voters in four states took up the issue of marijuana use when they went to the polls November 6, and the results will have an impact on employers. Here’s a look at each state.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributing Editor
    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released its proposal easing restrictions on open multiple-employer plans (MEPs) to encourage more small businesses to offer defined contribution (DC) retirement plans to their employees.
  • By Alexander E. Preller
    The policy goals and judicial philosophies of California and Indiana are not always synchronous. Nevertheless, deliberate breaks in judicial interpretation of state and federal laws addressing the same topic are not unheard of in Indiana. Consequently, a recent California decision is a reminder that Indiana employers shouldn't place too much reliance on federal law when confronting state-law issues.
Updated Documents
• Vacation, holiday, severance, and sick pay
• Meal and rest periods
• Time off for holidays and vacations
• Premium pay for weekend and holiday work
• Equal pay
• Pay raises and fringe benefits
 HR Strange But True
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