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 Guidance:
    View the 2020-2021 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.
  • HR News:
    Management and HR professionals are faced with stiff competition for talent these days. After a sometimes lengthy recruitment and onboarding process, the employment relationship normally begins on a good note. But when the company loses money because employees are lured away to other jobs, it must hire and train their replacements. Further, employees may take trade secrets or other confidential information or capitalize on relationships they've forged with their former employer's prospective clients, customers, suppliers, and even other employees.
  • Staffing and hiring during the pandemic are especially chaotic. Many employers that don’t traditionally use temporary staff are seeking to fill short-term gaps in the workforce or simply want employees for a short time because it’s unclear what the business structure will look like once the pandemic business issues have shifted. Employers also may want to use temporary staff to avoid paying benefits and similar items. But temporary isn’t always temporary in the eyes of the law.
  • Have you noticed how much notice issues regarding federal continuation coverage seem to be cropping up everywhere—such as in the news, the courts, and the administrative agencies? Well, the latest matter involves part of the regular evaluation of paperwork requirements conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In a December 7, 2020, notice published in the Federal Register (85 Fed. Reg. 78935), the IRS requested comments on notice requirements for continuation coverage applicable to group health plans under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
  • The massive appropriations and COVID-19 relief legislation that President Trump signed December 27, 2020, includes provisions that extend various supplemental employment benefits until March or April, depending on the program.
  • The massive appropriations and COVID-19 relief legislation that President Trump signed December 27, 2020, includes a number of provisions affecting employers’ health benefit programs. These include arbitration procedures for “surprise billing” situations, a new layer of transparency requirements, added flexibility for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and disclosure rules regarding mental health parity.
  • Whistleblower charges alleging workplace safety retaliation have surged dramatically during COVID-19. Approximately 30 percent more charges have been filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over the same period last year, according to a recent audit from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General. The charge rate in the states and territories with state OSHA-certified plans—about half the country—is believed to have increased at a similar pace. The volume of safety-related retaliation charges is likely to persist (and potentially increase) as employers and governments continue to grapple with stay-at-home and return-to-work orders and protocols and the approaching flu season and as vaccine candidates draw closer to approval and distribution. With that in mind, here are concrete steps you can take to avoid adverse whistleblower complaint findings.
  • Employers are feeling free to resume their diversity training plans now that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reportedly suspended enforcement of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order (EO) restricting how certain employers can conduct training aimed at combating discrimination.
  • While many workplaces are settling into a COVID-19 groove of social distancing, face masks, and hand sanitizer, we find ourselves on the cusp of flu season in the United States. Employers should start preparing now for what could be a difficult workplace winter.
  • President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is a traditional Democrat likely to push a pro-union agenda and a leader who will be eager to put in place pandemic-related safety measures, according to attorneys who advise employers.
  • Elections for union representation have long been conducted in-person and with manual ballots. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a strong preference for in-person representation elections. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced the Board to adopt, at least temporarily, a new election procedure using mail ballots. It recently issued a decision providing guidance to regional directors on when mail ballot elections should be held.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently unveiled regulations to modify the presuit conciliation process in hopes of finally settling some employment disputes.
  • The announcement of a new final rule addressing when workers can legally be classified as independent contractors emphasizes the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) intent to bring clarity to the issue, but with a change in administration near, the question may still be up in the air.
  • Several civil rights groups have sued the Trump administration to block a recent Executive Order (EO) prohibiting federal contractors and others from covering certain so-called “race and sex stereotyping” topics during diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training.
  • Q As we look forward to the new year, what are the top employment law trends we should keep an eye on?
Updated Documents
 HR Strange But True
CT-WEB06
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