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 Calculators:
    A valuable metric for human resources and management alike, turnover provides information that can be used to identify retention issues before key employees seek other employment.
  • HR Guidance:

    Does your state restrict private employers from requiring or prohibiting membership in a union as a condition of employment? Does your state allow public-sector employees to organize? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Unions.

  • What are your state's basic workers' compensation requirements for employers? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Workers' Compensation.

  • What posters or notices are employers required to display/provide under state law? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Notices (Posting).

  • Does your state have laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Alcohol and Drugs.

  • Does your state regulate drug and alcohol testing? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Alcohol and Drugs.

  • Does your state allow employers to require direct deposit of paychecks? Does your state have special rules on the use of payroll cards? Find out using this state-by-state comparison chart.

    This chart covers state specific laws. For local ordinances, please visit the topic analysis page on Paychecks.

  • HR News:
    During the 2015 legislative session, and later in the 2017 regular legislative session, lawmakers started redrafting the sections of the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) that seemed unfair and unworkable to many employers. The revisions became law on June 16, 2017. Now, when a worker is fired for cause unrelated to a workplace injury, the worker is no longer eligible for workers' comp benefits beyond the basic impairment rating benefit.
  • The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—recently heard a dentist's claim that her discharge constituted age discrimination. What did the court decide?
  • For all their many faults, the exemptions, especially the full BICE, provided compliance professionals with a long checklist of specific compliance items. The Impartial Conduct Standards are somewhat more vague and do not necessarily lend themselves to easy compliance checklists.
  • As yet another attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act (ACA) heats up in Washington, employers wondering how a new law might affect their benefit plans are advised to stay tuned. And with lawmakers facing a short timetable, at least some answers should be coming soon.
  • Bar none, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the hardest employment law to administer for employers and the easiest to abuse by employees. That double whammy often results in frustrated employers making rash decisions, which, of course, lead to lawsuits. And so goes the following case, in which the employer gave the employee more than the required amount of FMLA leave and then terminated him for taking several vacations during his time off.
  • What happens if an employee files a lawsuit that includes both representative claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) as well as individual claims for unpaid wages? May the employer enforce arbitration of the individual claims for unpaid wages, even though PAGA claims aren't subject to arbitration? A recent case before the California Court of Appeal answers that question.
  • Although disability-based harassment/hostile work environment claims have been recognized by the courts for a while, they aren't very common. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit—which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas—recently rejected an employee's claim of disability-based harassment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), finding her employer's good-faith efforts to engage in the interactive process to identify a reasonable accommodation didn't create a hostile work environment. This case is worth a closer look.
  • On June 28, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that an undocumented worker asserted a valid retaliation claim after he was placed on unpaid leave for seeking workers' compensation benefits.
  • Employers and others have until September 25 to submit comments to shape the rule governing which workers are eligible for overtime pay. Once the deadline passes, employers will face a waiting game before learning what changes may be in store.
  • Communicating complicated employee benefit provisions is not easy. Explaining everything in a way that the average plan participant will understand just may not be possible. Different communication channels for different groups likely will have to be used; one size does not fit all. Let’s hope the DOL recognizes this.
  • A New Jersey federal court recently declined to dismiss an age discrimination lawsuit because an employer's failure to discipline employees in a consistent manner could be construed as evidence of discrimination.
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has approved a partition application and will provide early financial assistance to the United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A, a Nashville-based multiemployer pension plan that covers nearly 10,000 participants.
  • Late last year, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that commissions are "due and payable" under the Massachusetts Wage Act at the time an employee resigns or is terminated, even if the employee might not be eligible to receive the payments under the terms of the company's commission agreement or plan. This spring, a federal trial court in Massachusetts also ruled on an employee's eligibility for unpaid commissions. Employers that compensate employees by commission should pay attention to these two cases before withholding commission payments from departing workers.
  • The 9th Circuit—which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington—recently found an employer's outside lawyer to be such a person after the lawyer attempted to arrange the detention—and possible deportation—of an undocumented worker when he appeared for a deposition.
  • For me, one of the neat things about being an editor here at BLR® is the opportunity to interact with HR and compensation professionals on a regular basis. As the comp editor, I’m asked about managing the compensation process and, for the most part, they’re pretty routine queries about things like how to market price a job and how to set up job grades. Every now and then, though, I get questions that are a little farther afield, like these …
  • The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently found that a supervisor's age-related comments—combined with dissimilar treatment of younger employees—were enough to establish direct evidence of age discrimination.
  • Plan withdrawal liability has been in place for U.S. multiemployer plans since 1980. It includes a heavy penalty that requires employers leaving a multiemployer plan to pay their share of the plan’s vested benefits not yet covered by contributions and investment earnings. As a result, healthy companies often seek to leave multiemployer plans before their liability for other, financially weaker participating companies soars.
Updated Documents
Questions & Answers
• Review all employee verification records to determine whether any staff members may be authorized under DACA and, therefore, whether their work authorization may be at risk.
• Ask employees to self-identify as DACA recipients, then reverify only those workers as soon as possible, well before their documentation expires.
• Treat any and all employees with temporary work authorizations the same, reverifying only upon expiration of the existing authorization.
• Refrain from hiring workers whose work authorization has been granted under DACA, since this authorization is only temporary and will expire now that the program is being phased out.
 HR Strange But True
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