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 News:
    The annual contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) are going up in 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced May 28. The minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket limits for an HSA-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP) also will be increased for inflation, according to Revenue Procedure 2019-25.
  • By Rebecca Seguin-Skrabucha
    The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's denial of summary judgment (dismissal without a trial) in a case involving an employee terminated shortly after raising concerns about a coworker.
  • By Eamonn Hart
    Sex discrimination with regard to pay has been illegal at the federal level for decades under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act. There's a similar prohibition on sex-based pay discrimination in Maine. Despite the existence of such measures, the pay gap remains real, and states continue to pass new laws to address it. Employers should be aware of one such law recently passed in Maine.
  • By Steven L. Brenneman
    You likely already know that employees who are discharged for “misconduct” under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (IUIA) are disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. However, many employees let go for valid reasons, such as poor performance, receive jobless benefits anyway because those grounds don’t constitute misconduct under the Act. A recent case reminds us that misconduct does exist when an employee refuses to obey a reasonable instruction.
  • 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 Arris Reddick Murphy
    The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires that every employer maintain sufficient records for each employee to be able to determine the benefits due to the employees now or in the future. The plan sponsor has responsibility for retaining retirement plan records even when a third-party administrator (TPA) is hired to provide recordkeeping and administrative services.
  • By Forrest Rhodes
    In March, the current U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its proposed amendments to various regulations governing the FLSA. Consistent with campaign-trail promises, these amendments represent a much more employer-friendly approach to the issues.
  • By Marylou Fabbo
    There's no question that unless it would pose an undue hardship, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, and sometimes those accommodations include time off. But when an employee simply makes an employer aware of a disability that may require time away from work without specifically requesting time off for it, does the employer have an obligation to provide it?
  • By Destiny Smith Washington, FordHarrison LLP
    Recently, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia—clarified the proper standard for the comparator analysis in intentional discrimination cases under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework, ruling that a qualitative comparator analysis remains part of the initial prima facie stage.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributor
    The use of 401(k) plan loans in 2018 fell, continuing a steady 6-year decline. But, in contrast, both loan balances and the average amount of hardship withdrawals taken by participants increased.
  • By Robert D. Hudson
    Kentucky has significantly modified employers' obligation to provide accommodations for pregnant employees. The new law will likely spur substantial litigation.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributor
    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) will be changing its reportable events filings to include controlled-group information, company financial statements, and defined benefit (DB) plans’ actuarial valuation reports, adding more detail to five plan or employer events already reportable to the agency that rescues failed pensions.
  • By Tammy Binford
    A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court shows why it’s important for employers and their attorneys to examine whether employees making discrimination claims have exhausted their administrative remedies before going to court. And if an employee claiming discrimination hasn’t done so, it’s up to the employer to promptly raise an objection.
  • By Barbara J. Koenig
    New Mexico will join the list of states with “ban the box” legislation when a new law takes effect on June 14.
  • By Kara E. Shea
    Private employers in Tennessee will want to take note of a recent expansion of existing law, promising legal immunity for employers that adopt antibullying policies.
  • By Judith Droz Keyes, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
    As painful and expensive as they may ultimately prove to be for their employers, whistleblowers have a valuable role to play: They expose wrongdoing. They are in many ways the eyes and ears of society, seeing and hearing things from the inside that no one from the outside can access. They can set wrong to right.
  • By Jane Meacham, Contributor
    How can your company determine whether your DB plan is financially and operationally ready to terminate?
  • Salary history bans continue to gain in popularity across the United States. Over 10 states and half a dozen cities have enacted laws that prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicants’ prior or current compensation. This map highlights which states and cities have such laws in place and provides more detail about who is impacted.
  • By Corey Zoldan, DiMuroGinsberg, PC
    By now, most of you know your workplaces must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Potential accommodations can include installing a wheelchair ramp or providing assistive technology to employees with visual or hearing impairments. But what you may not realize is that the ADA can even require you to make your commercial website accessible to people with disabilities, particularly consumers with visual impairments.
Updated Documents
 HR Strange But True
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