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:
    This confidential form should be the basis for a meaningful, two-way discussion with the employee. The ensuing performance discussion can be most successful when the report is thoughtfully and accurately completed.
  • HR Forms:
    This form, "Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form, Rev. 07/17/17 N)," is used in the workplace to document the verification of employees' eligibility to work in the United States. You may download the form directly to your computer and/or print it.
  • This form, "Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form, Rev. 07/17/17 N)," is used in the workplace to document the verification of employees' eligibility to work in the United States. You may download the form directly to your computer and/or print it.
  • This form, "Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form, Rev. 07/17/17 N)," is used in the workplace to document the verification of employees' eligibility to work in the United States. You may download the form directly to your computer and/or print it.
  • HR Guidance:
    This document contains a state-by-state list of required new-hire notices and forms, with links where applicable.
  • View the 2017 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:
    In a recent decision, Florida Federal District Judge James Moody upheld the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) rule that a tipped employee may be paid a direct wage that is less than the Florida minimum wage of $8.10 per hour only if he spends no more than 20% of his time on duties that do not directly result in tips.
  • A federal advisory committee called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to rescind a 2012 rule that established a standard unique identifier for health plans.
  • A federal court recently allowed a Pennsylvania employee to proceed with his promissory estoppel claim based on his employer's alleged promise to sponsor his visa.
  • Remaining informed and aware of investing trends is one of the many duties that come with being an employer plan sponsor or serving on a plan’s investment committee. As average fund fees continue their slide from investors seeking lower-cost funds and price wars among some providers, it’s useful to understand what’s behind this trend. At worst, a failure to align your plan’s investment options with the rise of passive funds and dramatically reduced fees also could expose the plan to participant litigation.
  • Employers' compliance with meal break and rest period requirements continues to be a hot-button issue in California. In a recent case, current and former employees brought all-too-familiar claims that an ambulance company's meal and rest period policies violate California law. The employees alleged class claims as well as nonclass claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).
  • Opinion Letters written by federal Department of Labor (DOL) officials have served to explain a variety of legal principles and clarify fact-specific situations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) since the FLSA became law in 1938.
  • A multi-agency federal and state investigation has led to the guilty plea and imprisonment of Ohio businessman William M. Apostelos, who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that included the theft of $1.9 million from an employee benefit plan. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) participated in the investigation and prosecution led by the Justice Department.
  • In a split decision, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—recently held that the cat's-paw theory of liability applies to retaliation claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • The 7th Circuit recently affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment (dismissal without a trial) in favor of the employer in a failure-to-hire case. The courts sided with the employer, even though it didn't comply with a job applicant's request for a "split test" drug test, because it applied its drug-testing policy consistently.
  • On July 17, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will release a new revision of Form I-9—Revision 07/17/17 N—to be used for employment eligibility verification.
  • On July 13, the Senate released a revised version of its proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal/replace bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. As of July 13, the Senate had not yet voted on the original version.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit—which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—recently upheld an employer's trial court victory, providing useful guidance for employers seeking to manage difficult employees in the midst of workers' compensation claims.
  • The 2nd Circuit—which covers Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—recently heard claims that a pharmacy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired a pharmacist, whose fear of needles prevented him from administering immunizations. Did the pharmacist have a claim for disability discrimination?
  • Pay equity is getting more attention in the media, and as the public becomes more aware of the pay gap issue, employees are raising questions internally with employers, according to Joseph Beachboard and Lara de Leon of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Some large companies have responded to the increased attention by publishing salary information and pay scales, explained Beachboard and de Leon, who were presenting a session on equal pay issues at SHRM’s annual conference in New Orleans.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 29 issued its fifth request for public comments on the agency’s fiduciary definition and related exemptions, which took effect June 9. But the latest request for information (RFI) by the DOL since the rule’s inception in October 2010 may not be its last.
  • The 6th Circuit ruled in April 2017 that something as seemingly mundane as taking away an employee's mosquito-control duties can support an actionable retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if there's reason to believe that the job duty was removed in retaliation for the employee's protected activity.
  • In a recent decision, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas—addressed claims brought by an automaker's employee under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Anthem Inc. agreed to pay $115 million, and take specified corrective actions, to settle a consolidated class action that resulted from the massive cyberattack suffered by the health insurer.
  • The American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) recently issued a proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) that will affect all independent qualified public audits of employee benefit plans, especially limited-scope audits.
  • The Indiana Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a former employee's claims of sex and age discrimination and retaliation. The former employee, a man in his 60s, filed suit against the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) after he was repeatedly denied a family case manager position.
  • In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that an employee who claimed he was terminated for discriminatory reasons based on his disability was laid off for legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons in a reduction in force (RIF).
  • A health plan’s lack of a full plan document, and an erroneous reference to such a document in the summary plan description (SPD), did not defeat the plan’s claim for reimbursement from a beneficiary’s medical malpractice settlement, a federal appeals court ruled.
Updated Documents
Questions & Answers
• Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
• Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
• Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA)
• Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)
• All of the above
 HR Strange But True
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