This is an issue raised in the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC case, for which the Supreme Court will hear arguments next month. In this case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued a Detroit area funeral home chain because the owner fired an employee due to disclosing her intent to transition from male to female. The lower court ruled in favor of the funeral home, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, arguing that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. The Supreme Court agreed to review the decision.
In addition to the spread of paid leave requirements, many employers must now also comply with fair workweek laws. “Fair workweek” initiatives, also known as “predictive scheduling,” require employers to provide work schedules to employees in advance and pay employees if those schedules change without sufficient notice.
Staffing agencies jump through hoops to provide their clients with the best, most qualified candidates and stay competitive. Background checks and drug tests are often essential, and expensive. These screening tools assure staffing agencies that their candidates are appropriate for placement, but what should staffing agencies do when the client demands more than just a certification of the candidate’s qualifications?
Sharing the results of a client’s background check or drug test may seem like an easy way to keep clients happy, but it comes with some serious pitfalls for staffing agencies. There are three ways that sharing background check or drug test results with clients could put staffing agencies at risk of serious liability.
Employers have long been aware of laws prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, and other protected characteristics. But what about uncivil or intimidating behavior unrelated to protected class status? Many employees complain to employers about coworkers creating “toxic” work environments, but the offending behavior falls outside of the umbrella of state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. How should employers handle these situations?
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has promised to sign a bill that has been passed by the State Legislature, which will provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers in the state. This leave law will allow workers in the state 12 weeks paid leave to care for a new child, a sick family member, or a personal illness.
On Tuesday May 28th, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law “An Act Authorizing Employee Leave,” (“the Act”). This new law will provide eligible employees with the ability to accrue up to 40 hours of paid personal leave per year. Unlike other paid leave laws around the country, Maine’s will be the first to allow the employees to use the paid leave for any purpose, including non-medical or personal reasons.
Even though the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer reporting deadlines for tax year 2018 are behind us, the work with the ACA never stops. Several years into the reporting process, the IRS is still reviewing employer submissions from 2015 and 2016, and is still sending 226J penalty letters. Employers can receive a penalty letter if their submission to the IRS shows (a) a less than 95% offer of coverage rate, or (b) that a specific employee was not offered compliant coverage.
We know that employers have a lot to consider when an employee separates, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. One such consideration is when final payment is due to that employee. As the answer varies from state to state, and from one situation to the next, we’ve compiled the table below to make the determination easier. As always, we encourage you to seek legal counsel with questions and specific factual scenarios.
An employee requests the use of sick leave, vacation, or PTO to care for his ill mother. Your first instinct (and the 100% correct one) is to set that FMLA process in motion. But what if your employee wants to “save up” FMLA for scheduled surgery later in the year, or the expected birth of a child in a couple of months? What do you do if your employee says, “thanks, but no thanks” to FMLA?
On December 14, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed two laws which modified the current minimum wage and paid sick leave legislation. The changes are due to take effect on April 1, 2019. The new law, “Paid Medical Leave Act”, will replace the current “Earned Sick Time Act,” which was only recently passed. Under the new law there are several changes that will impact many businesses. For starters, this applies to all businesses with 50 or more employees.
Workplace violence is a disturbing, but real issue facing employers nationwide. News stories remind us of this reality with examples such as a recent workplace shooting in Illinois, in which a disgruntled employee shot several coworkers and police officers after learning that his employment was terminated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about two million workers report workplace violence every year. OSHA also states that employers must provide a place of employment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” So what should employers do about this growing concern?
On Thursday March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the proposal of a new overtime rule. According to the DOL press release, this rule would now make over 1 million American workers eligible for overtime. The new proposal would raise the salary threshold starting on January 1, 2020 to $679 per week, or roughly $35,308 annually. Currently, the salary threshold is at $455 per week or roughly $23,660 annually. The current salary threshold has been in place since 2004.
In a tight labor market where attracting top talent has become increasingly difficult, offering employee’s perks other than a higher salary could help an applicant considering multiple offers accept your offer instead of others. One of the perks that some companies have considered offering is unlimited paid time off (PTO) programs. Before you write off the idea as wackadoo, hear me out.
Picture this scenario: your employee, a delivery driver, makes regular stops at a production facility. The facility is not owned by your company, and your company does not employ any of the production facility workers. While at the facility, your driver is subjected to unwanted comments and touching by an employee of the facility. Your employee complains, and your HR Manager states they’ll work with management at the production facility to handle it. Your employee later returns to the facility, and the harassment continues. Your employee resigns as a result of the ongoing harassment.
On Monday February 18, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released legal guidance on our protections and enforcement actions against racial discrimination on the basis natural hair and hairstyles. These guidelines will now consider the targeting of people based on their hairstyle at work, school, or in public places racial discrimination.