Monday, September 12, 2016

I-9 Compliance for Employers: Significantly Increased Fines for Employers

by John R. LaBar, Esq.

To aid in the enforcement of the obligation on employers to hire only individuals authorized to work, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (the “IRCA”) requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees at the time they are hired. Every employee hired to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). The most recent version of Form I-9 has an issuance date of March 8, 2013 with an expiration date of March 31, 2016; however, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has directed that employees should, until further notice, continuing using the current Form until a new form is issued. 

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Monday, August 1, 2016

I-9 Compliance: When the Way We've Always Done It Isn't Good Enough

By Kathleen Gasparian, Esq.

Say the words “I-9 compliance” in a room of business owners or human resource specialists and listen for the small groans and watch for the inevitable eye rolls. I-9 compliance isn't sexy or exciting; it's frustrating and tedious. It is meticulous and deceptively simple paperwork that goes against our instincts of human interaction, but it is also one where an empty field can equal a fine.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The ACA Makes My Head Hurt!

by Norma Shirk, Esq.

Imagine the following scenario:

Stephanie is the HR Director for her company and she's spent years trying to figure out how to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for large employers. She works for a company that provides janitorial services to businesses.

The company has issued as many as 700 W-2's in one year but it has a core group of 300 employees who work varying schedules. Turnover is high because few people like working low-paying janitorial jobs. Janitorial jobs are also risky, as when employees slip on newly mopped floors or wrench their backs emptying trashcans. Stephanie fortifies herself with extra coffee to get through the weekly safety meetings reporting injuries.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Updating Overtime Regulations

by Salvatore Gangemi, Esq.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued its Final Rule modifying overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The Final Rule makes material changes to the application of overtime exemptions, and will take effect on December 1, 2016.

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to simplify and modernize the overtime rules to make them easier for employees and employers to understand and apply.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

How to Regulate Employees' Off-Duty Conduct

by Sarah Briley, Esq.

With the increasing ubiquity of social media, information on the off-duty conduct of employees has never been more accessible to employers. As an employer, it is important to keep in mind that simple disagreement with an employee's off-duty conduct is not always sufficient to justify termination.

An employer should be able to show that the employee's off-duty conduct had some objective negative impact on the employee's ability to do his or her job.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

I Denied My Employee FMLA Leave and Now I'm a Defendant?

by Kathryn Morris Willis, Esq.

Human resources professionals and company managers regularly deal with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave paperwork, medical certifications, and returning employees to work at the end of leave. After all, it's is all part of the job. However, recent case law calls into question whether, in granting or denying FMLA leave, the manager may be subjecting herself or himself to potential individual liability.

In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, 216 WL 1055742, (2nd Cir. Mar. 17, 2016), the Second Circuit joined several other circuits in finding that a human resources professional could possibly be individually liable for FMLA violations under the "economic realities" test.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Drug Testing Your Employees: Invasion of Privacy or Business Need?

by Michael Latimer, Esq.

Drug use by employees on and off the job has been a problem for employers for many years. Consequently, many employers now utilize some form of drug testing for employees and job applicants. Any type of employee drug testing obviously raises privacy concerns for the employee but the issue is particularly sensitive if the employer's policy requires random, unannounced or observed drug testing.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

LGBT Rights, Benefits, and Protections in the Workplace

by P. Delanna Padilla, Esq.

People's attitudes toward same-sex relationships has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2015, the law caught up with those changes. The Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state laws could not ban same-sex marriages and that everyone has a constitutional right to marry. By extension, this ruling impacts employee benefits, such as FMLA, retirement plans, and medical insurance.

Employers need to consider revising their employee benefit plan documents to comply with current law.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Employers Feeling Good About Win in EEOC Wellness Case

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

Last year, the EEOC published proposed regulations detailing how and when employers can maintain wellness incentives for employees under group health plans without running afoul of the ADA's voluntariness requirements for medical exams.

In the closing minutes of 2015, a Wisconsin federal court issued an opinion in one of the first lawsuits filed by the EEOC that had challenged an employer wellness program as an ADA violation. The resulting victory for the employer may cause the EEOC to rethink its wellness-incentive strategy.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Appellate Court Reinstates Sex-Discrimination Claim of Transgender Worker

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

A federal appellate court reinstated the sex-discrimination claim of a transgender auto mechanic. Credit Nation Auto Sales fired Jennifer Chavez less than three months after she notified it of her gender transition.

The employer argued that it fired her because it caught her sleeping in a customer's vehicle while on the clock. Even though the court concluded that the employer's reason was "true and legitimate," it nevertheless reversed the trial court's dismissal of the sex-discrimination claim.

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