Legal Issues

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: Screening Workers Going Home Doesn’t Count as Work Time

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By John E. Thompson

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday found that the time non-exempt employees spent in connection with an end-of-workday security screening before leaving the premises did not count as worktime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Instead, it said, the time so spent was non-compensable “postliminary” activity under the federal Portal-to-Portal Act.

Among other things, the Supreme Court said that: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

The Big Problem With Background Checks at Uber

uber app

Uber can’t seem to get it right.

First, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing service was criticized for NOT doing background checks, and now it’s under attack for doing them the wrong way.

The national ride sharing service that everyone loves to hate is back in the headlines (although I’m not sure they ever left) facing a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read more…

Legal Issues, Webinars

When Marijuana Comes to the Workplace

With states legalizing marijuana, medicinally or recreationally, there are bound to be new challenges in the workplace with this upcoming change. Please join Larry Perlman and John Litchfield as they discuss what to expect, including:

  • Challenges to be expected in the near future in the workplace;
  • How best to handle these challenges, both effectively and professionally;
  • And so much more!

Register today because this webinar is best experienced while in attendance to really appreciate the full value it has to offer.

Date/Time of Webinar: Dec. 10, 2014 at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific

Registration Link: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/y3wfnzp3i5fv&eom

Sponsor: HRCI

Can’t attend? No problem!  Register and you will have access to the recording to watch at a more convenient time!

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

When an Employee Handbook Goes Beyond What the Law Requires

Employee Handbook

By Eric B. Meyer

I’m gonna pause for a sec while you go and grab a copy of your company’s employee handbook. Now open it up to the anti-harassment policy and, click through, because your world may be about to be rocked.

Got your policy out? Good.

  • Does it define harassment more broadly than the law would? Read more…
HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Federal Court Allows Discrimination Against Transgendered Employee

discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Under federal law (Title VII), employers cannot discriminate because of one’s sex.

While Title VII does not explicitly coverage transgender employees (i.e., someone born female who presents male, and vice-versa; also known as gender identity), the EEOC’s position is that transgender employees are protected too. Indeed, they’ve begun filing federal lawsuits on behalf of transgender employees who claim to have been discriminated against.

But, the courts have not uniformly accepted the EEOC’s position. Indeed, the state of the law here is very much unsettled. Read more…

Benefits, Legal Issues

Biggest Loser Contests at Work? Only If They Pass Muster With the EEOC

biggest_loser_logo

By Howard Mavity

We are again running a Biggest Loser Contest among our 31 offices and will award prizes, beginning at $1,000, to individuals who lose the most weight.

I do not watch reality shows and am generally cynical about such programs. However, I am happily eating my own words. Employees are having fun with the contest and the competition has generated a lot of camaraderie and playful competition.

When I visit one office, someone will only half-jokingly ask me to leave donuts on the desk of one of their “weight loss foes” in the next office I visit. Folks have regaled me with their elaborate preparation and routine for winning the contest. Their approach reminded me of my pre-race and pre-fight preparation of a few years ago. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Labor Department Cracking Down on Employee Misclassifications

Department-of-Labor-Seal-Plaque-L

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $10.2 million to 19 states to ramp up their enforcement activities “to implement or improve worker misclassification detection and enforcement initiatives in unemployment insurance programs.”

Specifically, the department is searching for businesses that misclassify workers as contractors instead of W-2 employees. The agency is losing out on millions of dollars each year in unpaid taxes, and they intend to find as much of it as possible.

Here are the states receiving the extra funds to increase their enforcement: California, New Mexico, Delaware, New York, Florida, Oregon, Hawaii, South Dakota, Idaho, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, Maryland, Utah, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and New Jersey. Read more…

Benefits, Legal Issues

EEOC to Offer Employers Guidance on Wellness Programs

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act (GINA) by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Troubling Questions After Record $185 Million Discrimination Award

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By Ashley Manfull

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that a former female manager of AutoZone can keep a record-breaking $185 million punitive damages award on her claims of pregnancy-related harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in Juarez v. AutoZone Stores, Inc.

In 2008, Ms. Juarez filed her complaint against AutoZone, alleging the company had a culture of discriminating against and refusing to promote female employees to management positions. Ms. Juarez was promoted to parts sales manager in 2004 after she complained about lack of promotion opportunities and threatened to sue the company. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

FMLA Interference: It’s Telling an Employee “Don’t Die at the Desk”

FMLA_poster

By Eric B. Meyer

Telling an employee returning from open-heart surgery, “Don’t die at the desk” is bad. Very bad.

Also, threatening to drag that employee outside and throw him in a ditch isn’t good either.

Yeah, that may fracture a law or two. I’m thinking the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Heck, even the Taliban would frown on that. Read more…