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EEOC calling for changes to ADA regulations
related to wellness programs

(April 16, 2015)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing how employer wellness programs can be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read on

Fast-food strikes, NLRB policies take center stage
(April 15, 2015)
A day after the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “quickie election” rule took effect, low-wage workers across the country took to the streets in an effort to boost their pay and join unions. Read on

Moonlighting: from political candidates
to your employees

(April 15, 2015)
It may only be April 2015, but the 2016 presidential race has officially begun. On Monday, the New York Times listed 12 Republicans and four Democrats who have expressed an interest in running for their party’s 2016 presidential nomination in the article "Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?" Three current governors and three current senators were included in the article, and while everyone on the Times’ list has indicated they want to run for president, none have said that they will resign from their elected positions if they do run. Read on

Sniffing out an ADA case:
aromatherapy at work sparks questions

(April 10, 2015)
The human resources department often finds itself in the position of mediating disagreements about thermostat settings, noise levels, perfume sensitivities, and an array of other workplace issues. But when employee preferences—or even prescriptions—intersect with the law, the job gets more challenging. Recently a group of attorneys was asked whether an employee’s use of aromatherapy at work is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) even if the scent bothers a coworker. Read on

New Tennessee law allows workers
to sue if fired for having guns in cars

(April 9, 2015)
Tennessee employees have a new option for suing their employer now that Governor Bill Haslam has signed a bill enabling workers to sue if they are fired for storing guns in cars parked in their employer’s parking lot. Read on

ACA and the full-time workweek:
a change on the horizon?
(April 8, 2015)
Among the many changes to employment policy and practice wrought by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), perhaps none is currently as hotly contested as the definition of “full-time employee” and the correlating “workweek.” Congress is considering amending the ACA to change what’s considered a “workweek” from 30 hours to 40 hours per week. Read on

NLRB proceeds with 'quickie election' rule implementation
(April 7, 2015)
As the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “quickie election” rule moves a step closer to implementation, employers are being warned to be ready. On April 6, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin Jr. issued a 36-page guidance memo that outlines how new unionization efforts will be processed from the time a union petitions to represent an employer’s workers through certification of the union as a bargaining agent. Read on

Getting past the shortcomings of employee engagement
(April 3, 2015)
Employers tout the importance of an engaged workforce—a place where employees are devoted, eager, interested in their jobs and happy to boot. But how much of a payoff does a nominally engaged workforce provide? Can an engaged workforce still be steeped in drama that holds an organization back? Read on

McDonald's joins Wal-Mart in boosting wages
(April 2, 2015)
The wage and benefit increases McDonald’s announced on April 1 put the fast-food giant on the same path retailer Wal-Mart took in February when it announced an increase in its starting wage. Read on

Silicon Valley sex discrimination case
shows the real win is not getting sued

(April 1, 2015)
For the past month, the most interesting show in San Francisco has been the trial of Ellen Pao’s sexual harassment and sex discrimination case against investment firm Kleiner Perkins. Pao, who engaged in a sexual relationship with a Kleiner Perkins partner early in her career, claims that the firm is a boys club in which women are excluded from investment meetings and trips because, among other things, they kill the buzz. Read on

New OFCCP rule on sexual orientation, gender identity takes effect April 8
(March 30, 2015)
A new rule that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited bases of discrimination under Executive Order 11246 goes into effect on April 8. Read on

Texas judge puts FMLA rule's new definition of spouse on hold
(March 27, 2015)
For the time being, employers in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage don’t have to comply with a new rule changing the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The rule was to take effect on March 27, but a federal district judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction on March 26 in response to a challenge from the attorneys general in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Read on

Key tips to remember when counseling and disciplining employees
(March 27, 2015)
There is nothing like a gentle reminder or a “cheat sheet” to look at when counseling or disciplining employees. The key thing to remember is that although nothing can absolutely insulate you from claims of discrimination or wrongdoing, there are steps you can take to get to the ultimate goal of improving an employee’s performance or, alternatively, terminating an at-will employee when counseling and discipline haven’t facilitated acceptable improvement.  Read on

 

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