News You Can Use

Tax Deadlines Loom for Employers. Minimum Wages Rise in Many States

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
The beginning of a new calendar year means employers may need to make a few adjustments to their payroll processes. There are also looming deadlines for a bevy of the usual tax form completing tasks. Here's a quick rundown, as well as a list of states that increased their minimum wages on January 1 or plan to do so later this year.

Accommodating Employees with Mental Illness

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 00:21
During (and for weeks after) the holiday season, many workers experience a spike in productivity-robbing clinical depression. As a timely reminder, the EEOC has issued fresh guidelines on the employment rights of workers suffering from that affliction and other mental conditions. Employers need to be clear on this score as well. Here's what the EEOC had to say.

Consider an Apprentice Program to Fill Skills Gap

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 23:24
With unemployment rates at their lowest level since 2001, many employers are finding it hard to fill open positions. Creating formal apprenticeships can be a way to overcome that challenge if you're willing to invest some time and effort. Apart from providing a way to find good workers for hard-to-fill positions, employers can also expect other benefits from a well-developed apprenticeship program.

Help Avoid Legal Hot Water with a Strict Email Policy

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 23:24
Work-related emails that your employees send can get you in a lot of trouble, particularly if employees try to get rid of them when the heat is on. It's critical to proactively avoid making a bad situation worse, that is, increase the likelihood of litigation. Here are some tips.

Expanded EEO-1 Form Means New Responsibilities for Employers

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 23:42
Beginning next year, employers with at least 100 employees will have more work to do when it comes to annual reporting. Compared to the original proposal for increased reporting, the burden has been eased somewhat. Still, compliance will take a major effort for most employers. If your company is among those affected by these changes, continue reading to learn what your new responsibilities will be.

New DOL Investigation Finds Employer Violated Minimum Wage Law

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:35
After an investigation by a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, a company agreed to pay employees back wages and damages, as well as pay $99,825 in civil penalties, for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer had taken deductions from employees' pay for uniform costs. Here are details of the investigation and how businesses can comply with the law.

Health Savings Accounts May Carry New Employer Risks

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:35
Sometimes federal regulations pop up where you least expect them. Case in point: Potential employer liability associated with health savings accounts. The Trump administration could alleviate the risk, but it's too soon to tell what's on the horizon. For now, nothing should be taken for granted. Keep reading for some guidance on what may be ahead.

Avoiding the Legal Hazards of Job Elimination

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 00:21
Eliminating certain jobs (and the people attached to them) is not uncommon. It's part of running a business in a dynamic economic environment. And of course it's perfectly legal unless you go about it the wrong way. Paring down your workforce may be necessary or just strategically smart. But you need to be aware of the growing list of guidelines to follow in order to avoid problems. Here's what you should know.

New Overtime Rules Suspended for Now

Sun, 01/01/2017 - 23:30
Although new overtime regulations were set to kick in on December 1, a federal district court has moved to block the changes, at least temporarily. What does this mean for employers and what should they do now? Whether businesses should immediately drop plans to comply with the new rules, or move forward anyway, may not be a simple question for employers to answer. Here's more.

IRS Extends Deadline to Provide 2016 ACA Forms to Recipients

Sun, 01/01/2017 - 23:30
The IRS recently announced it is extending deadlines and providing penalty relief for insurers, sponsors of self-insured health plans and others that must furnish 2016 information statements to recipients, which are mandated by the Affordable Care Act. This article explains the relief for furnishing Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C.

New Version of Form I-9 Issued

Sun, 12/25/2016 - 23:33
Federal law requires every employer that hires an individual for employment in the United States to complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification." The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a new version of Form I-9 that employers must start using soon. Here are the details of the new form.

The Link Between Employee Motivation and Your Compensation Philosophy

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 00:18
When employees have a limited understanding of why their pay is what it is, and fail to grasp all the elements of their compensation, they're apt to feel underpaid even if they're not. While some will always feel that way, most will become more content and motivated if they're fully briefed. Here's what they need to know.

Franchisor Agrees to Settle Dispute Between Franchisee and Workers

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 00:23
McDonald's Corp. has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a 2014 class action lawsuit filed by workers alleging wage and hour violations at one of its franchises in California, even though the company issued a statement after the proposed settlement that said the company wasn't a joint employer of the franchise workers. This article briefly describes the case.

Avoid the Legal Traps of Relocating Jobs

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 00:23
Shifting jobs from one company location to another might be illegal, depending on the employer's motives. For example, if there's evidence that an employer moved jobs out of the country to retaliate against disgruntled employees, there could be legal repercussions. Take a look at how a court recently decided one case brought by the National Labor Relations Board.

Follow the Rules When Hiring Holiday Season Workers

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 00:09
Bringing seasonal help on board enables you to get through crunch periods without driving your year-round employees to exhaustion. But are seasonal workers covered by the same labor laws and regulations that apply to the rest of your workforce? Yes and no. Here's why.

What Can You Do About Employee Misbehavior After Hours?

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 00:06
What your employees do on their own time isn't any of your business until it is. The right of privacy is treasured in the United States and none of us want to be monitored when we're not at work. But what we do in our private lives certainly can affect the workplace. Here's an overview of what after-hours employee activities should be of concern to you and what you can do about it.

Overtime Rules Are Scheduled to Change in December

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 23:37
The U.S. Department of Labor's higher income requirement for the "white collar exemption" from overtime is scheduled to kick in December 1. The DOL recently explained how certain bonuses can be applied to the income requirement for regular workers as well as those classified as "highly compensated employees." Here's what employers need to know.

EEOC Seeks Enforcement of Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 23:37
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but it still happens. That's why the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to initiate litigation on behalf of victims of pregnancy discrimination. In one of the latest examples, the Commission has filed a lawsuit in the interest of a pregnant woman who was forced to take a leave of absence. Employers and employees alike should take note of this action.

Help Avoid Legal Pitfalls When Withdrawing a Job Offer

Sun, 11/13/2016 - 23:32
What happens when you make a job offer, and shortly thereafter decide that you need to withdraw it? Perhaps you learned too late the applicant wasn't honest. Or maybe your company hit an unexpected business snag. Whatever the reason, rescinding a job offer could spell trouble or not, depending upon the circumstances and, equally important, how you handle the situation. Here's what you need to know.

Can You Require Psychological Exams for Some Employees?

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 00:21
Can you require an employee to undergo a psychological exam? Under some circumstances, yes but, among other requirements, you must strictly adhere to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here's a rundown of information about the hoops you need to jump through to help avoid adverse legal repercussions.