News You Can Use

EEOC Prioritizes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
Although employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is not explicitly banned by the U.S. Civil Rights Act, the federal agency that helps to enforce the law the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is moving full speed ahead to address such allegations. Here's the latest.

Separation Agreements May Provide Peace of Mind

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
You may have done absolutely nothing wrong in terminating an employee. But if you want some assurance that the former employee won't decide to sue you or cause you other harm, consider a separation agreement. While this type of agreement isn't foolproof, it can give you a measure of support if needed. Here's how they work.

Leverage Benefits to Recruit and Retain Talent

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
Retaining good employees and recruiting new ones are two tough issues that many employers deal with regularly. With unemployment rates fairly low in many parts of the country, these challenges are magnified. Accordingly, employee benefits are being used in different ways to address the problem. Here's how.

Employers: You Are Now Required to Use the New Form I-9

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
Employers must ensure their proper completion of Forms I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. A new Form I-9 was issued last year but employers could still use the old form. Now, they must use the the new version. This article explains.

Employee Assistance Programs May Be Valuable Resources

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
Depression. Stress. Strained personal relationships. Money problems. These are among the debilitating challenges many of your employees face. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) today can help workers with these worries, and much more. Here's some background on EAPs and some guidance going forward.

DOL: Civil Penalty Increases for Willful FLSA and FMLA Violations

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced inflation-adjusted increases in the civil penalties levied on violations of federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and those related to child labor. This article briefly explains the changes and what employers need to know.

Train Employees to Avoid Cybercrime

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When it comes to cybersecurity, the weakest link could be any one of your employees which is why establishing cybersecurity policies and staff training are critical. Here are some tips to get you started.

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.