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What’s Mine is Yours and What’s Yours is Mine: The NLRB’s New Joint Employer Rule Vastly Expands Joint Employer Status

Do you know who your employees are? It seems pretty simple – those individuals on your payroll whose employment you control and supervise, right? Not so fast, says the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board). Under the NLRB’s new joint employer rule, a company can be deemed a “joint employer” of another entity’s employees … Continue Reading

Looking for Skeletons in the Closet? Avoid These Background Check Mistakes

A scary surprise is fun to encounter when you are in a haunted house at a Halloween event, but not so much fun when you are performing a background check on a potential employee. Even worse is finding out after the fact that you failed to comply with one of the many legal requirements, and … Continue Reading

As School Bells Ring, Employers Should Review School-Related Activities Leave Policies

Another school year is upon us, which means employers around the country should study up on school-related activities leave policies. While there is no federal law mandating that employers give employees time-off to attend school-related activities for their children, there are many states across the country that do. Employers who fail to do their homework … Continue Reading

Faith at Work and the New Sacred Balance: Understanding the More Stringent “Undue Hardship” Standard

Employers evaluating religious accommodations under Title VII are now required to strike a new balance due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent clarification of what constitutes an “undue hardship.” Employers should promptly reassess the factors they use to weigh the costs of providing religious accommodations in the workplace to avoid being caught off guard.… Continue Reading

Promoting Employee Mental Health Well-Being Pays Off

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the perfect time for employers to check on the mental well-being of their employees and examine their current policies, because doing so will ultimately improve their bottom line. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have reported experiencing stress at work due to compensation not keeping up with inflation, longer … Continue Reading

2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection Now Set to Begin Mid-July 2023

The EEO-1 reporting deadline has become a moving target, so covered employers need to sharpen their data collection and be ready to upload. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that the collection window will open in “mid-July” 2023, not April, as initially scheduled. Covered employers should expect to have the same amount … Continue Reading

Don’t Be Left Out In The Cold on Effective Performance Reviews: Five Tips You Need To Know

‘Tis the season for employee performance reviews! In the midst of the chaos that is the holiday season and end-of-year deadlines, employee performance reviews are often scheduled during this busy time of the year. An impending performance review may cause stress and angst for both the manager who has to issue the performance review and … Continue Reading

Saying The Quiet Part Out Loud: When Employee Talk About “Quiet Quitting” Could Become Protected Speech

By now, many employers have heard about “quiet quitting.” Though the term’s meaning varies depending on who’s using it, it generally refers to employees doing only as much work as the job requires without going the extra mile. Employers may view quiet quitting as lack of engagement or laziness, but employees may see it simply … Continue Reading

California is Spooky—California’s Recently Enacted Laws Provide Further Fright (aka Legal Obligations) to California Employers

Just in time for Halloween and employee handbook update season, the California Legislature has passed an onslaught of new employment legislation sure to give employers compliance nightmares. From expanding the concept of “family” for leaves of absence, to more time to take that supplemental paid COVID-19 leave, protection against discrimination for cannabis use and reproductive … Continue Reading

NLRB Proposes New Joint Employer Rule

Do you know which workers are your employees? That answer may change if a new rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) takes effect. Last month, the NLRB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the joint-employer standard. If that announcement sounds familiar, that may be because the NLRB previously issued a Notice … Continue Reading

Employers: Be Careful What You Include In A Handbook

Most employers include provisions in their Employee Handbook giving them the right to modify the policies at any time. They also make clear that the handbook is not a contract and does not create contractual obligations. There are good reasons for both, but also consequences. If you are looking to enforce an obligation, it’s best … Continue Reading

Watch that Frown: Mere Discouragement Enough to Violate the FMLA

There has never been a better time for employers to train managers on the basics of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights and appropriate responses to FMLA requests. Believe it or not, FMLA rights can be violated even if no FMLA leave is denied. That’s the law as affirmed by the Seventh Circuit’s recent … Continue Reading

ALERT! Your COVID-19 Policies and Procedures Need a BOOSTER!

Employers who are conducting automatic COVID-19 testing of employees or gathering test results of employees’ families should beware: the Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued new guidance limiting the former and has penalized a healthcare practice recently for doing the latter.… Continue Reading

Checking Applicant Backgrounds? Be Careful!

Background checks are a great idea—unless you fail to do them correctly. Mistakes can be costly. One online retailer paid $5 million to settle a class action filed by 454,000 job applicants alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a key federal law governing the conduct of background checks. The number of such … Continue Reading

Work From Home – SOS! Post-Pandemic Legal Hazards

The pandemic has revolutionized the workplaces and remote workforces will almost certainly survive the end of the pandemic. A Gallup poll last fall indicated that 61 percent of workers expect to work remotely at least part of the time in the future, and just 9 percent expect to work from home only minimally or not … Continue Reading

Employee Terminations: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Firing an employee can be much like breaking up with a significant other– stressful, messy, and awkward. No one wants to be the “bad guy,” and oftentimes it feels kinder to sugarcoat the facts rather than telling an employee the real reason for termination. But those good intentions may land employers in hot water.… Continue Reading

Landmark ADA Case Leaves More Questions Than Answers on Website Obligations

Businesses hoping for clarification on their obligations to ensure their websites comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will still have to wait, following a recent federal appellate court decision. That decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) vacates an earlier ruling by the same … Continue Reading

Love is in the Air – And in the Workplace!

If you thought workplace romances vanished with the COVID-19 pandemic, think again.  According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one-third of 550 U.S. workers said they are or have been romantically involved with a colleague in 2022. That represents an increase over 2020, when 27% of workers acknowledged a … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies Whistleblower Retaliation Standard

California employers can expect to see an uptick in whistleblower claims as a result of a recent California Supreme Court ruling that increases the burden on employers to prove that adverse employment actions are based on legitimate reasons and not on protected reporting of unlawful activities. Seeking to settle “widespread confusion” among lower courts, the … Continue Reading

A Look Back At 2021 For California’s Private Attorneys General Act, and What To Expect in 2022

Last year was a significant year for California’s Private Attorneys General Act (known as “PAGA”), the 18-year-old wage-and-hour enforcement act that, according to one study, has generated over 20,000 lawsuits against employers over the past five years costing employers, on average, over $1.1 million per case. On its face, PAGA purports to improve enforcement of … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare but Blocks Vaccine-Or-Test Rule for Large Private Businesses

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court prevented President Biden’s vaccination or testing mandate for large employers (issued as an OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)) from being enforced.  The Court allowed the vaccine mandate for certain healthcare workers issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to go into effect nationwide, initially … Continue Reading

Weed in the Workplace – Marijuana Roundup

Marijuana was once again one of the hottest legislative topics across the nation in 2021, and while some states’ new legislation provided greater protections to employers with drug-free and/or zero-tolerance policies, others took a more employee-friendly approach. Employers will have to continue to review, update, and carefully navigate workplace drug policies to ensure legal compliance … Continue Reading
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