Category Archives: Employee Handbooks & Policies

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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

New Pay Transparency Laws Change Job Postings From Coast to Coast

A growing number of cities and states are pushing for greater pay transparency in the hiring process. To add to that growing list, California and New York have both passed pay transparency laws in recent months, leaving employers to modify how they seek out new talent. However, employers should keep in mind that not all … Continue Reading

The EEOC Poster Just Had A Makeover – Here Is What Employers Need To Know…And Do!

It will now be even easier for employees to access, understand, and enforce their rights to be free from unlawful workplace harassment and discrimination—with just the aim of their smartphone or other cherished device. The “EEO is the Law” poster, which has mandatorily adorned employee break room bulletin boards across the country, just had a … Continue Reading

A Reminder of Employer Obligations to Service Members

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision serves as a reminder that employers must not overlook their obligations to reemploy returning service members and accommodate service-related disabilities. The decision concerned whether a state could invoke sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine which prohibits a government from being sued without its consent, to avoid liability under the Uniformed … 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

Dealing with the Monkeypox Virus at Work

Just as employers have figured out how to navigate the COVID-19 virus, the next one is poised to take hold – the monkeypox virus. Now declared a global and national public health emergency by the World Health Organization and the U.S., the monkeypox virus continues to spread with almost 10,000 cases in the U.S. and … Continue Reading

Employers Concerned about State Abortion Access Restrictions Weigh Options for Medical Travel Reimbursements

There has never been an ERISA requirement to include elective abortion medical coverage in ERISA group health plans. Even so, many nationwide employers choose to offer it alongside non-elective abortion medical coverage.  Among those employer plan sponsors, there is new concern about how plan participants can practically access this covered medical care, if expensive travel … Continue Reading

The Boss is Watching – But Many States Impose Requirements for Surveillance at Work

With the rise of remote work, employers are increasingly considering measures to monitor employee’s work, whether for security purposes, or to monitor productivity. But employers take note: some states are starting to weigh in by passing laws that limit employer monitoring, or require employers to notify employees that they are monitoring them. And recording employee … Continue Reading

With U.S. Troops Heading to Europe, Employers Should Revisit Military Leave Policies

In the wake of the recent Ukraine invasion, more U.S. troops are being deployed to Europe to support NATO countries. Among these are members of the National Reserve and National Guard, who typically maintain civilian jobs throughout the year, but can be called for duty at any time. With that in mind, now is a … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Complainants Guaranteed Their Day in Court – Employers Beware the Implications

Since the onset of the #MeToo movement, allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace are frequently spotlighted in the news and on social media. Still, many claims between employers and employees are resolved outside of the public eye, through mandatory arbitration. New legislation passed this month by the U.S. House and Senate, pending President Biden’s … 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

Sweeping Expansions to New York’s Whistleblower Protections Take Effect

New York employers, take heed: sweeping expansions to New York Labor Law (NYLL) Section 740 have fundamentally redefined the protections afforded to whistleblowers within the state. The revised law took effect on January 26, 2022, opening the door to a potential deluge of whistleblower claims against employers. Notable changes to Section 740 include the following:… 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

Avoid Possible Tragedy In The Future By Preparing For Disasters And Emergencies Now

The series of tornadoes that ripped through parts of the county last month serves as a potent reminder to employers: having a disaster plan and preparedness training is important. In Illinois, six warehouse workers were killed when the roof collapsed at a distribution center during a tornado and workers from neighboring distribution facilities complained that they … 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

Family Medical Leave Compliance — A New Years’ Resolution You Should Keep

Given the rapidly spreading omicron variant, employers with as few as five employees are well advised to refresh themselves on their obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and its California counterpart, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). Generally, FMLA and CFRA provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period. Private employers are … Continue Reading

DOL’s Final Rule on Tipped Employees Takes Effect December 28th

Beginning December 28, 2021, employers must pay tipped employees the full minimum wage for periods when non tip-producing work is performed for a substantial amount of time, in light of a new Department of Labor (DOL) Final Rule taking effect that date. To comply with the rule, employers should revisit their current policies regarding how … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Unveils Long-Awaited COVID-19 Rules For Large Employers and Healthcare Workers

The wait is over for employers seeking clarity on the details of the Biden Administration’s vaccine and testing rules for private employers, first announced by President Biden in early September and now slated to take effect in part by an initial compliance date of December 6, 2021, with remaining requirements effective alongside federal contractor vaccine … Continue Reading

Handling Requests for Religious Exemptions from Mandatory Vaccination Policies

Employers implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies are facing an avalanche of requests for exemptions as religious accommodations, far more than for medical exemptions. Fortunately, while employers are generally obligated to explore accommodations for requests based on a sincerely held religious belief, they are not necessarily obligated to grant exemptions.… Continue Reading

Colorado Employers May Need to Pay Out Accrued Vacation on Termination

Colorado employers should carefully review their vacation and paid time off policies following a recent decision from the Colorado Supreme Court. On June 14, 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court held in Nieto v. Clark’s Market that although the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA) does not require employers to provide employees with vacation pay, if the … Continue Reading

Texas Expands Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment

Texas employers of ALL sizes should be aware that Texas has significantly expanded employee protection for sexual harassment claims with two new bills signed into law by Governor Abbott. The first opens the door for Texas employers of all sizes to be liable for sexual harassment. The second extends the statute of limitations for sexual … Continue Reading

NY Employers: Note New NY COVID-19 Guidance

With the COVID-19 landscape in New York changing rapidly, employers may be understandably confused about what rules to abide by when it comes to things like masks, social distancing, and safety protocols. Significant changes may be on the horizon, but employers should not pull the trigger on any sweeping changes to their policies just yet. … Continue Reading
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