My Current State: 

Archive for December, 2010

You are currently browsing the Labor Law Talk Blog weblog archives for December, 2010.

More Changes in Regulations

Friday, December 31st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In the 2010 mid-term elections, Republicans won at least 60 seats in the house and 7 governor’s races. These record-breaking victories were the best showing by any party since 1948.

The House of Representatives showed the greatest gains. Republicans wrested control in states from Washington to Florida. ... continue reading

Washington Minimum Wage is $8.67 in 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
All employers, including those in Washington, are required to display current labor law posters. After January 1, 2011, each Washington company will be required to post an updated 2011 minimum wage poster. On that day, the Washington minimum wage will increase from $8.55 per hour to $8.67 per hour. ... continue reading

New Alabama GINA Regulations

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
According to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) passed in 2008, Alabama employers need to instruct supervisors and managers to caution workers about revealing genetic information.

To assist employers in this task, EEOC issued final regulations for enforcement of GINA. These new regulations state that an  Alabama ... continue reading

Arizona Minimum Wage Increases to $7.35 in 2011

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Labor Commissioner Laura L. McGrory recently announced that Arizona’s minimum wage will go from $7.25 to $7.35 per hour on January 1, 2011. This 10 cent increase is based on a resolution issued by the board of the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Arizona minimum wage applies to ... continue reading

Illinois OSHA Plans Increased Enforcement

Monday, December 27th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
A few years ago, several university studies revealed that businesses were incorrectly reporting, or underreporting, fewer workplace accidents. As a result of these studies, OSHA launched the National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping (NEP). Under NEP, OSHA plans to increase focus on the manufacturing industry.

To that end, ... continue reading

New Minnesota Voter Leave Law

Friday, December 24th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Most of the states in this country, including Illinois, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kentucky and Kansas, have enacted voting leave laws. These laws vary, however, in how much time off and whether that time is paid. For example, in many cases, the laws require only that the employee be scheduled ... continue reading

Vermont Minimum Wage Increases to $8.15 in 2011

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
On January 1, 2011, the Vermont minimum wage will increase from $8.06 to $8.15 per hour. This is the first increase since January 1, 2009.

The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase by 5 cents in 2011, from $4.15 to $4.20 per hour. Under Vermont state ... continue reading

Colorado OSHA Plans Increased Enforcement

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Colorado employers who have established a workplace safety plan and have few accidents reported are usually considered to be doing a good job.

Recently, however, several university studies discovered that companies were incorrectly reporting fewer accidents in the workplace. Workplace safety plans, ironically, may be contributing to ... continue reading

Montana 2011 Minimum Wage is $7.35

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Montana is one of nine states, including Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Oregon and Missouri, that adjust their state minimum wage each January, based on the cost of living.

Colorado is the only state with a minimum wage law that allows a reduction in the minimum wage is ... continue reading

Holiday Party Liability

Monday, December 20th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Hosting a holiday party for employees can be enjoyable, but can also be a liability nightmares for employers and HR pros.

Depending on the venue and the activity, the employer can be held liable for any accidents that occur during holiday parties. Problems can arise from drinking, ... continue reading

Oregon Minimum Wage Increases to $8.50 for 2011

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian recently announced the Oregon minimum wage will increase 10 cents per hour from $8.40 per hour to $8.50 per hour on January 1, 2011. The increase is based on a 1.15% increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year ending September 1, 2010.

... continue reading

Celebrate Diversity with Holiday Events

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many employers this time of year are planning holiday parties. While parties can be a welcome break from office routine, experts at SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, suggest that it is important to make them inclusive.  

Remember that not every employee is Christian. Unless ... continue reading

FMLA – Maternity Leave

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, or FMLA, applies to employers with 50 or more workers within 75 miles. The FMLA requires that an employer give an employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period, for one of three reasons:

... continue reading

New Illinois Credit Check Law

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
A new law limits the use of credit checks in hiring in Illinois. The Employee Privacy Act which goes into effect on January 1, 2011 prohibits many employers from using credit checks in making employment decisions such as hiring.

However, the new law contains a number of ... continue reading

Arkansas Employee Privacy Act

Monday, December 13th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Several laws require that Arkansas employers protect an employee’s privacy, including HIPAA, ADA and others. State laws can also require privacy in some cases.

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA requires that healthcare providers, insurance companies, pharmacies and others keep the patient’s medical ... continue reading

Kentucky Breastfeeding Law

Friday, December 10th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), another name for the Health Care Reform Bill, has established a new national breastfeeding law that affects many Kentucky employers.

This new federal law amends FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and applies to non-exempt and hourly employees. These employers ... continue reading

Texas Intermittent Baby Bonding Leave

Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Are Texas employees permitted under Texas state law to take intermittent family leave? This is a question that perplexes many employees in the state.

The answer is, it depends. There are no state laws on Texas’ books that cover family leave, so it comes under the jurisdiction ... continue reading

Maine Pregnancy and Job Discrimination

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Several Maine employers have asked about their legal rights concerning terminating a pregnant employee who is not performing at company standards. Is it legal discrimination to fire her?

The answer is rather complicated. Pregnancy is protected from discrimination under federal law, which means she cannot be fired ... continue reading

Oklahoma Lunch Law

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Oklahoma employers can legally require their employees to work 8 or 10 or even 16 hours without taking a meal breaks. Employees are often shocked to learn that this is a legal practice. Most workers assume they are entitled to a break for lunch during their shift.

... continue reading

Utah 7 Day Workweek Law

Monday, December 6th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many employees assume they are entitled to at least one day off every week. This is an incorrect assumption. There is no federal law requiring employers to give workers a day off. According to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), how many days a company schedules employees to work ... continue reading

Mississippi Breastfeeding Law

Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Mississippi employers are required to allow breastfeeding mothers a reasonable amount of unpaid time to express breast milk. The law also requires companies to provide these employees with a private location for the breaks.

The PPACA is ... continue reading

Colorado Intermittent Maternity Leave

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In Colorado, new mothers often want to take family leave to bond with a newborn child, but instead of returning to work full time, want to continue using FMLA leave to work part-time. Colorado employers aren’t legally obligated to agree to this situation. In fact, Colorado has no family ... continue reading

FMLA 101 – Maternity Leave

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, or FMLA, applies to employers with 50 or more workers within 75 miles. The FMLA requires that an employer give an employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period, for one of three reasons:

... continue reading

Arkansas Pregnancy and Job Performance

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many employers in Arkansas, and throughout the country, wonder how to handle a pregnant employee who is not performing well. Would firing her constitute illegal discrimination?

First of all, a pregnant employee, or any employee, who is not doing his or her job at the company’s level ... continue reading