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North Dakota Voting Laws Update

Friday, February 18th, 2011
Posted by Tamara
North Dakota’s voting law is a bit different from the others. It simply “encourages” companies to schedule their workers with enough time to vote, rather than requiring it by statute.

Iowa is among thirty-two U.S. states that have enacted laws requiring employers to provide workers with either ... continue reading

Louisiana Breastfeeding Law

Monday, January 24th, 2011
Posted by Tamara
The PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), another name for the Health Care Reform Bill, established a new national breastfeeding law.

This new federal law amends FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and applies to non-exempt and hourly employees in Louisiana. Under PPACA employers must provide a ... continue reading

Illinois Limits Credit Checks for Jobs

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Posted by Tamara
On January 1, 2011, the Employee Privacy Act goes into effect. For Illinois employers it means a limit will be placed on being able to perform credit checks on employees and applicants.

This new credit check law prohibits employers from including a credit check when conducting a ... continue reading

Health Care Reform Resources

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Posted by Tamara
The joint action of the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury and the Health and Human Services departments, issued the Frequently Asked Question on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

These new Health Care Reform FAQs have been established to help employers understand ... 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

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

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

Maryland Paternity Leave

Friday, October 15th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees of either sex to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a variety of reasons, including the care of a newborn or newly adopted baby. Since Maryland does not have a paternity leave law, many expectant fathers ... continue reading

Sleep Apnea and Poor Performance in Iowa

Friday, August 6th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
How should an Iowa employer deal with the problem of an employee in poor health whose work performance is not up to par? Harry is a 65-year-old bookkeeper with multiple health problems including arthritis, diabetes and sleep apnea. Two months ago, Harry took 10 weeks of FMLA to recover ... continue reading

California School Visitation Leave

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
California statutes L 230.7 and 230.8   require an employer to give unpaid school visitation leave to parents and guardians. The employer cannot take any negative employment action, including firing, against an employee who takes school leave.

There are two types of school visitation leave in California. ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 3

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What other mistakes did the USDA honchos make in the Shirley Sherrod case?

They failed to implement a cooling-off period when emotions were high. Sherrod was driving her car to a conference in Athens, Georgia when the video hit the news. Her contact in the HR department ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 4

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In asking for Shirley Sherrod’s resignation, USDA Tom Vilsack made a serious mistake. He overreacted to unfair allegations, instead of dispassionately gathering the facts and making an impartial decision. This is a mistake many small business owners make when dealing with thorny HR issues.

The basic steps ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 2

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
More on the case study of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s mishandling of the Shirley Sherrod firing.

Every small business owner can learn lessons from this event including:

Act, don’t react or overreact. Gather the facts Listen to all the sides, including the employee’s point of view ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Small business owners can learn a great deal about HR from the recent brouhaha over the firing of USDA Director Shirley Sherrod.

Ms. Sherrod is the USDA employee who was seen on a Fox video clip apparently claiming to give fewer benefits to white farmers, than to ... continue reading

New York Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The employer who misunderstands the concept of the “hostile work environment” risks millions of dollars in penalties levied by the federal government.  

Understanding just what exactly the words “hostile work environment” mean from a legal point of view, then, can be critical to the survival of ... continue reading

Wyoming Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many people from Steve Carell of the popular TV sit-com The Office to advice columnist Dear Abby (Jeanne Phillips) inaccurately use the terms “sexual harassment” and “a hostile work environment” interchangeably. In reality, the two are very different.   

A hostile work environment occurs when a Wyoming ... continue reading

Iowa Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Jon’s boss is a jerk who micro-manages, yells, and throws things. She verbally abuses workers of both sexes and of all ages, races, colors, religions, and national origins.

Is she creating a “hostile work environment?”

Betty’s boss has had it in for her ever since ... continue reading

Maine Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Before 9/11, a Muslim woman worked on her Alamo car rental job while wearing her head scarf without encountering problems from her supervisor. The supervisor, in fact, had given permission to do so. The woman’s head scarf bore the Alamo logo.

After 9/11, she was fired for ... continue reading

Federal Disciplinary Notices

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
No federal law mandates or speaks to written warnings for employees. In fact, no state laws address the matter, either.

Most companies, however, have developed what is called a formal and progressive discipline procedure. The typical policy allows for one or more verbal reprimand or warning, usually ... continue reading

South Carolina Sick Pay

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
If an employer has a union contract in place which requires the employees to be paid for sick leave, that employer must provide paid sick leave. If there is no contract in place, the employer doesn’t have to provide any sick days at all.

Sick leave is ... continue reading

Rhode Island Confidential Files

Monday, September 28th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Rhode Island utilizes the “two-lock” system to maintain confidentiality of an employee’s privileged information. Rhode Island law doesn’t address the exact parameters of the lock system so many employers and employees wonder how the system works.

The two lock system is a safe, and probably the most ... continue reading

Federal Written Warnings

Friday, August 28th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many employees mistakenly think that if they refuse to sign a written warning, it doesn’t count. Nothing could be further from the truth.  

Most large companies do it as a matter of standard operating procedure. The best Human Resources professionals strongly advise employers to pursue it. ... continue reading

Alabama ADA

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Whether it is in Alabama or elsewhere in the U.S., employers these days must make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled employees.

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reasonable accommodations are the law of the land.

While the ADA mandates that employers in Alabama and ... continue reading

Tennessee Holiday Pay

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Both federal and Tennessee laws require that employers pay overtime to workers who put in over 40 hours in one week. There is no law, however, that requires employers to provide employees with paid holidays, or to pay extra to employees who work on holidays.  

Human ... continue reading

Illinois Tipped Minimum Wage Increase

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Illinois is joining the ranks of the 10 % of states with the highest minimum wages nationwide.

As part of a statutory automatic increase of 25 cents an hour, the Illinois minimum wage increased to $8.00 per hour on July 1, 2009. That is up from $7.75 per ... continue reading

Michigan Travel Time and FLSA

Friday, June 26th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many Michigan workers have questions about paid travel time during the workday. If the job requires traveling from job site to job site, is that considered paid time? Is travel time to the first job site of the day paid time?

The relevant law is the federal ... continue reading

Light Duty in North Carolina

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
North Carolina does not have a law on the books to address light duty restrictions in the workplace. There is no federal law on this subject, either. Employers are permitted to establish their own policies for light duty.

The U. S. Department of Labor has formulated some ... continue reading

Maine Smoking Breaks

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Maine employers are not required to provide smoking breaks for their employees. There is no state law mandating these breaks, nor is there a federal law. In fact, employers are not required by law to provide any breaks at all. Any worker over the age of 18 can be ... continue reading

Maryland Worker Safety and ATVs

Monday, May 4th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Maryland employees wonder if there are any safety tips for using ATVs.

Yes there are. ATVs have become more and more popular in industries such as construction and landscaping. Though these vehicles look like toys, they can be dangerous. As their use increases, so do the ATV-related ... continue reading

Religious Discrimination in Washington

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Discriminating against someone at work because of their religion is illegal. Washington employers are legally obligated to make “reasonable accommodations” for a worker’s religious beliefs under federal law.

The relevant law is the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII. Under Title VII, employers are ... continue reading