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Legal Update Header On Feb. 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) delayed the effective date of its 2020 employee tip rule to April 30, 2021.

This rule was originally scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2021. The DOL is adopting this delay to allow sufficient time for the agency to review the final rule as required by a memorandum President Joe Biden issued on Jan. 20, 2021. The memorandum ordered a freeze on regulatory changes that had been adopted near the end of the previous administration.

Legal Update Header On March 1, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2021-20 to provide guidance for employers claiming the 2020 employer retention tax credit.

This tax credit was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to encourage employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardships related to COVID-19.

Employer Eligibility

Employers can claim the tax credit if they:

HR Insights Blog Header The remote workplace is here to stay, but its role may change.

As the pandemic shifts, organizations may be planning a combination of remote and onsite working. In a hybrid model, some employees work on-site, while some employees work from home. This article discusses post-pandemic workplace trends, the advantages and challenges of on-site and remote workplaces, and strategies for hybrid model workplaces.

News Brief header On Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its enforcement and litigation data from the 2020 fiscal year.

The agency resolved 70,804 charges in 2020 and secured $439.2 million for victims of employment discrimination. Among their efforts, EEOC employees fielded over 470,000 phone calls and responded to more than 187,000 field office inquiries, including 122,775 online submissions.

HR Insights Blog Header In the 2020 fiscal year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resolved more than 70,804 charges of workplace discrimination.

Discrimination lawsuits can be very time-consuming and expensive for employers, and can result in a loss of employee morale or reputation within the community.

Top Causes of Discrimination

According to the EEOC, the following are the top 10 reasons for workplace discrimination claims in fiscal year 2020:

HR Insights Blog Header Power outages are an unfortunate reality and often strike fast and unexpectedly, leaving employees looking for answers.

Often a result of extreme winter or other severe weather, a power outage can leave a workplace without the heat or lights on, and the impact can extend to employees’ homes—and their personal safety. Employee relations are critical before, during and after a crisis, and HR professionals and leaders can play a pivotal role in helping to protect employees in this time of need. Unfortunately, power outages can create challenges for communicating with employees at the time when information is most critical, so it’s important to prepare accordingly.

Legal Update Header An employee working a “one week on, one week off” schedule who takes 12 workweeks of federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave may be required to return to work 12 weeks later, a federal appeals court has held.

In Scalia v. State of Alaska, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that an employer may count both “on” and “off” weeks against the FMLA leave entitlement of an employee on a rotating schedule. Ninth Circuit decisions apply in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The opinion was issued Jan. 15, 2021.

Legal Update Header On Feb. 12, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) withdrew two proposed rules it previously issued in January 2021, on wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Overview of the Proposed Rules

These proposed rules were issued in response to a federal court decision that vacated a portion of EEOC regulations describing the incentives that an employer could offer:

HR Compliance Bulletin header image Employers must have new employees complete a number of forms before they can begin their employment.

Form W-4 is one of these forms. Form W-4 provides employers the information they need to adequately set up a new employee’s filing status for payroll tax purposes. Form W-4 is published and updated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). On Form W-4, employees can also declare the number of dependents, the tax credits and deductions they intend to claim. While this form is often used for new hires, employees can update the W-4 form they have on file with their employer whenever a change in filing status, dependents or other tax credits and deductions take place.