HR Tag

Legal Update HeaderOn Sept. 4, 2020, California amended the list of occupations exempted from using the state’s employee classification test, also known as “the ABC test” (AB 5). When the ABC test is not required, including when an exemption applies, employers may need to revert to previous methods to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

Modified List of Exempt Occupations

The amendments modified the business-to-business, referral agency and freelance writer exemptions. The amendments also added the following new exemptions (see full text for details):

On Sept. 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued additional answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. The new FAQs, which address various issues related to employees returning to work during the pandemic, were added to guidance that the EEOC first issued on March 18, 2020, and then updated in April, May and June of 2020. The FAQs draw from the EEOC’s existing pandemic publication, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the ADA, to help employers navigate workplace issues related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In particular, the EEOC’s FAQs include information from a section of the publication that answers employer questions about what to do after a pandemic has been declared. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains the EEOC’s updated FAQs.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons.

These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion requirements passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In general, employee leave permitted under new state COVID-19 rules and guidance varies with respect to factors like the employers and employees covered by the leave, the length and purpose of the leave, whether the leave is compensated and at what rate, and whether the leave is provided under a new law or rule, or covered under an existing provision. Read More Button    

HR Insights Blog HeaderThe COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every facet of the workplace. With everything upended, employers are understandably focused on maintaining their service and product quality. But working hard isn’t the only key to successfully enduring the pandemic—in fact, the opposite may be just as critical.

Paid time off (PTO) is something many employees take for granted. Hundreds of millions of vacation days go unused each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Due to a variety of factors, some employees opt not to use time off, and they—and the entire organization—end up suffering for it in the long run. This article explains why encouraging employees to take PTO can be just as important, if not more so, than encouraging the “hustle” culture. Read More Button    

HR Insights Blog HeaderAs the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, employers are discerning appropriate actions to prioritize health and safety within their workplace.

Organizations are responsible for protecting the health of their employees, which can include recommending self-quarantine to employees who have been exposed to COVID-19. An exposure to COVID-19 may take place within the workplace, or an employee may report an exposure outside of the workplace. Read More Button    

HR Insights Blog Header“Survivor’s guilt” is often associated with car crashes or natural disasters, but it can occur after any traumatic event.

The emotion typically comes when individuals feel remorseful for making it through a tragedy when others did not. In a professional setting, employees may experience survivor’s guilt— and the anxiety that comes with it—after organizational layoffs, furloughs or other shake-ups. Employers should do everything they can to address these complex emotions among employees following major workplace changes. Failing to do so can result in serious long-term consequences for employees and the organization as a whole. This article provides a brief overview of how survivor’s guilt can affect a workforce and outlines mitigation steps for employers to take.

On Aug. 24, 2020, the U.SLegal Update Header. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 to remind employers of their obligation to accurately account for the number of hours their employees work away from the employer’s facilities.

While the bulletin was issued in response to the high number of employees working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOL is also reminding employers that the underlying principles apply to other telework or remote work arrangements. Read More Button    

Legal Update HeaderThe U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has published an interim final rule to implement the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), which provides 12 weeks of paid parental leave to certain federal employees covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The rule takes effect Oct. 1, 2020, the same date leave benefits become available under FEPLA.