Time to Update your FLSA Poster!

August 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Posted in DOL, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, FLSA, FMLA, Legal, New employment laws/amendments, OSHA, retaliation, wage & hour | Leave a comment

The U.S. Department of Labor has updated the mandatory Fair Labor Standards Poster to include the need for employers to provide a safe and comfortable room for nursing mothers to express breast milk – that “safe and comfortable room” CANNOT be the Company’s bathroom.

The updated poster also touches on DOL’s hot button issue of correctly classifying independent contracts and what it means to be an exempt versus a non-exempt employee.

The DOL has also made it clear that APPLICANTS must also be able to see your FLSA poster so this results in likely having the mandatory poster in more than one place, such as in the reception area and in the break room.

There are also updated posters for the Family Medical Leave Act for all employers with 50 or more employees, and OSHA has an updated poster as well.  DOL has been very active lately!

Failure to post updated posters can result in fines:

The penalty for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posting requirement is $7,000;
An employer who violates any provision of the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, including the posting requirement, faces a fine of up to $10,000;
The penalty for failing to display the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law posting (required for employers with 15 or more workers) increased to $210 in 2014; and,
Employers with 50 or more workers are required to display the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) notice, and the penalty for willful refusal to display it is $100;

A specific fine for failure to post is not always stated on the poster itself and the fines can be modified depending upon your state.

I have no doubt everyone reading this blog has better things to do with their money than pay fines for failure to comply with the posting requirement!  Get some thumb tacks and postal tape out and start making sure your posters are on display!  Do not shrink the posters, their size is mandatory!

Below is the web address to the updated DOL FLSA poster:

https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwage.pdf

From Hultman Sensenig + Joshi: Reading this blog does not create an attorney client relationship nor is legal advice given in this blog. The overtime issues are very serious for employers and we do suggest reviewing your policies and procedures to prepare for the DOL’s recent enforcement efforts. Let us know if we can help you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Broadway play Urinetown’s theme has become a hashtag #freetopee for transgendered individuals seeking to use a public restroom

April 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Posted in discrimination, EEOC, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, harassment, Legal, LGBT, OSHA, retaliation | Leave a comment
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The issue of what bathroom a transgendered individual should use has become a hot topic for debate for public schools, for politicians, for businesses and for the LGBT community.

When you have a culture of respect, treating everyone with respect and dignity is the goal.  What steps have you taken as a business owner or as manager to help achieve that goal when an employee tells you they are taking steps to become the other gender, and how can you  help them with that as related to use of the company bathroom?  Be prepared as the EEOC is making the issue of “gender” something they plan to explore through litigation – do you really want to be on the other side of that lawsuit as compared to planning in advance for the day when an employee asks, “Can we talk in private?”

Of all of the government agencies, OSHA has provided guidance on the issue of creating gender neutral bathrooms:  https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3795.pdf

The EEOC has a webpage devoted to the issue of how it believes the LGBT community should be protected from discrimination:  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/enforcement_protections_lgbt_workers.cfm.

As of last month, the EEOC issued a Fact Sheet summarizing its litigation on LGBT issues:  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/selected/lgbt_facts.cfm

Actual links to the policies above are provided at the bottom of this blog.

From Hultman Sensenig + Joshi: The above and this blurb is not legal advice, nor does reading this blog create any attorney client relationship between the reader and this law firm. Employers should be very aware of the impact this issues has on job seekers looking for a place that shares their values.  Creating or reviewing current policies in place regarding discrimination and harassment for the LGBT community, and determining how inclusive such policies are, may solidify a corporate culture based upon respect and help an employer avoid bad press and EEOC litigation in the future.  Discussing this issue with your team – and your employment counsel – is a good first step.

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3795.pdf

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/enforcement_protections_lgbt_workers.cfm

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/selected/lgbt_facts.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Workers Compensation and OSHA – strange bedfellows become more acquainted

January 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Employee, Employer, Employment Law, Legal, New employment laws/amendments, OSHA, Workers' Compensation | Leave a comment
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From the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation:

Beginning January 1, 2015, there will be changes to what employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has requested the assistance of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in disseminating this information to Florida employers.

OSHA UPDATE: NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS START JANUARY 1.

Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours AND all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office (www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html) during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or they can report online at http://www.osha.gov/report_online. For more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, visit OSHA’s webpage (www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014) on the updated reporting requirements.

*Employers under Federal OSHA’s jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.

To learn more about these issues and other Workers’ Compensation information click here: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/WC/

 

From Hultman Sensenig + Joshi:  This is a new requirement for Florida employers.  If an injured employee is sent to the hospital, Risk Management or HR must be aware of whether the employee is admitted to the hospital within 24 hours of learning about the accident and hospital visit.  This will require extra vigilance on the part of HR and Risk Management as most injured workers don’t realize that hours of observation in a hospital is not actually being admitted and will likely report to a supervisor that they were admitted if they stayed at the hospital for 23 hours.

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