Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Nov 17 2022
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Prioritize new hire safety

Question: One of our new hires suffered a serious injury to his hand at work. He was trained in the right procedure, didn’t follow it, and got injured as a result. What can we do differently? We’re really frustrated by the frequency of on-the-job injuries among our new hires. Answer: Safety orientations for new…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 17 2022
Drug and AlcoholHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and HealthWage and Hour  

Follow these HR tips for holding holiday parties

With the widespread easing of COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions, our attorneys have been fielding a number of questions about resuming company holiday parties. Here are some recommendations to enjoy a fun celebration with coworkers without getting the company into trouble: Stay healthy: Tell employees to please stay home if they don’t feel well, so…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 17 2022
Leave LawsWage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: PFML rates to rise in 2023

As of January 1, 2023, the premiums will increase for Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. The premium rate will be 0.8 percent (up from 0.6 percent) of each employee’s gross wages (not including tips), up to a maximum of $160,200 (the 2023 Social Security cap). The split between employers…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Nov 17 2022
Q&ALeave Laws  

Q&A: Occasional exceptions to call-in policy may be needed

Question: We have an employee who is using intermittent family leave, but on a number of occasions failed to call in 30 minutes prior to shift, which is required by our call-in policy. We have told the employee that if they fail to comply with the policy again, they will…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 03 2022
Affirmative ActionDisabilityHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Affirmative action ruling won’t affect federal contractors

Question: I understand the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a legal challenge to two universities’ race-based student admissions practices. If the Court strikes down these practices, how will it affect our affirmative action obligations as a federal contractor? Answer: It won’t, for many reasons. The universities’ alleged practices of considering race/ethnicity when selecting…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Nov 03 2022
Wage and Hour  

Time spent booting up computer compensable under FLSA

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that hourly call center employees were entitled to be paid for time spent booting up their computers at the beginning of their shifts. The employees worked in person at a call center for an appliance recycling company. Their principal duties were…

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Photo of Chris Edison
Nov 03 2022
Q&ALeave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: Assess how to report PFML wages for multistate employees

Question: Our company is located in Oregon, and we have an employee who works in person two days a week at our facility in Portland. The employee teleworks the rest of the week from their residence in Vancouver, Washington. Should we report their wages to the paid family and medical…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Nov 03 2022
COVID-19DisabilityLeave LawsSafety and Health  

WASHINGTON: Public health emergency ends; some duties remain

Governor Jay Inslee ended the COVID-19 public health emergency for the state of Washington on October 31, 2022, but employers still have some obligations under state law. As we previously reported, the continuing requirements for COVID-19 (coronavirus) stem from Washington’s Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) and from an ongoing obligation to…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Oct 20 2022
Affirmative ActionHarassment & Discrimination  

Federal contractors settle significant OFCCP discrimination claims

Just in time before the close of the federal fiscal year on September 30, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) obtained a number of significant financial settlements with federal contractors. The OFCCP had selected these companies for routine audits of their affirmative action plans (AAPs) and found…

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Oct 20 2022
Termination & ResignationWage and Hour

OREGON: Owners and managers can be personally liable

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently ruled that a person making decisions on behalf of a business entity employer can be held personally liable for aiding, abetting, or inciting a violation of Oregon’s discrimination statutes. Two restaurant servers filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that their employer’s tip-pooling arrangement violated Oregon law. The…

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