Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing all recent posts

Photo of Karen Davis
Sep 25 2019
Wage and Hour  

EEOC doesn’t intend to seek pay & hours data for 2019 or beyond

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it needs time to analyze the 2017 and 2018 data on worker pay and hours it’s currently collecting, and therefore doesn’t intend to ask for such data in future years. The agency has also come to the conclusion that it grossly underestimated the amount of…

Read More…
Photo of Karen Davis
Sep 25 2019
Safety and Health  

Employer sentenced after welder’s death

In the aftermath of a welder’s death on the job, an oilfield company pled guilty to a willful violation of federal safety standards requiring tanks to be cleaned before welding. The welder was 28 years old and had recently moved to North Dakota to work in the oil industry after serving in…

Read More…
Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Sep 20 2019
Wage and Hour  

Q&A: Directly sharing wages with other companies is illegal

Question: Our plant manager asked the managers of the other operations in our business park to share what they’re paying for forklift operators and what they’re planning for wage increases this year. He’d like to make sure that we remain competitive; is his informal survey of these local companies okay?   Answer: Absolutely not! Antitrust laws…

Read More…
Photo of Jodi Slavik
Sep 18 2019
Webinar  

Recorded Webinar: Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave

WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW Starting on January 1, 2020, your employees will be able to apply for Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. Are you ready? If not, you’re not alone. The law created a lot questions. And, the rules released by the Employment Security Department don’t answer them all. Vigilant…

Read More…
Photo of Kandis Sells
Sep 11 2019
Termination & Resignation  

Supervisor in Washington may be individually liable for termination

In Washington, an employee may bring a legal claim against an individual supervisor who participated in an employment termination decision, according to a federal district court. A former middle school principal brought a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy against both the school district and the individual…

Read More…
Photo of Jodi Slavik
Sep 11 2019
 

Q&A: Don’t use lie detectors to investigate theft

Question: Our petty cash has been disappearing lately. There are three employees with access to the cash drawer. Can we use lie detectors as long as we test all three?   Answer: No, that’s not enough to justify such a test. Although you’re attempting to be non-discriminatory in testing everyone, using lie detectors on employees is…

Read More…
Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Sep 11 2019
DisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Balancing competing employee interests can be tricky

An employer in Missouri is finding out the hard way that balancing the competing rights of employees can be complicated. In this case, a coworker with Tourette’s syndrome regularly and repeatedly shouted racial slurs at an African American employee. The employer tried to separate the workers so they didn’t have to work…

Read More…
Photo of Karen Davis
Aug 29 2019
Safety and Health  

Electronic injury & illness reporting to start in 2020 in Washington

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has finally issued regulations requiring covered Washington employers to follow federal requirements and file annual injury and illness reports electronically with federal OSHA starting in 2020. As explained on OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application web page, the reporting portal will open again on January 2, 2020, and the…

Read More…
Photo of Jodi Slavik
Aug 29 2019
Leave Laws  

DOL says FMLA covers special ed consultations at child’s school

Recently the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released an opinion letter saying an employee should be granted intermittent leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend school meetings related to her children’s health. The children had medically certified serious health conditions, and the employee was allowed intermittent…

Read More…
Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Aug 29 2019
Leave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: Denying perfect attendance bonus to FMLA users can spell trouble

Question: We have a “no-fault” attendance policy, which means that if an employee doesn’t show up for a scheduled shift, they get a point. We’re careful, however, not to penalize, discipline, or terminate anyone for using protected leave (such as paid sick leave or FMLA). Instead, we incentivize employees. If an employee reaches the…

Read More…