Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Jackie Marks

Photo of Jackie Marks
Mar 27 2020
DisabilityLeave LawsWage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: Paid Family and Medical Leave law amended

On March 25, 2020, Governor Inslee signed an amendment to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) program (SHB 2614). This bill doesn’t have anything to do with the current pandemic. Instead, it makes technical corrections to the WPFML program, to ensure the intent of the original bill is intact. The…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jan 14 2020
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

OSHA updates standards on amputation hazards in manufacturing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive on December 10, 2019, updating its National Emphasis Program (NEP) focusing agency inspections on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. These updates don’t create any new requirements for employers but focus agency enforcement on these hazards. Among other steps, the directive allows area…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jan 02 2020
Q&ADisabilityTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Mandatory EAP referral doesn’t mean you perceived disability

Question: We have an employee who is acting strangely, including making paranoid comments about coworkers sabotaging her work. I investigated, but found no evidence to support her allegations. The employee continues to complain. Can we require her to contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and attend any counseling sessions recommended…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Oct 23 2019
 

New Form W-4 coming for 2020

The IRS will issue a newly revised Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, to be used beginning in 2020 to reflect changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and help employees improve withholding accuracy. The redesigned form will no longer use withholding allowances to establish income tax withholding but…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Oct 08 2019
Featured Worker’s Comp  

Employer pays $58K penalty after teen’s death

A Georgia company was found in violation of federal child labor laws prohibiting hazardous occupations for minors when it employed a 15-year-old to operate a power-driven weed cutter. Sadly, the teen drowned while cutting brush along a river. During its investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also found the…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Dec 14 2018
Harassment & Discrimination  

Employer’s failure to stop harassment by customer leads to $250,000 jury award

A federal appeals court confirmed a jury award of $250,000 against a grocery store whose female employee was stalked by a male customer at work. The employer ordered the customer to avoid the employee, but failed to ensure the customer complied. For the next 13 months, the customer continued following the…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Aug 22 2018
Q&ADisabilityDrug and AlcoholHiringTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Use MRO to verify whether prescription caused positive drug test

Question: We require all new hires to pass a pre-employment drug test. Do we have to use the same process we use for our random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug testing and send positive test results to a medical review officer (MRO)? Or, can we simply ask potential new hires for a list of medications they have been prescribed?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jul 06 2018
Q&ADisability  

Q&A: Rotating shifts may be essential job function

Question: We have approximately 10 employees in one department performing the same job, with 6 working rotating shifts and the other 4 working only on the day shift. One of the employees assigned to the rotating shift brought in a doctor’s note saying he can only work on the day shift due to a medical condition. Do we have to grant his request?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jun 19 2018
Q&ALeave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: FMLA-required rest breaks generally not compensable under FLSA

Question: We have a non-exempt employee who has a medically certified serious health condition that requires a 10-minute rest break every hour. Our current schedule allows one 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked, so most non-exempt employees only receive two rest breaks each shift and not the eight this employee requires. Do we have to pay the employee for all eight rest breaks?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
May 25 2018
Q&AHarassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Leave is last resort for pregnant worker with lifting restrictions

Question: We have a pregnant employee who just notified us she has lifting restrictions for the remainder of her pregnancy. Her current position requires consistently lifting 40 pounds, but she says she can’t lift more than 10 pounds. Can we put her on leave for the rest of her pregnancy?

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