Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Jon Benson

Photo of Jon Benson
Apr 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Harassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Be careful about treating “high risk” employees differently

Question: Can we exclude employees from the workplace if they’re at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older workers or workers with underlying medical conditions? Answer: In general, no. If your reason for keeping employees away from work is based solely on their membership in a high-risk group based on…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Apr 03 2020
COVID-19  

Check WARN Act requirements even for short-term layoffs

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many companies are making difficult decisions about layoffs in the face of an uncertain future. Short-term layoffs don’t trigger the 60-day notice requirement under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), but if a layoff extends past six months, it could…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Mar 27 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

Small employers now need to learn about FMLA administration

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 1, 2020, expands the definitions of eligible employee and covered employer under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in a way that will affect employers who previously were too small to be covered by the FMLA.…

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Jan 28 2020
HiringImmigration  

Q&A: Don’t ask for more documents than I-9 requires

Question: Can our company demand specific documents we want a new hire to produce in order to verify identity and employment eligibility? Answer: No. Demanding that new hires show you specific employment verification documents can expose your company to liability for “documentation abuse.” It’s considered documentation abuse under the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 10 2019
Q&A  

Q&A: Winter is coming! Review your inclement weather policy

Question: During bad weather there are times when some employees can’t make it in to work or when we close the business entirely for the day. Under what circumstances are we required to pay employees?   Answer: It depends on the circumstances. The rules are different for salaried exempt employees compared to non-exempt…

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Feb 13 2019
Q&AWage and Hour  

Q&A: Watch out for pattern of identical time card entries

Question: We have a strict policy requiring hourly employees to receive prior approval for any overtime work. Are there any concerns with this type of policy?
 

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Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 17 2018
Q&AEmployee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLabor RelationsWage and Hour  

Q&A: No-fault attendance policies must allow many exceptions

Question: We have a “no fault” attendance policy which assigns points for absences, tardies, and early departures. Employees are disciplined and eventually terminated if they reach a certain number of points. We know we have to allow exceptions for legally protected time off, but what if it’s unclear whether an absence is protected?  

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Photo of Jon Benson
May 25 2018
Harassment & Discrimination  

Sexual harassment retaliation victim gets big verdict against her employer

A female police sergeant was awarded $350,000 in a retaliation claim when her employer transferred her 180 miles away after she complained of sexual harassment. The sergeant, who had worked for the police since 1987, had complained of unwanted sexual advances and a sexual assault by a co-worker. The investigation by…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Jan 18 2018
Leave Laws  

Supervisors can be held individually liable for FMLA violations

A federal district court in California recently ruled that supervisors can be sued individually for violations of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The ruling means that supervisors could be independently responsible for damages, separate and apart from the employer’s liability. In reaching this decision, the court focused on the…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 05 2017
Drug and AlcoholSafety and Health  

Think twice when conducting post-accident drug testing on employees

The Question: Our employee reported that he was injured on-the-job today, but we don’t yet know the nature of the incident or who (if anyone) was at fault. Our standard procedure is to send him for a drug test immediately. Can we do so?

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