Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Lorraine Amrine

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 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 Lorraine Amrine
Oct 06 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 state of emergency to end October 31, 2022

Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he will end Washington’s declared public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) on October 31, 2022. As he previously announced, 12 health care related orders will end on October 27. The remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations, including the state of emergency, will be rescinded at the…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Aug 18 2022
Q&AEmployee ClassificationsWage and Hour  

Q&A: Can we convert an employee into an independent contractor?

Question: Our employee is retiring soon, but we’d like her to finish a few projects after she retires. We don’t want to provide benefits, so we’d like to have her sign a contract saying she’s working as an independent contractor. Are we okay doing this? Answer: It’s unlikely that you’d be able to justify classifying your…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
May 05 2022
HiringLeave LawsTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Temporary protected status may extend work authorization

Question: Last year during the I-9 process, a new hire showed me a Form I-766 (Employment Authorization Document) as proof of eligibility to work. The card is expiring soon and I’ve asked for updated documentation to reverify their authorization to work, but they say they don’t have any new documents. Will I have to…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Apr 21 2022
Leave Laws  

OREGON: Paid sick time expanded in advance of summer heat

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has made a permanent rule that expands the reasons for Oregon paid sick leave to include time off related to emergency evacuation orders as well as unhealthy air quality or high outdoor temperatures. The permanent rule is identical to the temporary rule…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Mar 17 2022
Wage and Hour  

Q&A: Include shift differentials and bonuses in overtime calculations

Question: A swing shift employee contacted Payroll, upset that her overtime rate didn’t include her shift differential. Our policy is to only use the base rate when calculating overtime. Is that okay? Answer: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires nonexempt employees to be paid overtime at one-and-one-half times their “regular rate,” not…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Mar 03 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

West coast states ending indoor mask requirements

California, Oregon, and Washington are ending indoor mask requirements this month for most situations. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that starting March 1, 2022, masks are no longer required for unvaccinated individuals in public indoor spaces and starting March 12, 2022, masks will no longer be required in schools. Oregon…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Feb 17 2022
Q&ACOVID-19Leave LawsWorkers’ Comp  

Q&A: Be aware of employment protections for COVID-19 absences

Question: Early in the pandemic, we didn’t discipline for absences related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). With all that’s changed since then, can we return to our regular attendance policy? Answer: Not so fast. In any state, if an employee quarantines or isolates due to a workplace exposure, the employee may have protection under state…

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Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Jan 20 2022
COVID-19Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

Q&A: Keep on top of COVID-19 protocols

Question: As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, it seems like everyone is going to get sick. With the vaccination mandate effectively dead, do we need to care anymore? Answer: Yes! It’s been a long haul, and pandemic fatigue is real, but employers still have an obligation to monitor and…

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