Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Sean Brown

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Dec 15 2022
Harassment & Discrimination  

Employees have more freedom to discuss sexual harassment or assault

On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed the Speak Out Act (S. 4524), which invalidates any language in an agreement that prohibits individuals, including employees and independent contractors, from discussing potential future allegations of sexual harassment or assault. Some companies require workers to sign agreements that include nondisclosure or nondisparagement…

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Sep 15 2022
Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: L&I updates agriculture pesticide safety rules

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) made minor changes to the existing agriculture pesticide safety standards found in WAC 296-307, which take effect on September 26, 2022. As a part of this process, L&I collaborated with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to ensure the existing rules met federal Environmental Protection…

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Jul 21 2022
Wage and Hour  

Q&A: Reimbursing employee expenses can be necessary

Question: Do we have to reimburse employees for expenses, and if so, which ones? Answer: Yes, there are times when employees must be reimbursed for expenses, but it depends on the expense you’re talking about and whether you’re dealing with less generous federal law or more generous state or local law. Under federal law,…

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Jun 16 2022
Harassment & DiscriminationHiring  

MONTANA: Good hiring criteria and documentation win the day

A Montana employer’s clear hiring criteria and good documentation showing why it chose not to hire a former employee allowed it to overcome a discrimination and retaliation claim in federal court. A former employee with human resources experience applied for three part-time package handler positions with United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS…

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Jun 02 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 temporary worker housing rules updated 5/20

On May 20, 2022, Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Department of Health (DOH) made yet another update to the emergency COVID-19 (coronavirus) safety rules for temporary worker housing (TWH) in the agriculture industry. The rules took effect immediately. Here are the important changes: Education on exposure and testing positive: The previous version of the rules required…

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May 05 2022
Safety and Health  

Prepare for heat illness prevention

As summer approaches, now is the time to review your safety plans for protecting workers from heat illness hazards. California and Washington have state-specific heat stress regulations and directives that you must follow, while Arizona, Idaho, and Montana follow federal law. Meanwhile, Oregon is in the process of developing permanent…

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Apr 07 2022
Employee BenefitsHiringWage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: Employers must disclose pay info in all job postings

On March 30, 2022, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill 5761, which requires employers with 15 or more employees to include the wage scale or salary range in each job posting, along with a general description of all benefits and other compensation for the job, effective January 1,…

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Photo of Sean Brown
Mar 03 2022
Leave Laws  

Q&A: Don’t let frustration and doubt impact leave law compliance

Question: We have an employee with terrible attendance who’s now asking for 4 weeks off to have surgery in Korea, although we suspect she just wants to take time off to see family. Can we apply our attendance policy if she takes the trip and doesn’t come to work? Answer: These kinds of…

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Photo of Sean Brown
Feb 03 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 temporary worker housing rules updated, 1/21/22

On January 21, 2022, Washington's Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Department of Health (DOH) made updates to the existing COVID-19 (coronavirus) safety rules for temporary worker housing (TWH) in the agriculture industry. This is the fifth set of modifications since the rules were originally adopted in May 2020. Here are the changes: Cloth face…

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Photo of Sean Brown
Jan 20 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CMS issues guidance on health care vaccine mandate

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for COVID-19 (coronavirus), it’s time for covered entities to dig into the guidance and complete any compliance steps. In order to assist the regulated community with compliance, CMS has issued guidance for the first 25…

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