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We’re going to close our worksite due to inclement weather. Do we have to pay employees?

Answer from Sarah, PHR, SHRM-CP: Non-exempt employees need to be paid only for actual hours worked plus any reporting time pay that may be required by the state (this sometimes applies when employees show up for work but are sent home early).  Exempt employees, on the other hand, must be paid when the employer closes due to inclement weather, whether they do any work or not. You may require exempt employees to use accrued vacation or paid time off for the day if that is your regular practice when the workspace closes. However, exempt employees without enough paid time off to cover the absence must still be provided with their regular salary during the closure. Many companies h

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DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

The Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard. Balancing v. All-or-Nothing Previously, the DOL was using a six-question all-or-nothing test. An employer needed to be able to say “yes, the internship does that” to all six

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DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

Last Friday the Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard. Balancing v. All-or-Nothing Previously, the DOL was using a six-question all-or-nothing test. An employer needed to be able to say “yes, the internship does that”

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Four Misunderstood Terms in the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to a lot of organizations—all public employers and any private employer with 15 or more employees. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of confusion about what the law requires and what its terms entail. A big reason for this confusion is the language of the law itself; the ADA speaks of nebulous concepts like undue hardship and reasonable accommodation. Words like undue and reasonable are by their nature open to some interpretation, which is not exactly a comfort to employers. Fortunately, while there’s no getting completely around the inherent ambiguity of the ADA, employers can feel confident in their application of the law by reviewing an

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EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Suspended Indefinitely

The Office of Management and Budget has put an indefinite hold on the pay data collection portion of the EEO-1 form that was revised on September 29, 2016. The version in effect prior to September 2016, which collects data on race, ethnicity, and gender by occupational category, remains in effect. The EEO-1 form only applies to private employers with 100 or more employees and public contractors with 50 or more employees. Affected employers should plan to submit the earlier-approved EEO-1 by the previously-set filing date of March 2018. Content provided by TPC HR Support Center.

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HR Tip of the Month

The importance of documenting performance problems as they occur cannot be overstated. Although this requires meeting with the employee and discussing the issue, which will almost certainly be uncomfortable, it’s your best defense to a wrongful termination claim should the employee feel litigious after termination. Too many employers rely on the concept of employment at-will to protect them, when the reach of this concept is actually quite limited. The problem is that if an employer has little to no documentation and relies on at-will employment—and the theory that legally no reason is required—the terminated employee, their attorney, and possibly a jury of their peers will fill the

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Reminder: OSHA 300A Forms Must Be Posted by February 1

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that all employers with more than 10 employees—except those in exempt low-risk industries—maintain a record of work-related injuries and illnesses. Those who are required to maintain these records should use OSHA’s Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses or an equivalent state-specific form. Those same employers must then post OSHA’s Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses each year between February 1 and April 30. As its name implies, Form 300A summarizes (and sanitizes) the information logged on Form 300. OSHA Form 300A must be certified by a company executive and posted in a cons

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How to Reduce Absenteeism

Taking time away from work is good for the health and morale of employees. When they can rest during an illness, recuperate after an injury, or tend to affairs in their personal lives, they’re better able to focus at work and engage in the tasks at hand. Too many absences, however, can be costly for employers and frustrating for other employees who have to pick up the slack. A lot of absences may be sign of absenteeism, which occurs when employees skip work for no good reason. You may not be able to prevent the illnesses, injuries, or family emergencies that keep employees from coming to work, but you can and should do something about absenteeism. Fortunately, there are a few steps you

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Overtime Rule Doubling Minimum Salary for While Collar Workers Officially Dead

On August 29th, Judge Mazzant in the Eastern District of Texas issued his ruling on the Department of Labor’s overtime rule changes. The rules, which were slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016, have been on hold since he issued an injunction last November. As anticipated, the Judge ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs, finding that the DOL had overstepped its authority by making the new minimum salary so high. The DOL will not be appealing the decision, but labor or employees’ rights groups could theoretically take their place in the lawsuit. However, the DOL has said they would not enforce the 2016 rules, so any further action toward implementation will ultimately be ineffective.

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New Form I-9 Must Be Used

As of Monday, September 18, employers are required to use the revised Form I-9 for all new employees. This new version of the form has the revision date of 7/17/17. The I-9 form can be found here or on the HR Support Center. Content provided by TPC HR Support Center.

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