HR Tag

HR Insights Blog HeaderEach year, the seasonal flu has a marked impact on businesses and employers, causing increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and higher health care costs. The past few flu seasons have seen high hospitalization and mortality rates, which has public health experts fearing another deadly flu season.

Unfortunately, the 2020-21 flu season isn’t the only health crisis employers and employees have to address this year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting the workforce, and the combination of another potentially bad flu season and the pandemic has public health experts worried. As an employer, you are well-positioned to help keep your employees healthy and minimize the impact that influenza has on your business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strategies to help employers fight the flu and talk to employees about what a flu season during the pandemic looks like.

HR Compliance Bulletin headerMany health plans provide coverage for employees’ dependent children. Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has imposed strict requirements on plans that provide dependent coverage. These requirements prohibit restrictions that employers had frequently used to limit dependents’ eligibility for coverage prior to 2010.

Specifically, group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual coverage that provide dependent coverage to children on their parents’ plans must make coverage available until the adult child reaches age 26. As employers look for ways to reduce the costs of providing coverage to employees and their families, they may be considering limiting dependent coverage, or imposing additional costs or restrictions on eligibility. However, these measures may be prohibited by the ACA. This Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of the rules that employers must follow when offering dependent coverage.

HR Insights Blog HeaderTerminations aren’t easy, and the current pandemic is causing new challenges for the process. Conducting terminations in-person may be the standard procedure for many organizations, but with more employees working remotely than ever before, an in-person termination isn’t always feasible—or might be logistically impractical.

When conducting remote terminations, having an effective process in place can ease this difficult task and reduce risk for an employer. This article offers considerations for conducting a remote termination. Employers should ensure that those involved with terminations are aware of all applicable laws. The considerations outlined in this article are not legal advice. Laws and guidelines related to terminations may vary by locality. Employers should consult with local legal counsel for any termination-related issues.

Legal Update HeaderNew York City has amended its Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESST) to align with the state’s paid sick leave law (PSL), which was passed in April 2020 as part of the state budget. Both the amendments to the city ESST and the accrual and notice portions of the state law take effect Sept. 30, 2020.

The ESST amendments make a number of changes to the law, most notably how much leave must be provided by employers of different sizes, as follows:

HR Insights Blog HeaderKeeping track of employee productivity has always been important, but it’s even more significant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the majority of employers allowing remote work, accurate time tracking isn’t always a guarantee.

However, despite the challenge, it’s critical that all employers strive for accuracy. In fact, not doing so can lead to confusion, lost productivity and other consequences. This article outlines an employer’s general time tracking responsibilities and offers some best practices to follow. Read More Button    

HR Insights Blog HeaderPolitical discussion has and will continue to be a reality in many work environments. Work can already be a stressful place for many, with political discussion adding an additional stressor for employees—and in many cases, an additional concern for employers. While disagreement in and of itself isn’t always a detriment to all workplaces, political discussion can negatively affect the work environment for many employees.

This article addresses the impact that political discussion has in the workplace and steps that employers can consider to help keep political discussion civil. Read More Button    

Legal Update HeaderOn Sept. 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule to clarify how employers should classify their workers as either employees or independent contractors.

Accurate worker classification enables employers to determine which obligations, protections, rights and benefits apply to their employees under the law. Read More Button    

HR Compliance Bulletin header

On Sept. 17, 2020, California enacted a new law (AB 685) that authorizes the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the Division) to issue stop-work orders for facilities or operations that pose an imminent COVID-19 hazard to workers.

The new law also requires employers to:
  • Notify workers when they have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus in the workplace; and
  • Notify local public health agencies when a worksite has a COVID-19 outbreak.
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Legal Update HeaderBecause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing employers that are operating remotely to conduct a remote verification of approved Form I-9 documents.

On Sept. 15, 2020, DHS extended yet again this exemption for an additional 60 days. The new expiration date for the exemption is now Nov. 19, 2020.

Physical Inspection

Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. Employers are required to physically examine the documents the employee presents from the list of acceptable documents to prove his or her employment eligibility.

HR Compliance Bulletin headerOn Sept. 1, 2020, California amended its workers’ compensation (WC) law, under Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159), to provide a presumption that COVID-19 is a compensable, work-related condition under certain circumstances. The bill is expected to be signed into law but will otherwise go into effect on Sept. 30, 2020.

In general, the changes mean that it would be an employer’s burden to prove that an employee did not contract COVID-19 on the job, rather than the employee’s burden of proving that he or she did contract it on the job.