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Preview: Lorman Employment and Labor Newsletter

Lorman Employment and Labor Newsletter



Free monthly email newsletter providing updates on current issues in the Labor and Employment industry. This HR newsletter includes articles on recent laws, trends, and regulations in the accounting and tax industry written by leading experts from around



Last Build Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:30:02 GMT

 



New Avenues Open for Employers to Save on Payroll Taxes

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Nancy N. Lashnits
Organization: Ballard Spahr LLP

Employers should be alert to significant new legislative and judicial developments in the collection and payment of payroll taxes.Payroll Tax Exemption for New Hires. The Internal Revenue Service has released a new tax form to help employers claim the payroll tax exemption adopted into law by the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act), signed by President Obama on March 18, 2010.



Spotlight on Health Care Reform: Age 26 Requirements

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Nicholas Tomilinson and Andrea L. Bailey
Organization: Baker Donelson

The health care reform package enacted earlier this year contains a number of provisions that will require various federal agencies to issue guidance on their implementation over the coming months. The first regulations were recently issued and contain guidance regarding the new provisions covering health plan participants' children.



Court Issues Ruling In Firefighter Applicant Disparate Impact Case

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

This morning, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case brought by a group of African-American firefighter applicants who alleged that the city of Chicago's applicant selection process had a disparate impact on African-Americans in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the applicants challenged the city's decision to exclude employment applicants who did not achieve a certain score on an examination – but not the city's decision to adopt that employment practice.



HR Compliance Roadmap: Required Termination Procedures

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Anne Ladov Eisemann
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP




The 10 Commandments of an Effective Disciplinary/Discharge Process

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Anne Ladov Eisemann
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP




The Importance of Performance Evaluations

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Anne Ladov Eisemann
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP




Social Media Policies: Applying Traditional Concepts To The On-Line Era

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Lorman Education Services




Every Business Needs a LinkedIn Page

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Lorman Education Services




Employee Handbook Mistakes: Not Correctly Addressing PTO/Vacation/Sick Time

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Scott T. Silverman
Organization: Akerman Senterfitt




Employee Handbook Mistakes: Not Ensuring That The Employer's Drug Policy Complies With ADA/State Law

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Lorman Education Services




Self-Employment Under the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation System

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Lisa Jo Fanelli-Greer
Organization: Law Office of Lisa Jo Fanelli-Greer, PC




Handling Employees Who Are Arrested and/or Charged (But not Convicted of) Crimes

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Ralph R. Smith III, Esq
Organization: Capehart & Scatchard, P.A.




How to Respond to an OSHA Inspection

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Frank L. Kollman
Organization: Kollman & Saucier, P.A.




BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gary B. Eidelman
Organization: Esquire Saul Ewing LLP




Workplace Statues - Federal Discrimination Laws

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gary B. Eidelman
Organization: Esquire Saul Ewing LLP




Same-Sex Spouses (and Domestic Partners): Valuing Benefits

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Tim Goodman
Organization: Dorsey & Whitney LLP




E-Discovery in Covenant Not to Compete Litigation: Identify Relevant Media and Devices

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gregory L. Fordham
Organization: Fordham Forensics




E-Discovery in Covenant Not to Compete Litigation: Issue a Written Litigation Hold

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gregory L. Fordham
Organization: Fordham Forensics




E-Discovery in Covenant Not to Compete Litigation: Performing Proper Preservation

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gregory L. Fordham
Organization: Fordham Forensics




Employment Law Update In Washington: Marijuana in the Workplace: Initiative 502

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Brian K. Keeley
Organization: Williamson & Wyatt, P.C.




The 10 Biggest Employer Interview Mistakes

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mel Kleiman
Organization: Humetrics




10 Tips For Voice Mail Success

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeannie Davis
Organization: Now Hear This

The telephone is still a powerful business communication tool. And most customers view effective voice mail users as committed professionals who are efficient, responsive and well organized.  Ineffective voice mail habits can alter customer perceptions, jeopardize customer relationships, hamper your ability to be productive, reveal disorganized work habits and encourage telephone tag.



Three Email Tests to Try Today

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Luke Glasner
Organization: Glasner Consulting

Time of Day:  A quick glance of my inbox shows that many senders continue to send weekday mornings.  In contrast, most studies on shopping show that most people buy in the evening after work or on weekends.  If it's been a while or you've never tested time of day for email sends now is a good time to start testing. 



Can Desperation Lead to Hiring Mistakes?

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mel Kleiman
Organization: Humetrics

Yes, desperation can lead to hiring mistakes, but, more often, desperation guarantees mistakes will be made.  Being desperate to hire someone is like going to the grocery store after you haven't eaten for the last three days. Everything will look delicious --- even foods you don't normally like. When you're hungry to hire someone, you'll be more prone than usual to make the mistake of hiring a person who is a great applicant, but who will not be a great employee.



Infographics Made Easy

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jerry Rackley
Organization: Demand Metric

The creation of an infographic has historically mirrored the development of any other form of marketing collateral.  The services of a graphic designer are needed, one who can work closely with marketing teams to first understand the core concepts and data the infographic must convey.  Once the messaging is determined, the designer determines how to creatively express the ideas and data visually.  It often takes several design and editing cycles to produce a finished infographic.  This is still a great way to produce an infographic, if you have time and access to the resources.



A New Look At Fall Prevention

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Virginia A. Peterson, LPN

Falls are among one of the leading causes of injuries for seniors sixty five and older. Falls can result in head trauma and fractures. Healthcare providers must   take a closer look to identify new preventive measures.   What are we looking for?   The answer is enhanced "best practices".  A deeper look for fall prevention must involve all members of the care plan team.   Let's review the acronym L.O.O.K. ™ L.O.O.K. entails – L – Learning the causes/risk factors of the falls – O – Observing the risk factors frequently – O – Obligation, maintain our commitment and responsibility – K – Keep being persistent for better solutions.   The plight of fall safety is becoming a key priority for hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health. The following risk factors should be considered in fall prevention.  Unsafe floors, spilled liquids, chronic conditions (arthritis, incontinence, dementia) assistive devices, improper use of assistive devices, improper shoes, impaired vision, advanced age, medication side effects, balance/gait problems and impulsive behaviors to name a few.



10 Tips to Accurately and Persuasively Complete the Unemployment Compensation Questionnaire

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeffrey S. Shoskin
Organization: Frost Brown Todd

Take your time. You have the time to do it correctly and completely. Do not guess or assume facts. Draft your responses assuming claimant's attorney will review them and will cross-examine you about them.



Immediately Improve Your Communication Skills with Just One Tool

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Dan O'Connor
Organization: Dan O'Connor Training

To quickly see dramatic results from your investment in communication skills training, Use a Danger Phrase and Power Phrase list. Making this list and keeping it somewhere you can see it and add to it transforms this tool into what's called a visual cue. Human beings are visual communicators, and it's imperative that you have visual cues around that help remind you of what to say and what not to say.



Challenging Parents: Strategies, Tips and Tricks for Educators

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: James P. Evans
Organization: Hiscock & Barclay LLP

Clearly and accurately document important incidents or communications and, when appropriate, share them with the parent.  This practice will minimize any misunderstanding about a matter.  Such documentation need only be as extensive as necessary to state the relevant facts (i.e., what happened, the substance of what the parent and the educator said, what action will be taken, and what follow-up is needed and who must do it).  Whenever possible, share such documentation with the parent and invite them to tell you in writing if they think anything is stated incorrectly. 



What Due Process Considerations Apply to Disabled Students?

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Sandy Shacklady-White
Organization: West Chester Area School District

Prior to 1975 when Congress passed Public Law 94-142:  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities had very few legal rights.  The new law challenged public schools to provide a free, appropriate, public education for students with disabilities who had previously encountered a very poor quality of education or were denied an education all together in their neighborhood public school. P.L. 94-142 has been amended over the years by Congress and is now referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).



Blogging to Generate Business

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Dan Beldowicz
Organization: Social Media BS

Blogging has been one of the more confusing digital marketing strategies over the years, but it's still here and more prevalent than ever. Here are 2 ways to generate business from your blog: Search Engine Optimization SEO is not dead; plenty of traffic is still coming from search engines. While it may be a bit more difficult now to get those coveted top 3 positions in Google, content ultimately still reigns king. Having a well-planned content calendar aligned with hyper targeted keyphrases will ensure you get the most out of your blogging efforts.



Advertising on Twitter and Facebook

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Emily J. Norgaard
Organization: Lorman Education Services

Which is better, Twitter® ads or Facebook® ads? How do you compare? When starting an advertising campaign on any social platform one should first establish goals. Determining which platforms make the most sense for your business is essential. Do a simple platform comparison that includes investment minimums, cost metrics, if they are self-served, etc. This will give you a clear picture about each platform.



Don’t Get Sucked Into The Rumor Mill

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: JoAnn Corley
Organization: The Human Sphere

Ever been in that situation where you sit down to briefly check in with a co-worker and a half hour later you're still listening to a dreadful story about another co-worker or something that was heard regarding a company change? You're thinking to yourself, " This is way too much information...is this really true?" Or, "I really shouldn't be listening to this. I want to stop this gossip train that has left the station and appears to have no clear arrival time?"



Three Things That Must be in Your School's Crisis Plan

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Chris Dorn
Organization: Safe Havens International

The first component of any safety policy is a solid plan structure. There are many components to safety and security policies, and they can be laid out using the four-phase approach to emergency management:



The Top 3 Metrics in Google Analytics Every Marketer Should Know

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Brad Tornberg
Organization: E3 Consulting

Google Analytics is a free product offered by Google and installed by web developers to the public for the purposes of collecting visitor data from your website and to provide a view on who comes to your site, what they are doing when there, when they come and why they visited your site. It provides insight into how visitors are using your website. All the data that Google collects can be overwhelming to most people but the good news is that they provide some easy to use out of the box reports that ae of critical importance. This article will focus on the top three metrics that every marketer has to know in order to properly gauge the success of their Google strategy.



Trending Performance Review Tactics to Try at Your Organization

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Emily J. Norgaard
Organization: Lorman Education Services

There are many ways companies and supervisors can give a performance review to an employee. Is it safe to say that these traditional ways don't always inspire change that lasts long term? For example, the graphic rating scale lists performance traits and the superior rates how well (or poor) an employee is at each trait. Traits can include attitude, attendance and how well one works with a team. Job specific traits can be included such as the accuracy of billing insurance, or the correctness of ones calculations or measurements. The supervisor goes through the traits and the employee's scores and discusses what the employee does well, and what they can improve on. Maybe this motivates an employee and they will work on their attitude or their interpersonal relationships with their co-workers for the next week or so, but how does management give a review that leaves a lasting, permanent change?



Health Care Reform Briefing: Cutting Through the Confusion

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jean C. Hemphill and Brian M. Pinheiro
Organization: Ballard Spahr LLP

The newly enacted health care reform bill has fueled numerous questions by employers seeking direction on arguably the most important workplace decisions they will make in the next few years. Employers need to understand the issues and recognize the decision points and their ramifications.



How Private Are Personal Emails Sent Via Employer Computers?

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Eric J. Sinrod
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

In this day and age, practically everyone communicates electronically often and for a multitude of reasons. This of course, is true in the workplace. While employees communicate by email for work-related reasons, it is not uncommon for them also to send emails relating to personal matters.



New Set of EEOC Regulations Fleshes Out the ADA Amendments Act of 2008

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Michael G. Caldwell
Organization: LeClair Ryan

For two decades, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has governed many of the most common issues faced by employers.  The ADA landscape is now changing, however. A law passed in 2008, and a set of regulations that will be issued shortly, are greatly expanding the set of impairments or conditions that constitute "disabilities" and trigger an employer's obligations to disabled employees.  Employers should be aware of how the new regulations broaden their obligations.



Contextual Marketing: What Every Marketer Should Know

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Art Hall
Organization: Alvarez & Marsal

Marketers have tons of experience with contextual marketing. Contextual marketing techniques are paramount to helping companies acquire new customers. Advertisers in particular have done a great job using contextual marketing and behavioral targeting to find people who are in the market for products. But they've dropped the ball when it comes to giving them relevant offers.



Health Care Reform Law: "Immediate" Concerns for Employers and Their Group Health Plans

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Monique Warren, Lisa deFillipis, Melissa Ostrower, and Joe Lazzarotti
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

This update addresses key "immediate" concerns for employers and their group health plans as a result of changes mandated by the Health Care Reform Law (i.e., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010).  These generally take effect as of the first day of the plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010 (January 1, 2011 for calendar year plans).



Recess Appointments Give Unions a 3-1 Majority at the NLRB and Fill Vacancies at the EEOC

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Hal Coxson
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

On Saturday, March 27, which was the first day of the congressional Easter Recess, President Barack Obama announced the recess appointment of highly controversial SEIU and AFL-CIO lawyer Craig Becker from Washington, D.C. and practicing union lawyer Mark Pearce from Buffalo, N.Y., to be Board Members on the five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).



The Payroll Risk From Within

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Steven F. Griffith, Jr
Organization: Baker Donelson

At a time when Medicare reimbursements and other sources of revenue are threatened to be frozen or even reduced, a recent trend has been noticed that provides for an additional threat to long term care facilities and other health care providers – the risk of employee suits for unpaid wages. Fortunately, this is one risk that can be well managed and largely eliminated through effective preventive measures.



All Employee Benefit Plans Must E-file Form 5500

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Darlene Finzer, CPA, CSA, QKA
Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

An important filing requirement changed on January 1, 2010, for employers who have employee benefit plans and file the Form 5500. On this date, employers became required to file their 5500 Form and 5500 Short Form annual returns and reports electronically.



20 Ways Your Independent Contractor Might Be an Employee

Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT

Author: Nicholas C. Tomlinson
Organization: Baker Donelson

Last month, the IRS began its first comprehensive audit of employment tax issues in over 25 years. The IRS will audit 6000 companies in total over the next three years. The main issues to be examined in these audits are worker classification, executive compensation and taxable fringe benefits.



2010 H-1Bs Gone: Time to Start Planning for 2011

Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT

Author: Andrew P. Galeziowski and Elizabeth A. James
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the 65,000 H-1B cap for the 2010 fiscal year (FY 2010) was reached on December 21 (click here for more information). The annual limit for new H-1Bs is 65,000 (less up to 6,800 set aside for citizens/nationals of Chile or Singapore, plus any of the unused 6,800 from the prior fiscal year). An additional 20,000 H-1Bs are available to individuals who possess a Master's or higher degree from a U.S. academic institution (the "Master's cap"). For FY 2010, the 20,000 Master's cap was reached as of September 25, 2009. "New" H-1Bs are thus unavailable until the start of FY 2011 on October 1, 2010.



COBRA Health Insurance Subsidy Extended Again

Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT

Author: Allison Perry
Organization: LeClair Ryan

The COBRA health insurance subsidy has been extended once again. The extension was signed into law by President Obama on March 2, 2010 when he signed H.R. 4691, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010.



Employers May Need to Monitor Compliance of Business Associates with HITECH Act

Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT

Author: Tom Reicher and Lisette Sell
Organization: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is commonly known for its provisions designed to stimulate a flagging economy. However, the Act's Title XIII (known as the "Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act" or "HITECH Act") has another purpose—to impose obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") directly on business associates (as defined under HIPAA) with respect to the way they handle certain health-related information in connection with an employer's health plan and to impose civil or criminal penalties for any violations of those obligations.



State E-Verify and I-9 Laws - 2010 Updates

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Andrew P. Galeziowski
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

E-Verify, the Internet-based system operated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of employees, remains voluntary at the federal level with the exception of certain federal contractors. However, certain states have acted to require some or all employers to use the system.



Regulations Issued on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity in Group Health Plans

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Clifford J. Schoner
Organization: Ballard Spahr LLP

Employers may need to act as a result of regulations implementing expanded health parity requirements for group health plans. The interim final rules, published in yesterday's Federal Register, require the integration and coordination of the medical, surgical, mental health, and substance use disorder benefits in such plans.The expanded requirements were imposed by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), signed into law in October 2008. They are generally applicable for plan years beginning after July 1, 2010 (January 1, 2011, for a calendar year plan).



OSHA Changes Its Mind - Again

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: LeAnn Mynatt
Organization: Baker Donelson

On January 29, 2010, OSHA published a proposed rule to revise its 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The proposed revision would restore a column dedicated to tracking musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). OSHA announced that it will hold a public meeting on the proposal on March 9, 2010. If finalized, the new regulation would take effect beginning January 1, 2011. What remains unknown at this point is what OSHA will do with the new data, and whether it would – or could or should – promulgate a new ergonomics standard.



Ruling Highlights Need for Confidentiality of Medical Information Disclosed During Test Review

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Roger Kaplan and Kathryn Russo
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

An applicant who was not hired after testing positive for drugs used to control his epilepsy was permitted to proceed with his lawsuit asserting claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act because there were factual issues whether the employer made an improper medical inquiry and denied employment on that basis.  Harrison v. Benchmark Elecs. Huntsville Inc., No. 08-16656, 2010 App. LEXIS 632 (11th Cir. Jan. 11, 2010).



Build Trust in Workplace Relationships

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Barbara Richman
Organization: HR Mpact

A reputation of being someone who others can trust is one of the most valuable assets that individuals in leadership and other positions can achieve. It is a critical factor in gaining and maintaining the confidence of employees and customers.  Therefore, it plays a pivotal role in contributing to the success of interpersonal relationships and, in turn, the overall organization.



New Obligations to Self-Report Excise Taxes for Group Health Plan Failures

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Joseph Lazzarotti, Bruce Schwartz and Raymond Turner
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

Until now, no mandate or procedure has existed for employers to self-report excise taxes due under the Internal Revenue Code for violations of the duties imposed by COBRA, HIPAA and other laws relating to group health plans.  The IRS has seldom assessed these excise taxes on audit.



Remember That Post You Wrote About Me on MySpace? You're Fired.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Christie M. Hayes
Organization: Baker Donelson

Employee gossip about supervisors is as ancient as chatter around the water cooler. But the dynamics of workplace gossip have gone through massive changes since online social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook found their way into the lives of employees with a notion to complain. In the case of Pietrylo v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, a federal jury in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey sent a stern message to employers regarding social networking and its effect on the workplace. On June 16, 2009, the Pietrylo jury issued a verdict against Hillstone Restaurant Group, the operator of a Houston's restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey.



COBRA Subsidy Extended

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Nancy B. Sasser
Organization: LeClair Ryan

The extension of the COBRA health insurance subsidy, signed into law by President Obama on December 21st after an 88-10 vote by the Senate, will provide additional relief for a record number of unemployed workers.



New Penalty for Failing to Report Payments to Medicare Beneficiaries

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: H. Benard Tisdale, III
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Beginning January 1, 2010, a failure to comply with a new requirement for reporting to Medicare payments to Medicare-eligible individuals for resolution of claims involving medical expenses could cost the payor $1,000 per day in penalties for noncompliance.



Supreme Court to Review Employee Privacy in Text Messages

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark Wiletsky
Organization: Holland & Hart LLP

Many organizations believe they have the right to monitor employees' activities on their computers and the Internet, including the sites they visit and the content of e-mails they send or receive. Such a belief is understandable:  the equipment is provided for business purposes, and organizations can be held responsible if an employee misuses those resources.  Therefore, organizations ought to have the right to check up on employees and make sure their resources are being used appropriately.



Employment Law 2009 in Review... and a Look Forward

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Roger S. Kaplan
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

The following is a brief review of significant 2009 workplace law developments.  Although a comprehensive treatment of all noteworthy changes is beyond the scope of this summary, we hope this retrospective will assist our readers.



Government Responds to Growing H1N1 Pandemic

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Jennifer Swain
Organization: Baker Donelson

According to recent estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately two million people in the United States have been infected with the H1N1 flu since April, and some 4,000 Americans, including 540 children, have died from the virus. President Obama declared the 2009 H1N1 pandemic a national emergency on October 24, 2009, and various government agencies are taking steps to guide and govern employers' efforts to minimize the potential for exposure in the workplace.



An Update For Employers on Domestic Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Nancy L. Ober
Organization: Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Despite a November voter referendum in Maine that overturned the state's same-sex marriage law and a very recent rejection of same-sex marriage by the New York State Senate, the year 2009 saw progress for the legal recognition of same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. The following is a summary of recent developments in this fast-evolving area of the law.



The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Has Taken Effect

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Maria Greco Danaher
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

With little fanfare and even less reaction from employers, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect on November 21, 2009. GINA generally prohibits employers, employment agencies, and unions from collecting genetic information – which specifically includes family medical history - related to employees or applicants.  The law also precludes any type of genetic testing of employees or applicants.



Congress Adds Additional Family Military Leave Entitlements to the FMLA

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark T. Phillis
Organization: Littler Mendelson, P.C.

On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Pub. L. 111-84) (NDAA). The NDAA includes provisions that expand the two types of military-related leave that became available under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in January 2008: "qualifying exigency" leave and military caregiver leave. Although this portion of the NDAA does not have an effective date, according to the staff of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee, the NDAA took effect when President Obama signed it.



Have You Registered Under MMSEA? New Reporting Obligations and Penalties for Medicare Secondary Payers

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Sharon L. Caffrey and Kenneth M. Argentieri
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

Beginning on January 1, 2010, extensive new Medicare reporting obligations will apply to insurance companies and other businesses that make payments to Medicare beneficiaries as a result of litigation claims. The obligations extend to businesses that cover private health insurance, workers' compensation claims programs, no-fault insurance, liability insurance and self-insured businesses. These organizations—known as Responsible Reporting Entities ("RREs")—will be required to report virtually all payments to Medicare beneficiaries, including settlements and payments made as a result of litigation, so that Medicare may determine whether it has a stake in any part of the payment. Failure to report may result in significant financial penalties.



Continuing Exposure for ERISA Plan Fiduciaries in Today's Economy

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Robert N. Saffelle, David E. Perry and Allison M. Perry
Organization: LeClair Ryan

Everyone is well aware of the effect the economy has played on retirement accounts across the country this past year. With the drop in stock prices and the value of 401(k) plans sinking, we saw the rise in lawsuits against ERISA plan fiduciaries alleging breach of fiduciary duty and imprudent practices. While these lawsuits are on the rise, fiduciaries have generally fared well in the courts.



Weight Reduction Treatment Awarded to Allow Primary Medical Treatment for Back Surgery

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Gregory Dale
Organization: Baker & Daniels LLP

On August 6, 2009, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a decision that has generated considerable interest in the business community. The Court upheld an Indiana Worker's Compensation Board (Board) award in favor of a Claimant who had alleged a work-related back injury. At issue in the case was whether the Claimant was entitled to receive "secondary medical treatment" (possibly including surgery), for weight reduction in order to permit back surgery to occur, which had been ordered by the Board as a result of the Claimant's work-related accident.



Corporate Culture All-Important in Employee Retention

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Jamie Harrell
Organization: Staff One, Inc.

With the unemployment rate at 10.2%, talk of layoffs, and the closing of numerous businesses, it's easy to see why many organizations are tightening their reins.  However, it is important to maintain, or create, an atmosphere of security, flexibility, and contentment for employees…especially during an economic crisis.  The temptation may be to put more emphasis on the bottom line than on those that create the bottom line.



Do Your Health and Wellness Plans Violate GINA?

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Stephanie Smithey and Tim Stanton
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Many employers with wellness program that use health risk assessments will have to modify their assessments to avoid running afoul of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), under final interim regulations set to appear in the Federal Register on October 7, 2009.



EEOC Issues Proposed Revisions to ADA Regulations and Interpretive Guidance

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Linda B. Hollinshead
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

On September 23, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") proposed revisions to the existing Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") regulations and accompanying interpretative guidance were published in the Federal Register. The EEOC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") was prepared to bring the ADA regulations and interpretive guidance into compliance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, as directed by Congress. Interested parties may provide public comments on the NPRM on or before November 23, 2009.



Eighth Circuit Permits Evidence of Other Harassment Complaints to Employer as Probative

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: David J. Duddleston and V. John Ella
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

A federal appeals court in St. Louis has determined that evidence of other sexual harassment instances and complaints brought to an employer's attention can be considered to show the severity and pervasiveness of a hostile work environment and of the employer having constructive notice of this workplace problem.  Sandoval v. American Bldg. Maintenance Indus., No. 08-2271 (8th Cir. Aug. 26, 2009). 



A Manager's Guide to Improving Staff Retention

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Peter L. Mitchell
Organization: The Key To Interviewing

The biggest most powerful incentive to reduce staff turnover, is the cost to the business. There are many calculations regarding the cost of staff turnover. They range from the most conservative that puts the total cost of replacing a staff member as being equivalent to a minimum of 30 weeks income for that staff member. At the other end of the estimates the figure of 100 weeks is suggested.



Social Networking Sites in the Labor and Employment Realm: Harness the Power or Be Left Behind

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Elizabeth Ebanks
Organization: LeClair Ryan

Since the world wide web became public, the internet has been changing the way that companies communicate and conduct business. Social networking sites, online communities that enable people to communicate and build networks based on similar interests, activities, values, and ideas, have significantly contributed to that change. These sites can provide a number of advantages to employers, such as publicity and marketing, recruitment, and employment screening. Improper or careless use of such sites, however, may result in tort liability, can compromise confidential information and business reputation, and may lead to discrimination, privacy, and freedom of speech suits.



HITECH Breach Notification Rules Are a Reality

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Alisa Chestler, Danielle Trostorff and Gina Greenwood
Organization: Baker Donelson

The much anticipated "breach notification" rule was recently published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR). As required by the provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the rule adds new specifications for covered entities and business associates, outlining how they must provide notification when "unsecured" protected health information (PHI) has been breached.



Commuting Time Not Compensable, But Off-the-Clock Work is Another Question, Ninth Circuit Rules

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark Askanas
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

An automotive employee was not entitled to compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act or California law for commuting time and time spent on preliminary activities, the federal appeals court in San Francisco held in a class action case. However, the question of the compensability of employees' post-shift activity of transmitting required daily data is remanded to the district court for trial.  Rutti v. Lojack Corp., No. 07-56599 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2009).



3rd Circuit - Homosexual Man’s Gender Stereotyping Claim is Cognizable Under Title VII

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Maria Greco Danaher
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would extend Title VII protection to claims of sexual orientation discrimination.  However, under Title VII, an employee may raise a claim of gender discrimination if that individual can demonstrate that an harasser was acting to punish the employee's noncompliance with gender stereotypes.  The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed the claim of a self-described "effeminate man" to move forward to a jury trial, on the basis that the plaintiff presented evidence that his co-workers harassed him because of his non-compliance with male-associated stereotypes.  Prowel v. Wise Business Forms, Inc., 3d Cir., No. 07-3997, August 28, 2009.



Vision and Mission Engaged Employees

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Brian Beck
Organization: Lovelace Westside Hospital

Vision statements, Mission statements, Core Values, Pillars and Goals, whatever you may call them in your organization....are they really part of your culture?  Corporate America spends a lot of money and time on developing these kinds of statements for organizations.  Senior leaders within companies often go off-site for hours or even days to somehow bring together these poetic words that they hope will somehow drive the bottom line and engage employees.  They will often argue back and forth over a particular "word" to use.  Furthermore, companies often write very big checks to consultants to offer their level  of expertise in adding some hint of illumination on the topic.  But, does it always come together the way we hope?



What’s Happening with Health and Welfare Plans? More than You Might Think . . .

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Timothy J. Stanton and Kurt J. Smidansky
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Even before Congress began laboring over the potentially biggest health care legislation in years, employers had – or should have had – plenty of health and welfare plan issues on their agendas for the second half of 2009.



ADA Amendments Act – EEOC Comments on Proposed Rules

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Kelli L. Thompson
Organization: Baker Donelson

Last September, President George Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, which requires courts to interpret the ADA broadly when determining whether an individual has been discriminated against because of a disability. On June 17, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted in favor of revising its rules to conform to the ADAAA. These amendments, as well as the proposed rules, will make it easier for individuals seeking protection under the ADA to establish that they have a disability. The changes to the rules, approved by the EEOC in a 2-1 vote, must now be reviewed by other federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget.



Three Concerns When Inquiring About Applicants' Past Criminal Convictions

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Lester S. Rosen
Organization: Employment Screening Resources

One extremely useful facet of using employment applications in hiring is the ability of the employer to directly ask an applicant if he or she has a criminal history that would show up if a thorough background check was conducted. Yet, to their detriment, many employers use language that is either too narrow, too broad, or too ambiguous to successfully accomplish this - each of these mistakes can lead to legal quagmires or bad hires continuing to slip through the cracks and potentially endanger businesses.



EEOC Charges Soar as Economy Sours: What Can Employers Do?

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Cindy-Ann L. Thomas
Organization: Littler Mendelson, P.C.

It is certainly no secret that, during turbulent economic times, the number of discrimination claims tends to swell. Not only are more people out of work, but they are also financially motivated to explore their legal options.Well, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Charge Statistics for 2008 are in, and the news - as predicted - is grim. Private sector discrimination filings with the EEOC for 2008 (95,402) surpassed 2007 (82,792) by a staggering 15% - the biggest jump in the federal agency's entire 44-year history.



Employee Communications with Attorney through Personal E-mail Account from Work are Privileged

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Brett M. Anders and Joseph J. Lazzarotti
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

E-mail messages exchanged between an employee and her attorney through the employee's personal e-mail account are protected by the attorney-client privilege, despite being sent through her employer's computer and internet server, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. et al., No. A-3506-08T1 (June 26, 2009).  Reversing the trial court, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey held that the company's electronic communications policy did not transform the employee's private e-mails with her attorney into the company's property.



Supreme Court Issues Favorable Ruling for White Firefighters in Reverse Discrimination Case

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: David Harvey
Organization: Baker Donelson

Query: May an employer make a race-based employment decision when it discovers that one of its employment tests or policies has the unintended effect of creating an adverse impact on another racial classification?



Supreme Court Issues Employer-Friendly ADEA Ruling

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

June 18, 2209, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee alleging a disparate treatment claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) must prove that age was the "but for" cause of the challenged adverse employment action. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, ruled that even where the employee has produced evidence that age was one motivating factor in that decision the burden of persuasion does not shift to the employer to show that it would have taken the action without regard to age. Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., No. 08-441, U.S. Supreme Court (June 18, 2009).



Have an unpaid Intern? Federal Labor Rules Apply

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

It's summertime, and time for an annual rite of passage: internships. Hiring an unpaid intern makes financial sense to many businesses in today's economic times. With many colleges now requiring internships as part of the curriculum, internships are in more demand than ever before.



Paid Sick Leave Legislation Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Frank Alvarez and Garen Dodge
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced legislation that would require all employers with 15 employees or more to provide up to seven paid sick days each year.  The bill, titled the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 2460), was introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).



Wage and Hour Violations Burden Small Businesses

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Cathy Baniewicz
Organization: EffortlessHR

Employee lawsuits against employers have almost doubled in the last six years. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), if an employer is found to be in violation of the Wage and Hour laws, the Secretary of Labor may bring suit for back pay and an equal amount as liquidated damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs. Small businesses are feeling the burden and must be cognizant of complying with all laws.



High Court Overturns Pregnancy Bias Ruling

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Finds Company's Pension Benefit Calculation Was LawfulThe U.S. Supreme Court recently held that an employer did not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by granting limited service credit for purposes of calculating retirement benefits for pregnancy leaves taken before Title VII was amended in 1978 by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). In a 7-2 decision, the majority found that the company based its benefit calculations on a "bona fide" seniority system. AT&T Corporation v. Hulteen, No. 07-543, U.S. Supreme Court (May 18, 2009).



Non-competition Agreements: 10 Cautionary Thoughts

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Rod Stephens

People do odd things when they enter into a new relationship. I call it the honeymoon period. It's a time when it is all good, your vision is clouded by optimism that overlooks faults or problems that are visible to everyone else. Words of caution from well meaning friends have the sound of crazy alarmist rhetoric.  No, this post is not about relationship advice, it's about the workplace.



California Employer Failed to Prove State Motor Carrier Exemption to Overtime Applied to its Drivers

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark Askanas
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

Holding that an employer had failed to prove its employees were covered by the motor carrier exemption to the overtime compensation requirements of the California wage and hour laws, the California Court of Appeal has reversed summary adjudication for the employer. Gomez v. Lincare, Inc., No. G040338 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2009).  The Court concluded the employer had not shown that its employees qualified for the exemption, because it was unable to demonstrate they drove a vehicle carrying hazardous materials each workday.  The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.



Pandemic Planning: Are You Prepared?

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Stephen R. Woods, A. Heath Martin and Scott A. Brutocao
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

After dealing with the economic downturn and the new FMLA regulations, amended ADA obligations, and new COBRA requirements, HR and legal professionals now move on (or perhaps return) to pandemic planning.  The media attention and public interest are intense, especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.  As WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said, "[C]ertain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace."



Today's Economy Calls for a 401(k) Plan Review

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

A sputtering economy and declining stock market have taken a huge toll on investors' portfolios, including employees' 401(k) accounts. Some studies show that stock market drops resulted in the average 401(k) account balance falling nearly 30 percent in 2008. This occurred despite participant contribution levels that continued at slightly higher rates than in 2007.



Mitigating the Financial Risk of Employment Litigation: Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq.
Organization: Rubinton & Laufer, LLC

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is the so-called new kid on the block in the insurance world.  In comparison to other forms of indemnity which have been around for decades, the first EPLI policies appeared circa 1990. Although EPLI constitutes a relatively new line of insurance, it is one that no employer of individuals should be without.  EPLI transfers the risk of losses associated with employment litigation during the entire employment life cycle, from recruiting through termination, to an insurance carrier. 



Staff Retention: Top 10 Tips

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: David Marriott
Organization: Constructive Recruitment

The 'job for life' is not a term often used now, but employers need to consider the importance of employee retention as it affects turnover, productivity and the business's long-term success.



New Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting Obligations for Workers' Compensation Plans

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: John M. Cerilli and Ryan W. Green
Organization: Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Beginning July 1, 2009, many employers and insurance companies will be required to report claims for workers' compensation claimants that are also Medicare beneficiaries to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and become subject to a $1,000 per day per claimant penalty for failure to comply with this mandatory reporting requirement.



COBRA Premium Subsidies Notice Requirements and Action Plan

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Joseph Lazzarotti, Jason Rothman and Monique Warren
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA") provides reductions in premiums and additional opportunities to elect continued group health coverage under COBRA for employees who became eligible for COBRA coverage as a result of an involuntary termination of employment between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009.  The premium reduction and additional election opportunity also apply to members of the employee's family who were covered under the group health plan at the time of the employee's involuntary termination.



USCIS to All Employers: New Form I-9 Effective April 3, 2009

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Debra J.C. Dowd
Organization: LeClair Ryan

The Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) confirmed that the latest I-9 Form is effective April 3, 2009. The CIS went several years without updating the I-9 Form and the attending List of Documents - but has made a series of revisions, some substantial and some insubstantial, over the last two years.



Terminating an Employee on Medical Leave: Timing is Everything

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Robin Foret

Employees out on medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have a statutory right to be reinstated to the same or equivalent job upon returning from leave.  Employers often believe that employees out on medical leave are completely protected from any form of termination from employment regardless of disciplinary problems that would otherwise justify such an employment decision.  This general protection under the FMLA is not without exceptions, especially when information is discovered during the leave period that justifies a decision to terminate the employee.



"Employee Free Choice Act" Re-introduced in Congress

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Martin F. Payson and James LaRocca
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

A bill that would change the nation's labor law to a degree unknown since 1947 was introduced in both houses of Congress on March 10, 2009.  The Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") was passed by the House of Representatives in March of 2007, but was not voted on in the Senate because of fierce opposition from Republicans and then-President George W. Bush.  However, with a sympathetic President in the White House, who has revitalized interest in the labor-backed measure by placing it high on his agenda and supporting it in his public statements, EFCA could become law in 2009.



Shutdowns May Have an Impact on Employees' FLSA-Exempt Status

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Maria Greco Danaher
Organization: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.

Many companies affected by the current economic downturn are searching for ways to help weather that storm.  Occasional reduction in work hours, implementing mandatory vacations, or instituting short-term furloughs can help an employer to retain experienced employees, while allowing the company to achieve cost savings in this time of economic crisis.  The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released three opinion letters written in January of this year in response to employer inquiries about the effect of such  short-term shut-downs on employees' exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 



Employers Required to Pay Sick Leave- Will Work/Family Balance be Mandated by the Government?

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jamie Harrell
Organization: Staff One, Inc.

With a new administration and a dismal economy, new and amended laws are on the horizon to transform the ever-changing world we call human resources.  Among these changes, Michelle Obama is making work/family balance a top priority in her role of first lady.  So what does this mean?  For the first time, the government is attempting to mandate paid sick days and paid leave for businesses.