Employment Policies and Compliance
So When Do You Need to Pay Employees For Breaks?
The Situation: An employer rolls out a new system under which employees are free to log off and take breaks whenever they choose—but they will only be paid for the time if they log back in within ninety seconds. Is this a violation of the FLSA?…READ MORE
Two Week Countdown to Start Using Revised I-9 Form
The Situation: In July of this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a revised version of Form I-9 for employers to use to establish the eligibility of individuals for employment under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Although this new form has been available since July 17, until September 17, employers had the choice of using the previous version. But as of September 18, all employers must begin using the I-9 with the revision date of July 17, 2017.…READ MORE
Concerned About Protecting Your Trade Secrets?
The Situation: Something that many employers have in common is a concern about protecting their confidential information, particularly in this day and age, when job hopping is somewhat common. Many employers have some significant concerns about making sure that their trade secrets are fully protected from disclosure by employees that move on to greener pastures—this includes things like customer lists, pricing strategies, manufacturing methods, and other similar types of information. As many employers are aware, in the spring of last year, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) was signed into law—providing a federal cause of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets along with state laws that address trade secrets. But in order to get the most benefit out of this law (meaning the ability to recover the most damages), employers need to make sure that employees are given notice of immunity rights.…READ MORE
Heads Up—Deadline for Using New I-9 Forms Approaching
The Situation: Back in November, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a revised version of Form I-9, the tool employers must use in connection with establishing the eligibility of individuals for employment under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Employers must switch over to the new version of the form by January 22, 2017 or could find themselves in trouble.…READ MORE
Sick Leave for Federal Contractors—DOL’s Proposed Rule
The Situation: Your company does jobs for the federal government. You don’t currently provide employees with sick leave. Will you be required to change this practice?…READ MORE
Employee’s Facebook Rant Against Employer on Social Media Could be Protected
The Situation: If an employee posts nasty complaints about my company or supervisors on Facebook or another social media site, can’t I fire him?…READ MORE
Federal Government Contractors Required to Provide Paid Sick Leave
Employers of all sizes are faced with the challenging decision of whether to give their employees paid sick leave and, if so, how much. A new executive order signed by President Obama on Monday will now mandate that federal government contractors and subcontractors provide sick leave and even dictates how much. The new executive order will require federal contractors and subcontractors to give workers the ability to earn up to at least seven days (or 56 hours) of paid sick leave on an annual basis—employees will earn an hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work. The leave can be used by employees to care for themselves, a family member (like a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner), or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.…READ MORE
I-9 Violations Can Lead to Huge Fines
A recent decision from the agency reviewing civil penalties for I-9 violations serves as a reminder to employers of the dangers of failing to properly complete I-9s.…READ MORE
Instagram intel—can an employer use it?
Let’s say one of your employees has a tendency to call in sick on Fridays when it just so happens to be 72 degrees and sunny out. Another employee reports to you that last Friday, that same worker posted a picture of herself on Instagram at a nearby water park, despite the fact that she had claimed to have had a stomach bug. Can you act on this report?…READ MORE
I-9 Audits—What You Need to Know to Be Prepared
In 2010, Abercrombie and Fitch agreed to pay $1,047,110 to settle with ICE following an I-9 audit in which it was revealed that there were numerous technology-related deficiencies in its electronic I-9 verification system. In 2012, after an investigation and audit of its I-9 forms, a restaurant in Dayton, Ohio was fined more than $20,000 for failing to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements. In that case, ICE conducted the I-9 inspection after receiving information from the local police department that the company employed illegal aliens. The restaurant ultimately reached a settlement with ICE, agreeing to pay $21,692.00. As these examples reveal, your company’s failure to comply with I-9 regulations can be extremely costly. Additionally, along with potential fines, you could also face criminal charges or debarment.…READ MORE