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Key Tips for Managing Employees Taking or Requesting Leave

At a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) regional chapter symposium in New Jersey last week, Fisher & Phillips employment attorney David Lichtenberg shared some helpful tips for managing employees on leave. Lichtenberg also discussed several best practices for avoiding lawsuits when it comes to leaves and accommodation, including:

The U.S. DOL Warns Employers That Most Workers are Employees – Not Independent Contractors

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation on July 15, 2015, warning employers against misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. (Practically speaking, if a worker is an employee under one law, he or she must be treated as an employee for all purposes).

The Hololens From Microsoft – Help Can Be Right Under...Over Your Nose

The saying – never let them see you sweat – soon may be more difficult to accomplish with Microsoft’s Hololens. Like Google Glass, the Hololens is worn as a headset. But this device has a “plurality” of sensors that gather a range of biometrics parameters (heart rate, perspiration, etc.) which determine along with other information if the wearer needs help with something, and then tries to provide that help. Referred to in Microsoft’s patent application approved earlier this year as an “augmented reality help system,” the device’s applications and implications can be far reaching, as it is not hard to see, for example, why companies might want to adopt this technology to benefit their business.

Performance Reviews: Constructive Criticism . . . or Total Destruction?

Is the annual performance review a value-added event for employees . . . or is it an anxiety-generating mechanism that could be eliminated without the loss of any forward momentum to a company?

Lawmakers in a score of states aim for work balance by statute

Even Nebraska and North Dakota, conservative states wary of placing restrictions on employers, enacted new protections for pregnant women in the workplace, showing that both parties are heeding the complaints of their harried constituents.

DOL’s Recent Guidance on the “Economic Realities” Test and Effects on Independent Contractor Misclassification in the Energy Industry

Paying hot-shot drivers by the load or mile? Contracting out repair work to vehicles or machinery? Are individuals who regularly perform work integral to your business being paid through accounts payable? Have welders that you regularly call for work? Under new guidance published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), what might be considered standard or normal practices in the energy industry could expose employers to claims and the risk of significant damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

School Bus Driver’s Alcohol-Laced Cupcakes Did Not Violate Employer’s Rule Barring Intoxicating Beverages From Company Property, Arbitrator Rules

A labor arbitrator has upheld the grievance of a school bus driver who was terminated from her job with a bus company after she brought alcohol-laced cupcakes to work, and offered them to other employees. He found that she was not fired for “just cause” under the collective bargaining agreement because the bus company’s policy barring the presence and use of “intoxicating beverages,” on which the employer relied, was inapplicable to the grievant’s alcohol-infused cupcakes. First Student, Inc. and Teamsters Local Union 957, 134 LA (Bloomberg/BNA) 1699 (May 26, 2015) (Fullmer, J., Arb.).

Bill in Congress Would Allow Employees to Request Changes to Schedules

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would require employers to consider their employees’ requests for changes to their work schedules and to provide more predictable and stable schedules for employees in certain occupations with evidence of unpredictable and unstable scheduling practices.

2015 U.S. SUPREME COURT ROUNDUP PART 2

The following round out the U.S. Supreme Court’s labor and employment law opinions for the 2014 Term.

Domestic Violence: A Possible Solution

One of the humbling aspects of keeping an online journal for any period of time, particularly when you are so unwise as to make predictions is that there exists documented proof of your own errors.
Human Resources ARTICLE INDEX