While HHS is exploring options, childcare benefits are getting more attention and action on the state and local fronts. Many working families find it difficult to locate and afford child care that meets their needs, according to a recent blog by Eric D. Hargan, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As a result, he said, “They often face tough choices in balancing work and caring for their children.” Hargan and others at HHS have been traveling the country and talking to employers and other stakeholders about this issue, but no immediate government action is in the works. Nonetheless, you can follow the lead of innovative employers to devise your own solutions. … [Read more...] about Feds Are Still Wrestling with Working Family Childcare Challenges
Bipartisan legislation would provide funding to help recruit more people of color and others into therapy programs, jobs. A bipartisan bill that would make the field of allied health workers more representative of the populations they serve was introduced in the Senate last week. Sponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act would create a $5 million-per-year grant program to recruit a more diverse body of professionals in the allied health field, including occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists. “Having a diverse, abundant, and well-trained healthcare workforce is essential to improving quality of care,” said Sen. Casey. “In … [Read more...] about New Bill Seeks to Increase Diversity in Allied Health Professions
The DOL is close to releasing changes to overtime pay rules that could be a game-changer for companies and employees alike. Watch for updated rules on the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay to be released soon. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sent a proposal on this to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this summer, and the OMB has completed its review. The specifics of the rule won’t be available to the public until its publication in the Federal Register. However, there are some details to help you get prepared for this change, whatever the details are. … [Read more...] about Updates Coming on Fluctuating Workweek Method to Calculate Overtime. Are You Ready?
It’s a day of fright and fantasy; but don’t let costumes, parties, and decorations be more trick than treat for your employees and organization. Halloween can be fun. It also can be scary, but less for the ghostly costumes and more for the legal risks. Know the dos and don’ts of celebrating Halloween to protect your employees and your company. Read on about risks you should manage now to prevent legal nightmares later. … [Read more...] about Don’t Let Legal Risks Haunt Your Halloween Fun
Think you have legal access to personal emails former employees leave behind? Know the law before you make a move you could regret. Last week, InFront talked about how to address the issue of employees taking company information with them when they move on. However, they may leave behind personal data, and that presents a different challenge. It may be tempting to look at the emails in personal accounts they leave on a company device, but think twice; or you could find yourself in legal hot water. According to the federal Stored Communications Act, it is an offense to “intentionally access...without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is … [Read more...] about Giving into Temptation Can Be Expensive, Embarrassing
Watch for decisions on controversial cases that will affect the way you work and manage employees. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) came back from break this week, and the SCOTUS will be addressing some big employment law issues. Perhaps of greatest interest is a decision related to employment discrimination based on LGBT status. However, there are other issues that you will need to watch in the coming weeks and months. Read on for updates on oral arguments the Court is hearing. … [Read more...] about All Eyes on the Court: SCOTUS Addresses Hot Employment Issues
A new bipartisan bill is getting attention; and it could take the conversation--and possibly action--to a new level. Much like the weather, everyone is talking about paid family but no one is doing anything about it. That could be changing. This summer, Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Senators Kyrsten Simena (D-AZ) introduced the Cassidy-Sinema plan, designed to help working families by funding paid parental leave or infant care expenses through a child tax credit (CTC). Under this plan, parents would have the option of advancing up to $5,000 from their CTC on the birth or adoption of a child. Future CTCs would be adjusted accordingly. … [Read more...] about Is Paid Parental Leave Gaining Traction in Congress?
This bill has passionate support and serious opposition. Does it stand a chance of becoming law? On September 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, which would eliminate the forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases. It would enable consumers and workers to agree to arbitration after a dispute occurs. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), who first introduced the bill, said, “The FAIR Act would level the playing field for Americans.” … [Read more...] about FAIR Act Passes House with Strong Opinions on Both Sides
When a worker needs leave for a qualifying reason, neither the employee nor the employer may decline FMLA protection. In a recent letter, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has clarified that employers can’t delay designating leave as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, even if the employee requests this delay. The Letter states, “Once an eligible employee communicates a need to take leave for a FMLA-qualifying reason, neither the employee nor the employer may decline FMLA protection for that leave.” This clarification is significant, as some employers have chosen to leave the decision about whether to designate leave as FMLA to employees. … [Read more...] about Don’t Delay FMLA Designation, DOL Cautions in New Letter
The confusing, controversial case of workplace profanity comes under new scrutiny. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may be revising its standards for profane outbursts and offensive statements of a racial or sexual nature. On September 5, NLRB requested briefs to get public input on whether “to adhere to, modify, or overrule the standard applied to previous cases in which extremely profane or racially offensive language was judged not to lose the protection of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).” NLRB chair John F. Ring said of the announcement, “The Board’s request for briefings on this important topic reflects its long-standing practice of seeking input from interested parties when the Board believes it can benefit from such briefings. We look forward to considering the views of all interested … [Read more...] about NLRB Reviews Workplace Profanity Standards