New Wellness Program Rules

On January 15, 2019

Employers with established wellness programs that collect health information or require a medical exam can no longer rely on EEOC regulations to claim that incentives under their wellness programs are voluntary.  The EEOC recently published a final rule vacating prior rules that allowed employers to offer significant financial incentives to workers who participate in wellness […]

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Duty of Care to Family and Third Parties

By on December 19, 2018

The Virginia Supreme Court significantly extended the duty of care an employer owes beyond employees to any family members, or even third parties, who may be affected by the employer’s action.  The issue in this case involved asbestos, but the ruling easily could apply to other situations as well.  In a 4 to 3 decision, […]

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Verification of FMLA Leave

By on November 20, 2018

When an employee takes medical leave, treatment by a healthcare provider is often assumed, and the frequency of doctor’s visits is rarely scrutinized.  However, in evaluating FMLA leave entitlements, verifying the dates of medical treatment can be worth the trouble.  Here is a good example. The employee in question was a military veteran who suffered […]

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Social Security Wage Base for 2019

By on October 18, 2018

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the social security wage limitation for 2019 will be $132,900, up from $128,400 in 2018. Employees and employers each pay the social security portion of FICA (6.2%) on compensation up to the year’s wage limitation. In addition, the employee and employer will each pay 1.45% of their […]

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Individualized Hiring Assessments and the EEOC

By on October 18, 2018

In a well-publicized enforcement agreement, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reaffirmed its belief in the importance of following its enforcement guidance on the use of applicant criminal background checks.  The EEOC announced a substantial settlement agreement with a large retailer resolving allegations of race discrimination.  According to the allegations, applicants had job applications […]

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A New Issue With Cannabis and Drug Testing

By on October 3, 2018

A federal court in Connecticut held that the refusal to hire a medical marijuana user because she tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violated state law.  Before you wonder why should you care about Connecticut state law, read on. The plaintiff had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  She took one capsule of a […]

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A Second Reason for Performance Evaluations

By on September 19, 2018

Performance evaluations provide feedback to employees and identify opportunities for improvement. However, the importance of those reviews does not end at a termination. If the employment relationship has soured, performance reviews may serve an additional, important purpose. After a termination, it is not uncommon for an employee to claim that the termination was unlawful. This […]

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DOL Issues Sextet of Opinion Letters

By on August 29, 2018

On August 28, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued six opinion letters on a variety of topics under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While three of those letters deal with more esoteric topics, here are summaries of the three […]

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Troubles with Smartphones

By on August 15, 2018

With the frequent presence of smartphones in the workplace, a new problem for employers is on the rise:  employees recording conversations with managers.  This can be powerful evidence in a subsequent charge or lawsuit. Most states on the East Coast and in the South are “one-party” states, meaning only one party needs to know of […]

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