New York fast-food employers bracing for $15 minimum wage

July 24, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

New York fast-food workers may be celebrating the likelihood of a $15-an-hour minimum wage phased in over the next few years, but others are questioning the justification offered for the raise.kitchen of a chinese restaurant

A three-member wage board appointed by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recommended the new minimum wage for fast-food workers July 22. It won’t take effect without an order from the state’s acting labor commissioner, which is expected.

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Contractors face August 1 deadline for new veteran reporting form

Beginning August 1, federal contractors must use the new VETS-4212 report to provide information to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) about their affirmative action efforts in employing veterans.

The VETS-4212 report replaces the VETS-100 and VETS-100A forms required by the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) that became final in September 2014.

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North Dakota eases PTO payout rules

by Lisa Edison-Smith

Because of new legislation taking effect August 1, private-sector employers in North Dakota will find it easier to avoid paying out unused paid time off (PTO) or vacation time when employees quit.

Under the old law, an employer was required to pay a departing employee for any PTO or vacation time that was “available for the employee to use” at the time of separation. The old rule could be expensive for employers. For example, an employee who was entitled to 12 days of PTO per year and was eligible to take the entire 12 days at the time of her separation from employment was entitled to be paid for all 12 unused days, even if she quit on January 2. That was true even if the employer had a policy saying that PTO was “earned” at a rate of one day per month.

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New guidance signals tougher stance on independent contractor classification

July 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A new interpretation of language in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the latest effort in the government’s fight against what it sees as troubling misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

On July 15, David Weil, administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), released Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1 to analyze how the FLSA determines whether an individual should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

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Agencies issue ACA-related regulations addressing contraceptive coverage

July 13, 2015 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

On July 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued final regulations on coverage of certain preventive services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the new regulations focus on the ACA’s controversial “contraceptive mandate.”Birth Control ACA Contraception Coverage

The contraceptive mandate

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Expanded data security breach laws taking effect in Washington

by Joelle Hong and Amelia Morrow Gerlicher

Washington’s expanded data security breach notification laws are set to take effect July 24, meaning employers must make sure they have safe and effective privacy practices in place and are ready to respond in the event of a security breach.

Under the old law, businesses that own or license computerized data containing personal information about Washington residents must disclose any breach involving unencrypted personal information. But beginning July 24, the requirement will expand to include both computerized and hard copy data containing personal information that is not “secured” as well as encrypted information if the person who gains unauthorized access to the data has access to the encryption key or an alternative means of deciphering the data.

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DOL’s proposed rules to swell ranks of overtime-eligible employees

June 30, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) release of new proposed rules regulating who is eligible for overtime pay has employers scrambling to determine how many of their workers will need to be reclassified when new regulations take effect.

Currently, the salary threshold for an employee to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is $455 a week ($23,660 a year). That figure was last revised in 2004. The new proposed rule puts the floor at an estimated $970 a week ($50,440 a year) for 2016.

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Wyoming employers need to be ready for strengthened data breach law

by Brad Cave

Wyoming’s new data breach notification law takes effect July 1, meaning employers need to be ready for beefed-up notification requirements.

Wyoming law requires that any entity or person who conducts business in Wyoming and owns or licenses computerized data that include personal identifying information must notify affected consumers of a data breach. Because personal identifying information includes such things as Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and health insurance and medical information, most employers have data covered by the law.

Under the old law, breach notifications needed to include only a toll-free number consumers could use to contact the business that was collecting their data so it could provide the telephone numbers and addresses of the major credit-reporting agencies. Under the new law, notifications must provide much more information.

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Massachusetts final sick leave regulations make substantial changes

by Susan G. Fentin

Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey recently issued final regulations for the state’s new earned sick time law that aren’t quite what employers were expecting. As a result, employers are scrambling to update their sick time policies before the July 1 compliance deadline.

Language in a “model notice” that the AG posted earlier in June turned out to be misleading in two significant ways: read more…

Employers need to examine policies, laws in light of Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling

June 26, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage means employers across the country need to take a look at their policies as well as the effect the ruling has on various laws dealing with employment.Pride flag at city hall

The Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down prohibitions on gay marriage in states covered by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. But it has the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

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