Employers await effects of Executive Order on immigration

November 21, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

While political wrangling over President Barack Obama’s newest Executive Order rages, employers need to understand the impact the immigration order will have on their workplaces.

Obama announced what he’s calling the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions in an address November 20. A fact sheet from the White House says the order will “crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.”

Obama’s plan includes three main elements: (1) increased border security, (2) an emphasis on deporting people deemed a threat to national security and public safety, such as suspected terrorists, violent criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers, and (3) an expansion of a program allowing undocumented immigrants to temporarily stay in the United States if they register, pass background checks, and pay taxes.

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Rochester ban-the-box law to take effect November 18

by Edward O. Sweeney

Rochester, New York, will become the latest city to restrict employers’ ability to ask applicants about their criminal history when its ban-the-box ordinance takes effect November 18.

Since many employers are hesitant to hire applicants with criminal histories, states and cities have begun passing laws that restrict employers from including a check box on applications requiring applicants to disclose arrests and convictions.

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New circuit ruling complicates same-sex marriage issue

November 07, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The issue of how employers should handle same-sex marriage got a bit murkier November 6 as a divided appeals court panel broke with rulings from four other U.S. circuit courts of appeals by upholding state bans on same-sex marriage.

A three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the 2-1 decision, which allows bans on same-sex marriage in four states to stand. The court’s decision—affecting Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—differs from other jurisdictions that have recently struck down similar state bans.

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New Massachusetts law requires paid sick leave

Voters in Massachusetts approved a law in the November 4 election that requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave. The law takes effect July 1, 2015.

Under the law, Massachusetts employers with at least 11 employees must provide paid sick leave. Employees will accrue paid sick leave beginning July 1, 2015, at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked for a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Employees won’t be eligible to take paid leave unless and until they have worked for the employer for 90 days.

In addition to paid leave, the new law means employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow employees to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.

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Oregon employers shouldn’t freak out over new marijuana law

by Calvin L. Keith

On November 4, Oregon voters passed Initiative 91, which legalizes recreational marijuana in Oregon. With Oregon joining other states that have approved recreational marijuana use, Oregon employers may be wondering what the new law means for their drug policies. The short answer is not much.

Initiative 91, which will take effect on July 1, 2015, allows the purchase, distribution, and use of marijuana for recreational purposes in Oregon. Those acts remain illegal under federal law. Federal contractors and employers that receive federal funding still must prohibit the consumption of marijuana on their premises. Employers with employees who are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must follow regulations on drug testing and drug use.

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Election means at least four more states will see higher minimum wages in 2015

November 05, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota said yes to increasing their states’ minimum wages as they cast their ballots November 4. Illinois voters said the same thing in a nonbinding vote.

Here’s a look at the new state minimum wages, according to Ballotpedia: read more…

Comment period for rule on federal contractor compensation data extended

November 03, 2014 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the comment period for a proposed rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to submit an annual equal pay report to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

The 60-day extension means comments must be submitted by January 5, 2015. Interested parties can read and comment on the proposed rule, which was published in the August 8 Federal Register, by visiting www.dol.gov/ofccp/epr.html.

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Voters in four states to decide on minimum wage hikes

October 27, 2014 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Voters in four states—Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota—will decide on minimum wage increases when they go to the polls on November 4, and Illinois voters will make their opinion on the issue known in a nonbinding vote. Information on state ballot measures from Ballotpedia indicates:

  • Voters will decide whether to increase Alaska’s minimum wage from $7.75 to $8.75 on January 1, 2015, and to $9.75 on January 1, 2016.
  • The Arkansas question asks voters whether they want to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 on January 1, 2015; to $8 on January 1, 2016; and to $8.50 on January 1, 2017.
  • In Nebraska, voters will decide whether to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8 on January 1, 2015, and to $9 on January 1, 2016.
  • Voters will decide whether to raise South Dakota’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 on January 1, 2015.

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Voters to decide on Anchorage collective bargaining ordinance

by Tom Daniel

When voters in Anchorage go to the polls in November, they will decide the fate of a local ordinance that reins in the collective bargaining rights of municipal employees.

A referendum to repeal the local ordinance known as the Responsible Labor Act will be part of the November 4 ballot. The ordinance, proposed by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and approved by the Anchorage Assembly in a 6-5 vote in 2013, imposes limitations on the collective bargaining rights of municipal employees. The ordinance restricts the rights of municipal unions by:

  • Limiting union employees’ pay raises to one percent over the five-year average of the Alaska inflation rate;
  • Prohibiting strikes;
  • Eliminating binding arbitration when the city and a union reach an impasse over the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), thus giving the city the authority to unilaterally implement its last offer;
  • Eliminating bonuses based on seniority or performance;
  • Introducing ‘”managed competition” by allowing the city to outsource some union jobs to private contractors; and
  • Limiting CBAs to a maximum of three years.

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BLR Launches Professional Development Network for Hospitality Industry HR Leaders

October 08, 2014 - by: admin 0 COMMENTS

BLR® – Business & Legal Resources, a leading provider of employment law compliance and training solutions for HR, has launched a new professional network called HR Executive Roundtable | Hospitality.

HR Executive Roundtable | Hospitality facilitates the sharing of ideas, best practices, benchmarking data, experiences, and cost-saving ideas among senior Human Resources leaders in restaurant, lodging, and travel verticals.

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