Topics: Human Resources

Indefinite Leave. Can You Terminate?

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues. Question: Our employee has tendonitis. His condition has not seen any improvement, if anything he has experienced regression. To date we have conducted two ergonomic assessments. We made the recommended adjustments following both assessments. We have also accommodated the employee throughout his employment with modified duty and modified schedule as dictated by the employee's physician and the employee's feelings for what he can undertake day to day. The employee’s work hours since December of 2016 have averaged 20.65 hours/week. Because of this reduction in work hours and the volume of work he is producing, we have hired a new full-time employee to handle what the employee has not been producing, as well as to meet the overall increased work load demands of our engineering department. We have three employees in this group and our work volume is such that we need all three to be productive 40 hours each week. However, we are not able to spread this out evenly and the other two engineers are having to work in excess of 40 hours to handle the volume that the employee is unable to produce. This employee sent an email today advising that “both of his hands are pretty messed up now, to the point that I cannot move them without being in a lot of pain. I cannot work anymore and I do not know if or when I will be able to. The medications I’ve been given are doing a bad job of dulling the pain, and it continues to get worse. I have a physical therapy appointment on Monday and a primary care appointment on Tuesday. I don’t know if they will help to get me back to work, and I don’t know when that will be.” We are really struggling with how to move forward properly with this employee and would really appreciate some guidance here. More

NATSO Files Overtime Comments With Labor Department

NATSO urged the Department of Labor (DOL) to refrain from making dramatic changes to the Overtime Rule that would expand the universe of employees eligible for overtime pay, arguing that significant changes to the salary threshold and duties test would harm the very employees that they are designed to help. The Trump Administration is reexamining the rules governing overtime pay in the wake of the Obama Administration's effort recently being struck down by a federal court. More

House Education and Workforce Committee Holds Hearing on Joint Employer Legislation

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing Sept. 13 on legislative efforts to change the joint employer standard. Specifically, the hearing considered a bill by Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441), which would return the joint employer standard to a narrower definition that holds responsible only employers who have direct, actual, and immediate control over terms of employment. More

Judge Strikes Down Obama Administration's Overtime Rule

A federal judge in Texas on August 31 invalidated the Obama Administration's controversial rule expanding the number of employees that are entitled to overtime pay. The focus of the judge's opinion was the fact that the rule -- which would have increased the minimum salary threshold for overtime pay from approximately $23,000 per year to approximately $47,000 per year -- insufficiently considered whether employees actually perform "white collar" jobs and thus should be exempt from overtime. More

Position Changed. What Do We Do With The Employee?

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues. Question: We hired an employee last year. The company was looking for someone with a certain background. However, since then, our company has changed directions and will no longer require someone of this caliber. We will be keeping the position but changing the rate and experience to less than what the current employee is at. Can we terminate for these reasons? If not is there another way that we can handle this? More

House Committee Examines Joint Employer

The House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing on July 12 to examine the murky joint employer standard that has generated much uncertainty in the employment community. The Coalition to Save Local Businesses, of which NATSO is an active member, submitted testimony to the Committee urging Congress to pass legislation clarifying the joint employer standard in a manner that will protect employees while enabling small businesses to avoid legal uncertainties and litigation. More

Human Resources Question of the Month: We Dropped Under 50 Employees, Does FMLA Still Apply?

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues. Question: Our company recently made some changes, and we no longer have more than 50 employees. How do we handle our prior FMLA obligations (50 or more employees)? Do we have to wait a certain time period before we no longer are required to provide FMLA leave? Response: Yes, if an employer drops below the 50-employee threshold typically required for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage, indeed there is a certain time period that an employer must wait before it ceases being a covered employer for purposes of the Act. The employer will need to comply with its obligations under the FMLA as to any eligible employees, until such time as it is no longer a covered employer... More

Labor Secretary to Review Overtime Rule

Labor Department Secretary Alexander Acosta testified at a recent Congressional hearing that he plans to review the overtime rule involving exempt salaried employees. The Obama Administration sought to increase the minimum salary required for overtime-exempt employees to $47,476 annually for full-time employees from $23,660. However, a federal judge in November 2016 issued a nationwide injunction against the DOL's regulation expanding the number of workers who would be eligible for overtime pay. More

Department of Labor Proposes Rescinding Obama Administration Changes to Persuader Rule

The Department of Labor has proposed rescinding the Obama Administration's changes to the so-called "persuader rule." The proposal is supported by the employer community and opposed by organized labor, and represents another step that the Trump Administration is taking to peel back some of the Obama Administration's labor initiatives. More

Department of Labor Withdraws Guidance on Joint Employment, Independent Contractors

In a positive development for employers, particularly the franchise community, the Department of Labor (DOL) has officially withdrawn its guidance on joint employment and independent contractors. More

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