Tag Archives: employer legal advocate

New I-9 form required for all new hires

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new version of the I-9 form on March 8, 2013. The new form is substantially the same as the one it’s replacing, but has some additional requirements for foreign passport information, e-mail address and phone numbers.

The “phase in” time for the new form is relatively brief, and all new hires as of May 7, 2013 must complete the new version.

Click here for a copy of the new I-9 form.

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Are your social media policies unlawful? The NLRB’s latest ruling

In line with its recent and ever-expanding interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has once again found an employer’s social media and confidentiality policies unlawful.  DirecTV maintained a social media policy that prohibited employees from blogging or posting messages on social media that disclose non-public company information. DirecTV also maintained a confidentiality policy that prohibited employees from discussing details about their job and the company’s business, projects, customers, and employees. 

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Heads-Up Employers: Is comp time the wave of the future?

The answer is yes, if House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has anything to say about it.

On February 5, 2013, Cantor delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) entitled “Making Life Work” that set forth the agenda the House majority is expected to pursue over the next two years. One of the proposals outlined in Cantor’s plan to “make life work” was that private employers should be afforded the flexibility to allow employees to convert overtime to comp time.

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The new year and new password laws

Effective January 1, 2013, a new law went into effect in Illinois barring employers from seeking password or other social media account information from any employee or prospective employee.  Illinois now joins 5 other states – California, Delaware, Michigan, Maryland and New Jersey – in having such a law.  Therefore, an employer in Illinois cannot condition employment or continued employment on an employee’s willingness to allow the employer unfettered access to the employee’s social media presence.  However, Illinois’ new law also offers protection for the employer’s right to promulgate proper workplace policies as well as to maintain control over its own electronic equipment and monitor employee use thereof.  The Illinois law is codified at 820 ILCS 55/10.

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The new year comes with minimum wage increases

As of January 1, 2013, minimum wage employees in Ohio received a 15-cent increase, bringing their wages to $7.85 an hour. http://www.com.ohio.gov/laws/MinimumWageLaws.aspx For employees who receive tips, the new minimum wage increased to $3.93 an hour, an increase of 8 cents an hour.

The state minimum wage is adjusted annually because of an amendment to the Ohio Constitution approved by voters in 2006. Increases are linked to the Consumer Price Index. A year ago, the minimum wage jumped 30 cents at the beginning of 2012.

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Michigan becomes 24th right to work state

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law “right to work” legislation that will prohibit requirements that a worker join or contribute to a labor organization as a condition of employment. The legislation was introduced last Thursday and passed amid a firestorm of controversy over worker rights. For more on the law’s passage and the debate surrounding it, see our Alert, Michigan passes right to work bills as national debate over role of unions continues.

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Supreme Court will decide who’s boss

The Supreme Court is considering who is a “supervisor” – a key question, because employers may be liable for workplace harassment by supervisors. We recently advised guests of our annual seminar that the United States Supreme Court would be hearing oral arguments this week in the appeal of Vance v. Ball State University, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011). The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a person without authority to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline individuals is a “supervisor” for Title VII purposes. The decision may expand the scope of potential liability for employers. For more on the arguments heard yesterday by the Supreme Court, visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-usa-court-ballstate-harassment-idUSBRE8AP11Y20121126?feedType=RSS.

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EEOC scores another big hit against inflexible leave policies

Does your company’s leave of absence policy include an inflexible maximum limit on the length of a leave of absence?  If it does, here’s a reason to review it:   On November 8, 2012, the EEOC settled a disability discrimination lawsuit for close to $5 million with a national trucking company that maintained a policy that automatically terminated employees once they exhausted a maximum leave period and allowed no return to work restrictions. www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-9-12.cfm 

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Recent Supreme Court of Ohio decision addresses claimants’ rights to Temporary Total Disability Benefits while retired

On October 11, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its opinion in State ex rel. Rouan v. Indus. Comm.  The Court determined that the appellant, Rouan, was not entitled to Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TT) through her workers’ compensation claim after taking a disability retirement from work.

Rouan began receiving TT in 2004 following a work-related injury.  She then applied for a disability retirement based on “major depressive disorder,” a condition that was not related to her work-related injury.  The work-related injury claim conditions reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) in May of 2005, while her application for a disability retirement was later approved and then backdated to February 1, 2005. However, Rouan did not re-enter the workplace after she retired.

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End of an era? Senate Bill 383 seeks to fix Ohio’s fair employment practices statute

Ohio’s fair employment practices statute, R.C. §4112.01 et seq., is complicated to navigate and can result in claims from employees who have not been on an employer’s roster for years.  In addition, it can lead to employers being forced to defend claims on two fronts:  before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and in court.  Senator William Coley (R-Middletown), however, has sponsored a bill intended to fix the statute’s most significant pitfalls and, in the process, make Ohio a more enticing location for relocating businesses.

In particular, Coley seeks passage of Senate Bill 383, which would amend the Revised Code to implement the following changes to employment discrimination law in Ohio.  If passed, S.B. 383 would:

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