Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Return-to-Work Policies

Reopening the economy: it’s a simple phrase that belies the difficulties that lie ahead. Yet, for many employers, the phrase oversimplifies the complexities they face as they figure out how to safely bring their employees back to the workplace.   Although it may not yet be clear when you’ll be able to reopen your workplace, now is the time for your organization to put together a strategy for reopening rather

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Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Return-to-Work Policies

Reopening the economy: it’s a simple phrase that belies the difficulties that lie ahead. Yet, for many employers, the phrase oversimplifies the complexities they face as they figure out how to safely bring their employees back to the workplace.   Although it may not yet be clear when you’ll be able to reopen your workplace, now is the time for your organization to put together a strategy for reopening rather

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How Workplaces Can Comply With Social Distancing Requirements

Separation anxiety: the coronavirus pandemic has given this phrase a whole new meaning. Instead of stressing out when we’re apart, we now have to worry about being together. And, over the years, the workplace has become a place where individual spaces are few and far between the prevalence of shared workspaces, common areas, and open office plans make it challenging for employees to keep their distance from each other. As

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How the Courts Separate Personal from Business Use of Cell Phones

Consider a manager calling to reschedule a meeting, a delivery driver phoning for the next dispatch, or a salesperson texting their spouse while driving to an appointment, and it’s easy to see how often distracted driving occurs while “acting in the scope of employment,” a key criterion that has been broadly construed in cases involving distracted drivers using their cell phones.   The Breakdown Even if the employee is off

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New State Laws to Protect Recreational Marijuana Users

It’s time for employers in Illinois and Nevada to update their employment policies to reflect the new state marijuana laws that went into effect in January 2020. Here is a breakdown of the laws, their impact on employers, and the policy revisions that may be needed as a result of the new laws.   Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act Recreational drug use is now legal in Illinois under the

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What Employers Can't Do Under the Coronavirus Relief Law

Signed into law March 18, 2020, the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act will apply from the effective date through December 31. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) have provided further interpretation, of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act), advising only certain employers are required to provide employees with the leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  “When facing challenges such as this current

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Am I a Covered Employer Under the Updated FLMA?

Last week, on March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law. The new bill expands employee coverage under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and provides Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Since the signing of the bill, the Department of Labor (DOL) has provided further interpretation and guidance for employers, which is now available on their website. If you are unsure of your status

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WARN Act & Layoffs

  Even in the strongest economic times, there’s no assurance that a company won’t have to adjust its workforce. Today, 70 percent of economic experts are forecasting a recession by 2021. This means American businesses must understand the legal implications of having to let go of a portion of their workforce.   To avoid violating federal and state labor laws, a layoff requires more than simply notifying your employees that

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Leading Your Company Through Layoffs

It’s never easy to be a leader, but it’s certainly simpler to be a leader in good times than in bad. When profits are down and your company’s back is against the wall, you may have to confront an ugly truth: it’s time to let some of your team members go as part of a layoff. The key is to be as transparent as possible and to ensure that your

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Maine Minimum Wage Increases & New Required Notice for Nursing Mothers

2020 Minimum Wage Rates Employers in the State of Maine must soon pay their employees increased wages. Effective January 1, 2020: The minimum wage increases to $12.00 per hour. The tipped wage increases to $6.00 per hour. The minimum salary requirement will be $692.31. The updated Minimum Wage notice has a revision date of 11/19. Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Maine’s Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Law passed in 2009,

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2020 Overtime Rule to Affect U.S. Employers

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule on the white-collar overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations haven’t been updated since 2004, though the DOL proposed amendments in 2016 that were postponed and never implemented. The final rule will take effect on January 1, 2020, making approximately 1.3 million more workers eligible for overtime protection. Here’s what U.S. employers subject to

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