Until recently, people employed in small businesses owned by their close relatives weren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. However, in late 2008, the Legislature changed the law to allow benefits if the relative had worked for the business for at least 16 quarters and earned more than $7,500 per quarter.
As the recession continues, many employers have had to turn to reductions in force as an unfortunate yet necessary cost-saving measure. Count on some of those former employees to sue. Employers considering implementing RIFs must understand the legal and practical issues that can trap the unwary. Taking these four steps can minimize the risks of lawsuits:
Freshman Sen. Al Franken has scored his first legislative victory. Joining forces with Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu, Franken proposed an amendment to the recently enacted Defense Appropriations bill that bars defense contractors from requiring employees to use arbitration to resolve workplace discrimination complaints of sexual assault, harassment or other Title VII violations.
It’s a serious mistake to wrongly classify employees as exempt when they should be designated as hourly workers eligible for overtime. Be especially wary of one of the most common errors: Applying the exempt administrative classification to employees just because they perform nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the company.
If you believe an employee has been stealing from your organization, you may not have the time or resources to launch an investigation worthy of "Law and Order." If it’s your consistent policy to terminate those accused of stealing, fire away.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducting I-9 audits of employers performing work on “critical infrastructure” over the winter months. About 1,000 employers—mainly in defense- and law enforcement-related industries—are being targeted for the audits. The new audit crackdown may be a sign of things to come.
A Minnesota court of appeals has ruled that ex-employees who are collecting unemployment can have their benefits reduced if they are due to receive commissions from their former employers.
Is your organization a subsidiary of an overseas company? If so, you may have to warn managers who are used to a different set of rules that comments about age preference can lead to trouble.
If your organization uses arbitration agreements to help keep employment disputes out of court, make sure the agreement is drafted to be as broad as possible. Your best bet: Have an attorney write or review the agreement.
Employees who quit aren’t generally entitled to unemployment compensation. However, there’s an exception for employees who quit “because of a good reason caused by the employer”—if the employees first give employers a chance to correct the problem. One reason that’s not good enough: a schedule change.