As work becomes more technologically driven, employees are seeing their job responsibilities change. Be aware that technological advancements in a job can also change an employee’s status under the Fair Labor Standards Act from an exempt to a nonexempt worker—or vice versa.
Beyond choosing the right positions for telework, employers must address important legal issues before adopting a telecommuting policy. Be prepared to consider how such a policy will be affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, OSHA, the ADA, workers’ compensation rules, privacy concerns and tax laws.
More employers are offering to let workers collect their pay on reloadable, prepaid bank cards. But make sure you know your state law: Most states prohibit employers from mandating that workers receive pay electronically.
Sometimes, HR professionals have to make judgment calls about who is telling the truth. In fact, just about every workplace investigation requires assessing the credibility of employees, co-workers and managers who disagree about what happened. Take, for example, an employee who complains about a supervisor’s harassment or hostility.
Under the Equal Pay Act, employers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations. In other words, you aren’t required to pay a manager in New York City the same as one in a lower-cost locale, even if the New York manager is male and the manager in the other location is female. Plus, any differences in responsibilities can help justify the difference.
HR professionals or managers should always discuss performance or behavior problems with employees before disciplining them. After all, employees often admit their mistakes when confronted directly. And any admissions can be used later to support your disciplinary decision if the employee claims discrimination.
Employers have an obligation to stop illegal harassment as quickly as possible. But don’t jump right on the first apparent solution—it may not be the best way to go. If your proposed fix actually makes things worse for the victim—in terms of pay, perks or working conditions—you’ll raise your liability risks to the roof.
Résumés with common names are more likely to receive callbacks than those with Russian and African-American names, according to a study in the Journal of Managerial Psychology. Evaluating candidates based on name could trigger claims of race bias or national-origin discrimination.
Employees who are out on unpaid FMLA leave are still entitled to health insurance benefits if they were covered before going out on leave. However, if the employee was required to pay part of the premium before taking leave, that obligation continues. If he skips any payments, the employer can terminate coverage without violating the FMLA.
If you’re worried that an employee or ex-employee will break into your computer network and damage the company, a new court ruling gives you more teeth to enforce your policy. And it gives employees something to think about before they commit e-sabotage.