Posts by Joanna Kim-Brunetti

EEOC Settlement Sets Precedent for Service Dog Use in Workplace

Chalk one up for man’s best friend and military veterans. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit with a North American trucking company in what is a groundbreaking precedent for the use of service dogs and other emotional support animals on the job by persons with emotional disabilities.…

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DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying FLSA Regulations

DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying FLSA Regulations

For the first time in over 50 years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has proposed a new rule to clarify the regular earning rate requirements under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, employers are required to provide overtime pay of at least one and…

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Hire Vets Through WOTC

Hire Vets Through WOTC

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program is an award from the U.S. Secretary of Labor that recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employers can apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award as of January 31, 2019 and stand out for their employment practices. Additionally, employers can reap the benefits of tax incentives generated…

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Honor Military Veterans By Hiring Them

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Veteran’s Day is a time to take stock of how fortunate we are to live in a country with extensive freedoms, and how fortunate we are to have brave men and women who, generation after generation, step forward to willingly put their lives on the line to protect those freedoms for all of us. While…

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An ICE Storm in July

An ICE Storm in July

The recent announcement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should have gotten the attention of employers. It illustrates how seriously ICE is in carrying out its commitment to increase the number of I-9 audits in an effort to create a culture of compliance among employers. In a press release issued last week, ICE shared…

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Federal Agencies Amping Up U.S. Worker Protections

Federal Agencies Amping Up U.S. Worker Protections

A recent federal interagency agreement is looking to identify potential violations by employers of statutes and regulations governing the processes for seeking employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Under a recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that “a framework has been…

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Oregon’s New Scheduling Law Starts July 1

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Oregon is the first state to adopt a predictive scheduling law statewide for the retail, food services, and hospitality industries that will go into effect on July 1. S.B. 828, also known as the Fair Work Week Act, pertains to food service, hospitality, and retail establishments that have operations in Oregon and have at least…

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WOTC Survives Tax Reform Legislation

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There were many changes to tax law in the recent tax reform legislation passed by Congress in December last year. One important program remained untouched, however, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which will remain in place until at least the end of 2019. The WOTC is a voluntary federal tax credit administered by the…

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Maryland Becomes Ninth State to Require Paid Sick Leave

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Starting this month, Maryland employers will be dealing with a new law addressing paid sick leave or safe leave. Called the Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA), the new law enables Maryland employees to have paid sick leave—for their physical health, mental health, injury, sick covered family members, maternity/paternity leave, as well as leave for violence…

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U.S. DOL Provides New Guidance on Interns

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Internships can provide valuable working experiences for college and high school students. Talented students serving as interns can also bring enthusiasm and savvy insights into your workplace, particularly as some of us grapple with ever-evolving technology that young people seem to be facile with well before adults. However, it’s important to remember that students serving…

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New North Carolina Law Reminder to Avoid Worker Misclassification

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On December 31, 2017, the North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act (EFCA) took effect. The new law allows for heightened investigations into those employers that are allegedly misclassifying their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees. The law allows workers to report potential job misclassification cases to a new division within the North Carolina…

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Pay Ratios Are on Investors’ Minds

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Public companies will be required to provide disclosure of their pay ratios in registration statements, proxy and information statements, and annual reports that will be issued this year. How did we get here? A little over two years ago, the SEC adopted a rule that requires public companies to reveal the ratio of the compensation…

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Predictive Scheduling Making an Impact In New York

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New York City is implementing new rules that will affect the predictability of workers’ schedules in retail stores and fast food restaurants, becoming the largest city to implement such legislation. These new rules are reflected in a collection of local laws dubbed the “Fair Workweek” legislation (including Int. No. 1387-2016 – applicable only to retail…

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Nordstrom Verdict Highlights Challenges of Scheduling Workers

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A recent dismissal of a case by employees against retail giant Nordstrom has some important ramifications for companies that have complex scheduling challenges for their employees. In the case of Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., employees argued that they did not receive their day of rest, as mandated by state law because their work schedules stretched…

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Will E-Verify Become Mandatory for Employers?

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation that would make E-Verify mandatory for employers. The Legal Workforce Act would require employers to use E-Verify, the electronic database to verify employment eligibility of workers, to check the eligibility of job applicants to work in the U.S. before they are hired. Currently, most employers are not…

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The Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to Increase in 2018

"The Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to Increase in 2018 "

Workers on federal construction and service contracts will receive an increase in their minimum wage in 2018. On January 1, 2018, federal contractors covered under Executive Order 13658 will be required to pay workers $10.35/hour, up from $10.20/hour. Tipped federal contract employees also will see their minimum wage increase to $7.25/hour from $6.80/hour. Tipped employees…

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What To Know About Employee Sweepstakes And Contests

The DOs and DON’Ts Of Employee Sweepstakes And Contests

In this era of transient workforces, employees can use a much-needed pat on the back to let them know that they are valued within their company, whether as a bonus, a gift or praise. Contests and sweepstakes can be a way to reward employees, break down barriers, boost morale, and just have fun. As you…

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Minneapolis Sees A Significant Increase In Minimum Wage

Minneapolis Joins other Cities in Raising the Minimum Wage

At the close of June, the Minneapolis City Council approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour through a phased approach that will go into full effect by July 1, 2024, not including potential adjustments for inflation. Starting on January 1, 2018, large businesses with 100 or more employees will see a…

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New Safe Harbor Rule May Clarify Worker Classifications

Proposed Safe Harbor Rule to Address the Classification of Workers by the IRS

The gig economy has become an important part of our economy. This has increased ambiguity amongst how workers are classified versus the scope of their work. In recognition of this situation, new legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a safe harbor for determinations…

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Form I-9 Is Changing

Understanding Form I-9’s Importance

President Trump continues to emphasize his goal to strictly enforce employment regulations as they pertain to undocumented workers. An increasing number of raids have been conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since the President took office in January. With an increased focus on deporting undocumented workers, it is important for employers to understand…

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3 Tips To Survive New York’s Employee Paid Family Leave

Does New York’s Employee Paid Family Leave Have Your Company In Disarray? Here Are 3 Tips To Handle It

As of january 1, 2018, New York will have its new Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFLBL) go into effect. Employees working for New York companies are entitled to a partial salary replacement, should they take leave for a number of situations. Those include assisting their family when another family member is deployed by the…

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Demystifying E-Verify

Struggling With E-Verify? Here Are Some Tips

As an employer, chances are you may have heard of E-Verify, the electronic database to verify employment eligibility of workers. Employers are not currently required to use E-Verify, though many utilize it. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports that more than 700,000 employers use E-Verify at more than 1.9 million hiring sites. The process…

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DOL Calls For Public Comments on Overtime Rule

Is DOL Overtime Rule Heading into a Ditch?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s prior attempt to change overtime regulations for salaried employees is taking a turn under the Trump administration. The DOL’s proposed overtime regulation under the Obama administration last year had suggested that workers with a $47,476 salary or lower would be eligible for overtime pay under federal wage laws. That salary…

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In the Face Of Potential ICE Raids, Keep Your I-9’s Organized

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has recently been conducting “raids,” leading to the arrest of undocumented immigrants. States like Mississippi, West Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania have all seen raids; several arrests have happened. As an employer, you may have employed undocumented workers either intentionally or unbeknownst to you. For over thirty years,…

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The Benefits of the WOTC For Small Businesses

There are many underutilized government incentives available for small businesses—from healthcare to gender to scope of work. These credits aim to help small businesses thrive while improving the economy and employment of workers as a whole. One of which is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a credit provided to businesses for the employment of…

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Another Increase In OSHA Penalties Has Occurred

It only took about six months for OSHA penalties to see yet another increase. On August 1 of last year, a huge bump in OSHA penalties occurred, surrounding violations of safety and health regulations via the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. Since then, another increase arrived at the top of…

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