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COVID, opioids and payroll taxes on HR radar

By Mike O’Brien bio Applicants, testing, and screening The EEOC has said you cannot test applicants for COVID-19 until after a conditional job offer. Fine, makes sense. What about taking temperatures? You can take a temperature of visitors to your business/office to make sure they are not bringing COVID-19 with them. In fact, you may have an OSHA duty to do so to protect your workers from the pandemic. What about applicants visiting your office to apply to interview—can you subject them to the same temperature screening as all other visitors? Logic would say yes; but the EEOC guidance says no, you can only take an applicant’s temperature after a conditional job offer. Yet, a visiting applicant with COVID-19 could turn your office into a virus hot spot, thus attracting… . . . read more


Feds say insurers not required to pay for employer return to work COVID-19 testing

Since the public health emergency began, the US government has taken the position that insurers shouldn’t be allowed to make consumers pay for COVID-19 lab tests. But now comes news that insurers will not be put in that same position with regard to return to work screening conducted on employees by their employers. FFCRA rules for COVID-19 test payment The key piece of federal relief legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), required insurers to cover COVID-19 tests without imposing any copayments, deductibles, coinsurance or other patient cost-sharing. But the rule (Section 6001 of FFCRA) rule applied only to tests deemed “medically appropriate” by a healthcare provider. The key question: Would insurers also have to foot the bill for screening tests not used for diagnosis and treatment? Apparently, the answer… . . . read more


Employment Law Update for HR Managers

By Mike O’Brien  bio
This is my periodic update prepared for interested HR professionals trying to deal with the complex American employment laws…

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Five dangers in dealing with harassment complaints

As with firing, the rules are well known, yet employers still fall into the common violations that spawn claims of sexual harassment, says management consultant Joseph Godwin of F&H Solutions Group in…

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Caitlyn Jenner raises awareness, questions about transgender people

Olympic gold medalist and reality television personality Bruce Jenner has become Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner’s transition has been well documented by the media, culminating in a photo of Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Although her journey has been more public than most, Jenner’s story is not unique. It is estimated that 700,000 people in the United States are transgender, and that estimate is regarded by some experts as conservative.
As a law office manager, you should become familiar with gender identity, as it could affect your interaction with a…

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5 HR issues you need to review and keep on your radar

A law office manager has a wide range of responsibilities, which can make it difficult to keep every potential staff-related issue top of mind. Nevertheless, there are five human resources issues about which you should remain vigilant.
1 Discrimination
Here are various types of discrimination, as identified and defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Note: The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of

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Three errors that can cause wrongful termination problems

Though every employer knows – or should know – the rules for safe firing, mistakes still happen when it comes to showing an employee the door, says Peter Golden, a business and employment law attorney with The Golden Law Firm in Atlanta.
In his own practice, he finds that employers most often fall down on three points: missed documentation, unfair employee comparisons, and skipping steps in progressive discipline.
1. Anything in writing helps
Lack of documentation heads the list.
It comes up over and over again. Despite all the warnings…

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Model Tool: Three policies to accommodate medical marijuana

Why you need this tool:

These three tools allow you to alter your zero tolerance policy to accommodate medical marijuana.

. . . download here


How to protect your practice against costly FLSA and EEOC claims

Do an HR audit at the start of each year
Today’s protection against tomorrow’s employment law claims is a human resources audit.
An audit is essential to keep the firm’s employment processes accurate and current – and also followed, says Joseph Godwin, human resources consultant for F&H Solutions Group in Ashville, NC.
The audit needs to be done every year, because with time, things get overlooked. Or bad habits crop up and people take easier routes such as signing off on incomplete I-9 Forms. Or new managers come in with their own HR methods and…

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Model Policy: Progressive discipline and employee termination

Why you need this policy:

There’s no point in having any policies, procedures, and standards unless you’re prepared to discipline employees who disobey them. The problem is that discipline is not only unpleasant but likely to result in some form of legal grievance, especially if the employee belongs to a union. That means you’ll end up having to defend your action before an arbitrator or court.

. . . download here