Work Schedule Conflict Leads to Religious Accommodation Lawsuit

HR Hero Line - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 06:38

A recent decision by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals— which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—provides another reminder that religious accommodations come in all shapes and sizes—and that proving “undue hardship” is often a high hurdle for employers. Although a number of religious discrimination...

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5 Login Lessons from Hawaii’s Ballistic Missile Alert Fiasco

HR Hero Line - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 06:20

Phones across Hawaii lit up at 8:07 a.m. on January 13 with an alert that a ballistic missile was hurtling toward the state. Two minutes later, Governor David Ige learned that the alert had been mistakenly sent. But it took another excruciating 15 minutes before he took to Twitter to clarify that there was “NO missile threat to Hawaii.” Why the...

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Don’t Wait for Full Implementation of New DOL Fiduciary Rule to Understand It

HR Hero Line - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 06:11

With the new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule in effect, and the phased implementation and extended transition period set, it is reasonable to imagine that all members of the retirement plans community have been refreshing their understanding of the fiduciary duties tied to plan administration. However, recent surveys1 of defined...

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Women as Warriors: What Black Panther Teaches Us About Women in the Workplace

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 14:49

Coming off the heels of a fantastic Blockbuster first few weeks, nearly $900 million made at the box office globally, and premiering during Black History Month, there is no denying that Black Panther is just the start of a monumental cultural movement. Black Panther is being touted as not only one of the year’s best films, but possibly one of the...

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IRS Issues 2018 Form W-4, Updated for TCJA Changes

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 07:00

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2018 version of its Form W-4, which reflects changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Employees are not required to resubmit Form W-4 to their employer, but some will find it advisable to do so. A revamp of the W-4 was necessitated by TCJA changes such as the elimination of personal...

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COBRA Continuation Coverage: Who Pays?

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 07:00

Most employers are aware that the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans sponsored by covered employers to allow qualified beneficiaries to have “COBRA continuation coverage” in the event that they lose group health plan coverage for specified reasons. COBRA applies only to employers who had...

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Trump Administration Seeks to Expand Short-Term Health Insurance

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 06:39

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (the Departments) issued a proposed rule on February 20 seeking to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of...

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Who Let the Dogs in? Handling Requests for Service Animals at Work

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 06:30

It seems like I’m seeing more and more people with service animals—particularly “comfort animals” meant to ease anxiety or similar problems. Delta Airlines has had such a problem with comfort animals causing issues on its planes that it recently announced it was tightening its restrictions. Under the Americans with Disabilities...

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Automation, Talent Shortages and Trade Protectionism Among Top Business Trends for 2018

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 06:05

Innovative technology adoption, talent shortages, and trade protectionism are predicted to be the top trends in service delivery for 2018 and the next several years, according to research by KPMG. According to the latest quarterly KPMG Global Insights Pulse survey, investing in new and improved information technology and investing more in robotic...

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Maintaining Compliant Policies Proves to Be a Powerful Defense Against Class Claims

HR Hero Line - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 06:02

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal underscores the importance of maintaining and enforcing compliant wage and hour policies. Indeed, having the right policies in place may very well be an employer’s most powerful weapon for defeating wage and hour class claims. One California employer’s written wage and hour policies...

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DACA Deadline Still Important Despite Court Rulings

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 10:35

With the calendar hitting March 5­—the original date for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to begin winding down—employers need to consider the date’s impact on their workforce. BeeBright / iStock / Getty Images Plus Although two different federal courts have issued rulings temporarily blocking DACA’s phaseout, many...

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Engagement: 3 Lessons Learned from Kevin Sheridan’s Native American Sister and Iraq War Veteran

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 07:00

Last summer I went home to the Native American Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin on which I was raised.  I always find it so grounding to go home to the “Res,” as it is known to the locals.  It was especially grounding this trip because I got to spend 2.5 peaceful hours with my Chippewa little sister, Melissa Doud, on her new pontoon...

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Employers Overestimate Impact of Wellness Programs and Incentives on Employees’ Health Behavior

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 07:00

Despite U.S. employers and employees placing a high priority on health and well-being, employees say that employer efforts are falling short of employees’ expectations, according to research from leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company Willis Towers Watson. A majority of employers (56%) believe their well-being programs have...

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Too Poor for Arbitration? Employee’s Financial Situation Must Be Considered

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 06:24

Arbitration agreements can be a great way to manage the risk and expense of litigation. However, you must ensure that your arbitration agreement is enforceable. The Appellate Division, First Department in New York, recently reversed a lower court’s decision and sent the case back for further proceedings out of a concern that the employee...

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Slippin’ Up: Does Pay Raise After Fall Preclude Disability Benefits?

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 06:02

The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently heard a claim from an injured employee who says he was entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits after a fall. Did the employee have a case? Background “Jason” was working as part-time seasonal help for Riceland Foods, Inc., on March 23, 2015, when he slipped off a rice pod (which he...

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Easy Tips for Employers to Handle Recent ACA Penalties

HR Hero Line - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 05:16

Many large employers have been up in arms about receiving Obamacare penalty notices over the past few months indicating they failed to offer qualifying health coverage in 2015. The penalties are amounting to thousands, if not millions, of dollars that may be due to reporting errors. ESRP Explained The Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP)...

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Connecticut High Court Reinforces HIPAA as Standard of Care

HR Hero Line - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:00

The Connecticut Supreme Court reinforced an earlier ruling on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy as a standard of care in a second opinion in Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology PC, SC 19873 (Conn., Jan. 16, 2018). zimmytws / iStock / Getty Images Plus This time, finding that the state did recognize...

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Never Let Others Ruin Your Future, Says Kevin Sheridan, HRDA Keynote Speaker

HR Hero Line - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:00

One day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her, “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?” Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child: “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and...

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Post Notice of Employees’ Rights or Be Prepared for the Consequences!

HR Hero Line - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 06:08

In a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, an employer was reminded that lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can be especially costly because they often involve claims asserted by numerous employees. Had the employer complied with the simple notice-posting requirement of the...

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Are You Prepared to Avoid Netflix-Like Corporate Social Media Snafus?

HR Hero Line - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 06:03

The use of social media by companies for public recognition isn’t a new concept. As social media platforms expand, so do the number of companies using them to promote their brands and reach new or potential customers. But those companies have to rely on their (fallible) employees to come up with new or creative ways to attract followers and...

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