News & Analysis

Don't give employees a legal claim for the holidays

It's the holiday season again. The holidays can be a great time to foster a sense of community and a positive corporate culture. However, don't let down your guard on issues that carry potential liability.

Agency Action

DOL announces record amount in recovered wages. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in October that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) had recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The WHD also announced it set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 educational outreach events to help employers understand their responsibilities under the law. The DOL also announced an extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is a compliance initiative aimed at helping workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner.   

Workplace Trends

Research shows slow growth for middlewage jobs. A study from CareerBuilder shows that high- and low-wage job growth is overshadowing the increase in middle-wage jobs. According to the study, the United States is expected to add 8,310,003 jobs from 2018 to 2023, with just one-fourth of them in the middle-wage category. Factored into the total job growth is an expected loss of 369,879 jobs over the same period, with middle-wage occupations experiencing the majority of the decline. The research shows that a total of 121 occupations will experience a decline in jobs between 2018 and 2023, and 75 of them are middle-wage jobs. High- and low-wage occupations are expected to have the highest net job growth from 2018 to 2023 at 5.71% and 5.69%, respectively. Middle-wage employment will grow at 3.83%. STEM-related occupations will continue to dominate fast-growing occupations, according to the research.

A lack of trust: Employee fails to hold up her end of the bargain

Every employment relationship starts with an implicit mutual expectation of trust. The employer trusts that the employee will show up and perform the duties of her job. And the employee trusts that if she shows up and does her job, she'll be compensated as promised and treated fairly. So, very often, when the employment relationship ends, one side or the other feels that trust was lacking. A recent case came down to a lack of trust—namely, the lack of Sandra Trust at the worksite.

Wrap up 2018 with new or revised handbook

This year has brought an unusual number of changes in employment law. Various federal agencies got into the groove of aggressively undoing a lot of requirements their predecessors in the Obama administration had put into place. In addition, there has been an increasing number of employment-related requirements from state and local governments.

Workplace Trends

Research shows slow growth for middlewage jobs. A study from CareerBuilder shows that high- and low-wage job growth is overshadowing the increase in middle-wage jobs. According to the study, the United States is expected to add 8,310,003 jobs from 2018 to 2023, with just one-fourth of them in the middle-wage category. Factored into the total job growth is an expected loss of 369,879 jobs over the same period, with middle-wage occupations experiencing the majority of the decline. The research shows that a total of 121 occupations will experience a decline in jobs between 2018 and 2023, and 75 of them are middle-wage jobs. High- and low-wage occupations are expected to have the highest net job growth from 2018 to 2023 at 5.71% and 5.69%, respectively. Middle-wage employment will grow at 3.83%. STEM-related occupations will continue to dominate fast-growing occupations, according to the research.

Your leave benefit questions answered

Q Do we have to continue benefits for employees who take a medical leave of absence?

Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

Agency Action

DOL announces record amount in recovered wages. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in October that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) had recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The WHD also announced it set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 educational outreach events to help employers understand their responsibilities under the law. The DOL also announced an extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is a compliance initiative aimed at helping workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner.   

FMLA does not trump workers' comp

An employer's right to terminate an employee after she has exhausted her 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not mitigate its duty under Arkansas' workers' compensation law to offer reinstatement to the injured employee even after 12 weeks.