Arkansas News & Analysis

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Employees may be 'on the job' even before they've reported to work

    This case arose from an appeal in which the employer, the Arkansas Secretary of State (SOS), challenged the Workers' Compensation Commission's (WCC) decision to award benefits to an employee whom the SOS contended wasn't providing employment services at the time of her alleged injury. The court of appeals rejected the SOS's position and affirmed the award of benefits.

  • Interactive process not required if accommodation isn't possible

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Arkansas employers) recently found that a corrections officer who couldn't perform the essential functions of her job after she sustained a work-related injury wasn't a victim of disability discrimination. Let's take a closer look at the case.

  • 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.

  • A triptych of unemployment cases

    With the beginning of a new term, the Arkansas Court of Appeals recently issued three decisions regarding the application of the law governing employees' right to unemployment compensation.

  • How to claim paid family and medical leave tax credit

    The tax reform law passed late last year contained a little-noticed tax credit for employers that provide employees paid "family and medical" leave and meet certain other requirements. While the IRS hasn't finalized regulations pinning down the specifics of the new credit, it recently issued some helpful guidance. Let's take a look.

  • Can you keep a secret? How to handle 'confidential' employee complaints

    The #MeToo movement just turned one. And while its long-term effects on the workplace remain to be seen, it's commonly expected that increasing numbers of women (and some men) will be informing their employers about problems with sexual harassment.

  • Agency Action

    DOL launches initiative to strengthen H-2B compliance. The U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in September announced a nationwide initiative to strengthen compliance with the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program in the landscaping industry. The initiative includes providing compliance assistance tools and information to employers and stakeholders as well as conducting investigations of employers using the program. The WHD announced that last year, its investigations led to more than $105 million in back wages for more than 97,000 workers in industries with a high prevalence of H-2B workers, including the landscaping industry. A key component of the investigations is ensuring that employers recruit U.S. workers before applying for permission to employ temporary nonimmigrant workers. The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrant workers from outside the United States to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the country. The landscaping industry employs more H-2B workers than any other indus

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey shows attitudes about talking politics at work. Job search platform Indeed in September reported results of a survey of 2,000 U.S. employees showing that 20% of those workers felt the workplace wasn't politically censored enough. The research also showed that 54% were comfortable with the current amount of sharing of political beliefs at work. Just 10% of respondents said they believed the workplace needed more political talk. The survey found that 23% of the respondents felt certain groups were being silenced at work. Of those, 60% reported that the source of silencing was statements or actions of peers, and 40% said it came from statements or actions from leadership.