Arkansas News & Analysis

  • DOL revises paid leave requirements under FFCRA

    On September 11, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) revised the regulations implementing the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The revised rule took effect September 16, when it was published in official form.

  • Employers' guide to navigating common issues involving remote workers

    "Working from home," "teleworking," "working remotely"—whatever you call it, the concept has always been troublesome for employers. COVID-19 has forced them to reconsider telework, which has become essential for many businesses. Whether you find yourself with an unexpected army of virtual workers because of the pandemic or continue to field periodic requests for accommodation, here are a few things to consider as you navigate the issue.

  • Facebook posts, firing of Oklahoma worker lead to wrongful discharge claim

    Under Oklahoma law, employees who are terminated from their jobs in violation of Oklahoma public policy may, in some cases, file a wrongful discharge lawsuit against their former employer. Increasingly, the lawsuits involve claims an employee acted as a "whistleblower" by reporting wrongdoing on the employer's part through social media.

  • Unequal workplace investigation leads to discrimination lawsuit

    When an employee complains about unfair or discriminatory treatment, you should promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint. A quality investigation can solve a problem and avert potential litigation. If a lawsuit results, the investigation can be an important part of the organization's response and defense. There's a flipside: A poorly conducted or skewed workplace investigation can backfire and further fuel claims of unfairness or discrimination. That's what happened when a sheriff's office recently investigated one of its officers.

  • As weather cools down, WARN Act lawsuits likely to heat up

    The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect employers with no clear end in sight. While the prospect of a functioning vaccine may have to wait for a while, a spike in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act litigation may be on the horizon.

  • Postpandemic workplace: Comfy, sterile, or mix of both?

    Everybody—from CEOs to frontline workers, design specialists to space planners, Gen Z and Millennials to Boomers—is wondering what the post-COVID workplace will look like. Despite the myriad ideas floating around, the consensus seems to be that only time will tell. Another largely agreed upon notion: The "new normal" will be noticeably different from the offices people abandoned at the beginning of the pandemic.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Most HR pros consider themselves strategic partners, survey finds. A survey from payroll and benefits provider Paychex, Inc., released in August found that 88% of HR leaders feel they are a strategic partner within their organization, particularly as they play a vital role in navigating new regulatory challenges compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Paychex Pulse of HR Survey also shows that 80% of HR professionals believe workplace technology helps support their role as a strategic contributor to the business and another 79% say technology enables their workforce to be more efficient and productive. When asked to define their role within their organizations, most HR leaders describe themselves as a "strategic partner," which rose from the fourth most common self-described role in 2019 to first in 2020.

  • Federal Watch

    DOL issues guidance on tracking teleworker hours. The U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in August issued guidance clarifying an employers obligation to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working away from premises controlled by their employers. The guidanceField Assistance Bulletin 2020-5reaffirms an employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked, including work not requested but allowed and work performed at home. If the employer knows or has reason to believe an employee is performing work, the time must be counted as hours worked. Confusion over when an employer has reason to believe that work is being performed may be exacerbated by the increasing frequency of telework and remote work arrangements since the last interpretive rules were issued in 1961, the DOL said in announcing the new guidance.

  • Roundup of DOL's recent COVID-19 guidance on FFCRA, FMLA, FLSA

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to issue new COVID-19 guidance. Here is a roundup of recent guidelines related to the coronavirus and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Right on time? Watch out for predictive scheduling laws

    Several major cities (and one West Coast state) recently adopted predictive scheduling laws, which require employers to post work schedules more than one week in advance. While the Midwest region hasn't yet seen an influx of the laws, you should pay attention because the trend is an employee-friendly response to the last-minute scheduling approach dominating industries in which customer demand is uncertain, such as restaurants and retail stores.