Wyoming News & Analysis

  • Gillette employee with loose lips forfeits unemployment benefits

    A city of Gillette employee recently learned that releasing confidential information without following your chain of command can not only get you fired but also leave you without unemployment benefits.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the long-unresolved question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has been percolating in the lower courts for quite a while. As it frequently does, the Court declined to consider the question until there was a conflict between several appellate courts. Let's take a look at the history of the Court's decisions, the arguments on both sides of the issue, and what we can expect next.

  • September 30 deadline looms for newly required EEO-1 data

    Employers required to submit EEO-1 reports to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are venturing into uncharted territory as they work to collect newly required information due by September 30. While they may be accustomed to submitting traditional EEO-1 information—data on employees' race/ethnicity and gender, or what's being called Component 1 data—this year they also must compile data on compensation and hours worked, or what's being called Component 2 data.

  • Feeling stressed? Take it outside

    We all need a breath of fresh air sometimes. With summer starting up, we should be able to find plenty of ways to get away from our desks—even just for a break. And Alaska's natural beauty can be a perfect cure for employees' work-related stress. This article addresses the unwanted consequences of work stress and the benefits of encouraging employees to spend time outside.

  • Something about this leave request smells funny!?!

    Q We have a new employee who has a significant odor problem. According to him, the smell is connected to a foot infection. Numerous coworkers have complained to management. The employee isn't eligible for benefits yet, so he has put off going to the doctor, but his manager said he must go for both his own health and the issue it's causing with coworkers. Are we crossing any lines by requiring him to see a doctor?

  • Union Activity

    AFL-CIO report details causes of worker deaths. The AFL-CIO in April released a report on worker deaths in 2017 showing that 5,147 workers were killed on the job and an estimated 95,000 died from occupational diseases. The report says that every day, on average, 275 U.S. workers die because of hazardous working conditions. The report calls workplace violence the third leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 807 deaths in 2017, including 458 homicides. There was a small decrease in the overall rate of fatal injuries from the previous year ― 3.5 per 100,000 in 2017, down from 3.6 per 100,000 workers in 2016. In recent years, however, there has been little overall change in the job fatality rate. The report also says recent studies show the toll of occupational diseases is greater than previous estimates.

  • DOL's proposed new joint employer test provides clarity for WY employers

    Employers often struggle to determine whether they might be considered "joint employers" with other entities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing new guidance on this topic, providing much-needed clarity for employers in Wyoming and across the country.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Employer learns expensive lesson when it sues former employee

    A former employee cannot accuse her former employer of retaliation for something it did after she no longer worked for the company. However, the employer likely could have avoided the entire situation if it had chosen not to pursue a relatively small claim against its former employee.