HR Blog

Wages and hours – a simple audit

August 20th, 2019 by Jill S. Kirila, Shennan Harris

The following list of questions will provide a snapshot for you to use in determining whether or not you are complying with the wage and hour laws and regulations.  You should know the answer to every one of these questions.  Although a “No” answer does not necessarily mean you are in violation of any laws or regulations, you should understand why the answer is “No.”  The chapter reference is for the book Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, which can be ordered here, and provided for quick reference.

Employee benefits law

August 20th, 2019 by Ellisa H. Culp, Eric D. Penkert, Thomas M. Christina at Ogletree Deakins

This guide is intended to provide a general overview of the principal laws that apply when an employer chooses to provide benefits for its employees. The purpose of the guide is to help employers communicate with their advisors more effectively about employee benefits and benefit programs. Employee benefits (or simply “benefits” – the two terms are used inter...

Criminal enforcement and I-9 audits

August 19th, 2019 by David A. Selden, Heidi Nunn-Gilman, Jennifer L. Sellers, Julie A. Pace, Yijee Jeong

Trends in criminal enforcement During the Bush Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shifted its enforcement philosophy to emphasize criminal sanctions over fines. Julie L. Myers, then Assistant...

Nursing mothers, employers and the DOL – discuss

August 19th, 2019 by hrsimple

Coffeetalk 4

In a surprise announcement, the U.S. Department of Labor introduced Linda Richman and Liz Rosenberg (pictured) as hosts of the Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Online Dialogue during the week of August 19 through August 23, as well as a Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 20, 1:00pm - 2:00pm Eastern.

Kate Torgerson, founder and CEO of Milk Stork fully supports the dialogue: "People talking, people understanding, people realizing working and breastfeeding can co-exist – win-win-win."

Discuss, talk amongst yourselves, coffee talk.

IL Tidal wave (or tsunami) of new laws for Illinois employers

August 14th, 2019 by David Moore and Peter Gillespie at Laner Muchin

Tidal wave or tsunami

Look, I am not one to argue with attorneys because you never know when you might need one, so you decide for yourself the correct roaring-wall-of-water metaphor.

Regardless, any Illinois employer that either has or deals with:

  • employee handbooks
  • confidentiality
  • cannabis
  • policies
  • salary (history, sharing info, pay equity)
  • REQUIRED ANNUAL TRAINING (sexual harassment)
  • employees (probably should have just lead with that)

would be well advised (attorney-speak for "just do it") to read what David Moore and Peter Gillespie have to say and then execute said prescribed actions elucidated (attorney-speak for "just do it") (attorneys have a rather extensive alternative vocabulary).

Make your workplace a SUE-free zone

August 12th, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Sue free zone

To be clear (for those of you who don't look at the pictures in my posts, which frankly is a little hurtful), I am not referring to SUE the T. Rex (and yes that is the correct spelling, just ask The Field Museum).

I am referring to getting a piece of certified mail that may make you wish you were battling SUE and not being sued.

We turn again to Robin Shea for five of ten ways employers get themselves sued, as she weaves together medicine, Stranger Things, needles, nachos, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and hygiene,

OR Non-competes and the (hula) hoops required

August 7th, 2019 by Charlotte Hodde at Barran Liebman

Jumping through hoops

So you think you need non-compete agreements to protect your really important and secret business stuff. Fair enough. Just be aware of the following hoop-jumping required:

  • let the employee know about the non-compete two weeks before their first day
  • pay them $30ish/hour
  • except you probably can't pay them hourly
  • give them a written copy of the non-compete within 30 days of termination or when they quit (starting January 1, 2020).

And probably something about being signed in blood and a ban on crossing your fingers behind your back. No changies.

Confused? Don't be. Charlotte Hodde is a championship-level hula-hoop jumper.


SC Not really married, not really benefits, not really leave

August 5th, 2019 by Reggie Gay at Burr Forman McNair

Not married

You know what they say . . . no marriage license, no benefits, no FMLA leave.

At least if you got married after July 25, 2019

Reggie Gay says the South Carolina Supreme Court abolished common law marriage which therefore eliminates benefits and FMLA leave.

Court weighs evidence – bus (driver)'s obesity not a disability

August 2nd, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Bus scale

Obesity: physical impairment?

Obesity: covered by the ADA?

Termination: an option?

Obesity: disease?

Obesity: what is a "normal range"?

Obesity: physiological disorder?

ADA: public health statute?

Perception: reality?

Robin Shea sorts it all out, as she always does, plus provides a short history of obesity.

Two surefire techniques for getting sued when firing someone

August 2nd, 2019 by Wilson Worley

Firing someone

If you are looking to spice up your next firing and/or seek more of a challenge in the aftermath, stir things up with one of these techniques the next time you give someone the boot.

SC Common law marriage is no more – this affects the workplace how?

July 31st, 2019 by Benjamin Dudek at Fisher Phillips

Why buy the milk

Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free.

Exactly* the reasoning behind The South Carolina Supreme Court's decision that as of July 24, 2019, South Carolina will no longer recognize common-law marriages going forward.

What this means for employers: just because an employee claims they have a common-law marriage doesn't mean they have access to employee benefit plans or leave typically available to a spouse.

* OK, maybe not exactly, but if the shoe fits, take the bull by the horns.

NY Reporting immigration status can be unneighborly . . . at best

July 31st, 2019 by Subhash Viswanathan at Bond, Schoeneck & King


As of October 27, 2019, New York employers will not only be unneighborly if you:

"threaten, penalize, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee by threatening to contact or contacting United States immigration authorities or otherwise reporting or threatening to report the citizenship or suspected immigration status of an employee or an employee's family member in retaliation for an employee's complaints about alleged violations of the New York Labor Law"

you might also go to jail.

And write a check for $10,000. Or $20,000 if you are extremely unneighborly and it is your second "threaten, penalize, discriminate, retaliate" offense.

Oh, and back pay. Did I mention back pay?

IL/Chicago – Post work schedules or Pay(ton)

July 29th, 2019 by Antonio Caldarone at Laner Muchin

Walter diving

To be fair, this article has nothing to do with Mike Post (my age is showing) or Walter Payton (hint - I saw Walter not score a Super Bowl XX touchdown). It is all about the new Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance that just passed the Chicago City Council and the “myriad of requirements and penalties for non-compliance”, a direct quote from the attorney at Laner Muchin, author of the Illinois Human Resources Manual, Antonio Caldarone, who unravels the enigma (not the Super Bowl enigma - GOOD LORD WHAT WAS DITKA THINKING!)

Employee taxonomy – exempt or non-exempt

July 29th, 2019 by Meghan Hill, Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Bring lunch

We all know that in the world of work, there are two great taxonomic conundrums when identifying employees:

  1. se continebat prandium vs merces prandium
  2. exempt vs non-exempt.

The bring vs buy distinction is essentially self-identifying but Meghan Hill, Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris have the definitions, charts and Q&A to sort out the exempt vs non-exempt challenge.

NJ New medical marijuana law drifts toward legalized recreational

July 22nd, 2019 by John MacDonald at Constangy

Need for weed

Medical marijuana seems to imply "need" and recreational implies "want", right? Well, if you are in New Jersey, you may "want" to read this blog from John MacDonald because you are going to "need" to make some adjustments, like:

  • jettison "zero tolerance" from your marijuana vocabulary
  • add another written notice template to your collection
  • redefine "reasonable accommodation" and "medical need".