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In the wake of President Trump dissociating the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, many Americas are concerned that the U.S. will no longer make serious attempts to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our homes and buildings are efficient.  As a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractor, and National Chairman of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), I can tell you that, when it comes to my industry, public policy has fundamentally ignored a key energy efficiency issue for some time.  The HVACR industry has been a prominent target for efficiency regulations because the mechanical systems we install ...
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An ongoing hot topic these days in the employment world is family and medical leave laws. In addition to the federal level, many states have pushed to enact extended and more comprehensive family and sick leave requirements for the private sector workforce. Georgia has never mandated that private sector employers provide sick leave to employees – until now. Enter SB 201. However, unlike other jurisdictions now imposing mandatory sick leave, Georgia’s law only applies to employers who already offer paid sick leave benefits to their employees. Further, the law only applies to private employers that employ more than 25 employees. The new law, generally referred ...
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The dog days of summer are upon us, and things get a little slower in the courts as judges go on recess, and state legislatures adjourn for a portion of the next couple of months. So, for this blog, we offer some basic tips on how to handle employees who have violated a workplace policy and who refuse to sign disciplinary forms. To set the stage, documentation is an important part of an employer’s legal defense. Well-executed documentation should be obvious to owners and managers, yet it is surprising at how often many of these people omit proper recording of events that can lead to litigation and judgements against their bottom line. In your documentation, ...
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The final bell has rung (do they even do that anymore?) and school is over for the year. While we’ve addressed internships in general in the past, and what requirements must be in place to treat workers as unpaid volunteers, this blog is geared towards the younger set. Here, we dispense a modicum of advice regarding teens out of school looking to earn some extra spending money, and parents seeking to keep them occupied for the next couple of months. Both state and federal laws restrict the employer of minors, also called “child labor”, and what follow are some of the highlights of what you should watch for: Per federal law, workers under the age of ...
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We’ve previously reported that a bill made its way through the NYC legislative process that prohibited prospective employers from inquiring into or relying on a job applicant’s salary history during the hiring process. Earlier this week, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed it into law, cementing the deal. The law will take effect October 31, 2017. “Salary history” is defined very broadly, and includes wages, benefits and other compensation. It does not include any evidence of the applicant’s productivity, including revenues and sales reporting. Those are still permissible during the hiring process. And, the employer is still free to ask an applicant about ...
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Missouri employers take heart! On May 9, 2017, the Missouri legislature passed a significant set of amendments to the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which will bring the state back into the mainstream of employment discrimination law. Missouri Bill 43 introduces a number of changes to the MHRA, aligning items such as discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the employment context with federal laws on the same. The changes include raising employees’ standard of proof, capping punitive damages, protecting employer’s supervisors from being named as individual defendants under the MHRA, and codifying retaliatory actions which previously had not statutory ...
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If leaking news reports are correct, President Trump is set to nominate Marvin Kaplan and William Emmanuel to the two open seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Kaplan served as Republican workforce policy counsel for the House Education and the Workforce Committee, was a leader in the recent fight against DOL overtime regulations, and played a prominent part in voicing opposition against controversial NLRB recess appointments back in 2012. Emmanuel is a shareholder with big labor law firm Littler, Mendelson in the Los Angeles office. His clients include business groups seeking to invalidate state laws allowing unions to trespass on their ...
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Since the ban-the-box ordinance, called the “Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” (the Ordinance) was passed back in late January, and we reported on it to our readers on February 10, 2017, several posters and other documents with required language have been made available to employers on the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration’s (the BCA) website: Notices to Applicants or Employees for City Contractors Notices to Applicants or Employees for Private Employers Notice to Rescind Employment Offer – Sample Letter Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Complaint Forms (English/Spanish) You can find those here: www.bca.lacity.org ...
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The State of Maryland appears to be the next state (joining seven others) to enact paid sick leave legislation. Maryland’s Montgomery County already passed mandatory paid sick leave legislation back in October, 2016. If this new law passes, employers with at least 15 employees must provide up to five paid sick and safe leave days per year to their employees. The law, if passed and signed by Governor Larry Hogan, would take effect January 1, 2018. Exempt from coverage are: Employees who regularly work less than 12 hours per week Employees who are employed in the construction industry Employees who are under a collective-bargaining agreement ...
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In the past few weeks, the District of Columbia became the newest jurisdiction to prohibit employers from inquiring into their job applicants and current employees’ credit information. The “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016” (the Act) amends the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, by adding credit information as a trait mandating protection from discrimination and makes it discriminatory for most employers to directly or indirectly inquire, use or refer to an applicant, intern or employee’s credit information at any point during the hiring process or thereafter. Unlike the Ban the Box law passed by D.C. in 2014, where employers can check for criminal ...
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Last December, the City of Los Angeles passed the Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (the ordinance) which imposes a whole host of new unlawful hiring practices on private employers regarding inquiries into criminal convictions. A key piece of the ordinance prevents employers from asking or requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The law went into effect on January 22, 2017, but will not be enforced until July 1, 2017. Violations between the two dates will result in written warnings. The city has posted printable ordinance forms and posters on its website, which must be displayed ...
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Heres your chance to nominate an individual from an ACCA member company known for his/her stellar spirit of giving and charitable work for the 2017 Skip Snyder Humanitarian Award. This award recognizes an ACCA contractor who makes extraordinary humanitarian efforts for those in need for the betterment of society and the community. Past award honorees include: 2016 Daniel Burke of Goettl Air Conditioning , for long time extensive charitable efforts on behalf of military veterans, seniors, schools and the homeless. 2015 Brian Hooper of MSI Mechanical Systems , for leadership and participation in Building Dreams for Marines. ...
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In a dramatic last-minute development, a federal judge in Texas late yesterday blocked the U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, handing an 11 th hour victory to employers across the country. As our members are well aware, back in May, 2016 the DOL unveiled a package of revised regulations changing the compensation requirements for employees who can be treated as exempt from overtime pay, upping the minimum salary from $455 to $913 per week, which annualizes to $47,476 (up from $23,000 per year), and this rate would be then subsequently raised again every three years with the first hike scheduled for January 1, 2020. ...
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With all the hoopla surrounding the Presidential Election this week, consumption of marijuana either medicinally or recreationally which was also at stake across the nation, got a bit lost in the fanfare. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, nine states had marijuana-related measures on their ballots five to consider whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and four to vote on whether to allow medical marijuana. In all but one state (Arizona), the measures passed. Here are how the votes shook out: Medical Marijuana: Arkansas The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act legalized marijuana for medical use by individuals with qualifying medical conditions. ...
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On October 20, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued joint guidance entitled Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals (Guidance) found here: https://www.justice.gov/atr/file/903511/download . The Guidance is accompanied by a quick reference card that summarizes the guidance and in a convenient index-card-sized format ( https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/992623/ftc-doj_hr_red_flags.pdf ). This Guidance is significant because it is the first time that the DOJ has publicly announced it intends to conduct criminal investigations of no-poaching and wage-fixing agreements which, ...
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Its been a busy fall, and Ive been swamped, as I am sure all of you have as well. I do want to catch everyone up on some items over the last month. Back in late September, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule regarding paid sick leave for federal contractors. The final rule implements the Executive Order signed by President Obama earlier in the month, and it requires parties who enter into certain contracts with the federal government to provide covered employees with up to seven (7) days of sick leave per year. Workers will be able to use the paid sick leave for a variety of purposes. Similar to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), ...
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In a trend taking over many of the states, Floridas minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2017. However, the increase will not be as burdensome as others, as the current rate of $8.05 per hour will go up to $8.10 per hour, or 0.6 percent. An employee who has not received the lawful minimum wage may bring a civil action in a court of law against an employer to recover back wages plus damages and attorneys fees. But the employer first has 15 days to resolve any claims for unpaid wages. An employer found liable for intentionally violating minimum wage requirements may be subject to a fine of $1000 per violation, payable to the States Attorney Generals Office.
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First piercings, then tats...and now hair. Whats an employer to do? As you attempt to adapt and embrace changing styles and personal statements in the emerging millennial workforce, you also want to maintain certain dress and appearance policies you deem important to your operations and interaction with the general public, and your customers in particular. And, once again, a federal court has made it easier for you to set and maintain these policies, so long as they are non-discriminatory and do not disproportionately affect persons of a protected class. Earlier this week, the 11 th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an argument by the Equal Employment Opportunity ...
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On September 14, 2016, with the stroke of a pen, Morristown, New Jersey became the States 13 th municipality to enact a paid sick leave law which requires private employers to provide paid sick time to employees. The ordinance is set to take effect on October 4, 2016, thereby leaving employers with limited time to comply with the provisions of the new law, including notice, posting, and record-keeping requirements. Much like many of the other New Jersey municipalities enacting paid sick leave laws, the new ordinance requires employers with at least 10 employees to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave during the calendar year. Employers with fewer than 10 ...
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Assuming a recent court decision stands, Minneapolis voters will cast their ballots this fall on an amendment to the City of Minneapolis Charter which will eventually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Proposed by Minneapolis residents, the amendment will increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour on August 1, 2017, followed by annual increases based on the size of the employer. For employers with fewer than 500 employees, the final increase to $15 per hour is scheduled for August 1, 2020. For 500 or more employees, employers will hit $15 per hour by August 1, 2022. After reaching $15, the minimum wage will adjust annually to keep up with increases to ...
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