BeLabor the Point

A Labor & Employment Law Blog

With the New Year right around the corner, office holiday parties are in full swing. While many enjoy celebrating the season, these festivities can sometimes turn into an HR disaster. To help ensure your celebrations are jolly, check out my tips on planning a fun, festive and inclusive holiday party here. Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season without any HR “Undue Hardships!”…
$1.5 Trillion-that is with a T.  That is the amount of student debt currently owed by more than 40 million Americans, about 70% of whom are college graduates.  One in ten borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their loans.  No wonder economists and others believe it may be the next big bubble to burst. With this in mind, members of Congress recently proposed a new bipartisan bill that would allow employers to pay…
HR folks – Have you ever had an employee tell you that he or she is being unlawfully harassed by a co-worker, but then begged you to keep the complaint confidential? Most often, employees ask their employers not to investigate their concerns because of embarrassment or fear of retribution.  Employers who honor such employee confidentiality requests, however, do so at their own peril. When an employee claims unlawful harassment, three common employer reactions may occur.…
Over the past several months, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has terminated temporary protected status (TPS) designation for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. The citizens of these countries in TPS will lose their work authorization and the right to remain in the United States.  A federal court in California recently entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting the termination of TPS for these countries.  On October 31, DHS issued a Notice in the Federal Register…
Halloween office parties can be very scary- HR folks need to be particularly wary. Provocative costumes are a big “no no”; Policy violators may receive the heave ho.   I guess my feeble attempt at poetry left some folks howling at the moon. Halloween is just two days away, which means we’re all one inappropriate costume away from Halloween becoming the ultimate HR nightmare. To avoid your workplace becoming a house of horrors this Halloween,…
The public is generally familiar with the fact that Amazon.com, Google and other technology companies use computer programs and artificial intelligence to predict consumer behavior – think about the pop-up ads that seem targeted just to your interests. However, we recently learned that artificial intelligence (AI) recruiting tools may not be as robust in the hiring process.  Amazon recently abandoned its effort to use an AI recruiting system.  Amazon’s goal was to design computer programs that…
2019 Florida Minimum Wage to Increase to $8.46 Per Hour   On January 1, 2019, Florida’s minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $8.46 per hour. This adjustment is based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region. For a full-time Florida employee (working 2080 hours), the increase equates to $436.80 more in wages per year. The 21-cent increase was based on the Consumer…
Imagine this. You hire an HR manager to investigate and resolve internal employee complaints.  You later learn that instead of doing her job, the HR manager is encouraging employees to file Charges of Discrimination and even referring employees to “her” lawyer.  During this time period, the HR manager also files her own Charge. You can fire the HR manager, right?  Well, only if you want to buy yourself a retaliation claim. This was the fact…
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (and Democratic nominee for Florida Governor) about some areas of importance to him.  One of those is an issue called “Ban the Box.” Ban the Box is a proposal that 33 states and 150 municipalities (including Tallahassee) across the country have adopted in some fashion. Ban the Box legislation requires the removal of inquiries on an employment application form about an applicant’s criminal…
Effective September 21, 2018, employers who use outside agencies (consumer reporting agencies) to conduct employee background checks must use a new (and revised)  “A Summary of your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” form. This updated form is one of the many notices employers must provide under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The new form is available here in English and here in Spanish. The new form adds information about an individual’s right to place a…