2020 can mean a profitable approach for your business

It’s hard to believe there is less than six weeks left of this decade. Not just this year, but this DECADE! I have written multiple end-of-year blogs (It’s that time of year again) because goal-setting is my favorite topic for discussion. It’s a great time to reflect on where we are and where we want to go.

So, what will be different for your business in the coming year? Why will it be different? And how will it be different?

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Navigating the rapidly changing landscape of marijuana laws

What if you could jump into your time machine and take a trip anywhere in the United States in the 1970s? Imagine telling an employer that marijuana use would be legalized in the next 40-50 years. Can you picture the disbelief that you would encounter?

Well, that day is here. Starting with California legalizing marijuana for medical use in 1996, today 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana usage and many others allow for its medicinal use with a prescription.

This shift in the legal landscape of marijuana usage has left employers scratching their heads wondering what they should do. Where zero tolerance marijuana policies were common 10 years ago, now employers have to rethink their drug policy when it comes to marijuana use.

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HR News Update!

Final Overtime Rule Raises the Salary Minimum to $35,568 beginning January 1, 2020

The Department of Labor has issued a long-anticipated final rule to the overtime regulations within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2020, the salary level required to be exempt from overtime (along with meeting certain duties test requirements) will be $35,568 or $684 per week.

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The Sixth Circuit offers employers guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act’s ‘Interactive Process’

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On November 30, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a published decision, offered guidance to employers regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (“ADA”) “interactive process” and what conduct may render the employer liable under the ADA.

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What employers need to know about ICE raids

Reports of raids by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is all over the news. ICE has conducted raids at various places of employment all over the United States in order to determine immigration status.

It’s important to know how to respond if your workplace is approached by a federal immigration officer.

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Peanuts and other food allergies are on the rise; employers should take notice of this trend

I am in the process of planning my son’s fourth birthday party and a mother of one of the children invited asked me to accommodate her son’s peanut allergy as I select birthday treats for the party.

That made me consider how adults with food allergies may be affected in the workplace. I learned that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under the age of 18, and that number is on the rise. A study conducted in 2013 reported that food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011, for example.

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Be aware of restrictions when hiring minors this summer

Memorial Day and end of school signify the beginning of the summer season so you may be looking to hire minor employees as temporary help in the coming months.

This can be an excellent solution to filling your vacancies, but be aware of some important regulations pertaining to youth employment.

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Sorting out the differences: Service animal versus emotional support animal

Business owners and managers take measures to ensure that employees and customers are safe. They want everyone to have the best experience possible in their work environment.

So what should an employer do when customers, or employees, bring animals into the workplace? Which animals must you allow on your premises, by law?

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Opinion letter prohibits delaying FMLA leave, or designating additional leave

The federal Family Medical Leave Act assists workers who might need time off for health emergencies, either for themselves or to care for a family member. The law provides unpaid, job-protected leave for certain workers.

These include private employers that have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius, those employed by elementary and secondary schools and government workers at the local, state and federal levels. There are specific guidelines about who is covered and how long an employee must work to be eligible.

As an HR professional, employees have asked to use paid, or unpaid, time off in lieu of FMLA. Managers have also asked not to designate short periods of time off as FMLA. Neither of these practices are allowed. “Employees cannot waive, nor may employers induce employees to waive their prospective rights under FMLA,” according to the act.

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Test helps employers decide on unpaid interns

If you’re considering hiring a summer intern or two, you might wonder “Do I have to pay them?”

The U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service generally view for-profit business internships as employment. That means an employer must pay at least minimum wage plus overtime if interns work more than 40 hours per week.

But there are exceptions. The DOL created a flexible, seven-factor test for unpaid internships in 2015. Employers can now balance each factor as they consider their options. Read more