Get answers to your most urgent questions about COVID-19 and its impacts to employee benefits, human resources, risk management and other issues. Our page provides articles and webinars on critical topics as well as other resources.
Most businesses know that Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) generally prohibits employment discrimination because of an employee’s disability. This means, in large part, that employers cannot broadly screen out or create arbitrary barriers for disabled workers. In addition, most companies also know that they have a duty to ensure a safe workplace for their workers and can ask disability-related questions (provided that the inquiry is job-related and consistent with business necessity) and even exclude an employee from the workplace if they have an objective belief that the employee’s condition would pose a direct threat to themselves or others.
By now, everybody knows the drill: wear a mask, wash your hands, have a video or phone conference instead of meeting face to face, stay six feet apart. The list of COVID-19 precautions goes on and on. And for good reason. Even as vaccines may make it possible to bring employees back to work, COVID-19 continues pose a significant risk to the health and welfare of your employees, clients and your business. How do you reinforce safety precautions, especially as so many employees are starting to feel “pandemic fatigue”?
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, plus a summer of social unrest have highlighted the growing need for mental health support in the workplace. Even employers that have (or are working toward) a culture that supports employee mental health and well-being, employers should also be aware of the compliance obligations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and need to be prepared to meet those obligations.
Every workplace has a few problem employees. They keep their supervisors up at night. They give the HR department heartburn. They make the work environment difficult for those around them. They are not engaged. Or worse yet, you suspect that they are intentionally sabotaging your workplace culture and morale. Problem employees can disrupt teamwork, negatively affect your bottom line, and increase turnover. When such employees are ignored by management, their issues often get worse and bad habits become ingrained. Left unchecked, they remain a sore spot in the organization until you have decided that enough is enough and it is time to terminate their employment. So what's the problem?
As a result of the pandemic, when many businesses had to choose between remote work or no work at all, many employers were forced to implement flexible work options to allow their employees to continue working while complying with stay at home orders and juggling family care issues. With some states loosening restrictions and other states still requiring many employees to work from home when possible, employers should be considering how to best use flexible work options to maximize employee performance, increase workplace satisfaction, decrease turnover, and save the organization money.
We will continue to alert you to updates as new information becomes available. As employers respond to COVID-19 crisis, they are urged to rely on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal and local agencies in determining strategies and common sense steps to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. In addition, employers should regularly check for updates in the guidance, as the situation continues to rapidly evolve and previously published guidance will be updated regularly.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has been busy bringing a number of changes into the new year. On September 24, 2019, the DOL issued its final rule increasing the minimum salary threshold for the so-called white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). More recently, the DOL issued a final rule revising its regulations concerning the regular rate of pay and t a final rule interpreting joint employer status under the FLSA.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed almost thirty years ago, was the first comprehensive federal law that addressed the needs of individuals with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination in employment, communications, public services and public accommodations. Modeled in large part after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the ADA generally prohibited discrimination against employees with disabilities but also imposed additional obligations for employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities.
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