It is becoming increasingly difficult for Illinois employers to keep up with the numerous Illinois leave laws. Here is one you may not know about – The Illinois’ Employee Blood Donation Leave Act. There is no corresponding federal law.
OSHA administrator David Michaels has stated, “It’s time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.” Workers’ injury rates at nursing and residential care facilities are more than twice that of the overall private industry, and hospital workers face a rate nearly as high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, OSHA has decided to target hospital and nursing facility for inspections on hazards that contribute to the industry’s high injury rate. To address these injuries, an internal OSHA memorandum directs compliance officers to target hospitals and nursing facilities and inspect the following hazards:
It’s hard to keep up with all of the recent changes in employment law and even harder to make sure your employee handbook is up to date. Plus, it’s a real pain to have to make revisions to your handbook and much easier to just let it be. But, employers who choose the latter do so at their peril. Here are three examples of changes in Illinois law that may require you to update your handbook.
You should. And yes, just saying the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” (“FCRA”) is a mouthful. With numerous opportunities for employers to trip up on technical violations, and promise of potential attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs’ attorneys, lawsuits, including class actions, are on the rise.
Plaintiffs were unpaid interns on the Fox Searchlight distributed film Black Swan. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found the Black Swan interns were employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The court applied a version of the U.S. Labor Department’s six factor test, which was derived from the 68 year-old Supreme Court decision Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148 (1947), to determine whether the interns fell within an exception for unpaid trainees.
On June 1, 2015, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released “A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers”. Under current federal law, employers are required to provide all employees reasonable access to restroom facilities. Now under OSHA’s “model practices” for employers to follow when providing access to restrooms by transgender employees, including:
While ERISA has long regulated employer provided group health insurance plans, it had never in the past dictated which employees should be eligible to receive health insurance. When Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2013 (“ACA”), it required for the first time that an employer provide health insurance to all employees who work on average at least 30 hours a week. The failure to cover all eligible employees, as now defined by the ACA, would subject employers either to the increased expense for having to provide affordable health insurance to a greater percentage of employees than in the past or to the “employer mandate” financial penalties.
On March 18, 2015, the General Counsel of the NLRB issued a report providing guidance to employers regarding handbook rules which violate Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA as well as specimen policies which don’t violate the Act in the General Counsel’s opinion.
On March 16, 2015, OSHA issued an Interpretation Letter allowing construction contractors to require workers to pay a deposit for company-issued personal protection equipment, such as fall prevention harnesses. The deposit requirement, however, cannot circumvent the requirement that employers provide protection equipment at no expense to the workers.
In 2004, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its regulations addressing the various white collar overtime exemptions. In part, the DOL identified a number of employees which may be exempt under the “administrative exemption.” One of the specific examples listed in the regulations, 29 CFR § 541.203(b), were employees “in the financial services industry,” provided such employee did not have as his or her primary duty the selling of financial products.