Unpaid Workers Can Surprise You

Casual labor can be dangerous!

Hard to believe, but an administrative assistant wrote to an advice columnist.  This person was frustrated looking for a new job and complained about “The Working Interview.”  It seems the applicant actually had worked two days at one company and three days at another company without getting paid and without getting hired.

Caution: If you have applicants do job testing in what’s called a working interview, make sure you pay them for their time.  Otherwise it could be a violation of wage and hour laws.

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Is There a Dangerous Word in Your Handbook?

Do you have the word “permanent” in your employee handbook?  As in “permanent employee”?

If so, take it out as fast as you can.

Unless, of course, you truly want to promise your employees permanent employment.

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Self-Insuring Health Benefits: ACA Changes the Equation

Large employers have self-insured their health benefits for decades.  In fact, 93 percent of employers with at least 5,000 employees were self-insured in 2012, according to a Kaiser Foundation survey.  Compare this with just 15 percent of self-insured employers having fewer than 200 workers.  If the survey was taken today, the 15 percent figure would likely be higher.  This is because previously, in most geographic markets, there had been plenty of competition among insurers interested in providing health benefits to smaller employers, and most offered plenty of flexibility in plan design.  That’s all changing.

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Working Virtually: The New Frontier in ADA Accommodation?

startup-593322_1280Sometime this year, a U.S. District Court in Detroit will dive back into the weeds to decide whether a particular job at Ford Motor Corporation could be done adequately by an employee working four days a week from home.  That’s the task it was given by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.  This court overruled a trial court’s initial rejection of a discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The EEOC is the federal agency charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act.  What constitutes a reasonable accommodation without placing an undue burden on the employer?  The answer is constantly evolving as the EEOC explores new theories and fact patterns.  (EEOC v. Ford, No. 12-2484).

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Survey: Companies Continue Shift of Health Costs To Workers

wealth-69525_1280The main way companies are seeking to curb health care costs is by moving workers into high-deductible health plans, according to the survey by the National Business Group on Health.  Nearly a third are offering such plans as the only option to their workers in 2015, the survey found.

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Dangers in Letters to Applicants

Where’s the danger in sending a letter to an applicant you’re not going to hire?  Or… should you send a letter to someone you’ve decided against hiring?  Should you give a letter to an applicant you are offering a job?  If you do send such letters, what should you include, and most important, what should you NOT include?

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Health Law Brings Changes For Small Business Regarding Insurance Coverage

The Wall Street Journal reports that, even though businesses with fewer than 50 employers are exempt from the health law’s most stringent requirements, they still face challenges.

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