CA Employers: New Requirements When Using Criminal History in Employment Decisions

Employers in California who use criminal background checks to make business decisions (such as hiring, promoting or terminating) will soon be faced with additional rules. Effective July 1, 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHC) will impose new restrictions as described below.

While California employers will still be permitted to consider criminal information when making employment related decisions, they should be sure that a business-related need exists to use this information.  Continue reading

Hiring Employees Under 18 – Know the Laws Regarding Child Labor

As summer approaches and schools are close to letting out for summer vacation, many employers will be hiring teenagers to do summer work. But before hiring an employee who is not yet 18 years old, it is very important for employers to familiarize themselves with child labor laws to ensure they remain in compliance and avoid potential penalties.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provides some work limitations based on the age of the minor employee:

  • Under 14 years old: generally cannot perform any work (outside of a few exceptions such as newspaper delivery and casual babysitting).
  • 14-15 years old: only permitted to work in specified occupations (such as retail and some kitchen and food service – for a full list of permitted occupations click here). There are also restrictions regarding hours that employees 14 and 15 years old can work:
    • No work can be performed during school hours,
    • No more than 3 hours of work on school days (including Fridays),
    • No more than 18 hours per week during the school year,
    • No more than 8 hours per day during school breaks,
    • No more than 40 hours per week during school breaks,
    • No work before 7 am or after 7 pm (except between June 1st and Labor Day when the nighttime limitation is extended to 9 pm).
  • 16-17 years old: can work unlimited hours with no restrictions or limitations in any job other than those designated as hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. For a list of hazardous jobs, click here.
  • There are separate rules for minors working in the agricultural industry. For more information about those rules, click here.

The FLSA permits employers to pay employees younger than 20 years old less than the regular federal minimum wage for their first 90 days of employment (consecutive calendar days). The current federal youth minimum wage is $4.25 per hour.

The FLSA does not require minors to obtain a work permit to begin employment, however many states have laws that do require work permits.

In addition, many states have their own rules regarding child labor addressing items such as required meal or rest breaks and/or restrictions on hours worked. It is very important to be aware of all applicable state laws in addition to the rules established under the FLSA. For more information regarding state specific laws, click here.

Arizona Employers to be Required to Provide Paid Sick Time to All Employees

Under the Fair Wages and Health Families Act, all Arizona employers will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave beginning on July 1, 2017.

All employees (including full time, part time and temporary) should begin accruing a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for each 30 hours worked.

Employers with 15 or more employees can impose an accrual limit of 40 hours (or more) each year. This means that employees would stop accruing paid sick time after they had accrued a total of 40 hours per year.

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Employees Working Unauthorized Overtime

If an employee is working overtime without permission from a manager, what options do you have as the employer?

Under federal law (The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA), if a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek they must be compensated at a rate of one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 in the week. If an employee is working, they must be paid for all time worked, even if the hours were not authorized by management. For example, if an employee is scheduled for 40 hours and works 46 hours, but the 6 hours of overtime weren’t approved by the employee’s manager, the employee must still be paid for all 46 hours worked.  Continue reading

Paid Sick Leave Required for Chicago Employers

Effective July 1, 2017 employers with one or more employee working in Chicago will be required to provide their “covered” employees with paid sick leave.

The new ordinance applies to all businesses with one or more “covered” employee in Chicago who have a business facility within the city or who are subject to any of Chicago’s license requirements.

Employees are covered by the ordinance if they work at least two hours in Chicago in any two-week period. Both part time and full time employees are covered as long as they work at least 80 hours in any 120-day period.

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