West Virginia Safer Workplace Act

Effective July 7,2017, employers in West Virginia will have significantly expanded rights to implement mandatory drug testing policies for applicants and employees. Under current law, West Virginia employers are not permitted to require drug testing as a condition of hiring or of continued employment except under very limited circumstances.

Employers who decide to implement drug test must create a written policy and distribute the policy to all employees for which the policy applies (generally this is all employees).  All job applicants must also have an opportunity to review the written policy.  Continue reading

Clarification on the “Day of Rest” Requirement for California Employers

Employees in California must receive at least one day off per week (“day of rest”) under California labor law.  This is not a new requirement, however the California Supreme Court recently clarified how the “day of rest” rule applies.

The court stated that employers must allow a day of rest in each workweek. The workweek is defined by each employer, generally in the Employee Handbook. The rule doesn’t indicate that the employee receives at least one day off in any seven day period. So, for example, if an employer has a workweek defined as Sunday through Saturday, an employee could have Tuesday off one week and then Friday off the following week. This means the employee would be working nine days in a row, but the employer is still in compliance with the day of rest requirement because the employee is getting one day off in each workweek.  Continue reading

Georgia’s New Kin Care Law

Effective July 1, 2017, large employers in Georgia who offer sick leave to their employees must allow their employees to use sick time to care for an immediate family member.

The new law applies to employers with 25 or more employees. These large employers who currently offer employees paid sick leave (or begin to do so in the future) must allow employees who work at least 30 hours per week to use up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year for the care of an immediate family member. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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