Form I-9 – What Is It and How Do I Complete It?

Federal Law stipulates that employers only hire individuals who can legally work in the United States, either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the required authorization. To act in accordance with the law, all employers must complete and preserve Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of all new employees, citizens and noncitizens, to work in the United States.

Employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. The employee must complete Section 1, which they must confirm to their employment authorization. The employee must also present their employer with suitable documents providing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) the employee presents to determine if the document(s) appear to be authentic and relate to the employee and record the document information in Section 2.

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The Family and Medical Leave Act

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period where their job is guaranteed upon their return. The law also requires that any group health insurance benefits the employee participates in are continued for the duration of the FMLA leave as if the employee was still working full time.

Covered Employers

FMLA only applies to companies with 50 or more employees during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the previous or current calendar year. This may include members of controlled groups and joint employers if the total employee count is 50 or more. In addition, all public agencies (including local, state and federal government agencies) as well as public and private elementary or secondary schools are covered employers regardless of the number of employees.

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Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules and How Legalized Marijuana Affects the Workplace

With more and more states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and/or for recreational purposes, many employers are unsure what they can and cannot do in regards to drug and alcohol testing and substance abuse policies.

There is no federal law that prohibits drug and alcohol testing, nor are there any federal regulations providing specific requirements for drug and alcohol testing for private employers. Some states do have specific requirements, so it’s important for employers to be aware of the rules in place in each state for which they have employees to remain in compliance. Listed below are brief summaries by state of rules relating to drug and alcohol testing and medical or recreational marijuana in the workplace where either have been legalized.  Continue reading

New York City Employers Banned from Asking Applicants About Salary History

Effective October 31, 2017 New York City becomes the next city following the recent trend of prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

Employers will no longer be able to legally ask applicants about their pay in former positions held nor can they search any publicly available records or reports to obtain the applicant’s salary history. Continue reading

Rules for Final Paycheck Vary by State

When an employee quits their job voluntarily or is terminated involuntarily by their employer, it is important for an employer to know the rules regarding any final wages owed to the employee.

Each state’s wage and hour laws determine when and how the final payments are made. Many states have different rules for voluntary resignations and involuntary terminations. For example, some states require a check to be given at the time of termination when the termination is involuntary  but don’t require final payment to be paid to an employee who is voluntarily quitting until the next regularly scheduled pay date. Continue reading

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