Category Archives: Compliance

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What Is the EEOC up to in the Trump Administration?

EEOC
Despite having only three active members on its five-member Commission and having no General Counsel, the EEOC has remained quite busy in its strategic enforcement of federal workplace discrimination laws. You may remember that since the 2016 election, the EEOC has been operating with an acting Republican Chair and two Democratic Commissioners, with the remaining … Continue reading this entry

More Employers Were “ICED” in Fiscal Year 2018

2018
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) recently released statistics on its worksite enforcement activities for the federal fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018. It should surprise no one that worksite enforcement designed to crack down on the employment of undocumented aliens has skyrocketed.… Continue reading this entry

Watch out for Social Security “No-Match” Letters

security
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that, by spring 2019, it will begin notifying each employer (and third-party payroll company) that has submitted at least one Form W-2 that contains name and Social Security Number (SSN) combinations that do not match the agency’s records.  These Employer Correction Notices have been commonly known as “no-match” … Continue reading this entry

Putting PAID to Non-Compliant Payroll Practices: Is the DOL’s Payroll Self-Audit Program Right for You?

payroll
Remember full-service gas stations? These days, we have self-service pumps. Remember cashiers at the grocery store? Now, most chains offer self-service checkout. Remember the DOL auditing your labor practices? Not so fast – they still do that. But now employers can take the “do-it-yourself” approach too!  While it is easy to see the convenience and … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Has a “Naughty” List – And Nearly One-Third of Large Employers Are on It. Are You?

OSHA
OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) issued its electronic injury reporting rule in May, 2016.  When issued, OSHA had intended all employers (over time) to submit their injury and illness records (OSHA Form 300 log of work-related injuries and illnesses), OSHA Form 301 (injury and illness incident report), and OSHA 300A (annual summary of … Continue reading this entry

An Accommodation Request? But We Were Just Talking!

Accomodation
In a conversation about his tardy attendance, an employee tells his manager he is having difficulty arriving to work because his sleep apnea interferes with his rest and prevents him from waking up on time. He adds that he is being evaluated for drugs that could potentially help him. Is this a request for an … Continue reading this entry

Court Strikes Down Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Paid
Earlier this year, the city of Austin became the first Texas city to join the growing number of localities throughout the nation passing legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  However, this past Friday, November 16, 2018, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals issued an opinion that will prevent the local … Continue reading this entry

DOL Reverses Course on “80/20” Limitations for Tipped Employees

DOL
On November 8, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued 4 new opinion letters providing both employers and employees further insight into the agency’s views regarding compliance with federal labor laws.  While the letters touch on a variety of issues, perhaps the most notable change involves the DOL’s about-face regarding the amount of “non-tipped” work … Continue reading this entry

Wage and Hour Compliance – Better Guard Your Own Parking Spot

wage
Many companies at one time or another get overtime compliance wrong, at least to some degree. It’s an expensive topic. Liability under federal law for failing to correctly pay overtime comes at the hefty price of all unpaid overtime for two years (three when its willful, and even longer under some state laws), multiplied by two for … Continue reading this entry

Complying with California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Data
If you received a wave of “We’ve Updated Our Privacy Policy” emails recently, here’s why: California just passed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, effective January 1, 2020, affording California residents unprecedented, expansive data privacy rights. While the Act is broadly applicable to qualifying businesses, employers should pay special attention to their duties under … Continue reading this entry

DOL to Issue Opinion Letters

Secretary Acosta announced today, while testifying before a Senate appropriations committee, that the DOL will revive its former practice of issuing opinion letters. Under the Obama administration, the DOL stopped issuing opinion letters which were often used by employers to gain compliance assistance. The DOL received much criticized for that decision. Additionally, Secretary Acosta stated … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Proposed Delay for New Beryllium Rule Effective Date

On March 1, 2017, the United States Department of Labor proposed another delay to the effective date of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) new beryllium rule.  The proposed delay is again in conjunction with the White House’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review Memorandum (the “Memorandum”).  If implemented, it will make the rule’s new effective date … Continue reading this entry

Top 5 Mistakes Employers Make with Their Employee Handbooks

As 2016 winds down and a new year approaches, now is a great time for employers to think about their employee handbooks and employment policies in general.  As employers go about that thought-process, here are a few common mistakes employers should try to avoid: (1) Self-Regulation:  Employers often include items in handbooks that are not … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Reminder

With Election Day rapidly approaching next week, employers should be prepared for a host of issues associated with election year politics in the workplace.  We recently wrote about some of the key issues facing employers in election years on the Work Knowledge Blog.  As a reminder about those issues, here are links to the related posts: … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Proposed Revisions Intended to Modernize Various OSHA Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced that it is proposing eighteen revisions to its recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction regulations.  With the changes proposed, OSHA intends to modernize certain standards that may be “confusing, outdated or unnecessary.”  These proposed revisions are the fourth part of the Standards Improvements Project, which started … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Part III

With the Presidential election heating up, employers may see an increasing interest in politics among their employees.  As we have covered recently in the Work Knowledge Blog, private employers are not bound by the First Amendment’s right to free speech.  But employees do have certain limited rights in the workplace relevant in election years, including … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Delayed Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions for New Reporting Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has announced that it will delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new workplace injury and illness reporting rule.  Originally, it was scheduled to go into effect on August 10, 2016, but enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions will now begin on November 1, 2016.  OSHA stated that … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Part II

With the Republican National Convention wrapping up this week, political conversation is assuredly becoming a more common occurrence in workplaces around the country.  Importantly for employers, political action and speech in the workplace threatens disruption and damage to relationships among coworkers, as the political divisions in this country are exceedingly acute this campaign season.  This … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Part I

According to the Texas Secretary of State, 73.75% of the voting age population in Texas is registered to vote this year.  Tex. Sec’y of State, Turnout and Voter Registration Figures (1970-current), available here.  Frankly, an even higher percentage probably has an opinion about a candidate or issue, regardless of whether they will cast a vote.  … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Tips for Surviving OSHA Inspections—Part II

Last week, we outlined that OSHA’s proposed appropriations language revisions for FY 2017 may signal increased inspections, particularly PSM audits, for certain employers in Region 6, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.  Employers have an opportunity to get and stay prepared now for this possible inspection glut.  To that end, over the … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Tips for Surviving OSHA Inspections—Part I

With all the changes from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) over the last year or so, employers need to get prepared for increased inspections and safety audits in the near future.  This is especially true with the appropriations language revisions OSHA has proposed for FY 2017.  OSHA’s stated purpose for its proposal is, among … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—RAGAGEP Standard Interpretation

On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a Standard Interpretation on the topic of Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (“RAGAGEP”) in Process Safety Management (“PSM”) Enforcement.  This new interpretation replaces an interpretation of the same title dated June 5, 2015.  In replacing it though, OSHA does not make … Continue reading this entry

New Overtime Rules To Be Announced Wednesday

Several news sources are reporting that the Department of Labor will announce its much anticipated overtime rules on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  The political pundits believe these final regulations will include a new salaried basis test of $47,500 ($913.46 per week).  This amount is more than double the current threshold of $23,660.  Currently, the speculation … Continue reading this entry