As a business owner you might feel surrounded by piles of entremanure at all times. In many ways you are. Federal and state regulations are extensive, they can be easily missed and stepped in. Here are 10 piles of entremanure to watch out for right now!
ACA – Understandably, one of the the biggest headaches of the year. New regulations have completely turned health insurance inside-out and some employers find it tough to know what to do next, if anything. Group plans and reimbursement of premiums are among the most confusing questions. Looking forward, you’ll want to know the 5 major requirements still to come.
FMLA – What is it and how could it affect my business? The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees the right to time off in the event of any medical condition that requires their undivided attention. What employers are subject to regulations? Which employees qualify for FMLA? Find these answers and more with our FMLA Basics for Employers infographic.
FLSA – On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the DOL to update regulations defining which white collar workers are eligible to receive pay for working over 40 hours in a workweek (DOL). See The White House fact sheet to find out how these changes could affect your business.
OSHA – As of January 2015, OSHA has updated their record keeping requirements and employers are now required to contact OSHA within 24 hours of a workplace injury that requires hospitalization. Not doing so could result in a penalty as high as $70,000. You must avoid OSHA violations at all costs. For more information you can contact one of our safety specialists at 1-800-574-4668.
Paid Sick Leave – Whether you like it or not this topic is on a roll. There have been multiple cities and states, like California, who recently passed laws requiring employers to offer paid sick days to their employees. Offering paid sick days before your state passes a law requiring you to do so is a great way to attract and retain top performers and give your business a competitive advantage.
Now that we’ve got some of the big looming topics covered, we wanted to mention more specific subjects that business owners are currently (or could soon be) dealing with. Many of these topics might not have federal or state laws imposing requirements on your businesses yet. Regardless, staying informed and watching out for potential risks for your business in the future will give your company a competitive edge.
Pregnancy Accommodations – Appropriate policies like paternity leave, a lighter workload, and special parking spaces for pregnant employees is a great way to set your business ahead of the curve. You’ll be offering benefits that many employees find attractive and you will reduce your risk of seeing a PDA or ADA claim against you. According the the EEOC, examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
- More frequent breaks
- Seating accommodation
- Redistributing certain job functions
- Altering the manner in which an employee performs job functions
- Modifying policies, equipment, devices, and schedules
- Temporary assignments to light duty position
- Granting leaves
Sex Discrimination – There are no federal laws and many states do not have laws that consistently protect LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. This doesn’t mean you can throw anti-discrimination policy’s out the window. Employers need to tread carefully here and understand their state laws concerning anti-discrimination policies.
Vaping in the Workplace – Most companies already have a no-smoking policy, but with the recent boom in popularity of the e-cigarette, some policies aren’t keeping up. Some employees are concerned with the possible health effects of being exposed to e-cigarettes. Technically, vaping doesn’t consist of any burning so there shouldn’t be any second-hand smoke dangers. However, studies have found that e-cigarettes worsen indoor air quality by increasing the amounts of nicotine, aluminum, and other harmful materials. Very few states have actually implemented laws banning the use in workplaces. Employers should make sure the use of e-cigarettes doesn’t negatively impact coworkers and if you do choose to ban them in the workplace make sure your policies and handbooks fully cover the topic and changes are appropriately communicated to all employees.
Medical Marijuana – Does ADA protect individuals with a doctors recommendation? Read this story of an employer who had discovered some of his employees smoking on the premises. His immediate reaction was to terminate the employees, but when he was presented with doctor “recommended” notes the next morning he faced a dilemma.
Social Media – Some employers have tried to use personal social media accounts as a screening tool in the hiring process. You must be very careful when approaching this because the decision to not hire someone has to be a legitimate business decision and cannot be based off of posts or comments made by the applicant. Is this a tactic you or another employer has used? Tell us about your experience and why you think it should or should not be used. The EEOC Commissioner, NLRB general counsel and a board member said, “hiring managers aren’t prevented from discovering personal details or opinions, but they still cannot put them to use in hiring decisions.”
Entremanure is all the monotonous administrative tasks, nagging details, paperwork, compliance, and general headaches a business owner constantly faces. The list above is a small sample of the kind of piles you have to navigate today. Our goal is to help you avoid stepping in these piles so you can focus on running your business. We do this by keeping you informed and keeping your business protected by offering a complete HR and compliance solution through our PEO services.
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