What the DOL’s Joint-Employer Ruling Means for Franchisees and Franchisors

Employment expert Rob Wilson provides commentary on this new ruling and its expected impact on American business owners

DOLIn January, the Department of Labor clarified long-standing workplace disputes regarding joint-employer liability. In new provisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the DOL has finalized regulations regarding an employee’s ability to consider franchisors to be joint employers and therefore liable for alleged workplace wrongdoings at franchise locations.

“The Department of Labor’s ruling was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 16, and it will go into practice 60 days after this publication date,” says Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm. “In part, their new provisions have clarified under what circumstances a franchisor can be considered a joint employer of a franchisee employee.”

Franchisors should be satisfied with these new clarifications to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), says Wilson.

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Voting Underway: New ‘Anti-Ageism in the Workplace’ Bill May Pass Today

Human resources expert offers commentary on this bill and what will happen if it passes

AgeismToday the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on “Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (POWADA), a bill which many say will pass with bipartisan support.

“This bill was created to help offer protections to older workers who currently have few legal safeguards when it comes to ageism in the workplace,” says Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm.

Wilson says that this bill could be the answer to what many critics view as long-standing issues caused by a 2009 Supreme Court ruling.

“Since the Supreme Court ruled on the matter of  Gross v. FBL Financial Services in 2009, a much higher burden of proof was placed on older workers,” explains Wilson. “Now workers had to show that ageism was a determinative reason for their termination, rather than one part of the employer’s reasoning. In other words, they had to show that they were directly terminated because of their age, not just that their age was one of several factors for their job loss.”

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(Article) “10 HR compliance issues for 2020”

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, was recently quoted in an article for BenefitsPRO:

The new year has brought with it a myriad of new labor laws and compliance requirements that employers can’t afford to miss.

One hot topic: sexual harassment policies are getting greater scrutiny next year, which requires that all companies pay closer attention “to this very important issue,” Employco USA president Rob Wilson writes on the firm’s blog.

“We are finally starting to see people take sexual harassment in the workplace more seriously, and the new regulations coming into effect in 2020 reflect that,” Wilson says.

Follow the link to read more:

BenefitsPRO

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The True Impact of Paid Paternity Leave, According to Economists

Human resources expert discusses new study and the recent legislation giving 2.1 million Americans paid leave

Paternity Leave

A brand-new, international study from a team of Danish researchers sought to discover what impact paternity leave policies had on companies. The economists found that paid leave had no demonstrable negative impact on a company’s bottom line.

The economists’ findings should be heartening to American employers who could be facing changes to paternity leave policies in the near future.

“In America, 1 in 4 women go back to work within 10 days of giving birth,” says Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm. “Currently, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are able to take up to 12 weeks off work after having a child or adopting a child, but this time off is often unpaid.”

However, recent legislation which just passed in the Senate could mean that over 2 million Americans may now have access to paid paternity leave.

“The spending bill made paid paternity leave a reality for civilian workers who are employed by the government,” says Wilson. “The bill, which had enormous support in the Senate, gives 12 weeks of paid paternity leave to any civilian government employee who births, adopts, or fosters a child. Employees must have been at their position for at least one year in order to receive this benefit.”

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How Workplace Drug Testing Will Change in 2020

Human resources expert explains new law regarding positive marijuana tests  

Drug TestStarting on January 1st, Nevada became the first state in the nation to make it illegal for a company to discriminate against potential hires who test positive for marijuana during drug screening.

“This is a sign of things to come,” says Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm with locations across the country. “Nevada is starting a trend that we will soon see in many states across the country.”

The employment expert says that as medical and recreational marijuana are now legal in many states across the country, it won’t be long before other cities and states join Nevada in making it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees for using marijuana in their personal lives.

“While some professions such as EMTs or firefighters will still have these regulations, in general, job candidates will no longer be penalized for marijuana use,” says Wilson. “Your ability to monitor drug use among your employees is going to depend on whether or not you are a unionized or private workplace. While you have the right to expect and require sobriety from workers on the job, it can become a bit tricky when you suspect drug use and want to act on your fears.”

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The Top Four Articles of 2019

As 2020 begins, we would like to share with you our top articles of 2019:

  1. How to Prepare for an ICE Raid on Your Workplace

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11237-immigration-and-customs-enforcement-business-employees.html

  1. Study: More Employees Than Ever Test Positive for Marijuana

https://www.wxyz.com/news/study-more-employees-than-ever-test-positive-for-marijuana

  1. The ABCs of THC: What Employers Need to Know About Marijuana Laws

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/what-employers-need-to-know-about-marijuana-laws–.aspx

  1. Here is How Overtime Pay Will Change in Jan. 2020

http://www.wbiw.com/2019/11/15/here-is-how-overtime-pay-will-change-in-jan-2020/

HR regulations and government policies are always changing, Employco is your resource for the latest industry news – from new government compliance and regulations to employment law updates, and more. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date!

The Top Four Articles of 2019

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

New Year, New Rules: Sexual Harassment Training Requirements for 2020

Employment trends expert discusses imminent changes to sexual harassment policies in the upcoming year

Policy ManualAfter shocking crimes of sexual assault came to light thanks to the #MeToo movement, many employers have been inspired to rededicate themselves to making their workplaces safer and more equitable for men and women. But, starting January 1, 2020, new changes to sexual harassment policies will require all companies to pay closer attention to this very important issue.

“We are finally starting to see people take sexual harassment in the workplace more seriously, and the new regulations coming into effect in 2020 reflect that,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert. “These regulations will vary from state to state and be dependent upon the size of your company and the number of employees you have, but there are several things that employers need to know.”

For Illinois employers, Wilson points to Public Act 101-0221 (the “Act”) which was created to strengthen sexual harassment policies in the workplace and ensure that all employees are better protected from sexual impropriety and predation.

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Bulletin: IRS Issues New W-4 for 2020

On Dec. 5, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released an updated version of its W-4 form, also known as the “Employee’s Withholding Certificate.”

Employers use IRS Form W-4 to determine each employee’s federal tax withholdings. The new form is intended to harmonize tax withholding declarations with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which affected individuals for the first time during the last tax filing season.

Employees may complete a new W-4 each year or each time they experience a change in their personal financial situation. However, the new form does not invalidate prior versions, and employers are not expected to replace W-4 forms from previous years with the 2020 version.

Action Steps

Employers should become familiar with the updates to IRS Form W-4 and make it available for all new hires and employees who wish to amend their withholding declarations in 2020.

Please note that employers are not required to update W-4 forms that were completed and filed on or before 2019.

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