Employment expert Rob Wilson provides commentary on this new ruling and its expected impact on American business owners
In 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.
Human resources expert offers commentary on this bill and what will happen if it passes
Today 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.”
Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss marijuana in the workplace for 2020; from medical and recreational use to recent statistics, an Illinois legal update, drug testing policies, employee handbooks, what employers should do, and more.
Human resources expert discusses new study and the recent legislation giving 2.1 million Americans paid 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
“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
“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.”
Human resources expert explains new law regarding positive marijuana tests
Starting 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.”
Employment trends expert discusses imminent changes to sexual harassment policies in the upcoming year
After 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.
Human resources expert weighs in on changes to marijuana laws in 2020 & how it will impact the workplace
In June, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 66-47 to allow the possession and sale of marijuana beginning Jan. 1, 2020. With just weeks until weed becomes legal, employers need to consider how this may impact employees and the workplace.
“Your ability to monitor drug use among your employees is going to depend on whether or not you are a unionized or private workplace,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA (a national employment-solutions firm based in Chicago, IL) and human resources expert. “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.”
Wilson says that if you work in a non-unionized environment, you should ask a supervisor or human resources team member to help you determine if an employee is under the influence of marijuana.
“If your suspicions are backed up by other leaders in your company, you can discipline and even terminate your employee,” says Wilson.
HR expert weighs in on the complicated etiquette of presents in the office
Exchanging holiday gifts in the workplace is often a tricky affair. The rules tend to be ambiguous, and expectations tend to vary widely from employee to employee. Luckily, there are several things that managers and HR personnel can do to make the holidays more joyful.
Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert says, “The biggest mistake I see is that managers think they shouldn’t weigh in on gift-giving. Yet employees want clear, concise guidelines. Some employees wonder: Should I give my boss a gift? And, if I don’t and everyone else does, what will they think of me? Others are strapped for cash yet feel obligated to give to everyone in the office, while some employees feel maligned because they are expected to give gifts when they don’t even celebrate the holidays.”
So, what is the answer? Wilson believes that a carefully crafted “gift-giving policy” is needed, and should be passed out to all new employees as well as circulated again during the holiday season. Possible tips to consider include:
Employment expert weighs in on what to expect when 2020 starts
With the New Year just weeks away, employers need to start considering upcoming changes to minimum wage law that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2020. Several states, including Illinois, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida are seeing minimum wage hikes.
“This is just the beginning of minimum wage increases,” says employment expert Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm with locations across the country. “For example, starting on Jan. 1, the Illinois minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $9.25, but come June, that will increase to $10. The goal is to gradually increase minimum wage by $1 each year, until 2025, when it will hit $15 an hour.”
Wilson also notes that in July, Chicago employers (within the city limits) will need to start providing predictability pay whenever they ask a worker to change their schedule.
Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, was recently quoted in an article for WBIW:
Starting in January 2020, important changes are coming to Americans’ paychecks. Beginning in the new year, new overtime provisions from the Fair Labor Standards Act will go into place.
“Previously workers were automatically entitled to overtime pay only if they earned $23,660 or less a year,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the county. “But, starting in just a handful of weeks, that salary ceiling will be raised to $35,568. Under this new ruling, these workers are entitled to receive one and one-half times their regular pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week.”