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Harassment Update…

This past fall, harassment, particularly sexual harassment, has taken on a new significance. Starting with the Harvey Weinstein allegations, harassment complaints have skyrocketed and not just in Hollywood and the news industry. Private employers too must pay attention to the potential of increased harassment in their workplaces.

Regulatory Changes to Form I-9 and the FMLA

Form I-9

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 in 2017 containing an expiration date of 08/31/2019.

OSHA in the Office

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) does not just pertain to those in the construction or manufacturing industries.

The Holiday Season!

Time to hang the mistletoe, bring out the holiday cheer, give presents to everybody (the more personal the better!), hugs and kisses abound!!! Not really, only kidding!

Politics in the Workplace

With any political election, it is a good time to remind employers and employees what can and cannot be discussed in the workplace. Private employers have the right to prohibit political speech entirely in their workplaces. The First Amendment protections of free speech apply only to “state action,” not to nongovernmental employers.

Things to Do

OSHA 300A Summary of Work Related Injuries and Illnesses

All employers covered by OSHA Part 1904 must complete this Summary page, even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year. Use your OSHA 300 Log to count the number of entries in each category. If there were none for a particular category, enter “0”. The Summary must be posted from February 1 to April 30. If an inspector visits you, one of the first areas he/she looks at is your safety and health records. Failing to record, or improperly recording work-related injuries and illnesses can result in significant fines.

Progressive Disciplinary Action

The purpose of progressive disciplinary action is to improve employee performance. Progressive disciplinary action should not be confused with an immediate call for action for a serious violation of company rules, an illegal act, or other egregious behavior.

Even though the process is not intended as a punishment for an employee, it does afford the opportunity for the company to fairly, and with substantial documentation, terminate the employee who is unwilling or ineffective in improving his/her performance.

OSHA Form 300A Posting and OSHA 300 Records

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule, employers with 10 or more employees are required to record injuries and illnesses that result in death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness, or if they involve a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.

Employee Handbooks: A **Must** in Today's Work Environment

It might seem like old hat, but having a current employee handbook is more important today than it was years ago. In today’s work environment, employees are more apt to turn to an outside source for advice on how to handle a situation or an issue that did or does not please them in their workplace. Your best protection may be a properly written employee handbook.

Watch Out for Employee Misclassifications!

You can hardly pick up a professional journal these days without seeing something relating to a company being investigated because of employee “misclassification.” What exactly does that mean, and what are the consequences?

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