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13 Labor & Employment Resolutions for 2013, Part 2

On January 23, 2013 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Scott J. Wenner and Alizah Z. Diamond

Yesterday, we posted the first seven of our 13 suggested resolutions for 2013. Here, as promised, are our final six. Once again, do not delay in considering these items for inclusion in your plans for the year.

8. Review and update workplace posters to ensure compliance with existing and new state law posting requirements, such as New Jersey’s new gender equality notice.

9. Review worker Employee and Independent Contractor classifications to ensure that workers are classified properly under the varying standards applied by the IRS, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the agencies in your state, in view of the DOL’s continued compliance initiatives and joint efforts with state and other federal agencies, and the increasing wave of audits initiated by the IRS. Indeed, while Secretary of Labor Solis soon will be leaving, onerous proposed regulations – including regulations affecting classification of employees – on “hold” during the election year are on the shelf and are likely to be published this year in final form under the new Labor Secretary, whomever that may be.

10. Review and update employee attendance policies and practices to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in view of the EEOC’s enforcement position that policies and practices that require employees to disclose specific medical reasons for health-related absences violate the ADA.

11. Review worker volunteer designations and employee exempt and non-exempt classifications to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act in view of increased enforcement activity from the DOL on these issues. While the “fiscal cliff” was averted temporarily, failure of Congress to raise the debt ceiling in the coming weeks could place us there once again, and may have an impact in some industries on employees’ schedules, responsibilities and hours.

12. Review your organization’s California policies and practices to ensure that they comply with a slate of new state laws that took effect beginning January 1, 2013, including the mandatory preparation of written contracts for commission earning employees, expanded employee rights to inspect their personnel records within stringent time limits, strict limitations on employer inquiries into employee or applicant personal social media and obligations to provide complete and accurate wage information to temporary service employees.

13. Schedule a compliance audit of your labor and employment law policies and procedures, being careful to maximize the protection of the audit results by the attorney client privilege.

The failure to comply with the new and existing legal requirements referred to above and in last week’s post could cost your organization monetary penalties and other sanctions on top of back pay liability to employees and adverse publicity.

Schnader attorneys can assist you and your organization to implement these resolutions — to identify risks and take important preventive measures — to help avoid sanctions, penalties and litigation in this New Year. We wish you a happy and proactive year!