Informed Employer: January 4, 2017 Informed Employer: January 4, 2017

Informed Employer: January 4, 2017

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EEOC Defines Wellness Plan Compliance with ADA, GINA
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently provided employers with more information on how to ensure their wellness plans comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). There was previously some confusion because the EEOC and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had different interpretations of what qualified as an acceptable wellness plan.
(Source: The Business Journals Digital Network, 2016-12-23) Read the full article
Varying Sick Leave Laws Pose Challenge for Employers
The trend of states and localities passing laws mandating paid family and sick leave and employers voluntarily offering the benefits will likely continue, observers say. Yet many businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions might “wish for a mandate” that would cover the entire country to avoid inconsistencies about eligibility for and administration of paid leave, says Terri Rhodes, CEO of the Disability Management Employer Coalition.
(Source: BNA, 2016-12-13) Read the full article
Referral Hiring Could Lead to Lack of Diversity in Workplace
Almost everyone wins when it comes to referral hiring, through which an employee recommends someone for an opening at his or her company. But referral hiring isn't great for diversity.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-12-23) Read the full article
2017 Benefit Trends: Financial Wellness, Health Care Navigation
Open enrollment for employee benefits is underway and wrapping up at many companies across the country, and as many probably noticed, health care costs continue to rise. Beyond health care costs, here's what the new year could mean for your health plan and other employee benefits.
(Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2016-12-29) Read the full article
Tweaks to Stock Options Can Build Employee Loyalty
Frequent job-hopping used to be a red flag, suggesting to prospective employers that a candidate was unfocused and disloyal, but that stigma seems to be gone. Since stock options are a powerful incentive, this article examines vesting schedules and exercise periods that companies are debuting and weighs their respective risks and rewards.
(Source: Tech Crunch, 2017-01-02) Read the full article
More Companies Helping Employees Take College Classes Online
Higher education is becoming more reachable for working people through a concept called competency-based learning. Online degrees, also called distance education, are a growing option for Americans burdened by the time and expense of attending college.
(Source: Press-Enterprise, 2016-12-30) Read the full article
Questions to Gauge an Employee’s Management Potential
Promoting from within is a smart strategy for a small business owner, as it rewards loyalty and motivates new employees by showing them a path to growth exists within your business. Here are 11 things to ask about an employee you’re considering promoting into a supervisory or management position.
(Source: Small Business Trends, 2017-01-02) Read the full article
France Law Allows Workers to Ignore Business Emails After Hours
French workers have won the right to ignore business emails that arrive after hours. A new labor law gives employees the "right to disconnect" from email, smartphones, and other electronic leashes once their working day has ended.
(Source: CNNMoney.com, 2017-01-02) Read the full article
 
 
 
Headlines
New Year, New Employment Law Roller Coaster?


Tami Earnhart

The 2016 roller coaster year for employment law has ended. We are now moving into a new year promising new opportunities, challenges and, likely (particularly with a new administration), a few additional hills on the roller coaster. As you return from your holiday celebrations, we thought it might be helpful to highlight some federal employment laws that became effective as of January 1 (or shortly before) or will become effective shortly. This is not intended to be a full description of each law, but should help you identify changes that may be needed. Welcome to 2017. Keep those safety belts fastened and hold on to any loose objects!

Read more here.

 

Avoiding Cold Weather Injuries


Jennifer McDaniel

When the weather outside is frightful, employers need to be aware of the serious health problems that can result from working in cold weather environments such as trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia. Trench foot is caused when feet are immersed in cold water during cold temperatures for long periods of time. Symptoms include tingling, itching and burning. Frostbite occurs when the skin freezes. It is most likely to happen in body parts farthest from the heart and those with large exposed areas. Symptoms can include tingling, stinging, aching and numbness. Skin may also turn red, purple and/or white. In severe cases, blisters may develop. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions. Symptoms can include shivering, mental confusion and loss of coordination.

Employers should train their employees about these weather related injuries and offer the following tips to help prevent them:

  • Whenever possible, schedule outdoor work that may expose your employees to the elements for the warmest part of the day.
  • Be sure to have employees work in pairs.
  • Provide short breaks in a warm environment which will allow employees to warm up and/or dry their clothes.
  • Provide or encourage employees to wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment. This can include dressing in layers, wearing hats, gloves and waterproof boots.
  • Encourage employees to drink and eat foods that help increase body heat, such as hot liquids, sugars and carbohydrates.
  • Encourage employees to avoid tobacco and caffeine as these can cause more heat loss, dehydration and increase the risk of frost bite.

 

 
 
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