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Category: Employment Law

Is it Legal to Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

When the pandemic first hit our shores at the beginning of 2020, about 44% of the United States workforce started working from home. It quickly developed into a popular trend that made people feel safe and protected during unknown times. Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is here, people feel more secure about living life among others again. This also means that companies are preparing to have their workforce return to their old offices outside of the home.

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Scheduling Laws: How Much Time to Give Employees Between Shifts

Scheduling employees correctly is important in ensuring smooth operations at the workplace. Not only must you confirm that employees are available, but you must also comply with local and federal scheduling rules. You must keep scheduling laws into consideration to protect you from potential fees and penalties in the future.

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CA Locks Down Their Meal Break Requirements

California is known for its strict employment laws, and meal breaks are no exception. Recently, the meal break violations in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC, have elucidated some issues surrounding CA timekeeping rules. This case specifically highlighted issues related to meal breaks and time rounding. Overall, it’s best to steer clear of time rounding practices when it comes to employee meal periods. If you’re a business owner or manager, you need to understand this case to know how to handle meal periods moving forward.

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Can Your Boss Read Your Slack Messages?

Slack is a popular communication platform used by many remote workers. It’s a great platform to communicate and collaborate through instant messaging and video conferencing, which many remote teams enjoy as a new mode of communication. With the choice of public “channels” and private messaging, people have the freedom to speak publicly or work one-on-one with their coworkers easily. Some argue that Slack is more of a distraction than a tool conducive to one’s productivity due to the fact that people may use it to idly chat all day; however, many employers still utilize this system to collaborate with their workers.

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No More Paid Sick Leave for Employees Under the FFCRA

An artistic photo of a virus

As the coronavirus spread in 2020, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which provided benefits for employees affected by the coronavirus. Additionally, under the FFCRA, employees were also allowed time off to care for their children or for a family member. The initiative allowed business owners with 500 or fewer employees to provide sick leave, insurance coverage, and other benefits to their employees. This support encouraged employers to keep their workers on payroll while ensuring everyone’s safety during the pandemic. Unfortunately for some, the DOL has decided that they will not extend sick leave under the FFCRA. However, the law does allow employers to voluntarily give employees paid sick leave. If employers choose to give their employees PTO under the FFCRA, they may receive tax credits.

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The New Mileage Rate for 2021

If you’re an employer in the United States, it’s likely that you pay your employees mileage reimbursement when they’re traveling for work purposes. Every year, the  IRS adjusts the mileage reimbursement rate based on examination of variable costs. Based on the latest study, the IRS has changed 2021’s mileage rate to a lower rate than last year. Taxpayers will use this rate to compute their deductible costs associated with using a vehicle.

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Is it Legal to Record Phone Calls and Conversations?

The thought of someone recording your conversation seems like a breach of privacy, but it’s actually legal in many states. If you plan on recording phone calls, in-person conversations, or videos with sound, your state may allow you to legally record the entire conversation as long as at least one party is aware of the recording. The laws vary by state, so remember that if they’re not followed correctly, you may be at risk of criminal prosecution.

What are your state’s laws? Let’s find out.

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Veterans Day Time Off in the U.S. -Who Gets It?

Currently, the FLSA (Federal Labor Standards Act) does not require employers to give employees time off for any holiday. In fact, the federal government does not require employers to pay for any time that an employee doesn’t work (such as vacation time). Although this is true, some states have their own holiday policies that business owners must follow.

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Are You Legally Required to Give Employees Voting Leave?

It’s election season and people all over the nation are encouraged to vote and express their opinions. There are three ways in which one can vote for a Federal election: by mail, by absentee ballot, or in person. If you don’t have the opportunity to vote by mail or with an absentee ballot, you must vote in person on the day of the election. Unfortunately, those who aren’t registered to vote by mail only have one way to vote. If employees are scheduled to work on election day, they may miss the opportunity to vote.

If your employees are working on election day, you may have to give them time off to vote depending on the state you’re in. Read more to find out:

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Federal and State Meal Break Law Compliance

Breaks have always been a bit tricky for business owners to tackle. With so many rules in place, it’s hard to decipher what to do to stay compliant with federal and state law. As of May 2020, twenty-one states and two U.S. territories have meal break requirements in place. Generally, employees must take their breaks by a certain time within their workdays and the breaks are paid. Whether you’re curious as to what your state’s rules are, or if you’re thinking about implementing a break policy at your workplace, this article will help you understand federal and state meal break requirements. 

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Can PPP Loans Affect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

This article was published on May 19, 2020. New information may be available regarding PPP loans and UI benefit packages. Visit the Small Business Administration for more information. For more information about the First Draw and Second Draw of PPP loans, visit this article.

The PPP loan is a valuable resource for many business owners, especially for employers who have employees with unemployment insurance. With the new loan, employers will have the ability to pay their employees as they would normally and can avoid paying unemployment taxes. This all sounds great, but PPP loans are confusing to employees, and many wonder whether their employer’s PPP loan will alter their unemployment insurance statuses. Do PPP loans affect employees’ unemployment benefits? Let’s find out.

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Is it legal to Cut an Employee’s Pay and Hours Because of COVID-19?

Empty piggy bank

Throughout the past few weeks the coronavirus has left the world empty and desolate. With lockdown measures and social distancing orders in place, people refrain from going to restaurants, communicating in-person, and going to work. As the nation adjusts to this austere new lifestyle, consumerism has slowed down immensely. Consumers are only buying the essentials, which means they aren’t spending like they used to. Of course, when people aren’t spending money, businesses don’t make money. Therefore, many business owners have had to make tough decisions to stay afloat.

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