Employer’s Failure to Time Provide COBRA Election Notice Results in Retroactive Coverage and Penalties

In Buford v. General Motors, L.L.C., case number 4:16-CV-14465-TGB-MKM, the U.S. District Court of Michigan ruled that General Motors violated COBRA election notice requirements when it failed to timely provide an employee with a COBRA election notice upon his retirement. As a result, General Motors was subject to statutory penalties due to violating federal law.…

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When Should HR Step in for Conflict Resolution?

In an ideal workplace, there would be no conflicts, but anyone who has worked in an office knows this isn’t always the case. With a variety of personalities and different work styles, it can be an amazing experience when teams are cohesive, but if organizations are not aligned, it can be the cause of conflict…

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Workforce Drug Test Positivity Climbs to Highest Level in Two Decades

The rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce reached its highest rate in 2021 since 2001, and was up more than 30% in the combined U.S. workforce from an all-time low in 2010-2012, according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. Employers face mounting…

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OSHA Pushes Heat Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made clear that heat illness is a top priority, and the forthcoming heat exposure standard is certain to affect construction firms. The standard has been on the front burner for the Biden Administration. The then-acting assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health announced in June…

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Government Vaccine Mandates

Executive Orders and Federal Rulemaking In addition to challenges to individual employer-imposed mandates, a wave of lawsuits have sought to invalidate Biden Administration efforts to increase the nation’s vaccination rate. These include President Biden’s executive orders for federal contractors (EO 14042) and U.S. government employees (EO 14043), Department of Defense (DOD) vaccine mandates for military…

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New Federal Law Bans Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.” The Act amends the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to prohibit the enforcement of predispute arbitration agreements against complainants for claims involving allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault, both outside and within the…

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Employers Must Record Certain Commuting Injuries, OSHA Says

Employers must record certain commuting injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said in a Jan. 4 letter, representing a shift in the agency’s interpretation of tasks that are a “condition of employment.” The Letter of Interpretation explained that an employee required to return to the workplace outside of his normal commute is engaged…

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When Might an Employer Question FMLA Certification?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification of a serious health condition must be complete and sufficient, but sometimes it’s neither. Employers rarely take a hard line but instead ask employees to provide more information to finish out the certification. Here are some tips on how to recognize something is wrong with the certification and…

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Not Every Complaint Is a Request for Accommodation

Employees need to provide sufficient information to the employer that a health issue could be a disability that is interfering with their ability to work, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently found. In Powley v. Rail Crew Xpress, LLC, the employee driver had back pain that interfered with her ability…

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