- Nineteen states now have laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers, Engineering News-Record (ENR) reports.
- The Massachusetts House passed a bill on May 10 requiring employers to provide nursing mothers with a private, non-bathroom area. The bill also requires employers to provide mothers with reasonable accommodations, such as a lighter workload, unless the employer would face undue hardship. The state’s Senate is expected to approve the bill.
- According to ENR, the states’ laws extend protections for pregnant and nursing mothers beyond federal law, and most of them — 13 out of the 19 — were passed within the last four years.
Legal protection for pregnant women and nursing mothers is yet another area of employment law in which states have taken their own measures. That growing list includes paid family leave, “ban the box” and pay equity laws.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers in traditionally male-dominated jobs, such as construction or architecture, might require private areas to take care of maternal issues, like pumping breast milk. They will almost certainly need to be given less strenuous tasks and assignments in addition to more frequent breaks.
Kathleen Dobson, safety director at Alberici Constructors, told ENR that some employers don’t understand the federal rules; employers might not even know that pregnant workers are considered disabled under the law and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations. Wal-Mart employees recently sued the company for denying pregnant workers the same reasonable accommodations as other disabled workers.
With 13 out of 19 states passing laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers within a relatively short time, more states will likely follow. Employers must monitor possible changes in their own state’s laws, which often are more extensive than federal law.
Source: HR Dive
Employers should be careful how they deal with absenteeism by exempt employees.
Don’t dock an exempt employee’s paycheck for missing less than one full day of work because it could destroy their exemption and entitle them to time-and-a-half for all overtime they have worked in the past or work in the future. However, the FLSA does allow for partial day absences to be paid through an employee’s accrual bank of PTO, Vacation, or Sick hours. The only exception for docking a salary exempt employees pay for a partial day absence is if the absence is covered by the FMLA, and the employee has exhausted their accrual bank hours.
Full Day deductions of pay from a salary exempt employee are allowed only under the following circumstances:
- During the initial or final week of employment the employees pay may be reduced to reflect the actual hours worked.
- Full-day absences for personal reasons.
- Full day absences for disciplinary suspension for safety violations.
- Full day absences in which an employee has exhausted their entitled Paid Leave plan balances.
- FMLA Absences.
Two other attendance issues protected by law are employees called to jury duty and employees who request time off for religious reasons. State and federal laws generally require employers to give workers leave when called to serve on a jury. And employers may have to bend their attendance rules to accommodate a worker’s religious practices or beliefs.
A key to curbing abuse is to have an absenteeism policy that clearly sets forth which absences are allowed, and what behavior will subject the employee to discipline.
According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
The most famous of groundhogs to be such a “weather forecaster” is Punxsutawney Phil; however, here in Georgia many of us look to General Beauregard Lee, the famous groundhog who resides at Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, Georgia, to give the prediction of when spring will come to the South.
Groundhog Day is a tradition that inspired a motion picture, named after the holiday and starring Bill Murray, in 1993. The movies main character Phil, continues to live the same day (February 2nd) over and over, until he gets the events of the day right. Often times, work can feel like “Groundhog Day”, if you are continuously repetitive in your actions, motions, and interactions. Maybe you are finding yourself going through the motions, rather than forging ahead and getting things right to be able to end the repetitiveness.
Whether or not the Groundhog saw his shadow today, why not be reminded today to forge ahead, do the best you can/what is right, and maybe even to shake things up?
As a business owner, do you need help forging ahead when it comes to HR policies and payroll? Maybe it’s time to shake things up in your company, and free up your time by using our services.
Call us today at 770-339-0000
Last Thursday, January 14th, 2016, HR Strategies hosted an open house at their new location, allowing clients and invited guests to be able to tour the new space and see the many ways that the new location will enhance the services that are offered.
Guests were invited to enjoy refreshments in the new onsite training room while meeting the internal staff. This allowed them time to put faces with names and meet the benefits, payroll and client service reps that they talk to on a regular basis.
During the Open House we were able to give a brief demonstration of the upcoming enhancements to the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that our clients interface with, enabling them to see the continued investment we are making into providing top of the line services and technology platforms.
The turnout by clients was fabulous and we even gave away an Apple Watch to one lucky guest! The Open House was also an opportunity for our guests to network with a sample of the diverse selection of clients using our services. In this economy, HR Strategies wants to provide as many growth opportunities as possible to their clients!
The month of November is often thought of as the month to Give Thanks. As an employer, are you remembering to thank your employees and recognizing their achievements? Showing your employees appreciation for all they do can help boost productivity and morale, and that is always good for business! Here are just a few ways to Give Thanks to your employees this Thanksgiving season…
Treat your employee(s) to lunch
Hand written thank you notes for a personal touch
Awards: maybe a traveling trophy, a nice clock, any type of award that the employee can display in their office space.
Notice In Employee’s File: If an employer wishes to recognize an employee in this way, he should add the note, but also tell the employee he is doing so, so the employee knows he is appreciated.
Kudos Column: If your workplace has a newsletter, add a column where employees are recognized for outstanding efforts and achievements
Simple spoken words of Thanks can go a long way.
Implement an employee of the week program
Vacation – yes even a few hours of extra paid vacation time is a big reward for most employees
Ice Cream Sundae Party at the office
Night out at the ballpark for a team of employees
Give the employee a membership or subscription to a journal that relates to their work