Kara Nickel

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Employee Smart Phones: Smile, Your Meeting is Streaming Live and In Color

Let’s go back to happier times … for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, that is. On January 15, 2017, the Steelers won the AFC Divisional playoff, moving the team to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots the following Sunday. (Cue the “Boos”).  The players were elated.  The post-game speech in the locker room from … Continue Reading

For Immediate Posting In Your Workplace: Updated Minimum Wage and Polygraph Posters

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published two updated workplace posters: Federal Minimum Wage poster, and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) poster. (Note: Federal, state or local governments are exempt from the EPPA so no poster is required for these employers) The posters have been visually redesigned and includes a QR Code, which when … Continue Reading

FMLA Update: New Poster and Employer Guide

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been busy with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) this week! New FMLA Poster There is a new FMLA General Notice, aka FMLA poster: Employee Rights Under The Family and Medical Leave Act. The substantive information about the FMLA is generally … Continue Reading

Are Your Employees Naughty or Nice?

As I was recently working on my Christmas “to do” list while singing along to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the lyrics “He’s making a list, and checking it twice, Gonna find out whose naughty or nice,” reminded me that December is not only the holiday season, but is also the performance evaluation season for … Continue Reading

DOL’s Proposal Will Require More “White Collar” Employees To Be Paid Overtime

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently proposed substantial changes to the salary amounts for the FLSA’s white collar exemptions. This is the first proposed change since 2004. The DOL took this action in response to a March 2014 directive from President Obama to “modernize and streamline” the regulations for these white collar exemptions. In … Continue Reading

A New Year’s Workplace Resolution: Check Out OSHA’s 2015 Recordkeeping /Reporting Changes

I wanted to post about something exciting and attention-grabbing to start 2015. What better way than an update on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping requirements, right? Okay, I realize that OSHA and recordkeeping will not generate quite the level of excitement and fascination that I had hoped for (at least for most … Continue Reading

Unlimited Vacation Time From Work: Dream, Reality or Just A Myth?

Last month, I wrote a post about one company’s new “Mail on Holiday” program where emails are automatically deleted during an employee’s vacation. What if, in combination with such a program, an employee could have unlimited vacation time? For most employees, it’s a dream. But if you work for Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, unlimited vacation … Continue Reading

Intimidation: An Attention-Grabber for Coaching Football, but a Flag for Coaching Employees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … football season! In my house, it’s all football, all the time – college football (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday), pro football (Sunday, Monday and Thursday), NFL Total Access, ESPN Game Day etc. My husband and I even watched HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” a show following the Atlanta Falcons … Continue Reading

FMLA UPDATE: Proposed Revision to Definition of “Spouse” To Include Same-Sex Spouses, Regardless of Where They Live

On June 20, 2014, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its proposal to change the FMLA’s definition of “spouse”. According to the DOL, the purpose of the proposed change is to “ensure that same-sex couples who have legally married will have consistent FMLA rights regardless of where they live.” Under the current FMLA regulations, employees … Continue Reading

Flexible Workplace: What’s In A Name?

Many companies tout themselves as a “flexible workplace.” But what exactly does that mean? Does the company permit employees to have a regular telecommuting schedule or just work from home occasionally? Does the company offer modified start and stop times or compressed workweeks? All of these options and more can be components of a flexible … Continue Reading

Prying Eyes: Reading a Former Employee’s Personal Email Gets Verizon Sued

An Ohio Federal District Court recently ruled that Verizon Wireless could be sued for reading a former employee’s personal emails on a company-issued device. During her employment, Verizon issued Sandi Lazetle a Blackberry which she used for company email.  According to Sandi, she was told that she also could use the Blackberry for personal email, … Continue Reading

FMLA Update: Revised FMLA Poster Available In Spanish

In February 2013, we advised you that the Department of Labor (“DOL”) revised its Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) poster, also referred to as the “General Notice.”  (Click here for February 2013 post)  At the time, the revised FMLA poster was only available in English.   After months of waiting, the revised FMLA poster is … Continue Reading

EEOC Focuses on Plethora of Legal Issues Raised by Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

On May 8, 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a meeting with representatives from employers, advocacy groups and insurance providers to discuss issues raised by employee-sponsored wellness programs in the context of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act as well as age, national origin, race and sex discrimination. … Continue Reading

FMLA Update: Revised FMLA Regulations Mandate Compliance With GINA’s Confidentiality Requirements

The revised regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) require that records or certifications submitted for FMLA leave that contain genetic information and family medical history are subject to the confidentiality requirements of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).  Click here for a link to GINA’s confidentiality regulations (29 C.F.R. §1635.9). … Continue Reading

FMLA Update: Revised Regulations, A New Poster And A New Certification Form

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published revisions to certain regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a new poster and a new certification form.  The following highlight key issues for employers with regard to the revisions. New FMLA Poster.  The DOL revised its FMLA poster, also referred to as the “General Notice”, effective … Continue Reading
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