All companies have trade secrets. It may be a list of customers, the best installers, future opportunities, warehousing techniques or similar information. To protect this important information, it must be kept confidential and limit access to those that need to know.
California’s Prop. 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing California consumers to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm without first providing a notice of the danger. California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has issued new regulations on what warnings must be made and by whom. The new regulations will take effect on August 30, 2018. In the interim, businesses may choose to comply with either the current or new regulations.
On August 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued updated posting requirements for the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) and the Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL updated the posters in part because the penalty amounts in the previous posters need to be updated with the increased amounts. The DOL made other changes in these posters, most notably adding to the FLSA poster:
Certain executive and administrative employees are exempt from being paid for overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). One of the requirements is that the executive and administrative employee must be paid a minimum fixed salary. Effective December 1, 2016, the minimum salary requirement will be increased from $23,600 to $47,476. As an example, consider a manager who is paid an annual salary of $37,500. Simply paying for five hours of overtime each week would increase the manager’s pay by over $7,000 under the new rule to $44,531.25.
Fourteen states have announced they will be raising their minimum wages the first of the year.
We continue to see the independent contractor classification under attack. Recently, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry issued a new policy making construction employers responsible to furnish upon demand proof that its subcontractor have the required licenses. The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Compliance (VOSH) inspectors will enforce this new policy during periodic inspections.
What do you do with employment applications for candidates that you did not hire? Do you put them in a files or throw then out? The anti-discrimination laws may require you to keep for at least a year these applications, along with resumes, interview notes, drug screens, employment tests, reference checks, and background or credit checks.
You probably never thought that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may impact your company’s website. As a retailer, you are well aware of the need for wheelchair ramps, accessible parking spaces, and enough room between aisles to allow customers to pass. But how does the ADA apply to a website?
On July 15, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued what will be effectively a new standard of who qualifies as an independent contractor that will likely limit significantly the number of workers that meet the criteria. While claiming this was just an “interpretation” of the current standard and not a new standard, this “interpretation will result in a finding that “most workers are employees” and independent contractor status is limited to the few individuals who are truly in business for themselves.
On September 3, 2015, a new law went into effect prohibiting many private sector employers in New York City from requesting or using an employee’s or applicant’s consumer credit history. Unless one of the limited exception applies, employers may not ask employees or applicants about their credit status, bankruptcies, judgments or liens, and using any consumer credit history information. Additionally, as of October 27, 2015, New York City will regulate employers’ use of criminal history for pre-employment screening.