The Arkansas Department of Labor issued new drug test rules for employers under the 2009 Drug Test Law. Effective May 1, 2010, the new rules generally prohibit an employer from charging an employee for a drug test. However, the rules permit an Arkansas employer to require the employee to pay for a drug or alcohol test, under very specific circumstances. Routine pre-employment drug screening must be free to the applicant, and the applicant must receive a copy of the results at no cost if requested in writing.
The same provisions apply to medical exams and drug tests before and during employment. An employee who requests that a sample be retested after a positive drug test can be required to pay for the retest – but not for the initial screening.
Certain exceptions apply to further drug tests if the employee has tested positive for an illegal drug (including alcohol) and has agreed to a plan as a condition of continued employment. In that case, the employee (more…)
The Wisconsin smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in virtually every workplace, goes into effect on July 5, 2010. The 2009 Wisconsin Act 12 is more restrictive than many other state smoking bans. It requires business owners to enforce the non-smoking law, and provides greater penalties for business owners who fail to do so.
The Wisconsin non-smoking law prohibits smoking indoors in public places, including workplaces with two or more walls. This prohibits smoking in warehouses, auto shops, taverns, restaurants, sports arenas, theaters, private clubs and stores. Smoking is banned in all state and local government offices, all schools, and prisons. The law also bans smoking on public transportation and even in bus shelters.
Restaurants and bars may permit smoking in a designated outdoor area such as a patio or porch, as long as the space has only one wall. The state law permits smoking outdoors, even inches away from an open door or window.
Many states permit residents of nursing homes to smoke in certain designated areas. Wisconsin will not. All hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are included in the smoking ban.
The new law repeals an earlier statute that allowed a business owner to designate certain areas where smoking was permitted, such as private offices or an employee break room. Smoking is banned throughout the employer’s building, including cafeterias, break rooms, restrooms, vehicles, elevators and even (more…)
Does misclassification of employees as independent contractors increase during a recession? Some experts seem to think so. Several states and the federal government are reacting to this crisis with increased enforcement and higher penalties against employers who violate these statutes.
Speaking to SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, attorney Frank Connolly said,” When it comes to a lot of start-ups or small businesses that don’t have a lot of assets, a lot of it is naïveté and a lot of it is convenience. I don’t have the money to pay a lot of people a lot of cash. I can avoid it by calling these people independent contractors.” Connolly, with the firm of Jackson Lewis in Washington, D.C. adds, “These employers probably don’t realize that they are violating the law.”
Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA will require employers with 50 or more full-time workers to pay a penalty if they do not provide a group health insurance plan. Under this law, a full time employee is defined as one who works 30 or more hours per week. Under this regulation, two employees who each work 15 hours per week count as one FTE, or the equivalent of one full-time employee. (more…)
In Brinker v. Superior Court, the restaurant company is arguing about the definition of “providing” a meal break under state law. Brinker argues that while California law requires an employer to “provide” a meal break, that simply means offer the employee the opportunity to take a meal break.