‘Labor Laws’ Category
We have an employee who has ongoing medical restrictions and cannot fulfill the requirements of his initial job description (lifting and standing restrictions.) We have moved him to another job within the company but there is not enough work.
At first, we thought after rest he would heal but that has not happened and there is more and more restrictions. He was a skilled worker but is not good at training others.
The employee has requested a reduction of hours and has put in another reduction of hours. He is trying to balance some pension benefits and salary below some ceiling.
He is an employee with 5 years of high caliber work but the last six months have been not stellar. His new aim is to put in the hours and find out how few hours he must work.
How far must we go to be loyal to the employee at the cost to the company?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits private sector employers who employ 15 or more individuals from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. The law requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) a reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace (or in the ways things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. Reasonable accommodation does not include removing essential job functions, creating new jobs, and providing personal need items such as eye glasses and mobility aids.
The U.S. Department of Labor provides assistance to employers in complying with the ADA titled Job Accommodation Network (JAN). According to JAN’s Practical Guide part time work is a form of reasonable accommodation; however, employers probably do not have to change existing full
time jobs to part time as an accommodation under the ADA. According to informal guidance from the EEOC, when an employee is asking to cut his/her hours significantly, then, in essence, the employee is asking for a reassignment to an existing part time job. The essential functions of a job are changed when the job is cut in half. It seems that you already went beyond the good faith effort expected of employers by transferring the employee to another job and reducing his/her hours.
It’s also important to consider the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers unpaid and job protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve work weeks of leave which can be taken intermittently. Instead of reducing the employee’s hours once again an intermittent FMLA leave could be considered, assuming the employee hasn’t already exhausted his/her leave entitlement. You could explain that the leave could provide the employee the time he/she needs to heal. FMLA is by no means considered a reasonable accommodation; it’s the legal right of an eligible employee.
The ADA and FMLA were adopted in to federal law to encourage employees to work and to protect their jobs so they could return to work. As long as you’ve made good faith efforts to assist the employee in order to continue working and the employee’s continued requests for accommodations are becoming an undue hardship, it would be difficult for the employee to claim discrimination. Documentation and being able to prove your ongoing accommodations as well as why continuing such accommodations would be a significant financial burden are essential for disputing a discrimination allegation.
Can an exempt employee skip lunch and leave early? I have an employee that comes in at 7:30 am and leave at 3:30pm, and she skip lunch.
Break and meal period requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally apply to non-exempt workers only. However, you should check your state employment laws to ensure there are no requirements for breaks or meal periods for any employees. If your state doesn’t have legislation regarding the matter then it’s up to the employer to adopt a policy or practice. Regardless of legal mandates, it’s important to encourage employees to take their breaks or meal periods, if offered. There is statistical evidence that employees who take breaks during the workday have increased physical and mental well being which, in turn, increases employee productivity.
Is it legal for others to be sharing the pay rate of others?
It’s legal for employees to share their pay rates with coworkers. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides employees the right to make efforts to organize and discuss the terms of their employment, including salary and benefits packages. Further, the NLRA reinforces employee’s rights to discuss payment policies by making it an unfair labor practice to enact policies that prohibit employees from discussing their compensation packages or make any other effort to circumvent the organization and discussion rights. However, employers are permitted to limit their employees from discussing their pay rates during times when they should be working. While employees could freely share their pay information they’re not protected by the NLRA if such information is obtained fraudulently. So, if the Bookkeeper decides to share the Secretary’s pay rate with other staff the Bookkeeper is not covered by the NLRA and should be appropriately disciplined.
State of Nevada — Salary compensation — What is the minimum of hours necessary? If the minimum is exceeded is additional compensation from the employer mandated? Time and a half?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not mandate a minimum number of hours for exempt or nonexempt employees, but rather leaves it up to each employer to determine the work schedules for their own employees. If a salaried nonexempt employee works more than 40 hours in one workweek, he or she must be paid overtime at one and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours exceeding 40.
Additionally, Nevada employers must pay nonexempt employees overtime for hours worked above 8 in one day, unless the employee is on a regular 10 hour/4 day per week schedule.
Salaried exempt employees are not eligible for additional compensation, regardless of the number of hours or days they work in one workweek.
We are inacting a new vacation policy. In the past when work was more consistent, our vacation policy was a week vacation after one year of employment, the same would follow the the next year and so forth. Now that our business is slowed down since the economy has declined, our employees are working speratically and do not usually get a 40 hour week. Our new policy is to pay a percentage of an hour vacation for every hour worked. I am not sure if that percentage should accumulate for any overtime hours they work also?
Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation, and those that do choose to provide this benefit may establish their own policies regarding how and when time is earned, when it may be used, eligibility requirements, etc. It is permitted to offer different vacation plans to different groups of employees, such as exempt and nonexempt employees. It is also acceptable for an employer to require a minimum length of employment or number of hours worked per week in order to be eligible for vacation.
If your policy states that a percentage of an hour will be earned for every hour worked, it would follow that all hours worked would earn at the same rate, even if the employee’s total hours for the week exceed 40. However, if you do not wish to let vacation time accrue on overtime hours worked, you certainly do not have to. Just be sure that the written policy clearly explains your intent, as you will be required to adhere to your own policy.
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