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On June 13, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney making it more difficult for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) to obtain temporary reinstatement of workers fired during labor disputes. Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) gives the Board the authority to seek temporary injunctions against employers and unions in federal district courts. This provision is used to stop unfair labor practices while the case is being litigated before administrative law judges and the NLRB. Under McKinney , district courts must now apply a more stringent, traditional four-factor test to issue a ...
While many of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have eased, the traditional workspace is still grappling with the seismic shift toward remote work. According to Forbes , as of 2023, 12.7% of U.S. workers were fully remote, and 28.2% were hybrid. As many as 98% want to work remotely at least part of the time. Many employers are still considering whether to have employees return to the office or embrace remote work. It is common to see headlines of employers asking or demanding that their workers return to the office. When employers are evaluating their remote work policies, it is useful to know what tangible benefits they can see if they create a remote ...
Groff v. DeJoy was the U.S. Supreme Court case decided on June 29, 2023, that redefined the religious accommodation standard. Significantly, it removed the “de minimis,” or very minor, hardship rule when discussing religious accommodations and replaced it with a higher “substantial in the overall context of the business” standard. This standard was meant to be more beneficial for employees requesting accommodations. In the year since the decision, there have been at least 80 cases that have cited the Groff decision. In one case, the Seventh Circuit held that potential liability under another federal law could meet this new post- Groff undue hardship ...
On June 12, 2024, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office announced that it reached a $658,948 settlement with a Los Angeles residential care facility for failure to pay employees for all hours worked. The settlement will provide owed wages and damages to the 34 employees who were forced to work through required meal and rest breaks, denied payment for all hours worked (including overtime hours), and barred from leaving work. The settlement will result in $608,948 being paid to the employees for owed wages, including overtime pay; penalties for meal and rest break violations and waiting-time penalties; wage statement violations; and liquidated damages. ...
A group of economists recently released the results from a study in which they sent fake resumes to nearly 100 of the United States’s largest companies, revealing discrimination within hiring processes and HR best practices to help avoid bias. Race-Based Hiring Discrimination The study involved submitting 80,000 resumes for 10,000 jobs between 2019 and 2021. Economists created resumes with equivalent qualifications but different personal characteristics and applied for entry-level positions that did not require a college degree or any related work experience. The only difference in the resumes was the applicant’s name, designed to indicate the ...
A bill passed during Utah’s most recent legislative session expands religious protections for employees, effective May 1, 2024. H.B. 396 amended Utah’s Antidiscrimination Act to prohibit covered employers from compelling an employee to “engage in religiously objectionable expression that the employee reasonably believes would burden or offend the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs, unless accommodating the employee would cause an undue burden to the employer. . .” “Religiously objectionable expression” is defined broadly as “expression, action, or inaction that burdens or offends a sincerely held religious belief, including dress and grooming requirements, ...
As employers are now almost 18 months into Colorado’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI), it is important to remember that notice requirements to employees remain an ongoing responsibility. Employers are required to notify their employees about the FAMLI program when they are hired and when they experience a life event that may be eligible for FAMLI leave. To that end, the FAMLI Division has updated its sample notices for 2024. If an employer still uses the 2023 notices, there won’t be a penalty, but it is a good practice to use the updated notices. The notices are available in 15 languages on the state’s FAMLI toolkit page . The requirement ...
In a May 21, 2024, decision, Starbucks Corp . , N.L.R.B. A.L.J., No. 07-CA-302784, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge (ALJ) struck down a Starbucks policy that required respectful communication in the workplace because enforcement of the policy chilled employees’ rights to discuss the terms and conditions of employment. This decision was transferred to the full Board for review. Starbucks’ "How We Communicate" policy stated the following: "Partners are expected to communicate with other partners and customers in a professional and respectful manner at all times. The use of vulgar or profane language is not acceptable." The ...
Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of many employment-related discussions today. There are many unanswered questions about how it should be implemented and regulated in the workplace. As society continually grapples with these questions, on May 16, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the release of a set of principles for developers and employers when using AI in the workplace. The release of these principles stems from an executive order issued by President Biden in October 2023. The executive order more robustly addresses the concerns of AI in many facets of life beyond employment-related contexts. It is likely the executive ...
For many organizations, the higher temperatures of the summer months mean adopting a revised stance on the potentially problematic matter of the company dress code. With the weather warming and wardrobes shifting to less apparel, employers must determine appropriate workplace attire. When it comes to a policy, usually a general statement outlining the expectation of a neat and clean appearance is sufficient. The more detailed a guideline, the more obsolete it becomes as styles change. Also, employees are more likely to look for ways to get around a specific directive. Organizations are increasingly moving to less formal or less detailed appearance guidelines. ...
While employees having side jobs or engaging in freelance work is not new, some are now juggling two or more traditional 9-to-5 full-time jobs at the same time, a phenomenon known as overemployment. Employees are drawn to the practice to maximize their earnings, but overemployment can have significant drawbacks for employers. The rise of overemployment has been facilitated by the shift to remote work during the pandemic, as individuals have found it easier to manage multiple jobs without the distractions and time constraints of commuting to an office. Advancements in technological tools have enabled remote workers to at least attempt to simultaneously meet ...
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has required all private employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors with 50 or more employees to provide workforce demographic data since 1966. Each of the reports collects data about gender and race/ethnicity by some type of job grouping. EEO-1 data is used by the EEOC to investigate charges of employment discrimination and to publish periodic aggregated demographic data to the public. The EEOC also shares the collected information with other authorized federal agencies to avoid duplicate collection of data and reduce the burden on employers. Compiling and submitting EEO-1 ...
On May 17, 2024, the first comprehensive U.S. state law governing artificial intelligence (AI) was signed into law. The Colorado Artificial Intelligence Act goes into effect on February 1, 2026. While this Act affects many areas, it specifically regulates the use of high-risk AI in employment and employment opportunities. A high-risk AI is defined as a system that, when deployed, makes, or is a substantial factor in making a consequential decision. A consequential decision is defined as one that has a material legal or similarly significant effect on the provision or denial to any consumer of the following: Educational enrollment or an educational opportunity ...
Employers Council has prepared this Economic Perspective summary to assist the decision-makers of member organizations. The economic data in these charts summarize the most commonly watched economic and compensation indicators. The data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can be used in conjunction with Employers Council’s compensation and personnel practices surveys to provide a more complete picture. Refer to Employers Council’s various surveys for information on average pay increase projections, turnover rates, cost of benefits, average salaries for close to 3,500 jobs, and insured and paid-time-off benefits .   ...
Editor’s note: Employers Council offers members access to a library of books. This article is part of an ongoing series to introduce members to the collection. For years, members have told us they are undergoing major changes to meet evolving business and societal conditions. Leaders are pushing their organizations to innovate and meet the challenges of a dynamic environment. To support these efforts, How Big Things Get Done was recently added to the lending library collection. Written by Danish author Bent Flyvbjerg, a professor at the University of Oxford and global business consultant, he shares his analysis of the world’s largest database of mega ...
Employers can focus on enhancing diversity, belonging, and psychological safety to create a competitive advantage of high productivity and engaging work environments. What do diversity, inclusion, and psychological safety mean in the workplace? Diversity is more than race. Diversity describes who is represented in our workplaces. Diversity includes ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, neurodiversity, religious beliefs, languages, traditions, and experiences. Inclusion is about the experiences of our employees. Inclusion refers to fair and equitable workplaces that allow all employees to feel valued and respected and where we all ...
The Colorado General Assembly has drawn the curtains on the 2024 legislative session, leaving behind a trail of freshly inked bills poised to reshape the landscape for businesses. This article provides a summary of the new laws that will impact employers across the state. Unless otherwise noted, the bills were awaiting the signature of Governor Polis at the time this article was written. HB24-1095 : This bill increases penalties for violations of state child labor laws. Depending on the violation, fines range from $250 to $65,000 for some willful violations. Penalties are scheduled to increase with future inflation. It requires that the penalties be deposited ...
The availability of housing options for employees has become a serious issue for many employers in regions around the country. That is especially so in Colorado, where a recent survey declared the state to be the least affordable housing market in the country. Some members are telling us that housing is a serious barrier to meeting workforce needs, especially in resort mountain areas and urban markets. Applicants are scant for lower-paid positions, and competition is fierce. Perhaps even more frustrating, hires who must relocate often decline offers after they research the housing market and find it unaffordable. Some newly hired employees leave soon after ...
For many, it may feel as if open enrollment was just here, but it is already time for some organizations to start thinking about 2025 benefits. For those ready to start strategizing, the 2025 health savings account (HSA) contribution limits have been set and increased by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An HSA serves as a tax-advantaged savings method that aids individuals and families in effectively managing health care expenses. HSAs have gained popularity due to their ability to assist in saving for medical costs and enhancing financial well-being. It is important to note that HSAs must be utilized in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). ...
Meeting the needs of our members inspires everything we do at Employers Council. Every day, our team of professionals listens to you, our members, to better understand your operational and strategic priorities. Continuous improvement of your membership experience drives us to deliver on our mission: “To partner with employers to grow exceptional workplaces.” Your workplace realities are unique, often complex, and difficult. To help you effectively manage those complexities and move toward clarity, we continuously strive to enhance the value of your membership. I am pleased to share with you some exciting enhancements to improve your experience and access to ...