Archive for July 2015

Employee or Contractor? Guidelines Employers Need to Know

released a new series of guidelines for helping employers to determine whether the individuals that work for them should be classified as “employees” or “independent contractors.” In 2014, the Department of Labor required companies to pay 109,000 misclassified workers more than $79 million in back pay. The Department has found that often, employees are misclassified…

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White House initiates programs for prevention of elder abuse, fraud

rought together a panel to discuss the problems of elder abuse and how to protect senior citizens from financial fraud. “Often, victims are fearful of reporting abuse from a caregiver because the caregiver is the one they depend on for the activities of daily living,” said panelist Lynne Person, the D.C. Department of Health Care’s…

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Oregon: drug-testing policies won’t change for state jobs

went into effect at the beginning of July, many state employers have begun releasing memos re-stating their drug policies and reminding employees that nothing is likely to change in those policies. Employers are still allowed to conduct drug tests, and ensure their employees show up for work sober, though some acknowledge that what an employee…

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OPM breach affected far more individuals than previously reported

Office of Personnel Management’s security breach had affected up to 14 million citizens. Now, it looks like those numbers were vastly underestimated; allegedly up to a whopping 32 million former, current and prospective federal employees may have been affected, according to the latest numbers. Those numbers may also include those who enlisted — or attempted…

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Pennsylvania Governor approves clarifications to background checks

child-protective background checking law. Despite the original law’s intention to protect children from sexual predators by requiring volunteers to undergo criminal history and state police background checks, there was much confusion regarding who the law should apply to, and which types of jobs required mandatory screening. “We thought we’d been specific … giving kind of…

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June 2015: unemployment rate down to 5.3 percent for first time in years

release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has dropped 0.2 points down to 5.3 percent, the lowest the unemployment rate has been since April 2008. Last month, 223,000 new non-farming jobs were created, dropping the number of unemployed people down to 8.3 million. The majority of the new positions were available…

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Government agencies to send aid to drought-stricken states on west coast

Seven states on the west coast — including California, Oregon and Washington — are set to receive aid from various federal agencies due to extreme drought conditions. The Obama administration has already earmarked $110 million for the relief efforts, to be distributed through various federal agencies with varying goals for the funds. The U.S. Department…

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Oregon aims to ‘ban the box’

passed a statewide “ban the box” law, which would prevent employers from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record prior to an interview or — sans interview — a conditional offer of employment. Most employers in the state would be required to remove any questions about a candidate’s criminal history from its job…

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Colo. Supreme Court: Employment policies trump medical marijuana laws

Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that employers may lawfully terminate employees that fail drug tests due to marijuana usage, even if the drug is only used outside of working hours. The Court determined that zero-tolerance policies trump the legal usage of medical marijuana within the state. The case was brought before the Court by Brandon…

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