DOL’s current model forms (listed below) until the new ones are released. The updated model forms are expected to be the same as the current forms, except that they will have a 2021 expiration date in the upper right corner. HR Knowledge will continue to monitor any updates.
The current DOL forms are:
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (Form WH-380-E).
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition (Form WH-380-F).
- Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities (Form WH-381).
- Designation Notice (Form WH-382).
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave (Form WH-384).
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Servicemember—for Military Family Leave (Form WH-385).
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave (Form WH-385-V).
Our advice: set a clear policy for hourly associates regarding the use of email. We suggest restricting nonexempt employees’ email access to their scheduled on-duty time only.
Question: The duties test that’s used to decide overtime eligibility talks about determining the employee’s“primary duty.” How do we determine that?
We suggest having the signature line read something like this:
“I acknowledge that I have read and understand the contents and acknowledge and understand the corrective action required. I also acknowledge and understand the potential consequences of noncompliance. My signature does not mean that I necessarily agree or disagree with the contents of the Written Warning.”
If your employee still refuses to sign, you can have another manager, along with HR, witness that the employee was given the disciplinary warning and refused to sign.
The Department of Labor last updated their FMLA forms in June 2015, and they are valid until 2018. These include the Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s and Family Member’s Serious Health Condition, Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities, Designation Notice, Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave, and the Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Covered Servicemember and Veteran. These forms can be downloaded from the DOL’s website.
Question: Are there size requirements for any of the federal employment posters I must display in my workplace?
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Poster must be at least 8-1/2 by 14 inches with 10-point font or greater. (Source)
- The Executive Order 13496 (Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws) Poster must be 11 by 17 inches. (Source)
All other federal employment posters can be any size as long as they are easily readable, and must be displayed in a conspicuous place where your employees can see them.
Primary duty means the employee’s major or most important duty that they perform. For example, did you hire the employee to manage your inside telemarketers or to provide additional support for inside sales? What is the importance of the employee’s exempt duties versus the importance of their nonexempt duties? How much time is spent on exempt duties versus nonexempt duties? A good gauge is the 50% rule: What is the primary duty the employee spends 50% or more of their time doing? Is that task an exempt duty? To learn more about what duties are considered exempt duties per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) duties test click here.
To review a complete list of the state laws currently in effect on e-cigarettes, click here.
The return on investment (ROI) of the employee handbook is immeasurable; it can provide support in the defense of unemployment claims or lawsuits, minimize decision making in the moment for your workforce, and serve as a valuable resource when guidance is needed. HR Knowledge recommends that all employers have a clear, well-documented employee handbook that is distributed to employees as needed or kept up-to-date on an employee intranet. Once the handbook is distributed, via hard copy or electronically, you should have all employees sign an acknowledgment form confirming they received it. We also recommend that you have an attorney or a trusted HR advisor such as HR Knowledge review your handbook prior to distribution.
Question: We have an employee who provided his Social Security card and driver’s license as his identification documents to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. His Social Security card includes the statement “Valid only with DHS (Department of Homeland Security) authorization.” Is he allowed to work for us?
Because of the restriction, the employee will need to provide other documentation that meets the authorization requirements. The employee can offer a different document from List C or one form of identification from List A (which includes a U.S. passport, permanent resident card, and other documents).
As a best practice, we recommend that you give the employee a copy of the list of acceptable documents so they can figure out what documents to present. If the employee cannot produce the required documentation, they cannot be employed.
Your company can consider hiring a notary public or other agent to manage the administration of the verification process for remote workers where there is not a local office. One consideration is to use HR Knowledge’s cloud-based electronic I-9 platform which gives you access to a network of notaries familiar with I-9 requirements and eligible documents for verification purposes.
It is important to note that if someone verifies and completes the document on your company’s behalf, they must carry out full Form I-9 responsibilities. For example, the agent must view the live documents presented by the employee and must accurately complete Section 2 of the form on behalf of the company. As the employer, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the I-9 is completed correctly by both the employee and the agent as the authorized signer under Section 2.
For more information about remote employee options for Form I-9, please contact HR@hrknowledge.com.
Question: As the owner of a business, am I required to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification?
Question: Is an employee who works remotely (75 miles or more from the employer’s office) eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
- The employee must have been employed with the company for 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive).
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins.
- The employer is a covered employer (one that employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite).
If all three requirements are met, the issue then is the employee’s work location. An employee who works remotely (75 miles or more from the employer’s office) is covered under the FMLA if the office to which the employee reports and from which assignments are made has 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of its location. FMLA regulation 825.111, paragraph (2) applies to remote and other off-site workers. The regulation states: “An employee’s personal residence is not a worksite in the case of employees, such as salespersons, who travel a sales territory and who generally leave to work and return from work to their personal residence, or employees who work at home, as under the concept of flexiplace or telecommuting. Rather, their worksite is the office to which they report and from which assignments are made.”
In other words, home offices may not be considered the work location for FMLA purposes. Employers must consider the physical office location that these remote employees report to and receive their assignments from as being the work location for FMLA purposes. If the remote worker’s reporting office employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius and if that individual meets the 12-month and 1,250-hour requirement, the individual is eligible for FMLA leave.
Question: If an employee resigns with two-weeks' notice, and we tell the employee to leave prior to the end of the two-week period, are we obligated to pay the employee for the full two weeks?
There are two important reasons to pay the notice period. First, telling the employee to leave after giving notice can turn a “voluntary resignation” into an “involuntary termination,” likely making the employee eligible for state unemployment compensation. Second, from an employee relations standpoint, terminating employees on the spot when they give their two-weeks’ notice sends a negative message to other employees. If other employees give notice as requested, they may be terminated immediately, so it is unlikely they will provide advance notice of resignations in the future.
Question: We have an employee whose Form I-9 was not fully completed when the employee was hired. If we fill out the Reverification section on an incomplete form, will that bring us into compliance?
Question: According to the National Weather Service, as of 1 p.m. on February 2, 2015, Boston set a new record for the snowiest 7-day period, at 34.2 inches. Does a company have to allow employees to work from home if the office is closed due to bad weather?
Question: We have an employee who will be out for several weeks for a serious health condition. She is not requesting to use FMLA leave because she has enough paid sick leave to cover most, if not all, of her leave. Can employees choose to not use FMLA leave even when they meet the qualifications? And if they qualify for FMLA leave, can the employer require them to use it?
Question: Is an employer required to have an affirmative action plan if the company has state contracts (particularly from states that may get federal funding)?
- Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires contractors with contracts over $10,000 to take affirmative action with regard to qualified individuals with disabilities.
- The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) requires contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment veterans with service-connected disabilities, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans. VEVRAA requires the following:
- Employers with contracts entered into before December 1, 2003, that have 50 or more employees and contracts of $25,000 or more, are “required to take affirmative action,” and those with 50 or more employees and $50,000 in contracts are required to have a written affirmative action program.
- Employers with contracts entered into on or after December 1, 2003, that have 50 or more employees and contracts of $100,000 or more, are required to have a written affirmative action program.
- Executive Order 11246 requires that federal contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees who have entered into at least one contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government have a written affirmative action program that is prepared within 120 days from the beginning of the contract and updated annually.