February Updates






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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. REMINDER: Post OSHA 300A Summary
  2. Civil Money Penalties for 2018 Increased
  3. Second Circuit: FLSA Claims are Subject to Arbitration
  4. California: Attorney General Emphasizes Intent to Prosecute Employers Who Help Immigration Sweeps
  5. Connecticut: Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Posting Required
  6. Massachusetts:  Supreme Judicial Court Limits Wage Act Liability
  7. New York City, NY: Fair Workweek Deductions Law Put on Ice—For Now

REMINDER: Post OSHA 300A Summary

Employers who are required to keep the OSHA Form 300 log must post the Form 300A summary of all job-related injuries and illnesses from February 1, 2018 through April 30 2018.  Form 300A contains the summary of injuries and illnesses that occurred in the previous year.  If no injuries occurred, Form 300A must still be posted with zeroes on the “total” line.

Form 300A must be displayed in a conspicuous area where notices to employees are typically posted, and must be available upon request to employees who move between worksites or do not report to any fixed establishment.

Civil Money Penalties for 2018 Increased

On January 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule that increases the civil money penalties for violations of certain federal laws.  These increases are assessed each year in accordance with the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act.  The affected violations include:

  • Failing to file an annual Form 5500 under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”);
  • Repeated or willful violations of minimum wage or overtime requirements governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”);
  • Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) posting requirements; and
  • Violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) posting requirements.

Employers can view the Final Rule here.

Second Circuit: FLSA Claims are Subject to Arbitration

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently stated that FLSA claims are subject to arbitration. In Rodriguez-Depena v. Parts Authority, Inc., the court stated that required judicial oversight of FLSA settlements did not guarantee an employee the right to file suit in court, and was not a bar to arbitration of FLSA claims. Because the employee had signed an arbitration agreement, arbitration of the employee’s claims was allowed to proceed. Employers should have arbitration agreements regularly reviewed with legal counsel to ensure they are kept current with ongoing legal changes.

California: Attorney General Emphasizes Intent to Prosecute Employers Who Help Immigration Sweeps

On January 18, 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that his office will prosecute employers who unlawfully assist in immigration raids.  Effective January 1, 2018, AB 450 requires employers to verify that immigration agents have a judicial warrant before granting access to non-public areas of the workplace or employee documents.  As the battle between state and federal authorities wages on over immigration enforcement, employers should tread carefully when dealing with immigration-related situations. When in doubt, involve an attorney.

Connecticut: Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Posting Required

In July of 2017, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy signed into law expanded workplace protections for pregnant employees. Among other provisions, the Act required Connecticut employers to provide existing employees notice of their rights under the amended Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act via a workplace posting by January 28, 2018.  The Connecticut Department of Labor has made a model notice available online that employers may use to satisfy the posting requirement.

Massachusetts:  Supreme Judicial Court Limits Wage Act Liability

In Andrew Segal v. Genitirix, LLC, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) stated that personal liability for Massachusetts Wage Act violations are limited only to the company’s president, treasurer, and “officers or agents having the management” of the company.  Other individuals, such as board members or investors, do not have personal liability for violations of the Wage Act. The SJC stated that, although investors and board members do have some influence over control of a business, their ordinary duties do not qualify them as “agents” of the company.  The SJC did acknowledge that investors and board members could be agents, only if appointed and acting as agents separate and distinct from their duties as investors or board members.

New York City, NY: Fair Workweek Deductions Law Put on Ice—For Now

Last year, New York City passed a packet of bills affecting workplace practices for fast food and retail workers.  Among these was a law that allowed employees of certain fast food establishments to authorize a portion of their wages to be paid to registered non-profit organizations.  Employers would then need to collect and remit the deductions to the organizations.

Two restaurant advocacy groups brought a lawsuit against the City of New York, alleging that the deductions law violates First Amendment rights by compelling the employer to donate employee wages to organizations with whom they may disagree, and that such donations could be perceived as associating or endorsing these organizations. As a result, the City has agreed to a temporary stay of the law.  As of January 17, 2018, the deductions requirement will not be enforced until the court rules on the matter, or March 30, 2018, whichever comes first.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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