Legal Issues – Staffing

Washington Employers Face New Paid Time Off Requirements!

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 25, 2018

0 Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals, Staffing News, What's Happening - Local Market Trends Whats Happening

Are Your Temporary Employees Subject to Washington State’s New Mandatory Paid Time Off Policies? The short answer is yes.  And this article has the details about the new law and how it will impact you! … Read More »

Are Temp or Contract Workers Eligible for Overtime?

by Jeanne Knutzen | April 18, 2016

4 Flexible Staffing Strategies-Best Practices, Human Resources Staffing, Legal Issues - Staffing, Managing People. Team Leadership, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals

Ask PACE Q: One of our accounting department team members has worked over 40 hours in one work week. I just learned our staffing agency has not paid them an overtime rate for the additional hours, is this legal? Is my company at any risk for back wages and penalties? - Submitted by a Worried HR Manager. Redmond, Washington … Read More »

First Steps in Tackling the Year of the FLSA

by Guest Author | September 9, 2015

0 Legal Issues - Staffing bellevue staffing, Employment Agency Bellevue, Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency

Under the proposed rule, an employee will need to earn a minimum of $970 per week (or $50,440 per year) and meet the duties test in order to be exempt from overtime wages, increasing from $455 per week ($23,660 per year). … Read More »

Smartphone Usage After Hours

by Guest Author | July 14, 2015

0 Legal Issues - Staffing

Many of our employees have smartphones. Do we have to pay them for every time they use it outside of regular working hours? While I tell them not to, many still respond to emails and texts outside of work hours. What do I do? … Read More »

New Rules to Expand Overtime Pay!

by Jeanne Knutzen | July 13, 2015

0 Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals

After months of speculation, the US Department of Labor has just published its proposed changes in the regulations that govern how employees become eligible for overtime (time and a half) pay. … Read More »

How You Use Background Checks Can Make a Big Difference!

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 29, 2015

0 Hiring - Best Practices, Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals

Your Background Checking Process Is Under Increased Scrutiny… …and some employers are already paying the price for processes that don’t line up with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulations. … Read More »

Seattle’s NEW Minimum Wage Goes Into Effect April 1!

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 27, 2015

0 Human Resources Staffing, Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals

Beginning April 1, both large employers (501 employees or more) and small (500 or fewer employees) located in SEATTLE must pay their employees no less than a hourly rate of $11/hr. – or a base of $10/hr. … Read More »

1099 Worker Classification Audits on the Rise!

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 4, 2015

0 Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals 1099 Worker, 1099 Worker Classification, Employer of Record, Employer of Record Service, W2 worker, Worker Classification Audits

As we have discussed on multiple occasions, the wrong classification of workers continues to be an audit target for federal and state unemployment agencies, impacting any employer who uses 1 or 20 independent contractors as a way of doing business. … Read More »

Transparent Wage Policies: Honest or Chaos Provoking?

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 9, 2015

0 All About Staffing. Hiring. Best Practices, Legal Issues - Staffing, Resources for Employers, Hiring Managers, HR Professionals, Staffing News

A common policy found in many businesses is a prohibition against the disclosure of wage information. This type of policy serves the purpose of preventing workers from battling with HR and each other over who is getting paid what and why. … Read More »

Final Rule Issued for OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

by Jeanne Knutzen | December 23, 2014

0 Legal Issues - Staffing

By Nickole C. Winnett In a press release issued September 11, 2014, OSHA announced the final rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements. For Federal Plan States, the regulation will go into effect on January 1, 2015; State Plan States will announce their dates independently but are encouraged to meet the same deadline. This regulation brings some major new changes for employers. Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, cited the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report stating that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013 to emphasize the importance of this new rule. Establishments in certain low-hazard industries are partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Under the new rule, there will be a shift in the number of industries which are partially exempt from keeping these records. Previous regulations used the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to categorize industries. The new rule now relies on the North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) along with injury and illness data from BLS from 2007 through 2009 to categorize the industry as low-hazard and exempt employers from OSHA recordkeeping requirements. As a result of this update, employers in several new industries are now required to keep OSHA injury and illness records. A list of these new industries can be found here. The new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses. The rule expands the list of severe injuries, which all OSHA-covered industries must report to OSHA regardless of size or partial exemption status. The current rule stipulates that when there is a fatality or three or more hospitalizations, the employer must inform OSHA within eight hours of the occurrence. Under the new rule, a fatality (within 30 days of the work-related incident) must still be reported within eight hours of the death. However, employers will now have a 24 hour window in which to report to OSHA all work-related inpatient hospitalizations that require care and treatment of a single employee, all amputations, and all losses of an eye which occur within 24 hours of the incident. The available methods of reporting by the employer have also been expanded. In addition to calling OSHA's confidential number (1-800-321-OSHA) or calling the local OSHA Area Office, employers will be able to go to the web portal, which OSHA is developing, and make a report electronically. OSHA has stated that not all reported incidents will lead to an inspection. OSHA noted, however, that hospitalization and partial body loss are significant events that indicate serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment. OSHA said in its press teleconference that it sees a report as opening a dialog with the employer and that its decisions regarding whether an investigation will be opened will be case-specific. OSHA is most interested in knowing what caused the injury, what the employer intends to do as a result of the incident, and putting the employer on notice–all of which it expects will make an employer more likely to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation. Based on OSHA's conversation(s) with an employer, OSHA indicated that it may decide to take no further action, roll the employer straight into a consultation program, or conduct an inspection. Significantly and most troubling, OSHA also stated during its press teleconference that it will make an employer's report of all fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and/or eye losses publicly available on the OSHA website. OSHA stated that it believes that public disclosure will incentivize employers to ensure a safe workplace for their employees.

Nickole Winnett is a senior associate in the Washington, D.C. Region Office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a member of the Workplace Safety and Health practice group. She heads the Workplace Violence sub-specialty practice group and is a member of the Process Safety Management sub-specialty practice group. Winnett is also co-author of Jackson Lewis' OSHA Law Blog.