Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness as Temperatures Rise Statewide

AIO Heat Stress 2018 (WordPress blog)

Our California Outdoor Heat Illness Prevention Poster is on sale for the entire Summer of 2018 saving you 15% of our already low prices. Take advantage of this offer now by using coupon code HEAT2018 upon checkout.

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness and to encourage their workers to take preventative cool-down breaks in the shade as temperatures rise throughout California. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for forecasts of triple-digit temperatures through the weekend, starting Thursday, June 21st, in Southern California and beginning Friday in central and northern counties. Summer has officially begun.

“During heat waves, employers must closely observe their employees for signs and symptoms of heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “As always, workers should be encouraged to drink water frequently and take preventative cool-down rest breaks in the shade when they feel the need to do so.”

To help employers comply with the state’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulation, All In One Poster Company has designed a comprehensive poster to supplement the Cal/OSHA standard training requirement and the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), and to serve as a quick reference guide. Remember that displaying posters is a sign of your commitment to safety.

CAHeatStress2015

This poster contains the following information:

  • Steps to Preventing Heat Stress according to Cal/OSHA
  • Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Symptoms of Heat Stroke
  • What to do for Heat-Related Illness

California’s heat illness prevention regulation requires employers with outdoor workers to take the following four steps to prevent heat illness:

  • Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
  • Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  • Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Shade – Provide shade when workers request it and when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

Cal/OSHA urges workers experiencing possible overheating to take a preventative cool-down rest in the shade until symptoms are gone. Workers who have existing health problems or medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat, such as diabetes, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a worker’s risk for heat illness.

In addition to the other requirements outlined in California’s heat illness prevention regulation, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker does get sick. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.

Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention special emphasis program, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California’s employers and workers. Online information on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the Water. Rest. Shade. campaign site. A Heat Illness Prevention e-tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

For indoor workers in California, All In One Posters has also put together a California Indoor Heat Stress Poster seen below. This poster was created in response to a bill that was signed by Governor Brown in which section 6720 was added to SB 1167 to add protection for indoor workers against indoor heat.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

New Hampshire Law Prohibits Retaliation Based on Flexible Work Schedule Requests

Law Effective September 1, 2016

Under a new law in New Hampshire, an employer may not retaliate against an employee solely because he or she requests a flexible work schedule.

The law does not require an employer to accommodate a flexible work schedule, nor does it create a cause of action for failure to provide a flexible work schedule at an employee’s request.

Note: Employers may have related obligations under other federal, state, and/or local laws, such as the reasonable accommodation requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act or the leave requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The new law is effective September 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

DOL Revises Federal Minimum Wage and Employee Polygraph Workplace Posters

2016 Federal Banner for Blog
Revised Posters Must Be Posted as of August 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently updated its Fair Labor Standards Act and Employee Polygraph Protection Act posters. The new versions are now included in our State & Federal Combination Posters, as well as various versions of our Federal All-In-One Posters.

Background
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage, and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

Note: Employers may also have certain obligations under state and/or local laws, including minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test.

Revised Posters
Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post (and keep posted) a notice explaining the law in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

Additionally, every employer subject to the EPPA must post (and keep posted) on its premises a notice explaining the law. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment.

As of August 1, 2016, employers must post these revised versions. All In One Poster Company has revised all posters containing these notices as of July 29, 2016.

DOL Issues Guidance for Private Employers on Final Overtime Rule

Guidance Provides Options for Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance on its final overtime rule to help private sector employers evaluate current practices and transition to the rule’s requirements.

Background
The DOL’s final rule, effective December 1, 2016, updates the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (“white collar” workers) are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levelsneeded for such workers to be exempt. In particular, the final rule:

  • Raises the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or$47,476 annually) for a full-year worker;
  • Sets the highly-compensated employee (HCE) total annual compensation level equal to $134,004 annually;
  • Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every 3 years, beginning on January 1, 2020; and
  • Amends the regulations to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level, so long asemployers pay those amounts on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Note: When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

New Guidance
Among other things, the DOL’s guidance details some of the options employers may exercise in determining how to comply with the final rule. Employers have certain options for responding to the changes to the salary level, and the DOL does not dictate or recommend any method. Such options include:

  • Providing pay raises that increase workers’ salaries to the new threshold;
  • Spreading employment by reducing or eliminating work hours of individual employees working over 40 hours per week for which no overtime is being paid; or
  • Paying overtime.

Note: The rule does not require employers to convert a salaried worker making less than the new salary threshold to hourly status; employers can pay non-exempt employees on a salary basis and pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Click here to read the guidance. Additional information on the final rule, including fact sheets and Q&As, is available on the DOL’s final rule webpage.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Penalties Increase for Employers Violating Certain Federal Labor Laws

pay_or_play_penalty_and_ppacaEmployers that do not comply with certain requirements under a number of federal labor laws will face increased fines beginning with civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 (whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015).

Key Penalty Increases
Penalty increases announced by the U.S. Department of Labor that may be of particular interest include:

  • Repeated or willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage or overtime pay requirements will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,894 per violation (formerly $1,100);
  • Willful violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting requirement will be subject to a penalty not to exceed $163 for each separate offense (formerly $110) (note: covered employers must post this general notice even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave);
  • Failure to provide employees with a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice will be subject to a penalty of up to $110 per day per violation (formerly $100);
  • Failure to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,087 per failure (formerly $1,000);
  • Failure or refusal to file a Form 5500 will be subject to a penalty of up to $2,063 per day (formerly $1,100); and
  • Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s posting requirement will be subject to a maximum penalty of $12,471 for each violation (formerly $7,000).

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Colorado: Law Grants Current and Former Employees Access to their Personnel Files

Law Effective January 1, 2017

Under a new law in Colorado, an employee generally has a right to access his or her personnel files maintained by a current or former employer. Key provisions of the law are presented below.

Right of Access

  • Employers must, at least annually, upon the request of an employee, permit that employee to inspect and obtain a copy of any part of his or her own personnel file(s) at the employer’s office and at a time convenient to both the employer and the employee.
  • A former employee may make one inspection of his or her personnel file after termination of employment.
  • An employer may restrict the employee’s or former employee’s access to his or her files to be only in the presence of a person responsible for managing personnel data on behalf of the employer or another employee designated by the employer.
  • The employer may require the employee or former employee to pay the reasonable cost of duplication of documents.

Scope of the Law

  • “Personnel file” means the personnel records of an employee, in the manner maintained by the employer and using reasonable efforts by the employer to collect, that are used or have been used to determine the employee’s qualifications for employment, promotion,additional compensation, or employment termination or otherdisciplinary action.
    • Note: Certain information is excluded from coverage. Click herefor more information.
  • The law does not require an employer to:
    • Create, maintain, or retain a personnel file on an employee or former employee; or
    • Retain any documents that are or were contained in an employee’s or former employee’s personnel file for any specified period of time.
  • Certain financial institutions are exempt from the law’s requirements.

The law is effective January 1, 2017. Click here for more information.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Vermont Prohibits Use of Electronic Cigarettes in the Workplace

Workplace Prohibition Effective July 1, 2016novaping

A new law in Vermont prohibits using electronic cigarettes in any workplace.

Prohibitions

  • Under the new law, the possession of lighted tobacco products or use of tobacco substitutes is prohibited in any workplace.
    • “Tobacco substitutes” are products—including electronic cigarettes or other electronic or battery-powered devices—that contain and are designed to deliver nicotine or other substances into the body through inhaling vapor and that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for tobacco cessation or other medical purposes. Products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for tobacco cessation or other medical purposes are not considered to be tobacco substitutes.
    • “Workplace” means an enclosed structure where employees perform services for an employer, including restaurants, bars, and other establishments in which food or drinks, or both, are served.
      • In the case of an employer who assigns employees to departments, divisions, or similar organizational units, “workplace” means the enclosed portion of a structure to which the employee is assigned.

Exception for Vaping Lounges
The prohibition on using tobacco substitutes in a workplace does not apply to a business that does not sell food or beverages but is established for the sole purpose of providing a setting for patrons to purchase and use tobacco substitutes and related paraphernalia (i.e., vaping lounges).

These provisions take effect July 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

EEOC Releases Sample Notice for Employers to Comply With New ADA Wellness Program Requirements

Q&As Provide Additional Guidance

A sample notice is now available to help employers comply with new wellness program rules under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA). Among other things, the new rules require employers offering wellness programs that collect employee health information to provide a notice to employees informing them what information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it, and what will be done to keep it confidential.

The requirement to provide the notice takes effect as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017 for the health plan an employer uses to calculate any incentives it offers as part of the wellness program. Once the notice requirement becomes effective, employees must receive it before providing any health information, and with enough time to decide whether to participate in the program.

New Q&As Also Released
To help employers comply with the new notice requirement, the EEOC has also released a set of Q&As, which clarify, among other items:

  • Who must provide the notice;
  • The format in which the notice should be provided;
  • Whether an employee’s signed authorization is required as part of the notice requirement; and
  • Whether the current notice required under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) satisfies the new notice requirement under the ADA.

The ADA applies generally to employers with 15 or more employees. For more information on the new ADA rules, you may review the previously released Q&As and fact sheet.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: 2016 VETS-4212 Reporting Season Runs from August 1 to September 30

Reports May Be Submitted Online

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is reminding federal contractors and subcontractors that the 2016 VETS-4212 reporting season starts onAugust 1, 2016 and ends on September 30, 2016.

Background
The DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is responsible for administering the requirement under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act that federal contractors and subcontractors track and report annually the number of employees in their workforces who belong to the categories of veterans covered under the affirmative action provisions of the law.

Filing Threshold
Federal contractors and subcontractors with certain contracts or subcontracts of $150,000 or more are required to file a VETS-4212 Report.

Note: Effective as of October 1, 2015, the previous $100,000 threshold for VETS-4212 reporting is increased to $150,000. Accordingly, for the2016 filing year beginning on August 1, 2016, the filing threshold for contracts entered into prior to October 1, 2015, is still $100,000; for contracts entered into on or after October 1, 2015, the filing threshold is$150,000. The filing threshold for contractors continuing to file their VETS-4212 Reports for 2015 is still $100,000.

Reporting Requirements
Federal contractors and subcontractors completing the VETS-4212 Report are to provide information on the number of employees and new hires during the reporting period who are protected veterans.

The 2016 filing season for the VETS-4212 Report starts on August 1, 2016 and ends on September 30, 2016. Any reports entered prior toAugust 1, 2016 are considered part of the 2015 filing cycle.

VETS encourages online website submission of reports. Additional information, including instructions and FAQs, is available on the VETS-4212 website.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM