CWS 3.0: February 19, 2014

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Firm Lists 11 ‘Scariest’ HR Issues

Independent contractor misclassification ranks among the 11 scariest issues U.S. employers face this year, according to XpertHR, a provider of legal information to employers. Other scary subjects: wage and hour disputes, legalized marijuana use, and background check regulations.

Here are the 11 scariest issues for employers, according to XpertHR:

  1. Medical and recreational marijuana use. In states that permit marijuana use, employers need to clarify that marijuana is prohibited in the workplace.
  2. Same-sex marriage. Employers should know the tax benefits provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse or partner, and whether the state follows or departs from federal law.
  3. Technology in the workplace. Employers should create distinct “bring-your-own-device” policies and explain what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable use of social media while at work.
  4. Healthcare reform. Recently released final regulations relaxed the rules for employers with 100 or more employees, and further delayed compliance until 2016 for employers with 50 - 99 employees.
  5. Immigration and Form I-9 compliance. Employers must strike a balance between ensuring an authorized workforce while avoiding discriminating against authorized workers.
  6. Misclassification of independent contractors. Improper classification can lead to a variety of liabilities.
  7. Minimum wage and overtime violations. Employers should be up-to-date with their state requirements regarding minimum wage and overtime.
  8. Curtailing background checks. In states and cities that have adopted “ban the box” legislation, employers should make sure to eliminate the criminal history box from job applications.
  9. Emerging protected classes and curbing workplace discrimination. Even if an employer’s state does not yet specifically prohibit discrimination, it is advisable for an employer to be proactive and prohibit it.
  10. Employee leaves and reasonable accommodations. Make sure that leave policies do not require automatic termination of employees who take extended leaves of absence.
  11. Expansion of “protected concerted activity.” Employers need to make sure they do not unreasonably restrict employees from exercising their Section 7 rights.

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