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Employment Law Posters – Increase in Penalties and New FMLA Poster- Fines will be doubled after July 5

Weekly HR News – FLSA

Employment Law Posters – Increase in Penalties and New FMLA Poster

Effective July 5, 2016, a new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rule more than doubles the maximum fine, up to $525 per violation, for employers that do not comply with the posting requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. 

Under the federal law, employers with 15 or more employees are required to post the notice stating employee rights under federal laws prohibiting job discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, disability or genetic information. These posters are required to be placed in a conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted. 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website provides assistance for employers in deciding which federal posters are required, and provides those posters for free.  State-required posters and notices can also be printed at no cost from the following websites:

Kentucky Safety Poster: https://kysafe.ky.gov/Documents/OSH-Poster-11x17-English.pdf

Kentucky Child Labor Laws: https://labor.ky.gov/Documents/KY%20Child%20Labor%20Poster%20English.pdf

Kentucky Wage and Hour: https://labor.ky.gov/Documents/KY%20Wage%20and%20Hour%20Poster%20English.pdf

Kentucky Wage Discrimination: https://labor.ky.gov/Documents/KY%20Wage%20Discrimination%20Poster%20English.pdf

Kentucky Unemployment: https://labor.ky.gov/Documents/ui_ben5_1_0108.pdf

Kentucky Equal Employment Opportunity: https://labor.ky.gov/Documents/Equal%20Employment%20Opportunitiy%20Poster%20English.pdf

 
Also important to note, DOL recently issued a new Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster to replace the previous one that is required to be displayed by employers. Currently, the DOL is not requiring employers to replace their existing posters; however, it is important that employers review their existing FMLA policies to make sure the written policies contain all of the information and requirements contained in the new poster and update them if necessary. As with all other posting requirements, cities are required to post FMLA posters in a conspicuous place in the workplace and can face monetary fines for noncompliance.

KLC strives to notify cities of new poster requirements and changes as they occur; however, all city employers should check the above links and the federal and state Department of Labor websites frequently as the statutory laws and federal regulations can change. 

For questions on wage and hour issues or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, KLC personnel services specialist.    

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ALERT - Change to Kentucky Occupational Safety & Health on the Job Poster

Weekly HR – Workplace Posters

ALERT - Change to Kentucky Occupational Safety& Health on the Job Poster

The Kentucky Occupational Safety & Health on the Job poster was update November 2015.  If you have not updated this poster since that date you must do so now.  The current poster can be found on the Kentucky Labor Cabinet website at:

 http://labor.ky.gov/ListsAndLibraries/Labor%20Cabinet%20Posters/KY%20OSH%20Poster%20English.pdf

For questions on this or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, KLC personnel services specialist.

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Municipal Employee Handbooks

Weekly HR News –

Municipal Employee Handbooks

With the New Year comes new challenges, and one of those challenges is the employee handbook.  An employee handbook is a valuable communication tool to allow employees to understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from the city as the employer.  In addition, an employee handbook will be of vital importance in defending an employment-related claim. It shows that your city had in place personnel and employee policies relating to the employment relationship, that the employee was aware of those policies and that those policies were followed by the city.   

Employee handbooks should be drafted in clear, concise and easy-to-understand language.  At a minimum, employee handbooks should include the following:

  1. A conspicuous disclaimer in the front of the handbook that the handbook does not create contractual rights and that employees continue to be terminable at will.  The statement should be something to the effect of:

The City Employee Handbook does not create any contractual or other legal rights.  The personnel policies contained in this Handbook do not alter the City’s at-will employment policy nor does it create an employment contract for any period of time.

  1. A clear, comprehensive equal employment opportunity statement such as:

The city provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics.   

In addition to federal law requirements, the city complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.”

3.         The city's sexual harassment/discrimination policy condemning all forms of unlawful harassment, not just sexual harassment.  The policy should also clearly set out an easy-to-follow process for filing a complaint and stating what action will be taken, including termination, if it is determined that harassment or discrimination has occurred.

4.         An explanation of the employee disciplinary procedures stating the types of behavior that will subject an employee to discipline or immediate termination and the process that will be followed in addressing disciplinary problems. 

5.         Information on the city's personnel file policy including a statement as to what information will be maintained in an employee's personnel file. The policy should also include a statement that only personal information such as home address, social security number, medical information, marital status and other matters unrelated to the performance of public employment will be considered confidential. Any other information that relates to the performance of public work is considered an open record and open to public inspection.  In addition, the policy should include the procedure on how an employee can make a request to review their own personnel file.

In addition to the above, an employee handbook may address any and all policies you may have, such as: time cards, overtime, benefits, dress codes, alcohol and drug use policies and safety guidelines.

Cities should be certain that every employee is provided with a personal copy of the employee handbook at the time of hire.  They should also be required to sign an acknowledgement stating that they received a copy of the employee handbook and that they are responsible for reading and understanding the information contained in the handbook.   This signed acknowledgement should be placed in the employee's personnel file.  In addition, any time that an amendment is made to the handbook, employees should be required to sign an additional acknowledgment regarding the specific change. 

The executive authority should review city policies to be certain that they are up-to-date with any recent employment law changes.  If it has been more than a few years since they were last updated, they are not current.  You should also make sure that all employees have a copy and have signed off as having received a copy of the current policies.  Checking on these matters now could prevent costly liability issues from occurring in the future. 

If you need to update your policies, keep in mind that cities are unique. When it comes to creating or updating your personnel policies, you need to work with someone who not only has expertise in personnel law and human resource matters, but someone who knows municipal law as well.  KLC can offer this expertise in a way that is specific to your city’s needs.  Whether it is creating or reviewing city personnel policies or providing training on your city policies or on a variety of specialized HR topics, KLC has you covered.  For more information on this service or any other personnel-related matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, KLC personnel services specialist.   

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Get Required Workplace Posters for Cities – For Free

Weekly HR – Workplace Posters

Required Workplace Posters for Cities – For Free

Kentucky statutes and federal regulations enforced by agencies within the Department of Labor require that certain posters or notices be posted in a conspicuous area in the workplace.  Posting requirements vary by statute; that is, not all employers are covered by each of the Department of Labor's federal or state statutes and thus may not be required to post a specific notice.

However, for those posters and notices that cities must post, there is no need for cities to purchase from companies, as cities can find all the required posters at no cost on the following websites:

1)The Kentucky Labor Cabinet website: http://labor.ky.gov/dows/doesam/Pages/Divisions-of-Employment-Standards-Apprenticeship-and-Mediation.aspx

2)The US Department of Labor website also provides assistance for employers in deciding which federal posters are required as well as providing those posters for free: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm

KLC strives to notify cities of new poster requirements and changes as they occur; however, all city employers should check the above links and the federal and state Department of Labor websites frequently as the statutory laws and federal regulations can change.  Failure to comply with the posting requirements can result in fines of up to $7,500 per inspection.

For questions on wage and hour issues or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, KLC personnel services specialist.

 

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