Categories ArchivesMaureen B. Heffernan Blog


Summer Employment Tips:  Special Rules for Employing Minors Employers who hire high school-aged employees for summer jobs should be aware that the employment of minors is regulated by state and federal child labor laws. Depending on the age of the minor, different rules may affect the types of jobs they can perform, the hours they can work and whether breaks are required.  Generally, minors who are under the age of 14 may not be employed in nonagricultural jobs unless the job is exempt from regulation (such as newspaper delivery, babysitting, or working in a family business). Work Permits:  Some states require minors to obtain work permits.  In Iowa, only minors who are 14 or 15 years of age must have ...

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently published a revised version of the I-9 Form.  This is the form that employers must use to document their employees’ identification and eligibility to work in the United States.  The form must be completed within three business days of an employee’s date of hire.  The new digital form is intended to be easier to complete electronically and can be accessed and downloaded here. Employers can still use the older form (dated 3-8-13) however as of January 22, 2017, the new form (dated 11-14-2016) must be used. USCIS notes that the changes to the form “are designed to reduce errors and enhance form completion using a computer.”   The following information is also ...

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The Department of Labor has just announced its final overtime rule.  It was thought that the salary threshold for maintaining the overtime exemption for white collar (executive, administrative, and professional) employees (the “salary test”) would increase from $455 per week/$23,660 per year to $970 per week/$50,440 per year.  There was also an expectation that once the Final Rule was published, employers would have just 90 days to come into compliance. The Final Rule sets a slightly lower than expected salary level and also gives employers longer to prepare for the changes, establishing a December 1, 2016 effective date.  Under the Final Rule, the required salary for an exempt white collar employee who is subject to the “salary test” will be ...

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Employment Law Update: Employer-Provided Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act standard

On May 9, 2016 the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a resource document that addresses workplace leave policies in the context of an employer’s duty to accommodate employees with disabilities. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state civil rights laws, including the Iowa Civil Rights Act, require that employers provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities unless doing so would cause undue hardship on the employer’s operations or finances. The EEOC’s new document entitled, “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” which can be accessed on the EEOC’s website, reminds employers that workplace policies denying or limiting the use of leave may be subject to challenge if they unlawfully restrict the rights of disabled ...

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Wage and Hour Issues for Employers: Do I Have to Pay Our Summer Intern? standard

If your company is considering hiring unpaid interns this summer, you should keep in mind that there are certain requirements that must be met before you can treat an internship as an unpaid position. Generally speaking, interns who receive training for their own educational benefit may be considered “unpaid interns.” However, the Department of Labor, which is the federal agency that enforces the federal wage and hour laws has identified the following six criteria that must be met in order to have an unpaid intern in your workplace: The internship, even though it includes performance of the actual operations of your workplace, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is clearly for ...

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Three Hot Topics for Employers in 2016 standard

Proposed Changes to Overtime Rules – Planning for More Overtime Eligible Employees Pregnancy Accommodations in the Workplace Independent Contractor vs. Employee – An Important Distinction Plan Now for New Overtime Rules You may have heard that the federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would change the test for determining which employees are exempt from overtime requirements.  The rule will have the effect of greatly expanding the number of employees who will need to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  Although the DOL does not expect to issue its final rule changing the overtime exemptions until mid-to-late 2016 now is a good time to consider which of your employees may lose ...

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