Category Archives: HR Law

OSHA Issues New Workplace Safety Guidance

In response to a directive from President Biden last month (Jan. 2021), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued what the Department of Labor (DOL) described as more robust worker safety guidance to advise employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guide is titled Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. This guide helps employers and workers who are not healthcare professionals identify COVID-19 exposure risks and determine Read the rest

President Biden Issues Executive Orders Impacting Labor & Employment Policies

In addition to appointing Lauren McFerran chair of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during his first days in office, President Biden moved quickly to issue several executive orders which will impact labor and employment policies. According to some, these actions signal a pro-worker stance coming from the administration. This fact sheet, along with this detailed list of President Biden’s actions, describes many policies worthy of HR’s attention. 

Executive Order Guaranteeing Unemployment Insurance for Workers Who Refuse Work Read the rest

Coronavirus Relief Bill Includes Several Changes Impacting Employers

In our last issue (Dec. 2020) of Library Worklife, we explained that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was due to expire on December 31. It seems Congress chose not to extend the FFCRA’s leave mandate, so employers are no longer required to provide COVID-19 related leave under federal law. However, Congress encouraged employers to continue to provide COVID-19-related leave to employees by extending the FFCRA’s tax credit to covered employers (those with less than 500 employees) who Read the rest

DOL Relaxes FMLA Posting Requirements

U.S. law requires an employer to post a notice describing the Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, disability, or genetic information. The “EEO is the Law” poster, prepared by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), summarizes these laws and explains how an employee or applicant can file a complaint if s/he believes that s/he has been the victim of discrimination. According to the law, employers should place posters in a Read the rest

Federal Coronavirus Leave Rules Set to Expire December 31

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the law’s paid leave requirements. FFCRA became effective early this year as the U.S. was hit with the pandemic and will expire on December 31, 2020. For employees who have been working from home with care-giving responsibilities, Read the rest

Employers Start Preparing for the Coronavirus Vaccine with a Question: Can We Require It?

As news of progress on coronavirus vaccines have filled the headlines in recent weeks, many people have begun to feel hopeful that the end of the pandemic is near. For employers —many of whom have kept workers home for months— it has sparked many questions. The one question at the top of the list is: Can employers require employees to take the vaccine?

While the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine may be encouraging, it is not without controversy. Millions of Read the rest

Overtime Rules for Employees Who Work from Home

What percentage of your staff are working from home: 25%, 50%, 100%? Let’s face it, working from home (WFH) is the new reality for millions of employees across America and other parts of the world. Given that coronavirus is surging in nearly every state of the U.S., it’s safe to assume that it may be quite some time before everyone returns to the library/office. Among the many new challenges that human resource professionals must now contend with is keeping track Read the rest

CDC Expands Definition of “Close Contact” for COVID-19 Guidelines

We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for what seems like almost a year now. I’m sure employers thought they had contact tracing protocol down cold. Think again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded the definition of close contact, which will likely impact workplace practices. Under the new definition, close contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period beginning two Read the rest

Election Season and the Workplace

Next month, Americans who have not already voted will head to the polls to cast ballots in a critical election. This year presents unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Election dates have changed, voting sites have moved, and access to expanded voting options—such as vote by mail or expanded absentee voting—is still being debated in many states. Libraries are playing a critical role in helping to increase voter engagement in their communities. But what about library staff? Of course, Read the rest

What You Need to Know About Music Licensing for Virtual Events

Most librarians and library workers know about the importance of copyright laws regarding typical library materials. However, we might think that the rules are different when playing music for our online meetings and other virtual events. Let’s face it; the internet has made it easy to find songs and use them without thinking about copyright. Perhaps we want some soft music to play for our attendees while they wait for the session to begin. Or maybe we want some upbeat Read the rest