Union Pacific to Pay $350,000 for Safety Retaliation

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The following excerpts are from OSHA’s press release:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered the Union Pacific Railroad Co., headquartered in Omaha, Neb., to immediately reinstate an employee who was terminated in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for reporting a work-related injury. The company will pay more than $350,000 in back wages with interest, compensatory and punitive damages.

“An employer does not have the right to retaliate against employees who report work-related injuries,”

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NLRB to Appeal Board Appointment Controversy to the Supreme Court

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Today, the NLRB announced that it will appeal Noel Canning vs. NLRB to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

On January 25, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama’s “recess” appointments of three National Labor Relations Board members was unconstitutional.  During a congressional recess, the President may appoint Board members without congressional approval.  The DC Circuit ruled that Congress wasn’t in recess when the appointments were made.  

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Employers Must Use New I-9 Form on or Before May 7, 2013

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Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States.

Improvements to Form I-9 include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers. The Department of Homeland Security has published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new Form I-9. 

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5th Circuit Reverses NLRB’s Charges Surrounding a Decertification Election

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On February 28, 2013, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals completely reversed the National Labor Relations Board in Arkema, Inc., 16-CA-26371.  The following is excerpted from the Board’s summary of the case:

This case arises out of an August 2008 decertification election at a Houston-area chemical manufacturing plant, which the union lost 18-17.  The Board found four violations of the Act, but the Court reversed each one.  

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New FMLA Poster Required by March 8, 2013

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In conjunction with the new FMLA regulations released earlier this month, the Department of Labor is requiring employers to use an updated FMLA poster to inform employees of their rights under the Act.  The new poster informs military service members, airline personnel, and families of their rights to leave.

The new poster is available on the DoL website and can be downloaded at no charge.  As mentioned in another post,

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BLS Releases Statistics Amid Push to Increase the Minimum Wage

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As the current administration continues its efforts to increase the federal minimum wage rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2012 minimum wage statistics, which are excerpted below:

In 2012, 75.3 million workers in the United States age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 59.0 percent of all wage and salary workers. 1 Among those paid by the hour, 1.6 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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Court Finds that Random Alcohol Tests Don’t Always Violate the ADA

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Last week the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania made a surprising ruling:  a company can show that random alcohol test are “job related and consistent with business necessity.”  In the first case of its kind, the federal judge rejected the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidelines.  Before this ruling, the traditional wisdom, garnered from the guidelines was:

  • You can test a person for alcohol only if you have reasonable cause or suspicion,

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Governor Signs House Bill 22

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On February 20, 2013, Governor Otter signed House Bill 22 into law.

Under current law, large employers must remit income tax withheld on a pay period schedule that overlaps two calendar months. This split monthly filing results in a fiscal reporting year of January 16 in one year to January 15 of the next year. Because employee W-2 reporting is done on a calendar year basis, these employers must file a more complex annual form to reconcile calendar year W-2 information with the fiscal year withholding reporting period.

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DoL Revises FMLA Forms in Conjunction with the New Rules

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The U.S. Department of Labor recently revised and issued Family and Medical Leave Act forms in conjunction with its issuance of a final rule that expands FMLA coverage.  Find links to the revised forms below:

WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities
WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember —

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