Volume 19 | November 2020
HR & the Law in the News
Bringing You More News Stories in a Shorter Format!

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To Pay or Not to Pay: Rest & Meal Period Update

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, a rest break between “5 minutes and about 20 minutes” must be paid. A meal period, “Ordinarily 30 minutes or more" may be unpaid.

So, what if an employee takes a break of more than 20 but fewer than 30 minutes? Is it paid or unpaid?
CDC Modifies Its "Return to Work" COVID-19 Webpage
On October 28th, the CDC updated its RTW webpage. In the "Protect Yourself and Others..." section, it reads, "If you are well, but you have a sick family member or recently had close contact with someone with COVID-19, notify your supervisor and follow CDC recommendation precautions." What's new is the definition of "close contact."
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Form I-9 Questions Asked & Answered
You may have been completing Form I-9's remotely and are now doing the in-person updates as employees return to work. If so, you may have a few questions. Two FAQ's were recently answered.

Q1: What if the documents used during the remote verification are now lost or expired?

Q2: What if the person who reviewed the remote documents is no longer available for the in-person review?
Error_ Technology Concept
One Wee Error Leads to Double Trouble
An employee injured her foot at work. The employer offered the employee temporary, light duty and she accepted. So why does she sue and the court agrees that her employer may have engaged in FMLA interference and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Job Description Saves the Day! Substance Use, Testing & the ADA
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An employee has a minor accident while driving his employer's vehicle. Following company policy, he submits to a post-accident substance test. The results are positive for opiates and oxycodone. The employer removes his safety-sensitive duties, including driving and he continues to work. When the employee's and employer's doctors do not agree on his ability to safely perform the safety-sensitive duties, he is placed on a leave of absence and subsequently terminated.

I don't usually share stories where the employer wins. This one, however, is a great illustration of the value of having current job descriptions that accurately describe the essential functions of the job.

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Substance Testing #2:
When is Intrusion an Invasion of Privacy?
An employer has a substance testing policy that requires employees to either allow direct observation of providing a urine sample or remove their clothing for a visual inspection before providing a urine sample. Let’s face it, either is pretty awkward. So, you might understand why an employee declined either option. But, when she did, she also lost her job…and sued for constructive discharge.
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Upcoming Events...
Coming to a Laptop or Computer Near You!
  • Thursday, November 5th, "ADA News You Can Use: Trends, Tips & Updates," hosted by AICC, 2:00 - 3:00 ET
  • Friday, November 6th, "Employee Where Art Thou? The Latest News in Managing Disability & Leave Issues," presented during CC SHRM's Fall Conference.
  • Wednesday, November 18th, "HR's New Bermuda Quadrangle: FFCRA, FMLA, ADA & Paid Leave Mandates," sponsored by Bux-Mont HR Association (members only event).
  • Thursday, November 19th, "Wage & Hour Update: From WOW's to Woes" presented for HRASM.
  • Wednesday, November 25th, "Employment Law Update 2020: The Year in Review," FiveL Webcast, 10 - 11:15 .a.m. ET
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This publication does not constitute the rendering of legal advice. You should consult your company's legal counsel for guidance on any matter. 
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