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OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Safety ETS and General Industry Guidance

15 June 2021

OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Safety ETS and General Industry Guidance

Author: Michael Burns

Last Thursday the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published two directives addressing COVID-19 workplace safety. The formal regulatory standard called the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) covers health care workers. These apply to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, emergency responders, home health care workers, and employees that do ambulatory care. The ETS rules for these categories of covered jobs are workplace requirements.
The Post Pandemic Workplace: Remote Employees and Requirements

15 June 2021

The Post Pandemic Workplace: Remote Employees and Requirements

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As we begin to pass by the pandemic and bring back workers to the physical workplace, a host of issues has to be reviewed by HR with the new workplace.  In some cases, employers are having a hybrid approach to working.  In other cases, employers are allowing for 100% remote work.  Finally, other employers are requiring 100% return to the office.  And in today’s world, if the job can be remote, recruitment could be expanded outside the normal recruiting area, possibly...
HR’s Priority the Next Four Years:  Compliance

8 June 2021

HR’s Priority the Next Four Years: Compliance

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Biden administration has released their proposed budget, and there is a big boost of spending for the Department of Labor’s worker protection agencies.  Although the labor market will be tight, and HR focus on talent may overtake any other initiatives, compliance cannot be an afterthought for HR.  Further, recent appointments to the worker protection agencies, including National Labor Relations Board, reinforce the need for HR to ensure proper attention and resources are...
Marijuana – Should Employers Still Test for It?

8 June 2021

Marijuana – Should Employers Still Test for It?

Author: Susan Chance

Even though 56% of Michigan voters approved the recreational use of marijuana on November 6, 2018, and it became legal on December 6, 2018, it seems that it is only recently that more and more employers are rethinking their drug screening policies. This is in large part due to the problem of finding employees, and especially in finding employees who will not test positive for the substance.
EEOC and OSHA COVID Related Updates for This Week

1 June 2021

EEOC and OSHA COVID Related Updates for This Week

Author: Michael Burns

Following the May 25th Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) COVID-19 and vaccination guidance revisions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its technical guidance for employers regarding incentivization of vaccination programs.

When is Ontario Reopening?

25 May 2021

When is Ontario Reopening?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

For many who want to travel to their operations in Ontario, unless it is essential business, all business must be conducted remotely.  Ontario’s Stay at Home Order has been continued until June 2, and it may be extended further.   Further, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the ban on nonessential travel with the United States will not be lifted until COVID-19 is significantly more under control around the world.  On May 21, the Government of Canada extended...
MIOSHA Modifies Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules and Withdraws its Proposed Permanent Workplace Safety Rules

25 May 2021

MIOSHA Modifies Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules and Withdraws its Proposed Permanent Workplace Safety Rules

Author: Michael Burns

On Monday, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Agency (MIOSHA) changed its COVID-19 emergency rule on workplace safety protocols following the Governor’s previous announcement of the same more than a week ago. Employers have waited for MIOSHA to catch-up to the Governor’s announcement last week, being caught between the Governor’s office change and MIOSHA’s existing rules published last October.

Illinois Bars the Use of Conviction Records

18 May 2021

Illinois Bars the Use of Conviction Records

Author: Susan Chance

The Illinois Human Rights Act recently had some changes when Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1480 on March 23. It is now a civil rights violation “for any employer, employment agency, or labor organization to use a conviction record as a basis to refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges, or conditions of...
Michigan Starts Loosening Public Pandemic Safety Rules. Employers Are Told to Follow MDHHS While They Await MIOSHA Updates.

18 May 2021

Michigan Starts Loosening Public Pandemic Safety Rules. Employers Are Told to Follow MDHHS While They Await MIOSHA Updates.

Author: Michael Burns

Michigan reached the first stage of the Governor’s Vacc to Normal plan with over 55% of Michigan’s population now having at least one COVID-19 vaccination. As of May 24th the work from home order will be rescinded. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revised its masking rules, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gathering and Face Mask Order to coincide with those new rules.

U.S. DOL Pulls Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rules

11 May 2021

U.S. DOL Pulls Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rules

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the U.S. Department of Labor officially repealed the Trump rules on independent contractor status. Going back to the Obama Administration, the Trump rules loosened up a very strict or narrow definition of independent contractor that virtually had eliminated most forms of independent contractor status.

Canada’s New Pay Equity Law

4 May 2021

Canada’s New Pay Equity Law

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In December 2018, the Canadian Parliament passed the Pay Equity Act.   The law establishes proactive pay obligations on employers in the public and private sectors.  Although the law’s effective date is still to be determined, it will be in 2021.  The law will likely impact 18,000 organizations and nearly 1 million employees, according to the Canadian government.
Keeping up with Ban-the-Box Laws

27 April 2021

Keeping up with Ban-the-Box Laws

Author: Susan Chance

Back in September of 2018, then Governor Rick Snyder enacted a ban-the-box law that removed questions about criminal history from Michigan’s employment application, and he encouraged private employers to do the same. This came after he signed a bill in March of the same year limiting the ability of city and county governments to enact ban-the-box laws when it comes to private employers. Indiana enacted a similar law the year before.

COBRA Changes Under the American Rescue Plan

13 April 2021

COBRA Changes Under the American Rescue Plan

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Congress has made another avenue of health coverage more accessible by fully subsidizing the cost of COBRA coverage (or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) from April 1 - September 30, 2021 for individuals who lost their health coverage due to an involuntary termination or a reduction in hours under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

Michigan Unemployment Expansions Expired as of March 31, 2021

6 April 2021

Michigan Unemployment Expansions Expired as of March 31, 2021

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Unemployment requirements are now reverted back to the way it was before the pandemic hit Michigan.  Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing applicable to state unemployment claims established by Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 20-76, and temporarily codified in statute, expired on March 31, 2021. The last week that the flexibilities apply was the week ending March 27, 2021.

Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

6 April 2021

Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is receiving calls asking whether worker pandemic safety rules are still in effect. Yes, they are. MIOSHA Emergency Rules put in place last October remain in effect until at least April 16th and are, at this point with Michigan cases on the rise, expected to be extended possibly for another six months.

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