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Yearly Archives

2015

More on Medical Marijuana

By Drugs in the Workplace

In the 2015 Georgia legislative session, the use of cannabis oil was legalized for medical purposes in the state. (See the Atlanta Journal Constitution article.) Georgia’s new law allows cannabis oil – and oil only – to be used to treat eight medical conditions: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease. People may possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil with a physician’s…

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Clearing the Air on e-Cigarettes

By Drugs in the Workplace

Most companies have a policy on smoking in place. Over the years, smoking policies have tended to become more stringent, limiting where and when employees may smoke or banning smoking in the workplace altogether. However, the introduction of e-cigarettes and vape pens or open-air vaporizers has created a need to revisit policy. The issue is not as black and white as you may think. E-cigarettes and vaporizers are a $2.5B industry that has seen significant…

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Who Benefits from Wage & Hour Law Changes?

By Employment Law, Payroll

Are the latest changes in federal wage and hour laws good for your business or only good for the government? In a session titled, “What’s New in Wage-Hour,” Matthew Simpson presented on the minimum wage and the impact of cities and states increasing the minimum wage. Simpson stated that raising the minimum wage in markets with a higher cost of living such as New York, NY and San Francisco, CA, is probably appropriate but that…

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Federal Investigators and Lawsuits – on the Rise

By Employment Law

Eight years ago, the federal government had 730 Department of Labor (DOL) investigators. Today, they have 1,000. That means more people available to investigate violations. Further, the process has changed. Employers used to be able to call the DOL and request a ruling by submitting position details. They would get a decision as to whether this was an exempt or non-exempt position and receive a pass on any past violations. Now, the DOL is less…

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The DOL Has an App for That

By Employment Law

Yes, even the Department of Labor (DOL) understands how effective online apps can be. This weekend, when you’re looking for a restaurant for dinner that is free of health violations, use the DOL’s app, Eat Shop Sleep. Users can search for places to eat, shop and sleep and see if there are any pending safety, health or labor issues attached to these businesses as well as read customer reviews. For employees that are using a…

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Issues

By Employment Law

Fisher & Phillip’s Michael Elkon presented on the issues companies face when allowing employees to bring their own mobile devices to use for business purposes. There are “hidden costs and risks” associated with this practice, Elkon says. First, requiring employees to use their own mobile phone and not reimbursing them for that device may cause problems. This is the result of a California case (Cochran vs. Schwan’s Home Services, Inc.) where the Court held that…

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It’s About Time

By Employment Law, Payroll

Time. It’s how we spend the days, weeks, months and years of our lives personally and professionally. In the workplace, however, it is also necessary to record our time in order to be paid. Time tracking and recordkeeping is critical for business owners under the law. The U.S. Department of Labor has outlined requirements for recordkeeping under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For compliance purposes, there are several records the employers are required to…

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Spring Cleaning

By Employment Law

Spring is a great time to schedule a purging of files that have accumulated in your office that you may no longer need. While a good “spring cleaning” makes the office look neater and more organized, you want to be sure to retain documents for a period of time compliant with the law. According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) sample recordkeeping policy, the retention periods for terminated employees’ and applicants’ records and…

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Papers, Papers Everywhere

By Employment Law

Every year, the mishandling of confidential documents costs companies millions of dollars in liability. The State of Georgia has potential fines of up to $10,000 for businesses that mismanage confidential information. All businesses have information that needs to be destroyed, according to Peg Hussing, owner of Alpharetta-based EcoShredding, Inc., including customer lists, pricing, contracts, banking information and HR documents such as employment applications and payroll. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to safeguard…

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Is Navigating Health Insurance Making You Feel Sick?

By Benefits & Insurance, Employment Law

A person is hired by a company and the new employee’s compensation package includes both wages and an employer contribution toward a group health plan. Along comes the Affordable Care Act and premiums skyrocket. The employer, not covered by “pay or play” due to it’s number of employees, drops the group plan and informs the covered employees that if they need coverage they will need to purchase individual plans on their own. Should the employer…

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