Marathon HR News

Stay up-to-date on the latest Marathon HR news and developments via our newsletter and press releases. For details on the successful partnerships we build with clients, please read our case studies and testimonials.

The Challenge of Employee Obesity: Recent Court Rulings Raise the Bar; Medical Journal Says Home Healthcare Workers Are at Significant Risk

By | Risk Management & Safety, Worker Disability, Workplace Injuries | No Comments

A March 2018 court decision, Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, has set a possible precedent for employers to be held liable in actions where they inadvertently classify an obese individual as disabled by making health assumptions based on weight. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) obesity is not a protected status under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless the obesity both is outside of a “normal” range and results from…

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US Dept. of Labor Issues New Guidance on Interns, Increasing Employer Flexibility

By | Employment Law, Hiring, News | No Comments

In January, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) rolled out new guidelines that make it easier for companies to use unpaid interns, but some labor experts are warning the guidance is not a panacea. The update, published in a DoL guidance document on its website, sets a more flexible standard for employers than previous guidance. Now, interns must be the “primary beneficiaries” of the program—in other words, the programs must benefit the intern more than the…

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How Will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact Your Workers’ Taxes?

By | Employment Law, Employment News, Payroll | No Comments

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has taken effect and you and your employees may have noticed a change in take-home pay. This happened because the marginal tax rate dropped for the average individual, but that doesn’t mean they can keep the extra money. If most of your employees received an increase in their pay, it might be prudent to caution them not to celebrate, just yet. An increase in take-home pay will not necessarily…

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SHRM Weighs in on Employee Handbook Issues

By | Best Practices, Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Pregnancy Leave, Risk Management & Safety | No Comments

Two prominent human resources lawyers, the senior legal editor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a legal expert for HR information website ExpertHR, have jointly published an opinion asserting that “cookie-cutter” employee handbooks are no longer practical for many employers, especially those operating in multiple states. As the basis for their recommendation, they cite the trend toward federal deregulation and the volume of both state and local legislative actions. As detailed in the…

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Flu Season Has Yet to Peak—Keep Employees on Alert

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Sick Leave | No Comments

It might seem logical to assume that flu season would ramp down as temperatures moderate, but per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season lasts until mid-May. This year’s flu season has been especially dangerous—and deadly—and CDC experts say it isn’t peaking, yet. With cumulative hospitalizations at the highest rate since the CDC has been tracking them, employers should remind personnel to stick with flu prevention strategies at least through March, if not longer….

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Sexual Harassment Training: More Important than Ever

By | Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety | No Comments

With famous individuals falling like dominoes as allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment continue, business owners should be evaluating their corporate stance on sexual harassment. One problem that confronts business owners is defining exactly what does, and doesn’t, constitute sexual harassment. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published guidance on this issue. Following this guidance won’t necessarily protect a business from being embroiled in a lawsuit, but it will aid in their defense….

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Year-End Reporting of Company-Paid Health Insurance—and an S-Corp Reminder

By | Benefits & Insurance, Payroll, Record-keeping | No Comments

As the year draws to a close, company personnel charged with record-keeping should collect their corporate health insurance information in preparation for W-2 and other tax form reporting. (MarathonHR clients should send this information to us as soon as possible.) For S-Corporations (S-Corps), this information should be segregated by payments made to employees, and their spouses and dependents (which are not wages and are therefore not subject to withholding), and payments made on behalf of…

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Employer Planning Strategies for the 2018 Healthcare Laws

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance, Employee Retention | No Comments

With the ACA very much alive as we head towards the start of 2018, many employers may be adjusting their health insurance strategies. Applicable large employers—those with 50 or more FTEs—full time equivalent employees; a blended combination of full-time (30 hours per week) and part-time personnel—must provide “affordable” health insurance or face stiff penalties that are increasing again in 2018. For employers of fewer than 50 FTEs—small and midsized businesses (SMBs)—the mandate does not apply….

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Dealing with a Drug-Addicted Employee: Dismissal or Treatment?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Drugs in the Workplace, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety | No Comments

With drug addiction rates continuing to rise—especially for prescription drugs—employers are increasingly dealing with substance-abusing employees. Statistics* indicate approximately 70 percent of drug abusers are employed—some 10 million people. Traditionally, many companies have dismissed personnel who exhibited signs of substance abuse, especially if it happened on the job. Now, the problem has become so rampant—even among trusted personnel at the highest level—that many employers are asking themselves, “Should I dismiss people with substance abuse problems,…

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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017—Is Your Firm Safe from Them?

By | Employment Law, OSHA Regulations, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries | No Comments

At the National Safety Council’s September, 2017 Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the top 10 cited violations for 2017.  As you might expect, the number one violation—fall protection—reflects the top cause of workplace injuries—falls. The next three—hazard protection, scaffolding protection and respiratory protection—also related to likely causes of workplace injuries. This list is a reminder to employers that workplace safety is a top priority, and that safety…

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