Each New Year brings with it new laws, rules and regulations based on the trends of business and human resources management. Here are just a few things that are happening in 2015 that employers need to be aware of and apply to their business if it makes sense.
Email for work use only – Most companies either have a written or implied policy that the company email and computer system is “for business purposes only.” However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is pushing back and saying that this blanket policy could interfere with an employees Section 7 rights to talk in the workplace about their employment and working conditions. Although a final determination on this new ruling hasn’t been made, it is important for employers to be aware and consider reviewing their email use policy.
Background Checks – Conducting background checks as a part of the hiring process continues to be a hot topic into 2015, particularly around how the information received is used as well as the disclosure and acknowledgement forms that companies use. It is important for companies to review their background check policy to ensure that they don’t have “blanket” policies excluding anyone from employment strictly based on a criminal conviction. Companies that conduct background checks must comply with not only the guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) but also the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA has new requirements for the disclosure form that employers use to notify applicants that they will be conducting a background check. It is important to note that this form must be separate from the employment application and that it is a stand-alone document.
Update OSHA Reporting Guidelines – The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its reporting requirements for 2015 to include the required reporting of “all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye” within 24 hours for covered employers. Also, they have expanded the list of industries that are exempt from required record-keeping of OSHA documents. As a reminder for companies that are covered under the OSHA record-keeping requirements, the OSHA Form 300-A posting requirement is coming up Feb. 1.
Deanna Arnold, PHR, is the president and owner of Cornelius, N.C.-based Employers Advantage LLC, which provides practical and sound solutions to meet the needs of your business in all aspects of human resources, including but not limited to, recruiting, benefits, employee relations, compliance, performance management, HRIS, workers compensation, safety, facilities/office management, and budgeting. She can be reached by emailing [email protected] or calling 980-422-7953. www.employersadvantagellc.com