"Suggestion that Worker Was Terrorist Results in Claim" and other #HR News for March 16, 2015

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Updated daily, the HR News home page is your one-stop shop for the latest news and featured articles. This page compiles top staff-written and external news of general interest to HR, plus major stories in the HR Disciplines.

Health Groups Offer Guidance on E-Cigarettes in the Workplace

Recommendations for wellness programs and tobacco-cessation policies

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  3/16/2015

The rapid growth in the popularity of e-cigarettes is a cause for concern, according to organizations involved in a collaborative effort to develop guidance for employers regarding worksite tobacco policies. To continue reading this article, please click here.

Up to Juries: Uber, Lyft Drivers’ Status as Employees or Contractors

By Allen Smith  3/13/2015

In two cases stretching the boundaries of what it means to be an employee, juries will decide whether Uber and Lyft drivers are employees or independent contractors. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected both companies’ motions for summary judgment on March 11, 2015, in two different cases. To continue reading this article, please click here.

Evaluate Pay Issues as Talent Market Heats Up

Updating pay systems and policies can help businesses thrive in the new economy

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  3/16/2015

Sixty-three percent of employers recently cited “retaining top employees” as their primary compensation objective. But 57 percent don’t train managers on how to speak with employees about their pay, even though 38 percent are not very confident in their managers’ ability to perform this task, while another 45 percent report being only somewhat confident, according to the 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report from PayScale, a provider of on-demand compensation data and software. To continue reading this article, please click here.

SOX Final Rule: Whistle-Blower Complaints to OSHA May Be Oral

By Allen Smith  3/13/2015

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule rejecting employers’ recommendation that whistle-blower complaints to the agency be required to be in writing, but altering the investigation process to provide employers with more information than would have been supplied had interim final rule (IFR) provisions been adopted unchanged. To continue reading this article, please click here.

Protecting PHI Should Be Priority for HR

By Deena Coffman  3/13/2015

Ensuring the privacy of protected health information (PHI) isn’t a top priority for many HR departments. They have so many other pressing concerns—such as attracting and retaining talent, managing disciplinary issues, and controlling costs—that maintaining security around employees’ PHI often plays second fiddle. But the latest round of changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the related Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act should make HR departments sit up and take notice. To continue reading this article, please click here.

Suggestion that Worker Was Terrorist Results in Claim

By Allen Smith  3/12/2015

Statements at an agency administrative fact-finding hearing about a state employee may be subject to later examination by a court to determine if colleagues of the employee made remarks that would constitute the intentional infliction of emotional distress, a March 6, 2015, decision by the U.S. District Court for Connecticut indicates. The statements at issue suggested that the employee, a Muslim civil engineer from Turkey working for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), was a terrorist. To continue reading this article, please click here.

OSHA Modifies HazCom Enforcement Position

Good-faith efforts may be enough to comply with impending deadline

By Roy Maurer  3/12/2015

Chemical manufacturers and importers that have documented their efforts to communicate with upstream suppliers about meeting upcoming safety data sheet and chemical labeling requirements but have not yet received accurate information will not be cited for a failure to comply. To continue reading this article, please click here.