Question: Outside of our Workers’ Compensation carrier, does our business need to track and report on workplace injuries? Our View:  OSHA (the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does require businesses to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries, unless the business employs 10 or fewer workers and/or the business is in a low-hazard industry. …

Question: We are a federal contractor and maintain an Affirmative Action Plan and file annual employer EEO-1 Annual Reports.  Can you tell us what reporting and records retention requirements there are for veterans, if any, that we should also be providing? Answer:  Your timing is great for this question, as the Department of Labor’s Veterans’…

Question: During an open enrollment election period, if an employee drops spousal coverage, would this be a COBRA-qualifying event for the dropped spouse? Our Response:  A group health plan is required to offer COBRA continuation coverage only to a qualified beneficiary after a “qualifying event” occurs.   A qualifying event is a certain event that would…

You probably have all of your plans in place for this year’s office holiday celebration to thank your employees for their contributions during the year.  Or maybe you have decided that this year you’ll skip the usual celebrations in favor of a more modest, low-key approach given the business climate.  Regardless of how you are…

Question: Does an employee on workers’ compensation need to pay for health benefits while on leave? If so, for how long can she remain on our plan until her plan is terminated and we must offer her COBRA?  Our View:  We recommend that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave be designated to run…

Question: Can a child take intermittent FMLA leave to take his ailing parent to doctor appointments? This seems like an easy answer, right? Of course an employee can take FMLA leave for ailing family members…..but not so fast. Recent court cases have highlighted the distinctions between family members being absent from work to care for…

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched I-9 Central, a new online resource center dedicated to  Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This user-friendly, free, and easy-to-use website builds gives employers and employees simple one-click access to resources, tips and guidance to properly complete Form I-9 and better understand the Form I-9 process, including:…

Ask the Experts: Internships

Question: We would like to hire a paid intern from a local university for the summer and into the fall. The problem is that she has the proper paperwork to be a student, but she doesn’t have a Social Security Number. Before we officially hire her, can we ask to see the documents that she…

Question:  While the plant was shut down for a week, we paid our employees their accrued vacation in advance of the shutdown for that week.  Subsequently some of the maintenance employees were called into work.  We would like to compensate them with additional pay for the time spent working during their “vacation”; however, we would…

Results from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2011 indicate that employers are reporting a positive hiring outlook for April through June. More than 18,000 U.S. employers in 13 industry sectors were asked about their anticipated total employment over the next three months. Of those surveyed: · 16% of employers expect…