​The COVID-19 pandemic and related declines in revenues from taxes and fees have hit local governments hard, draining emergency funds and leading to a loss of over 900,000 jobs, according to a new analysis of federal data by the National Association of Counties (NACO).
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/ec73WuhPTA4/local-government-covid-cuts.aspx

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed legislation that establishes a workers’ compensation presumption that will apply to most employers in the state that have a COVID-19 “outbreak” through 2022 – meaning it is much more likely that worker infections will be covered under workers’ comp coverage. This legislation, Senate Bill 1159, will shift the burden of proof to presume that covered workers who contracted COVID-19 did so at work, unless the employer can prove otherwise. The new legislation also enacts a rebuttable presumption that applies to first responders and certain health care workers. Finally, the law requires employers to provide notice to their workers’ compensation carrier of employees who test positive for COVID-19. SB 1159 was enacted as an “urgency” measure and therefore went into effect immediately. What do California employers need to know about this new law?

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has proven to be a significant burden on Illinois employers, and a recent Illinois federal court decision may have made the legal landscape even more difficult. In Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., the court addressed when a “violation” takes place under BIPA — a question which had not been squarely addressed by the statute or other case law. How does the court’s interpretation affect Illinois employers?

​Artificial intelligence company Interactions is going to the dogs … in a good way. The Franklin, Mass.-based company conducted a one-hour virtual dog show recently, complete with judges and an American Kennel Club background, as 16 canines of all shapes, sizes and breeds entertained employees via Zoom.The company, which builds intelligent virtual assistants used to manage customer experience for companies, has eight offices in the U.S. and one in London and India. About one-third of the 475 emp

Companies facing 401(k) participant lawsuits are typically accused of failing to pay adequate attention to the retirement plan, such as by failing to replace poorly performing or overly expensive investment choices, or allowing vendors to charge above-market fees. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is relevant here.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/rJMK4t1miUs/minimize-risk-of-retirement-plan-litigation.aspx

​In late August 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs published new COVID-19 occupational health and safety rules, which specify already existing occupational health and safety standards. In light of this, employers should review their current back-to-work set of rules, if any, or implement corresponding policies as soon as possible, bearing in mind the following 10 key points.Update Risk AssessmentThe obligation to update risk assessment due to the pandemic is mandatory.

Employers with entirely remote workforces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have until Nov. 19 to take advantage of relaxed document inspection requirements for the Form I-9 when onboarding new hires.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/wy0vBr_pV84/remote-i9-form-verification-rules-extended-60-days.aspx

Employers across the country continue to be challenged with difficult decisions about their workforce in the wake of COVID-19, including decisions about employee layoffs and returning employees to the worksite. As businesses try to return to a new normal, employers must avoid making such decisions based on who they perceive as “high risk” for contracting COVID-19, such as older employees. Notwithstanding any good intentions you might have to protect “high risk” older employees, employees would have a strong claim for age discrimination where a decision to not bring the employee back is based on their age. One recently filed lawsuit in Ohio highlights the risks employers face should they make employment decisions based on an employee’s perceived risk due to their age. What can your business learn from these allegations?

​Recent research shows that the skepticism many companies had about working from home may be eroding. Ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely."Historically, there has been a perception in many organizations that if employees were not seen, they weren’t working—or at least not as effectively as they wo

A deep dive into IRS guidance on suspending employees Social Security payroll taxes through the end of 2020. Because employers remain liable for the 2020 non-withheld payroll taxes, many will choose not to implement the deferral. Others will want to increase workers’ paychecks for the remainder of 2020 while banking on legislation to forgive the amount deferred.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/Xm6NuKku0Zw/employee-social-security-tax-deferral-guidance-too-little-too-late.aspx