​Wildfires have burned millions of acres across California, Oregon, Washington and several neighboring states this week, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. Employers can use these resources to prepare for and recover from these disasters. Help is available for business owners and employees. If you are not in the wildfire areas, consult these resources to create emergency preparedness plans.

Today, Sept. 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. At this stage of the pandemic, we all need to ask ourselves what we can do as HR professionals to help employees with mental health issues, which will make suicide less likely to occur. Here are eight suggestions.

How much should employers reimburse employees for supplies used while working from home? What should employers do for workers who need time off to care for others but don’t qualify for protected leave? How can employers ensure fairness when accommodating workers with disabilities? Employment law attorneys answer these common questions from HR professionals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must receive a discrimination or retaliation charge from a worker and attempt to resolve the claim through voluntary procedures before filing a lawsuit alleging that the employer engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination, according to a recent opinion letter.

COVID-19 pandemic guidance from agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been constantly changing and confusing for employers. Directives concerning the use of face coverings and masks have proven to be one of the most commonly misunderstood areas.

In a move sure to frustrate employers and usher in a wave of confusion, a New York federal court judge just struck down critical portions of the Labor Department’s new joint employer rule that went into effect a few months ago. Concluding that the agency’s rule has “major flaws,” U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods decided yesterday that the rule did not comport with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The September 8 ruling tosses out the new standard that had applied to “vertical” employment relationships (when staffing company or subcontractor workers are contracted to work with another entity, for example), while keeping intact the rarer “horizontal” relationships between related entities that employ the same worker – which was not significantly changed by the final rule. Affected employers may have to chart a more difficult course in order to ensure they are not deemed liable in joint employer situations.

Federal agencies can no longer include “critical race theory” and discussions of “white privilege” in their workplace race-sensitivity training, according to a White House announcement.

​Uncovering unconscious biases and gathering data to prove the need for action are key to making changes in the workplace, members of the new SHRM Blue Ribbon Commission on Racial Equity said yesterday during a webcast on their work.

​Keywords determine how often your resume is found in recruiters’ searches, writes career columnist Martin Yate. The more keywords that are directly relevant to a specific job, the higher the resume will rank in resume database searches and the more likely it will be found and read.

Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute’s (WPI) annual Labor Day report examines the state of the American workforce. Prior WPI Labor Day reports focused on key employment developments and trends to provide employers with insight on the state of work and what to expect in the coming year. Employers need no reminder that 2020 is unlike any year they have ever experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed employment with employers and employees alike facing unprecedented challenges. Even when the coronavirus is finally behind us, many of these challenges will remain.