The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace recently released an 88-page report citing that workplace harassment continues to be a problem in American workplaces. Roughly 33 percent of the 90,000 charges received by the EEOC last year were tied to workplace harassment.
According to a recent U.S. District Court ruling, employees can now sue an employer if the employee can prove the company intentionally reduced his or her hours to avoid having to provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The employee must prove that they previously worked over 30 hours per week, and that the hours were reduced for the employer to avoid providing these and other benefits.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is currently reviewing a bill to amend the state’s Equal Pay Act. This bill was recently passed by the state senate. The changes to the Equal Pay Act would prohibit employers from screening applicants based on prior wage or salary history, as well as would ban the employer from obtaining this data directly from current or former employers without written authorization from the applicant. The proposed changes would also ban employers from prohibiting employee discussions surrounding wage-related information.
With the new year comes a large number of state and local minimum wage increases. Effective January 1, 2016, fourteen states have increased their minimum wage rates, in addition to three local minimum wage rate increases. Employers with multi-state operations should become especially familiar with these changes.
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