Everything You Need to Know From This Past Month
October 2019 Edition
PPR experts provide insight into trending topics from the past month.
Legacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
41st President, George H.W. Bush, passed away on November 30, 2018, through his bipartisan leadership, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted, and the workplace hasn't been the same.
Business operations have changed dramatically since the law was enacted; before the law, the first question employers asked applicants was whether they had a disability. If the applicants did, they were shown the door.
The ADA bans pre-employment medical inquiries and questions about disability until the employer makes a job offer, prohibits disability discrimination, and requires employers to accommodate individuals with disabilities reasonably. Private employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating based on disability, and state and local governments are barred from disability discrimination, as are private entities open to the public.
"It's been the work of a true coalition, a strong and inspiring coalition of people who have shared both a dream and a passionate determination to make that dream come true," Bush said at the signing. "It's been a coalition in the finest spirit—a joining of Democrats and Republicans, of the legislative and the executive branches, of federal and state agencies, of public officials and private citizens, of people with disabilities and without."
The ADA has resulted in employers generally understanding there is no place for discrimination when trying to get the most qualified people, that reasonable accommodations are not expensive and that the ADA recognizes legitimate business concerns by providing that reasonable accommodation aren't required when they'd result in an undue hardship or a direct threat to the health and safety of the employee or others.
The ADA has expanded the way that people view individuals with disabilities, and employers have become more creative in the way that they envision how certain things can be accomplished because of the law's reasonable accommodation requirement.
In his ADA signing remarks, Bush spoke directly to American business leaders – "You have in your hands the key to success of this act, for you can unlock a splendid resource of untapped human potential that, when freed, will enrich us all."
There is still a long way to go to unlock all of that human potential, but we have made a lot of progress.
What Employers Can Do To Help Employees Who Are Caregivers
Every year more and more employees are providing elder care to family members. According to a recent study, elder care results in about $5 billion in absenteeism annually.
To support those employees with eldercare obligations, consider the following:
Broaden the definition of caregiving in HR policies to include family members of all ages.
Provide alternative working arrangements to provide flexibility.
Provide employees with the Employee Assistant Program (EAP) benefits or other support resources.
Implement recruitment practices to target those looking to re-enter the job market after caring for someone.
Overtime Pay Eligibility
Effective January 1st, 2020 year, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued that employees who make less than $35,568 annually will now be eligible for overtime pay. This rule will raise the salary threshold from $455 per week to $684. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us.
The I-9 Audit form expired in August. This form is used to make sure workers are eligible for employment. At this time, the Department for Homeland Security has directed HR departments to continue to use the expired form until they release the updated version.
Here are three proposed changes, provided by SHRM:
Employers may designate an authorized representative to complete Section 2 of the form, but the employer will still liable for any violations committed.
Writing "N/A," or not applicable, in the identity-document columns will no longer necessary.
The form's List C documents that establish employment authorization may not include a worker's Employment Authorization Document (EAD).