New Laws, Regulations, and Insights to be Aware of
August 2019 Edition
PPR experts provide insight into trending topics from the month.
Dallas Paid Sick Leave
August 1st, 2019, businesses with employees in Dallas were to be required to provide Paid Sick Leave to employees. Despite push back with a federal lawsuit, Dallas employers are still required to implement the law. However, there is a grace period until April 2020 until then, penalties will not be issued. Below are highlights from the law all Dallas employers should be aware of:
The law applies to all W-2 employees who work 80 hours or more in the calendar year within the City limits of Dallas.
Employers must rollover paid sick, annual leave, OR grant the full leave amount at the beginning of the year.
PSL accrual is based on the number of hours worked.
New employees must be enabled to use paid sick leave as soon as it is accrued.
Employers must provide a monthly statement to employees showing their amount of available sick leave.
A poster notice of the new law must be posted in the office, and the employee's rights and remedies need to be included in the employee handbook.
City PSL Phone #: 214-670-3247
The PPR team is closely monitoring the case and will update you accordingly. Please call one of our experts and tell us how PPR can support your needs.
Increasing Benefits to Retain and Recruit Employees
In May 2019, the national unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, the lowest it has been since 1969. With a low rate, comes a competitive labor market and employers are encouraged to enhance their employee benefits in order to recruit and retain highly qualified employees.
Here are a few of the top benefit trends for 2019:
Promoting work/life balance with telecommuting, compressed and four-day workweeks.
Employer-paid wellness resources, events, and fitness programs.
Rewards or bonuses for completing certain health and wellness programs.
Provide or subsidize the cost of a standing desk.
One or more retirement program, with generous employer-matching contributions.
Tax-free tuition assistance to employees.
Paid personal leave, separate from vacation or sick leave.
On-ramping programs for parents re-entering the workforce.
Student loan repayment assistance.
Eldercare referral services.
Legalization of CBD Oil in Texas Complicates Employee Drug Screens
Cannabis (CBD) Oil, a popular product particularly among individuals suffering from pain or health issues, is leading to more positive drug screens by employees. With the recent passage of Texas legislation legalizing the sale of CBD Oil, what is an employer to do?
CBD oil is an unregulated product and though the new law limits the sale of oil to only those products that contain less than .3% THC, knowing the amount of THC in a product is a guessing game at best for both consumers and employers. In dealing with a positive drug, employers should manage each situation on a case-by-case basis.
If an employee claims to test positive due to the use of CBD oil, work with your Human Resources consultant or legal counsel to determine if an accommodation under Texas’ narrowly-drafted medical marijuana statute applies. In almost all cases, employers do have the right to prohibit the use of THC products on their premises and do not have to tolerate on-the-job impairment.
Keeping Employees Engaged Through Humor
Being happy at work is important – 83% of Americans feel stressed at work, 55% are unsatisfied with their jobs and 47% struggle to stay happy - humor in the workplace can boost employee productivity, enhance performance, promote creativity and analytical precision and even reduce stress.
Humor can help improve happiness and engagement by:
Beating stress – humor relaxes muscles, decreases blood pressure and improves our immune system.
Engaging employees and reducing turnover – employees who work in a humorous organization report higher workplace satisfaction scores and are less likely to leave their roles.
Connecting us with others – laughter and positivity help us interact socially by causing us to smile or laugh, which connects us to others.
Minimizing differences – humor facilitates conversation, can bridge differences and helps reduce the social distance between managers and employees.
Building trust – humor creates group cohesiveness and encourages people to work together.
Humor is a great way to connect with your team, but there are some topics you should avoid, such as religion, politics, sexual references, making fun of individuals, clients or competitors and never be hateful.
Have fun at work! It will help keep your employees engaged and productive and less likely to look for other employment.
On social media, we have been participating in celebrating wellness month. We shared a range of tips and insight into the importance of incorporating wellness and self-care every day. Here is a recap of the tips we shared:
Put away your phone 30 minutes before going to bed- the blue light from your screen suppresses melatonin.
Get organized- this helps you to better manage your time and alleviate stress.
Slow down and read a book- spending a lot of time on social media can cause stress and anxiety. Take a break by reading a book.
Go outside- this can increase your mood, help symptoms of depression, and provide a better night's sleep.
Record your daily wins- write out your wins for the day. Focusing on positivity is another way to increase your mood and have a more positive outlook.
Take the stairs at work- get your heart rate up while at work to get refocused.
Stand while you are on the phone - take a break from sitting and refresh by standing instead of sitting.
Take a walk around your office- Clear your head, refocus, and socialize with a few co-workers to re-energize.