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What does the OSHA ETS mean for your business?

  What does the OSHA ETS mean for your business? On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees to implement either requirement that employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 or be subject to weekly testing and wear of a face covering. The ETS does not cover employers already subject to other federal vaccine mandates such as Federal Contractors/Subcontractors...

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Achilles Group News: Heat-Related Illness

OSHA Reminds Texas Employers that Record High Temperatures Can Put Employees at Risk for Heat-Related Illnesses   Don't Let the Heat Beat Your Business As temperatures rise in the summer months, it's essential to keep employees whose roles are impacted by heat safe and healthy to keep your operations moving. Heat-related illness can lead to costly medical leaves and lower production. OSHA's implementation of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) in April has been restated by a subsequent p...

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Emergency Sick Pay & Documentation: What You Need To Know

The answer to this question is both yes, and no. It’s important to note that there are six reasons you can qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medica...

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How Well Do You Know The ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrated its 28th birthday on July 26, 2018. The goal of this Act, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, is to ensure that all Americans have access to good, family-sustaining employment. In honor of this momentous occasion, we at Achilles Group would like to help you get to know the ADA better. Check out our Question & Answer segment below, or connect with us to set up an ADA consultation. A Little ADA Q&A Q: What are the ...

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Fair Labor Laws: Why They Matter

On Monday, September 3rd, Achilles Group team members and millions of others across the United States will celebrate the 136th Labor Day. Unfortunately, as a people addicted to productivity, many Americans will view this holiday as just another opportunity to get ahead; catching up on work, finally cleaning the house or running errands that slipped away from the preceding weekend. However, it's important that we take a look at why Labor Day was declared a national holiday and celebrate it accord...

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Fair Labor Laws: Establishing Employee Rights in America

According to the United States Department of Labor, “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.”Fortunately on Labor Day, we don't just celebrate labor; we celebrate fair labor.  June 25 marked eighty years since the Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed, creating the Wage an...

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Updated FMLA Forms 

An updated set of Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) forms for employers has been released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. The only revision to these forms is an updated expiration date. The previous forms expired on August 31 of this year, but now, the updated forms will be valid through August 31, 2021.DOL forms are critical when it comes to ensuring that the FMLA's requirements are met. It is important to stay up-to-date on these forms.If you have any question...

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Controversial Overtime Rule Struck Down by District Court

A federal court judge in Texas has struck down a controversial overtime change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (or FLSA) put in place by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the Obama Administration. The rule, which was originally scheduled to go into effect last December, was designed to extend overtime pay eligibility for over 4 million workers, lifted the overtime salary exemption threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week. Any exemptions to this law are based on both workers’ salaries and...

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Compliance Update - I-9 Breaking News!

USCIS released the latest I-9 form (Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification) today, July 17, 2017. The changes are summarized below: Name update: “Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices” changed to “Immigrant and Employee Rights Section”. Deleted “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.” List C addition of “Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240)” Selection C#2 in List C now contains all certifications of report of birth issued...

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Preparing for New Overtime Regulations

UPDATE: On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor released its final rule on new overtime regulations, raising the salary threshold for exempt status to $47,476. Click here for more information.The Department of Labor is expected to publish final overtime regulations in July. The proposed update to the Fair Labor Standards Act would increase the salary threshold for exempt status from $23,660 to $47,476. That means any employee making less than $47,476 a year would need to be paid time and a half...

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Continue Using the Current I-9 Form

The current Form I-9 expired on March 31, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has said employers should continue using the expired form for employment eligibility verification until further notice.Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the U.S. Visit I-9 Central for more information.USCIS has opened a comment period on proposed revisions, which include making Form I-9 a smart form, complete with drop-down m...

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New FMLA Poster and Employer Guide Now Available

The Department of Labor has issued a new FMLA Notice poster and Employer Guide. Employers are not required to update their FMLA Notice posters at this time; the new version simply features a more reader-friendly layout.All FMLA-covered employers are required to display the FMLA Notice poster prepared by the Department of Labor in a prominent place at all locations. The current version of the poster is available as a PDF download on the DOL website. The February 2013 version of the FMLA Notice po...

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New Overtime Regulations: Final Rule Released

The Department of Labor has published its final rule on new overtime regulations. This update to the Fair Labor Standards Act increases the annual salary threshold for exempt status from $23,660 to $47,476, effective Dec. 1, 2016.Any employee making less than $47,476 per year ($913 per week) will have to be paid time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The Department of Labor estimates the new rule will apply to 370,000 workers in Texas and 4.2 million people nationwide.E...

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The 411 on EEO-1

What is an EEO-1 Report? An EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by federal regulations.  It is a representation of your employee population based on race/ethnicity, gender and job category.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers who meet the compliance threshold to report this information annually between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015. How do I gather the kind of information required in this survey? Typically, employees will complete a Voluntary Sel...

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Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes can not only reek havoc on land, but can also present problems to your company.  Although you will not be able to control a hurricane, you can control how you and your employees react to one.  Human Resources departments need to be aware of some of the challenges as well as federal and state regulations pertaining to severe weather emergencies.For example, Chapter 22 of the Texas Labor code states "An employer may not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee w...

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How Hot is Too Hot?

We all know how unforgiving the southern heat can sometimes be, but do we all know how to protect ourselves and employees?  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a warning on Friday to remind employers to protect their personnel. Previously employers did not have to report heat related illnesses unless they were fatal or were detrimental to everyday functionality.  Now, however, employers are required to notify OSHA of any inpatient hospitalization.How to protect your e...

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How to Reduce Employee Absenteeism

We all know things happen. Maybe the kids are sick, you have a broken water pipe in your house, or the dog got out and is running wild through the neighborhood.  This always seem to happen five minutes before you have to leave for work.  Employee absenteeism is something that plagues most businesses.  It is also something that most employers are not quite sure how to handle or where to start.  When employees aren’t at work, it affects not only productivity, but also morale.  According to a Merce...

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To Sell or Not to Sell - Fundraising in The Workplace

When employees occasionally sell or solicit fundraisers during work hours it is usually noninvasive and doesn't necessarily need to be addressed. These sort of activities typically involve parents selling their children's school fundraiser items or employees seeking pledges for participating in a charity walk. However, if selling or soliciting in the workplace is causing disruption, it may be time for you address the issue.A company probably doesn't have an issue with an employee selling Girl Sc...

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Davis-Bacon Act - Contractor and Subcontractor Compliance

Are you familiar with the Davis-Bacon Act? The Davis-Bacon Act is a federal law that applies to contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal contracts or District of Columbia contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating of public buildings or public works. Davis-Bacon Act contractors and subcontractors are required to pay their laborers and mechanics no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corr...

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Implications: Workplace Pregnancy and The Supreme Court

Peggy Young worked for UPS in Landover, Md. and became pregnant in 2006. She told her supervisors that her doctor had recommended she not lift packages heavier than 20 pounds and later in her pregnancy, 10 pounds. Her request for lighter duty was turned down because it was inconsistent with UPS policy.Young took an unpaid leave from work, during which time she did not receive medical benefits. She returned after the birth of her daughter, Triniti. She later filed a complaint with the Equal Emplo...

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