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  • 17 Aug 2018 7:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recent Updates to New Hampshire Workplace Laws

    Jim Reidy

     On June 25, 2018, New Hampshire Governor Sununu signed a bill (“June 2018 amendments”) which modifies workplace laws about Department of Labor inspections, poster and notice requirements, youth employment restrictions, and the retention of wage and hour records. Specifically, the changes affect NH RSA 273 (Labor Commissioner), RSA 275 (Protective Legislation), RSA 276-A:4 (Youth Employment) and RSA 279:27 (Minimum wage). 

    Most of these are welcomed changes for employers.

    Visit our Legal Updates Section in PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT > Legal Updates > Recent Updates to New Hampshire Workplace Laws - August 2018

    Workplace Inspections

    First, the June 2018 amendments describe the circumstances in which the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Labor (“DOL”) may conduct a workplace inspection. Chapter 273 of New Hampshire’s Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) governs the department of the Labor Commissioner. According to RSA 273:9, “The commissioner shall, at such times as he shall deem it necessary, and without notice, visit the manufacturing, mechanical and mercantile establishments in the state, so far as practicable, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the laws with reference to employment are complied with, and for the further purpose of ascertaining if reasonable sanitary and hygienic conditions are maintained, calculated to promote the health and welfare of the working people.”

    The June 2018 amendment will appear as RSA 273:9-a, and will clarify that “All inspections performed by the commissioner shall be proportional and relative to the potential violations being inspected.” Proportionality is determined by evaluating “the importance of the issues at stake in the inspection, the degree to which the alleged violation involves risk of physical injury, the potential for lost wages, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, and the parties’ resources.” A different bill (SB 465-FN) had proposed more strict limitations: that the DOL could only visit a “specific location” of a business at a “reasonable time,” and “after a pattern of documented complaints to the department or known problems for that specific location … has been identified within the prior 12 months.” Although the definition of “proportional” in the June 2018 amendment provides some help, it remains to be seen how this guideline will be implemented.

    Sunday Work

    Second, the legislature changed certain poster and notice requirements relating to work on Sundays. According to RSA 275:32, an employer cannot make an employee do “the usual work of his occupation” on Sunday unless the employee is allowed to have 24 hours free from work in the following six days. Prior to the June 2018 amendment, the employer had to post a schedule “in a conspicuous place on the premises” containing a list of employees who are required or allowed to work on Sunday and designating the day of rest for each.” RSA 275:33. Additionally, each employer was required to “promptly file a copy of each such schedule and every change therein with the labor commissioner.” The statute imposed a $50 file for each violation.

    The June 2018 amendment removes the requirement that the list be posted “in a conspicuous place” and instead requires that it be “made available to employees.” The amendment also eliminates the requirement that the employer file the list (and any changes to that list) with the Labor Commissioner. The change also removes the $50 per violation fine. Finally, the June 2018 amendment would allow employees to work on their day of rest, though they cannot be required to do so. The law does not change other provisions of New Hampshire law allowing certain types of employees to work on Sundays without following these requirements (such as employees in hospitals, the newspaper business, employees who sell or deliver food or who work in certain retail stores, and “employees engaged in any labor called for by an emergency which could not reasonably have been anticipated.”)

    Uniforms

    Third, the law amends RSA 275:48, which lists the types of deductions an employer can make from an employee’s wages. The DOL’s regulations prohibit an employer from charging for a required uniform, but RSA 275:48 does allow an employer (with the employee’s consent) to charge an employee for “voluntary cleaning of uniforms and non-required clothing” and for “required clothing not covered by the definition of uniform.” Chapter 275:48 defines “uniform” as “a garment with a company logo or fashion of distinctive design, worn by one or more employees, and serving as a means of identification or distinction.”

    The June 2018 amendment clarifies that any uniform provided by an employer must be “reasonably suited for the conditions in which the employee would be required to wear one, at no cost to the employee.” The amendment also discusses optional company gear, stating “An employee may purchase any other company garments or items if the employee chooses.”

    Notice and Poster Requirements

    New Hampshire law requires employers to notify all employees their rate of pay and the day and place of payment, both at the time of hire and if there are any changes afterwards. RSA 275:49. The June 2018 amendment clarifies that there is no penalty for failing to notify employees about any change to the minimum hourly rate.

    New Hampshire law also requires employers to post an Equal Pay poster which states: “It is illegal in New Hampshire under both state and federal law to pay employees different wages for the same work based solely on sex. If you think that your employer has violated this provision, please contact the New Hampshire Department of Labor.” The poster states at the bottom that it must be posted “in a conspicuous place.” The June 2018 amendment changes the posting requirement by removing the reference to a “conspicuous place” and instead requires employers to “post and make [the poster] available” to its employees. Apparently, circulating the Equal Pay poster via email or on an intranet would comply.

    Likewise, the 2018 amendment removes the requirement that employers post the statutory Minimum Wage poster  “in a conspicuous location,” and instead requires them to “post and make [it] available” to their workers.

    Record Retention

    Currently, New Hampshire law requires an employer to keep “a true and accurate record of the hours worked by each [employee], wages paid to each, and classification of employment when necessary.” The employer must keep those records for the length of time “as the commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.” The June 2018 amendment sets a specific timeframe of three (3) years. It is important to note that if a longer retention period applies to a certain type of document due to another law or regulation, the longer period will apply. For example, the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security requires that payroll records be kept for “a period of not less than 6 years after the calendar year in which the remuneration for the services was paid, or, if not paid, was due.”

    For municipal employers there can now be more room in file cabinets as HB 1450 changed the requirement to retain job applications and personnel files from 50 years to 20 years.

    Youth Employment

    The bill was originally introduced as an effort to update the law governing youth employment. New Hampshire law protects youth workers based on their age from working in certain occupations, before and after certain hours of the day, more than a certain number of hours per week, and subject to specific work certificates.

    The June 2018 amendment focuses on youth workers who are 16 or 17 years of age. The amendment clarifies the number of consecutive days or total hours per week the child may work while school is in session, which varies depending on how many days of school happen during that work week. The amendment confirms that the DOL has the responsibility for enforcing this chapter, but removes a prior provision that had allowed investigators and truant officers to “visit and inspect” all workplaces. The amendment confirms that each employer must “post and make available to all employed youths” a notice about the hours of work, the time allowed for dinner or other meals, and the maximum number of hours that a youth may work in a day. The amendment removes a provision that could be used to hold employers automatically liable for certain violations.

    Key Takeaways

    Each year, the New Hampshire Department of Labor conducts in-person seminars throughout the state to give employers a refresher about workplace requirements and to discuss any legal or policy changes. At these seminars, we expect more in-depth discussions of how these legislative changes should be incorporated into an employer’s everyday practice. In the meantime, employers should be on the lookout for changes to DOL posters, forms, and notices and to make sure they are using the most updated versions to reflect the June 2018 amendments. Changes in these workplace laws provide a good opportunity for employers to review their own practices, particularly around record-keeping, compensation, and hiring.

    ***

    Attorney Karen Whitley is a shareholder and member of Sheehan Phinney’s Labor and Employment group. Karen is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

     


     

    What Does the Supreme Court’s Janus Decision Mean for New Hampshire Public Sector Employers and Employees?

    By Elizabeth A. Bailey

    In its June 27, 2018 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the U.S. Supreme Court overruled its own longstanding precedent and held that “States and public sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees.” The Janus Court’s decision, has significant implications for public sector employers and employees here in New Hampshire.

    To provide some context, in the 1977 case of Ahood v. Detroit Board of Education, the Supreme Court recognized that under certain circumstances public sector employees who are part of a bargaining unit represented by a union, but who declined to join the union, may be charged an “agency fee.” Under Ahood , nonmembers could be charged for the portion of union dues attributable to activities which were germane to the union’s duties as the collective bargaining unit representative, but nonmembers could not be required to fund the union’s political and ideological projects.

    The Janus court, in a 5-4 decision, overruled the Ahood case and found that the State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public employees violated the First Amendment. The Janus Court majority held in part: Forcing free people to endorse ideas that they find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concern.

    The Court also held that the Ahood Court’s two main justifications for agency fees (labor peace and avoiding the risk of “free riders”) do not pass muster. The Janus Court reasoned that the Federal Government and 28 states prohibit agency fees and millions of employees are effectively represented by unions, and therefore labor peace can be achieved through less restrictive means than agency fees. Avoiding the risk of so-called “free riders” was not a compelling state interest to justify agency fees because unions are willing to represent nonmembers even in the absence of agency fees.

    It is important to note that principles of following past decisions (stare decisis) did not require the Court to follow Ahood, and overruling Ahood was appropriate.

    In providing direction to public sector employers, the Court held that the procedure of extracting agency fees from nonconsenting public sector employees “violates the First Amendment and cannot continue. Neither any agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay. By agreeing to pay, nonmembers are waiving their First Amendment rights, and such a waiver cannot be presumed… Unless employees clearly and affirmatively consent before any money is taken from them, this standard cannot be met.”

    The Janus court minority issued a lengthy dissent, and noted the concern that this decision could undermine unions’ financial ability to effectively represent public sector employees.

    Impact on New Hampshire Public Sector Employers

    The Janus decision has an immediate impact in the Granite State. Although private sector unions are relatively rare in New Hampshire, public sector unions are numerous and active in all walks of the public sector. RSA 273-A governs labor relations between New Hampshire public sector employers and employees, including towns, cities, school districts, counties and various branches of the State. The New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board, the New Hampshire State agency which oversees RSA 273-A, has certified well over 600 separate bargaining units in New Hampshire, including bargaining units in all 10 of New Hampshire’s counties. Bargaining unit members include teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, police, fire fighters, dispatchers, corrections officers, and nursing home employees, as well as a myriad of other public sector professionals and including some supervisory groups. Some of these bargaining units have collective bargaining agreements which provide for the deduction of agency fees; some do not.

    Key Take Aways

    So what does the Janus decision mean for New Hampshire public sector employers and employees? As an initial matter, New Hampshire public sector employers have stopped deducting agency fees from paychecks. For example, State and Union officials have worked collaboratively to notify bargaining unit members that agency fees would no longer be deducted from State unionized employee paychecks. (Supreme Court union dues decision takes effect in New Hampshire, Concord Monitor, July 5, 2018). Leaders in public sector unions have spoken out against the Janus decision as an attempt to cripple public sector unionism, and have vowed to work harder to maintain and recruit union membership. In the long run, New Hampshire public sector unions will likely be incentivized by Janus to further strengthen relations with existing union members and to strategically support efforts to bring about political change.

     ---------------------------------------------

    Thanks To Liz Bailey and Karen Whitley for their contributions to this update

  • 06 Aug 2018 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MAHRA welcomes their new Charitable Partner, Liberty House!

    Liberty House helps homeless and struggling Veterans by connecting them to available resources and providing a safe, substance-free transitional house. It is important to point out that Liberty House doesn’t accept any state or federal funding. All of our support comes from the private donations of our generous donors.

  • 15 Jul 2018 7:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    We would love to see students attending University of NH - Manchester nominated for the "College Student of the Year" category and, new for 2018, "Intern of the Year" category! In addition, there are five other award categories that may be of interest:

    Nominations will be accepted until Friday, July 27th. Please feel free to share with your colleagues. If you have any questions about the nomination process, I'd be happy to answer them. Thank you for your consideration in recognizing NH's best and brightest!

    Beth San Soucie

    We're looking for NH's best & brightest - nominations for the 2018 Rising Stars Awards are open!

    RSA 2018 Sponsor Opportunities_updated.pdf


  • 29 Jun 2018 9:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Early Bird Discount Extended: HR Conference at NEC!

    There is still time to take advantage of the early bird discount for New England College’s  Human Resource Management Conference being held on Thursday, August 9, 2018. This year’s theme is “Growing and Developing Your Workforce.”

    Given the current challenging recruiting climate, we will provide practical knowledge and tools in how to invest in your current employees and grow them into the positions you need to fill. Come and network with other HR professionals.

    New England College is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

    Our Human Resource Management Conference is eligible for 6 PDCs.

    We've extended our early bird discount through July 6, 2018!
    Register today with the code EARLYBIRD for $25 off each registration.

    The day will include:

    • Updates on U.S. Supreme Court decisions, as well as recent developments and initiatives of the EEOC, USCIS, and USDOL, that affect employment within New England
    • Meeting experts face-to-face
    • New tools and practical takeaways to help maximize your efficiency
    • How to be the architect of your organization’s change
    • A keynote, general session, and breakout sessions, ending in a practical case study facilitated by a panel of subject matter experts
    • Guest speakers discussing topics such as; engagement, mentoring, supporting military employees, emotional intelligence, instructional design for HR, and legal guidance

    Feel free to reach out for more information!

    Contact:
    Stephanie Kelliher
    Director of Enrollment
    New England College
    skelliher@nec.edu
    603 428 2297

  • 27 May 2018 9:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    >>Next stop on the

    Community College ApprenticeshipNH Tour:

    1066 Front Street | Room 126 

         Save the date: Friday, June 15 @ 8:30 am 

    PANEL DISCUSSION | NETWORKING

    AppNH-MCC-June15-18 Inv.pdf

  • 18 May 2018 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SHRM-CP | SHRM-SCP 

    Applications for the winter SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification exams are now being accepted! This is your year to take the next step, and be recognized as a strategic HR professional.

    Choose the only comprehensive, behavioral competency-based HR certification, which tests how you can apply your knowledge on the job.

    Show your employer or prospective employer that you think strategically. Apply for the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification exam today.

    http://links.e.shrm.org/servlet/MailView?ms=MzQyOTU3MDgS1&r=MTE2OTgwNzU0OTIxS0&j=MTI4MTc1NDQ0MQS2&mt=1&rt=0

     APPLY NOW 

  • 23 Apr 2018 10:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To challenge yourself. To get better at your job. To get a better job.

       Whatever your reason, enrolling in
    SHRM Seminars will help you build the 
       critical HR competencies and establish the professional credibility you need
       to accomplish your goals.

       You're almost out of time to enroll in spring programs! Don't wait, register now.

    Upcoming Virtual SHRM Seminars

     Apr 30-Jun 20

    SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification Preparation

     May 7-Jun 4

    SHRM Essentials of Human Resources

     May 9-Jun 6

    Strategic HR: Delivering Business Results

     May 14-Jun 4

    Succession Planning: Preparing for Future Talent Needs

     May 30-Jun 13

    Workplace Harassment: Practices for Leading a Healthy Culture

     

    REGISTER NOW

     

    Prefer to learn in person?

    Find SHRM Seminars across the U.S.

    SEE 2018 SPRING LOCATIONS >>

     

     

    SHRM Seminars are eligible for SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). SHRM Seminar
    PDCs will auto-populate into your Certification Portal.
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  • 17 Apr 2018 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NASW NH Diversity Awareness Committee is pleased to bring you this free seminar:

    Immigration 101: Social and Ethical Considerations

    Wednesday, April 18th
    9:00 - 10:30 AM at the NASW NH office or virtually via Zoom

    Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, have unique needs and challenges in our society. As social workers and allied professionals, it is necessary for us to know about the issues and barriers faced by this population to best address the clinical and societal implications. This seminar will cover the historical and current policies of immigration, the effect of these policies on immigrant populations, and the ethical responsibilities of clinical and community based practitioners.

    One and one-half (1.5) Category I Clinical CEUs in Ethics approved by NASW NH Approval #3412

    About the Presenter:

    Eva Castillo, Program Director  NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees 

    A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Eva Castillo has a long history of working with and advocating for immigrants. She came to the States in 1975 to study at Western Michigan University, and she began her career at the nearby Hispanic American Council. In 1984, Eva moved to New Hampshire, where she worked first at the NE Farm Workers Council, and later at the Latin American Center in Manchester. She joined MIRA in 2007 as the organizer for our project "NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees," of which she is now Director. Eva also directs the Welcoming New Hampshire initiative. Eva was honored with the 2017 Martin Luther King Award from the Martin Luther King Coalition and in 2016 received an Americanism Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, given to naturalized Americans who have shown outstanding civic engagement.

    You can join us for this free seminar at the NASW NH office or virtually via Zoom.
    For those attending via Zoom, a link will be sent to you on Tuesday.
    This seminar is free and open to all, but registration is required. 
    NASW Members can receive 1.5 Ethics CEUs for free, non-members can purchase CEUs for $25

    REGISTRATION 

     Lynn Stanley, LICSW
    Executive Director
    National Association of Social Workers
    New Hampshire Chapter
    www.naswnh.org
    603.496.0994

     Join us for our NASW NH 2018 Conference
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/immigration-101-social-and-ethical-considerations-tickets-44737771880

    Strength in Unity; Collaborating for Change

    May 24th & 25th

    The information contained in this electronic message and any attachments to this message are intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s) and may contain privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify Easter Seals New Hampshire, Inc. at Compliance@eastersealsnh.org and destroy all copies of this message and any attachments.

  • 12 Apr 2018 8:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NHTI
    -
    Concord's Community  College


    31 College Dr, Concord, NH 03301 Grappone Hall Auditorium

    Save the date: Friday, April 27 @ 8:30 am


    For more information click here: Apprenticeships-Invite-NHTI.pdf

  • 30 Mar 2018 12:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Manchester High School West is looking for some speakers to participate at a career fair on Thursday, April 12th.

    As we all know, New Hampshire is facing a labor shortage. Our population is aging. Once our youth graduate from high school, many are electing to leave the state. The Young Professionals Committee of MAHRA (Manchester Area Human Resources Association) in conjunction with our state workforce readiness partners is taking affirmative steps to help link local schools and businesses by providing workforce readiness training to these students. The purpose of this is not only to prepare students for their future careers but to introduce them to the businesses in New Hampshire which increasingly have more job opportunities than qualified candidates.

    They are in need of the following:

    • 2 morning speakers (7:15 to 11:30 a.m.)
    • 3 afternoon speakers (11:00 to 3:00 p.m.)
    • 2 full day speakers (7:15 to 3:00 p.m.)

    The career areas they need are:

    • musician (top priority)
    • manufacturing
    • electrician
    • welder
    • dental assistant or dentist
    • vet assistant or groomer
    • secretary, receptionist or any other entry-level position


    If you know of any professionals in these career areas that would be willing to volunteer to speak at the career fair, please contact the Young Professionals Committee.

     

    Thank you!

     Sarah Rossetti, SHRM-CP
    Senior HR Administrator
    Pennichuck Water
    25 Manchester Street
    Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054

    Phone: (603) 913-2341

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