In “Other Responsibilities as Assigned,” HR Dive’s lead editor, Kate Tornone, weighs in on employment tendencies, compliance finest practices and, of course, the conditions that require you to go higher than and further than your usual responsibilities. Today: conserving your long term self a big headache.
As businesses check out the times dwindle right before the nationwide vaccine mandate is slated to take influence, quite a few are deciding irrespective of whether to take a wait around-and-see strategy or transfer ahead with implementation.
The rule has so significantly survived troubles but might have just one final hurdle to distinct at the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. For now, it can be in effect and the Occupational Security and Overall health Administration has explained it designs to implement the rule’s provisions starting early next year.
Companies may discover some middle floor for compliance — specially with remote do the job and selections for screening — but the solutions are number of.
In an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer, a community certified public accountant talked over some of people alternatives and observed a different route: “[A] handful of my customers are considering reclassifying some staff members as impartial contractors,” he wrote, “but they have to be very careful to make sure they are in compliance with distinct procedures.”
This set off alarm bells for me, and Elizabeth Chilcoat, an associate at Sherman & Howard, confirmed that this is not a feasible selection.
It’s a “terrible strategy” to reclassify employees to stay clear of any federal regulation, she explained. The federal and point out businesses that implement classification do not defer to an employer’s alternative on the issue, she stated. (Personnel desire carries no bodyweight possibly, for the history.)
Instead, businesses glance at the mother nature of the work partnership — the U.S. Division of Labor utilizes a particular, multifactor exam, for case in point — and they certainly search for indications that an employer may be hoping to avoid the influence of point out and federal regulation, Chilcoat continued.
And OSHA is one of those people companies, she warned. “I would be really concerned about that,” she said. It would be a significant red flag to instantly reclassify large swaths of personnel, and equally dangerous to reclassify a smaller group to occur in beneath the mandate’s 100-employee threshold. Immediately after all, OSHA’s financial penalties for willful noncompliance are 10 situations the price tag of blunders.
So preserve oneself the headache of a collective action later on and heed Chilcoat’s warning: “I feel that any time you are deliberately switching the classification of a particular person to prevent the outcome of a legislation, you are assuming a major authorized possibility.”