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The 2020 HR I.Q. Quiz: 8 Questions to Test Your Employment-Law Smarts

A big election … new regulations … increased state activity … and a whole new stack of employment law worries for HR professionals in 2020.

When it comes to compliance, you can’t just sit back and HOPE you know the answer – this isn’t a game of HR Jeopardy!

The most effective – and enjoyable – way to get your organization in compliance is to join your peers next month at the popular Labor & Employment Law Advanced Practices (LEAP) conference at the legendary ARIA in Las Vegas.

Today’s LEAP Letter challenges you to test your knowledge with our annual employment law quiz. (You’ll find the answers at the end.)

1. SUPREME COURT:  The U.S. Supreme Court will rule this spring whether federal anti-discrimination law also protects workers on the basis of their:

a. Weight
b. Sexual orientation
c. Marital status

Note: LEAP kicks off with a comprehensive Employment Law 2020 panel, which highlights the key Supreme Court cases that will require policy changes.

2. DISCRIMINATION: In 2019, the three most common types of job discrimination complaints filed by U.S. employees were (in order):

a. Race, sex, disability
b. Retaliation, disability, race
c. Sex, retaliation, race

Note: Retaliation claims are employment law’s “silent killer.” Learn how to steer clear of trouble at LEAP’s Retaliation Nation breakout session.

3. ACCOMMODATIONS:  When choosing among various effective options, who gets to choose the “reasonable accommodation” for an employee’s disability?

a. The employer
b. The employee
c. The Department of Labor

Note: Find out how to “reasonably” deal with injured and disabled workers at LEAP’s Employee Leave and Accommodations session.

4. IMMIGRATION: From 2017 to 2019, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) increased by 400% its audits of:

a. H-1B visa applications
b. Green card applications
c. Employers’ I-9 forms

Note: This is a hot topic! On the first morning of LEAP (March 25), we’re hosting a special three-hour I-9/E-Verify Summit that will help you survive – and even avoid – a visit from ICE.

5.  COMPANY POLICIES:  McDonald’s CEO was fired for violating which company policy?

a. Misuse of a company computer
b. Having a romantic relationship with a subordinate
c. Disclosing the secret-sauce recipe

Note: LEAP’s Friday morning panel, Beyond Harassment & Bullying to Actual Cultural Change, will help your organization avoid a similar fate.

6. THE FMLA:  The U.S. Department of Labor ruled last year that employees can take FMLA leave to visit their children’s schools for:

a. Sports events/activities
b. Special education meetings
c. General teacher meetings

Note: Get your questions on FMLA, return-to-work and accommodations answered at LEAP’s popular Employee Leave Roundtable discussions.

7.  LABOR LAW:  A new labor board ruling gives U.S. employers renewed power to prevent workers from using _____ for nonbusiness reasons.

a. Company email
b. Company-owned cellphones
c. Employee mailing lists

Note: Our Washington Watch session will explain how to take advantage of a surge of new rulings by the National Labor Relations Board.

8. WATERCOOLER POLITICS:  According to a survey by SHRM, the rising tension over America’s political climate the past four years has led to:

a. More employee talk of politics at work
b. Less employee talk of politics at work

Note: At LEAP’s Thursday luncheon, former Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX) will talk about “The Election and the Workplace” – and how you can prepare.

How did you score? I understand if you didn’t ace the quiz – the employment law world is changing rapidly and could face more big changes in 2020. You can get in total compliance at LEAP 2020 … and have a fabulous time with your peers. Hope to see you in Vegas!

 

THE ANSWERS   

1. b. By the end of June, look for a decision on whether Title VII prohibitions on sex discrimination also protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

2. b. More than half (54%) of employee bias complaints filed with the EEOC last year included a charge of retaliation.

3. a. Employers are required to offer a “reasonable” accommodation, not to give the employee anything he or she requests.

4. c. In 2017, ICE initiated worksite and I-9 investigations at 1,360 U.S. workplaces. That spiked to 6,812 last year.

5. b. Even consensual relationships can trigger legal trouble – know the law.

6. b. While regular teacher meetings aren’t protected by FMLA, meetings to discuss a child’s individual education program (IEP) are protected.

7. a. This has been a hot labor-law issue for years, as unions like being able to use a company’s email to communicate with employees.

8. a. More than half of U.S. workers (56%) say talk of political issues at work has become more common during the Trump administration.

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