December 2020
HR & Safety News, Insights and Updates
Consultstu LLC delivers fractional human resources services to small/mid businesses.
Our monthly newsletter keeps keeps clients and friends up to date on important
law updates, news and trends. 
CDC Likely to Reduce Quarantine Time to 7 to 10 days with Negative Test
WASHINGTON, DC. — According to the Wall Street Journal, the CDC is now finalizing new guidelines to recommend a quarantine period for seven to 10 days with a negative Covid-19 test. The White House coronavirus task force said that there’s beginning to be “a preponderance of evidence that a shorter quarantine complemented by a test might be able to shorten that quarantine period from 14 days” to a shorter period. If this is reduced, companies should revise their COVID policy and/or Response Plan.

Compensability of Travel Time for Hourly Construction Foreman and Laborers
In early November, the Wage and Hour Administrator issued an Opinion Letter on whether the travel time of non-exempt foreman and laborers is compensable worktime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Spoiler - laborers choosing to get rides to local jobsites is non-compensable (foreman time is compensable) and laborers traveling to farther away, remote work sites (involving overnight stay) must be compensated for drive time, or time getting a free ride with the foreman, if travel was during their normal work hours, even if it occurred during a nonwork day.

Is my Company required to pay for an Employee's time to view a continuing education webinar?
The DOL recently provided an opinion letter to a non-profit health care provider employing clinical staff who have ongoing continuing education requirements mandated by their respective professions' licensing requirements. It provides an excellent recap and summary of the rules relating to when employee training must be compensated. One important takeaway is that viewing on demand webinars during an employee's regular work hours is compensable time. But read more about the rules for webinars and when it can be unpaid.
Is Microsoft's newly released “hybrid workplace” guidance the new model?
Workplaces are changing. Tech leader Microsoft revealed that it will allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50 percent of their working week, and managers will be able to approve permanent remote work. Under its new "hybrid" workplace, the company will cover home office expenses for permanent remote employees, and flexible working hours can be approved without manager approval. A survey by ManpowerGroup shows that 8 in 10 workers want more remote work to attain a healthier work-life. Will your remote workers willingly come back to the office, or will it take some negotiations?
OSHA Keeps Issuing Citations for COVID-19 Safety Violations (over $3M so far)
Since the pandemic began, OSHA has issued citations relating to coronavirus arising out of 203 inspections, which can be found at In addition, there were 29 COVID related inspections (totaling $296,919 in penalties) for violations from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, 2020. Inspections were predominately health care providers and related to violations of the general duty clause, recordkeeping and respiratory protection program.
HR Question: Can a company not pay a holiday to an exempt employee who is still in their first 90 days?
No. Although many Florida employers have a policy that delays paid holidays until after an employee successfully completes their 90 day introductory period, for salaried (exempt) employees it is improper (at any time) to make a deduction in salary for a holiday when the office is closed by the employer. Such a deduction is not one of the allowed reasons for salary reduction and would violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).