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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Department of Labor Workplace Injury FAQ Part Two

From the New Hampshire Department of Labor official website.

How long is my claim open? 

Medical bills related to your injury remain the responsibility of the carrier as long as treatment is required. There are certain time limits for indemnity benefits depending on the circumstances of the case. See RSA 281-A:31.

How soon does Workers' Compensation start?

Workers' Compensation starts on the fourth day of disability (subject to a three day period). The waiting period is waived if the disability continues for 14 days or longer or if an employee returns to temporary alternative employment within five days.

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Department of Labor Workplace Injury FAQ Part One

From the New Hampshire Department of Labor official website.

Who pays for my prescriptions?

The insurance carrier will reimburse you for any prescriptions relating to your injury. They have 30 days from receipt of the request.

Can I see my own doctor?

This depends on whether or not your carrier is using a managed care program. If they are, you must choose a doctor within the network. If you are not subject to managed care, the choice is yours.

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DOL Releases Proposed Overtime Rule Change

DOL Releases Proposed Overtime Rule Change

On June 30 the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would result in nearly 5 million additional American workers receiving overtime compensation. As it stands, an employee making more than $455 a week is exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements for overtime pay. The new rule raises the exemption floor to $921 a week, meaning many more workers will qualify for overtime pay if they exceed 40 hours of work per week.

The new rule has been expected since President Obama directed the DOL to review white-collar exemptions to the FLSA in March 2014. Under the previous exemption requirements, a white-collar employee earning more that $23,660 a year could not qualify for overtime compensation. The new rule raises the annual earning floor for exempt employees to an estimated $47,892 a year. This income level represents the 40th percentile for full-time salaried workers in the U.S. 

The DOL has posted a fact sheet reviewing key provisions of the new rule. Specifically, the fact sheet lays out three changes proposed under the new rule: 

Set the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers ($921 per week, or $47,892 annually);Increase the total annual compensation requirement needed to exempt highly compensated employees (HCEs) to the annualized value of the 90th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers ($122,148 annually); andEstablish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels going forward to ensure that they will continue to provide a useful and effective test for exemption.

While the rule is not yet final—it will remain open to comments for 60 days once published on the Federal Register, at which point comments will be reviewed and the rule finalized—it will likely remain close to its current form. This could mean big changes in compensation for millions of American workers, and will necessitate change in compensation policies for companies around the country.

To understand if you qualify for overtime under the new regulations, or whether your business needs to change how it compensates employees, you may want seek the guidance of your attorney.

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DOL Updates Expired FMLA Forms

DOL Updates Expired FMLA Forms

Every employer in the country is required to display Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms in a prominent position in the work place, but some employers have been using expired forms since the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued forms expired on February 28, 2015. On May 27th, the DOL issued a new set of FMLA forms with an expiration date of May 31, 2018 to address the lapse. 

The new FMLA forms are the same as the previous set in every way, except that disclosure language has been added for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) indicating that medical providers should not share information regarding an employee’s genetic testing or genetic family history.

The new language has been added to several of the FMLA forms, including WH-380-E, WH-380-F, WH-385, and WH-385-V. The issue of genetic testing is a new one for employers, and will likely become a topic of interest in the years to come. The new disclosure language is meant to provide protection for employers who accidentally receive genetic testing or genetic family history information.

The new forms can all be found on the U.S. DOL’s website, www.dol.gov but are also listed here for your convenience:

Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380-E)Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380-F)Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities (WH-381)Designation Notice (WH-382)Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave (WH-384)Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember—for Military Family Leave (WH-385)Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave (WH-385-V)


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Top 10 Department of Labor Violations in New Hampshire

Top 10 Department of Labor Violations in New Hampshire

Every year the New Hampshire Department of Labor releases a list of top 10 most common labor law violations. As it turns out, the new list released for 2014 is identical to the 2013 list, however it still provides a good guide as to the common compliance pitfalls in New Hampshire employment. Here’s the list: 

Failure to pay all wages due for hours worked, fringe benefits, breaks less than 20 minutes, etc. (RSA 275:43 and Lab 803.01)Failure to keep accurate record of all hours worked. (RSA 279:27 and Lab 803.03)Failure to have a written safety plan, joint loss management committee and safety summary form, of required. (RSA 281-A:64 and Lab 602.02, 602.02, 603.02, and 603.03)Employment of Undocumented Workers Prohibited. (RSA 275-A: 4-a)Failure to secure and maintain workers compensation coverage and misclassification of employees. (RSA 275:42 I & II and RSA 281-A)Failure to provide written notice to employees of their wage rate, pay period, pay day and a description of fringe benefits, including any changes. (RSA 275:49 and Lab 803.03)Failure to pay 2 hours minimum pay at their regular rate of pay on a given day that an employee reports to work at the request of the employer. (RSA 275:43-a and Lab 803.03 h, i, j)Illegal employment of workers under 18 (not having proper paperwork, hours violations, or working in a hazardous environment). *RSA 276-A: and Lab 1000)Illegal deductions from wages. (RSA 275:48 and Lab 803.03 b, e, f)Failure to pay minimum wage for all hours worked. (RSA 279:21)
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