HR Headline Roundup for April 1-5, 2019

Settlement Reminds That FMLA Covers Caring for Adult Children, U.S. Department of Labor

A Wage and Hour Division investigation determined that the University of Northern Iowa “failed to designate an employee’s rights to FMLA leave properly when the employee requested such leave to care for an ill adult child. Instead, the employer terminated the worker’s employment during what should have been a protected leave period.” The former custodian subsequently received $59,688.

Identity Theft Services Inefficient at Addressing Data Breach Risks, Watchdog Says, Nextgov

The Government Accountability Office found for the second time that the identity theft insurance Congress requires every federal agency to carry does not prevent all data breaches and fails to offer quicker detection or resolution of problems. As alternatives, the GAO recommends “free credit freezes, setting fraud alerts and reviewing credit reports, financial statements and other accounts.”

Right to Work Ordinances Blocked in New Mexico, AP

A law signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 27, 2019, affirms state authority to write employment regulations. Counties across the state had adopted ordinances prohibiting closed union shops and fair-share fees.

Many Not Seeing Benefits of Growing Economy, Governing

The Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor 2019 details wage and employment rate stagnation in all but five U.S. metropolitan regions. Poverty rates and racial disparities in economic well-being are growing.

Texans Wait for Birth and Death Certificates Amid Health Agency Understaffing, Government Technology

A backlog of nearly 63,000 unanswered requests exists at the Texas Department of State Health Services due to “a longtime staffing problem and was exacerbated by the state's switch in January to a new computer system for processing records.” Inadequate staffing is also delaying disbursements from a $35 billion federal account established to help localities recover from hurricanes that struck Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017.

Miss. Fails to Address Teacher Shortage, Mississippi Today

State legislators rejected “at least 19” proposals to speed credentialing, ease hiring and increase pay for educators who take assignments in “critical needs areas.” During 2018, public schools across the state reported “2,100 teaching vacancies and 2,256 uncertified teachers.”