Monday, October 17, 2016

Big Labor Attacks Idaho’s Right to Work Law

by Skip Sperry, Esq

A big labor case filed in Idaho’s federal district court continues to progress. The case, entitled International Union of Operating Engineers Local 370 v. Wasden, Case No. 4:15-cv-00500, was filed on October 22, 2015. The complaint alleges that Idaho’s Right to Work (“RTW”) statute is unconstitutional based upon the 5th Amendment prohibition against takings of private property for public use without paying just compensation.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Updating Overtime Regulations

by Salvatore Gangemi, Esq.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued its Final Rule modifying overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The Final Rule makes material changes to the application of overtime exemptions, and will take effect on December 1, 2016.

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to simplify and modernize the overtime rules to make them easier for employees and employers to understand and apply.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is Anyone Still Using Unpaid Interns?

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

I've been cautioning about the use of unpaid interns almost as long as my blog has been a blog (here, here, and here, for example). Last month, the 11th Circuit, in Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia [pdf], became the third federal appellate court to cast aside the DOL's six-factor internship analysis for a stricter "primary beneficiary" test (joining the 6th Circuit and 2nd Circuit).

In Schumann, the court questioned the employer's use of unpaid student registered nurse anesthetists participating in a clinic program as part of their master's degree curriculum.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Six Options for Complying with New DOL FLSA Salary Rules

by Ron Flowers, Esq.

It is rare for an employee's salary to double with one raise, yet, under the Department of Labor's proposed rule, employers will need to double some employees' salaries to continue to pay them salaries without overtime.

By now, everyone has heard of the Department of Labor's proposed rule increasing the required weekly salary to $970 per week, or $50,440.00 annually, for employees to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) overtime provisions under most of the "white collar" exemptions.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015, and the 60-day comment period expired on September 4, 2015. Although more than 250,000 comments were submitted to the DOL, the final rule is anticipated to closely resemble the proposed rule. The Administration is expected to act fairly quickly finalizing the rule, so employers can expect the final rule to be published and the changes to be implemented in early to middle 2016.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Putting Together the Puzzle on Off-Duty Emails and Overtime

by Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.

Employers, I can see the writing on the wall, and it’s not looking good for your continued reliance on your non-exempt employees using their smartphones off-the-clock.

In the past few months, this issue has picked up a ton of momentum.

First, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled, "Can You Sue the Boss for Making You Answer Late-Night Email?"

Then, the Wage & Hour Litigation Blog reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced a request for information regarding "the use of technology, including portable electronic devices, by employees away from the workplace and outside of scheduled work hours outside of scheduled work outside of scheduled work hours."

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

President Obama Proposes New FLSA Overtime Regulation Raising Floor to $50,440

by Daniel J. Burnick, Esq.

President Obama, in an Op-Ed column in the Huffington Post, is proposing to raise the existing $23,660 threshold for which eligible employees are automatically entitled to overtime to $50,440. Concerning this increase, the President wrote:

"We've got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years — and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year — no matter how many hours they work.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Supreme Court Says Time Spent in Security Checks Is Not Compensable

by Adair Buckner, Esq.

Security Check Time Case Decided

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a unanimous decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v Busk et al. (Dec. 9, 2014), which was widely called "the security check case". Warehouse workers had sued Integrity Staffing for uncompensated time they were required to spend in security screenings lasting up to 25 minutes at the end of their shifts while assigned to work in Amazon warehouses. The Supreme Court ruled employees do not have to be paid for time spent waiting for and actually undergoing security checks.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

EEOC Challenges Severance Agreements

by Adair Buckner, Esq.

Employers frequently will use a "Severance Agreement and Release" when terminating an employee as a means to head off possible post-termination legal claims. Such agreements always have been subject to stringent requirements to be valid and enforceable. In a number of different cases recently, the EEOC has challenged what have been standard release of claims provisions and other terms in such agreements, saying they violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Six Surprising Ways Smartphones Can Get Your Business in Hot Water

by Jeff Calabrese, Esq.

From the C-suite to the mailroom, smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our work life. Smartphones (and other mobile devices) are actually fully networked computers with portals to your company's servers and data, as well as employees' personal activity. The benefits of these veritable Swiss Army knives of technology are obvious. But there are other, less-appreciated employment risks that businesses should consider.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Pitfalls Under Federal Wage and Hour Law: Potential FLSA Liabilities

by Peter Mavrick, Esq.

Small business owners are faced with many challenges and steep learning curves regarding potential legal liabilities and how to avoid them. Among the most common liabilities for small business owners are claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The FLSA establishes the federal minimum wage and overtime wage requirements.

Some small business owners faced with a potential FLSA claim might consider dissolving or closing their businesses to rid themselves of the looming problem. That plan of action, however, might not protect a business owner from liability.

Other small business owners might consider purchasing the assets of a business with a looming FLSA claim. The purchasing party might erroneously believe that purchasing only the predecessor's assets to be owned by a new corporation would thereby avoid the predecessor's potential FLSA liability.

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