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Wage and Hour Violations – Hope for Employers

Employers cheer! Unintentional failure to pay may not be a “willful” violation.

Wage and hour law has been a rocky ride for employers in the last year or so. First came a heavily amended overtime rule set to change the wage and hour landscape completely, then the rule faltered in the courts, then a new administration set out to revise the new rule with an even newer rule. With all this uncertainty, there are still occasionally bits of good news that allow employers to breathe easier, like a recent ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that an unintentional error that did not log overtime for part-time employees did not expose their employer to extra liability. More >

ALERT - Federal Judge Invalidates Overtime Rule

On August 31st, 2017, a U.S. District Court in Texas invalidated a new overtime rule that would have nearly doubled salary thresholds for overtime eligibility. The court had previously put in place a preliminary injunction that prevented the rule from taking effect in late 2016, but the ruling by the court effectively signals the end of the rule. More >

Employers: Don’t Let Bad Weather Rain on Your Parade

The weather outside is terrible, and you want to close down your business for the duration. Can you cancel a work day or send your employees home early without pay for the duration of the closure? The answer is a bit complicated, and it depends on each employee’s classification as non-exempt or exempt where the overtime rules are concerned. More >

Overtime Law Update – One Rule Stalled, One Law Gaining Momentum

In 2015 and 2016, the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (“DOL”) released proposed and final rules that were set to dramatically change the face of overtime exemptions by raising the threshold salary requirement to around $47,500.  The Final Rule became effective as of December 1st, 2016, but several contemporaneous events have worked to upend the new regulation, and changes are afoot even now with respect to overtime. It’s time to take a quick look at the status of overtime regulations. More >

ALERT – Federal Court Blocks Overtime Rule

Breaking newsThe impending change to federal overtime regulations has been put on hold by the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. The court granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor’s implementation of the rule, as the rule faces challenges from 21 states.  More >

The EEOC Retaliates on Retaliation, and Employers are Caught in the Crossfire

NOTE: The EEOC guidance on retaliation can be found here:
https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/retaliation-guidance.cfm

One of the hands-down most difficult positions an employer may find itself in is the time period immediately following an employee reporting discrimination. If the employee engages in some form of conduct that is protected by a nondiscrimination statute such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act, any adverse action taken by the employer against that employee may be scrutinized as sign of retaliation, which is prohibited by these laws. Thus, the reporting of potential discrimination or the filing of any claim with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”) and other investigators produces a chilling effect on the discipline or even termination of that employee, even for unrelated issues.  More >

EEOC Issues Fact Sheet on Transgender Restroom Access

On Monday, May 2nd, 2016, the EEOC issued a fact sheet entitled “Fact Sheet: Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The fact sheet comports with the agency’s stance that Title VII protects gender identity under the prohibitions on discrimination based on sex and serves as a reminder to employers that federal law – and the EEOC’s interpretation of it – trumps state law on this issue, despite recent attention-grabbing media headlines.  More >

ALERT – DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the long-awaited Final Rule on overtime exemptions on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, providing hard numbers and a plan for incremental increases to the “white collar” salary exemption. More >

DOL Quietly Moves to ‘All Liquidated Damages, All the Time’ Footing

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) has always provided for liquidated damages for violations, but in the past, the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) generally pursued the liquidated damages only when forced to litigate. Liquidated damages are effectively punitive in nature and amount to the full amount of back wages, doubling the hit to employers who find themselves in such a predicament. In recent years, however, the WHD has steadily increased the frequency with which it assesses these damages, which proves to be double the burden on employers. More >

New Overtime Rules May Be Here Sooner than Expected

The timeline for adoption of the Final Rule of proposed changes to the white collar overtime exemption has been hard to pin down. In early November of 2015, Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith, during a panel discussion at the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Conference in Philadelphia, mentioned that the proposed changes would not be issued until late 2016, leading many to believe that they would not take effect until 2017. Later that month, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division estimated that the rule would be published in July 2016, not quite as late as earlier implied. Then, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stated in December in an interview with Bloomberg BNA that it seemed likely to him that the new rule would be out by spring of 2016. In February of 2016, Smith reiterated the Wage and Hour Division’s projected timeline of a July 2016 publication with an effective date 60 days later. On March 14th, 2016, the Department of Labor made the surprising move of sending its overtime rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), which means that all bets are off and the rule may here sooner than predicted. More >

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