Two suits challenging OT rules to be heard together

A federal judge in Texas has agreed to consolidate two lawsuits challenging the Department of Labor’s authority to issue new white-collar overtime rules set to take effect Dec. 1.

Can you review I-9 documents remotely?

For each new hire, employers must verify employment eligibility by reviewing original documents in person with the employee. But what if that new hire lives and works hundreds of miles away?

Contracts should spell out at-will employment

It’s unusual, but sometimes a written offer of employment for a specific time period can overcome the usual presumption of at-will employment. Note, however, that other documents may stipulate that employment is at-will—and they will stand up in court.

When must you pay for employee training?

If you offer extra off-duty training to your hourly employees, pay extra attention to the rules that explain when those hours must be “paid time.”

Etsy proposes new kind of employment status

Etsy.com recently went to Washington to urge changes to how artisans, entrepreneurs and other independent workers are treated.

Business groups want to stop contractor disclosure regulations

A group of business associations has asked a federal court in Texas to issue a temporary restraining order to block an Obama administration rule requiring federal contractors to disclose previous labor law violations.

Walmart managers get raises to exceed OT salary threshold

Walmart is giving thousands of assistant managers a pay bump in advance of new overtime rules requiring overtime pay for employees who work more than 40 hours per week and make less than $47,476 per year.

Emergency injunctions sought to stop new OT rules

Plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules have asked a federal judge in East Texas to issue expedited injunctions preventing the rules from taking effect Dec. 1.

Do we need to accommodate a disabled contractor just like we would an employee?

Q. We just hired a contractor for a special project. He has complained that he is sensitive to the smells in our office, which include personal fragrance, scent diffusers and “smelly” food. Since he isn’t our employee can we just tell him to put up with the odor?

How far do we have to go to accommodate employee's migraine headaches?

Q. Our receptionist gets occasional migraine headaches, and she gave us a long list of “triggers” that she wants us to eliminate at work. The list includes no fluorescent lights. We cannot afford to replace all of our fluorescent lights. Can we just say no?

Beware overtime issues when calculating FMLA eligibility

When an employee requests leave for family care, medical, parenting or military emergencies, the first thing an employer should do is to determine if the leave qualifies as time off under the FMLA.

Custodial aide cleans up after equal pay complaint

The Montevideo, Minn. School District has settled an equal pay discrimination suit with the EEOC for $50,000.

Motor Carrier Act limits OT for interstate truckers

Generally, truck drivers who engage in interstate commerce are covered by the Motor Carrier Act rather than the Fair Labor Standards Act as far as compensation and working conditions are concerned.

Minor deviation from layoff procedures? Courts unlikely to consider that discrimination

Of course you should always strive to follow your internal policies and procedures to the letter. That doesn’t mean you need to panic if you discover that someone unintentionally deviated from your standard practice.

Union accepted practice? That kills FLSA claim

In a rare case showing that there may be some benefit to having a unionized workplace, a court has refused to consider whether employees should be paid for time spent putting on and taking off protective clothing.
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