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Employment Law

Timely documentation: Your best legal defense

What’s the best thing employers can do to win more lawsuits? Document every workplace decision contemporaneously, at the time you make it.

DOL: Highly compensated employee explained

A recent opinion letter interprets the Fair Labor Standards Act’s highly compensated employee exemption. The letter spells out exactly what an employer must show to claim the exemption, which currently only applies to workers earning a salary of at least $100,000 per year who perform nonmanual or office work.

ADA: Obesity isn’t a disability … or is it?

More than one-third of American adults—some 72 million people—are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But generally, obesity alone does not qualify as a disability under the ADA. A recent federal appellate court decision agrees with that premise.

Warn bosses: No comments on worker health

Supervisors sometimes say things that are clearly best left unsaid—such as fears that an employee’s protected characteristics or activities might cost the company money!

Acosta resignation depletes an already shallow DOL bench

The resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta means only half of the Department of Labor’s 14 positions that require Senate confirmation are occupied nearly two-and-a-half years into the Trump administration.

Out with the old? In with a lawsuit

The EEOC sued a Pennsylvania dental practice for age discrimination after it fired eight of its nine hygienists over age 40 and replaced them with 14 employees, 13 of whom were under age 40.

Poor review alone isn’t enough to win lawsuit

Employees generally must show they suffered an adverse employment action before they can win a discrimination lawsuit. Merely receiving a poor evaluation, without other consequences, isn’t enough.

On World Cup bandwagon, NY enacts equal pay laws

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo chose an apt setting to sign legislation mandating equal pay for substantially equal work, regardless of an employee’s protected class.

Equal pay: Document how and why jobs differ

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay members of each sex the same for performing work that is substantially the same. The only way for an employer to defend an EPA lawsuit is to prove that the jobs aren’t substantially similar—or that the pay difference is attributable to some factor other than sex.

Focus reviews on performance, not emotions

When you evaluate an employee who isn’t living up to performance expectations, avoid commenting on her emotional state. Focus on objective criteria like unmet goals or sales quotas. Otherwise, you risk a lawsuit claiming discrimination on the basis of disability.