Posts from April 2017.

Last week, I wrote about a study describing how certain timekeeping systems could create wage and hour liability through, among other things, making it easy to "cheat" and providing no transparency when changes are made. (Which makes it impossible to detect and correct errors.) Having addressed the "problem" last week, I wanted to talk this week about solutions.

But before I do ...

Alex Acosta.flickrCC.DonkeyHotey
"I'm in!"

The Senate has finally confirmed R. Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor, and he is expected to be sworn in tomorrow. (Yay!)

The vote was 60 to 38, meaning that he got some decent bipartisan support.

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Donkey Hotey.

ConstangyTV's Close-Up on Workplace Law, April edition, is out! Host Leigh Tyson interviews John MacDonald, head of our Princeton (NJ) Office, about employment law issues unique to the financial and investment industries. If you haven't already subscribed to our monthly video series, please do so. And, to save you the trouble of trekking all that way over to YouTube, here is the ...

Employers in St. Louis City should prepare for an imminent increase in the minimum wage from $7.70 to $10 per hour. On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its direction toRobert Ortbals lift an injunction blocking the City’s minimum wage ordinance from taking effect. The trial court that issued the injunction must now lift the injunction—which can happen at any time. Once the injunction is ...

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Palantir Technologies, a California-based technology company, have agreed to settle a pending lawsuit for about $1.7Angelique Lyons million.

We first reported on this case in October 2016. In its complaint, the OFCCP alleged that the Company used a discriminatory hiring process that resulted in a low selection rate for Asians, who ...

Miscimarra
Philip Miscimarra

According to Politico's "Morning Shift," President Trump on Friday night promoted Philip Miscimarra from Acting Chairman to plain old Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Congratulations, Chairman!

As of this morning, the NLRB website is still listing him as Acting Chairman.

There are still two vacant seats on the five-member Board, which the ...

Does your timekeeping software make it harder for you to comply with wage and hour laws -- and to defend yourself in a wage and hour lawsuit?Timeclock.flickrCC.MichaelCoghlan

A study recently published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology says that there are features of certain timekeeping programs that can create wage and hour problems for employers, and result in underpayment* of employees.

*Underpayment ...

The FLSA hurts women? Heather Owen, partner in our Jacksonville Office and proprietor of FOCUS, our women's leadership Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrisblog, begins a three-part series on how the Fair Labor Standards Act, with its lack of flexibility, is unfair to women (non-exempt women, anyway), who continue to assume more responsibility for child care, elder care, and other domestic duties, in addition to their ...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced last month that it has launched an online inquiry form.Alyssa Peters

The online system is in the testing phase and available for only five offices: Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Seattle. Whether this new system will result in more charges is yet to be determined, but my guess is that it will do so dramatically! The purpose ...

*For employment law advice.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 10.54.05 AM
Neither a lawyer nor an HR professional. Caveat emptor!

Amy Dickson of the syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" is someone I read daily and agree with maybe 50 percent of the time. On most of the matters on which we disagree, she is probably right and I am probably wrong.

But she really blew it today when she tried to venture into the area of employment law.

A letter ...

Little League.flickrCC.RobBixby
Paid time off to watch your little slugger - priceless!

House and Senate Republicans have introduced legislation -- the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 -- that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private sector employers to provide "comp time" to employees in lieu of overtime pay. I've read the House version of the bill, and I'm having a hard time finding ...

British Columbia has recently amended its health and safety law to prohibit employers from requiring employees to wear high heels to work.

No High Heels.flickrCC.TineSteiss
Spike 'em!

Maybe this isn't too big a deal in an office environment, but there are some less-sedentary workplaces in which employees are on their feet all day long. It is not fair to require female employees to be running around in five-inch ...

Lots going on in the Northeast these days!

Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrisFrom Massachusetts, Connor Cobean of our Boston Office has a discussion of a state Superior Court decision that allows employees to sue for back wages and treble damages if their employers violate the Sunday blue laws. (Employers covered by the blue laws have to pay time and a half to non-exempt employees who work on Sunday.)

And the New York ...

(DEAR READERS: I know that using "Bermuda Triangle" to refer to issues involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and workers' compensation is corny, trite, stale, and overdone. But I'm being ironic, so it's ok.)

No. 1: FMLA leave can run _____________ with workers' compensation leave.

Bermuda Triangle.flickrCC.NOAANatlOceanSvc
Embrace the cliche!

A. Consecutively

B. Conformity

C ...

According to a news alert pop-up that I just received from The New York Times. (I can't find an article on the website, though - they may not have it yet. I will update.)

Here you go!

Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrisAttention, H-1B employers! The Trump Administration announced this week that it would take a closer look at employers who use workers with H-1B visas. Elizabeth Joiner has the details in this Immigration Dispatch.

Sexual orientation discrimination does violate Title VII, appeals court says. This week's decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is a first, and ...

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled yesterday that sexual orientation discrimination is indeed prohibited "sex discrimination" within the meaning of Title VII.Stove fire.flickrCC.StateFarmIns

The decision was issued in the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit had found last year that Title VII did not prohibit sexual orientation ...

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that the annual hiring benchmark under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act has been lowered from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent. This percentage represents the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, which has decreased Stephanie Underwoodeach year since 2014, when the OFCCP began requiring the ...

Scuba Intro.flickrCC.ScottAs we reported early this morning, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana that the prohibition in Title VII against discrimination based on “sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is the first federal appellate court to do so, although recent decisions from other federal appeals ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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