Friday, October 25, 2019

Driver Safety Programs and Distracted Driving Initiatives – OSHA Pushes to Reduce the Risk of Serious Injury and Company Losses


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recenty rolled out programs and publications aimed at encouraging employers to focus on programs related to safety on the roadways.

In its Guidelines for Employers to ReduceMotor Vehicle Crashes publication (Guidelines), OSHA states that “every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, every 10 seconds an injury occurs, and every five seconds a crash occurs.” The Guidelines point out that many of these incidents occur during the workday or commute to and from work.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Cases that Could Reshape Employment Discrimination Landscape


The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a series of cases that will determine whether federal employment discrimination protection extends to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Court’s decisions in the cases could have a far-reaching impact on employers nationwide.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” At issue in the trio of cases currently before the Court is whether “sex” applies to sexual orientation and gender identity. If it does, gay, lesbian, and transgender employees would be afforded federal protection against workplace discrimination. Currently only 21 states, including Minnesota, have laws providing that measure of protection.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Increased FLSA Threshold for White Collar Exemptions Takes Effect at the Start of the New Year

Employers should be aware that an amendment to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will increase the salary level threshold for the white-collar employee exemption from overtime pay commencing January 1, 2020. The white-collar exemption generally applies to executive, administrative, and professional job positions, as defined under the FLSA. A final rule was issued by the federal Department of Labor (DOL) on September 24, 2019, which increases the white-collar exemption salary level from the current level of $455.00 per week to $684.00 per week (which computes to $35,568 annually). The threshold increase is significantly lower than the increase contained in a 2016 rule ($913 per week) that never went into effect. We have previously discussed in detail here the proposed rule that ultimately led to the final rule.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Overtime on Split-Day Pay — Employer Beware


A note of caution to Minnesota-based employers — federal enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should not be your only concern when drafting employee compensation plans; the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is actively auditing employers in search of those avoiding their overtime requirements under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA). This past Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld a million dollar compliance order issued by the Department against an employer utilizing split-day compensation plans. The court held that an employer must pay an employee at least one and one-half time for any hours worked in excess of 48 hours in a given week (overtime hits after 48 hours under the MFLSA as opposed to 40 hours under the FLSA), regardless of how that employee was compensated prior to meeting those 48 hours. Further, the court held that an employer may not exclude time and one-half pay for work performed within the employee’s first 48 hours of work when calculating the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

NLRB Strengthens Employers’ Right to Bar Non-Employee Protests



The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) has yet again reversed precedent and created a new employer-friendly rule regarding non-employees engaging in leafletting on an employer’s premises. In a prior 2011 decision involving the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas, the Board had held that employers could only prohibit leafletting by non-employees on the employer’s property when such activity would “significantly interfere” with the employer’s use of the property. This was a difficult standard for employers to meet, and, fortunately for employers, they may now have greater flexibility. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

EEOC Released FAQs on EEO-1 Reporting, Including Guidance on Reporting Non-Binary Employees


The deadline for employers with annual EEO-1 reporting requirements to submit Component 2 pay data is just over a month away. Employers must file 2017 and 2018 Component 2 compensation data by September 30, 2019.

With the deadline approaching, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance to filing employers through answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Among other issues, the EEOC addressed reporting non-binary gender employees. Previously, the EEOC required an employer to list an employee’s gender for EEO-1 reporting as male or female. The EEOC also stated that self-identification was the preferred method of identifying an employee’s sex. The EEOC, however, had not previously answered the question of how to complete the EEO-1 form related to employees who identify as non-binary.

Friday, August 16, 2019

New Compliance Tools From the Department of Labor


As part of its ongoing efforts to assist employers in understanding their responsibilities under federal employment law, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor recently added publically available presentations to its website.  The presentations cover topics under the Fair Labor Standards Act, such as wage and hour requirements, child labor requirements, and an employer’s responsibilities to provide rest breaks and proper facilities for nursing mothers.

During the past year the Department of Labor has added other content to its online materials including the Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Department states that these online tools are designed to ensure a greater understanding of the federal labor laws and regulations.