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.