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August 2015 Newsletter

This morning (July 1), the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) announced its long-awaited proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations and, in particular, the regulations governing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) is as surprising for what it includes as what it did not.  This comprehensive...
Compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) is a daily challenge for employers, as more and more employees seem to take advantage of the right to full and intermittent leave. I often see clients jump to hasty conclusions about FMLA entitlement, or deny leave or terminate employees, without fully analyzing whether they have complied with all of the FMLA’s requirements or done a full review of whether the employee was entitled to leave....
On Friday, June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. So, I’ll give you one guess as to the topic of my blog post today. How is the FMLA Impacted by the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage? Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a final rule allowing an otherwise eligible employee to take FMLA leave to care for a...
Q:  One of our employees, a front desk receptionist, maintains an erratic work schedule because she must attend to her autistic son.  In short, her son throws a tantrum at school if his mom does not personally drop him off and pick him up from school.  For instance, he hides under a table, refuses to participate, and becomes very aggressive when his mom doesn’t drop him off and pick him up. The difficulty...
You might have been following the latest news on Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit, who just resigned her position last week.  Ms. Pao was also the plaintiff in a high profile sexual harassment lawsuit against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.  That lawsuit ended with a jury verdict for Kleiner, and most recently the judge ordered Ms. Pao to pay $276,000 to Kleiner to reimburse the firm for some of its...
Here’s a lesson: Don’t call your employee an “old fart,” especially if you think you may need to fire him someday. And don’t call his co-workers “old farts” right before you fire the co-workers. And don’t give your “old fart,” who has only a first-level warning on his record, three or four “progressive” warnings on the day that you fire him. And don’t try to invoke “employment at will!” to justify any of the above. Every now...
Recently, two blog readers asked a question about the use of compensatory (comp) time in the private sector during a discussion about tracking exempt employees’ hours worked. One reader’s company tracked exempt employees’ hours worked, and permitted the employees to “flex” any hours worked in excess of a normal workweek, either later that week or in future weeks on an hour-for-hour basis, subject to work loads and scheduling requirements....
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