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March 2016 Newsletter

I always love a good social media FMLA smack down. It’s even better when the employer handles the situation in textbook fashion. Today’s installment offers both, while also providing a road map for employers when investigating suspected FMLA abuse. Let me share the story of Rodney. Rodney was the activity director for Accentia Health, a local long-term care facility, and in that role, he was responsible for overseeing a staff which decorated the...
Over the last few months we've been asked on an almost daily basis when the DOL will be publishing its hotly anticipated white collar exemption rules. The short answer is still, we don't know. A few months ago, the word was "late 2016," which made some sense due to the extremely high volume of comments the DOL received during the 60-day public comment period.* Now, signs point to an earlier release. According to Law360, DOL Solicitor M...
Last month Walmart was hit, in headline making fashion, with a massive $31.2 million verdict in a New Hampshire disability and gender discrimination case.  What makes this verdict particularly news-worthy is not only its size, but also the fact that the plaintiff was a pharmacist at Walmart, and not an executive earning a six-figure salary. The verdict consisted of twin amounts of $15 million in punitive damages on the federal claim and...
This is scary. You’d think a person with “Manager” in her job title who was making more than $89,000 a year would be exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Not necessarily. A federal judge in Maine ruled that Bottomline Technologies, Inc., a financial processing services company, will have to face a jury trial on the wage-and-hour claims of Debra Colello, a former client relations manager for the company. The...
An Indiana federal court has dismissed Berger v. NCAA et al, a suit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act by former student-athletes from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). More commonly known as Sackos, the case was filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and more than one hundred Division I schools by Samantha Sackos, a former women’s soccer player and student-athlete from the University of Houston, on...
None of us is immune from the Streisand Effect. Not even employers. A real estate firm in Dallas sued its ex-bookkeeper, Jacqueline, for embezzling approximately $400,000 over a four-year period by writing checks to phony vendors and all the usual tricks. She generally denied the allegations, and apparently the parties didn’t do much discovery, so they went to trial without knowing what the other side would say. The CEO, Jim, got up on the...
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