FMLA Stands for "Family and Medical Leave Avalanche"

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We noted last year that 20 years after the original passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Department of Labor issued a survey report lauding the effectiveness of the law and the positive impact it has had on the American workforce. One of the most interesting points from that survey report was the assertion that most employers purportedly reported experiencing “little to no negative impact from the FMLA,” which caused at least this author to wonder what employers the DOL surveyed, particularly when the perception among many is that the FMLA has become a source of regular employee abuse. Continue reading this entry

The "Equal Pay Report" - Yet Another New Regulation Requiring Compliance by Federal Contractors

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The Equal Pay Report – yet another obligation being imposed on federal contractors is coming to you soon. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) released information on another new rule that will require all federal contractors and subcontractors to prepare and file a summary compensation report on an annual basis. The Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on August 8, and allows for a 90-day comment period from the public. (Comments  may be submitted on line.) The Proposed Rule will apply to companies that file EEO-1 reports, have more than 100 employees, and hold a federal contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more. Continue reading this entry

No Workers' Comp Immunity! No Insurance! Sure Is a Problem

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In many states, workers’ compensation benefits are ordinarily the exclusive remedy for an employee injured or killed on the job. In exchange for these benefits, often awarded on a “no fault” basis, the employee generally forfeits the right to bring civil suit (subject to limited exceptions) against his employer. However, this expected employer immunity may not always be there with serious implications.

A recent order from a Florida state court illustrates the point. The court concluded that the exclusive remedy provision of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act is unconstitutional because the benefits available to employees have been so eroded over time by the legislature they no longer are an adequate alternative to civil suit. Included in the 20-page opinion are references to cases in Colorado and Missouri where the courts found some portion of their state workers compensation laws unconstitutional. Continue reading this entry

Got Proof? Court Requires Proof Employees Signed Arbitration Agreement to Compel Arbitration

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Arbitration agreements, and their use as a means to avoid class action disputes in particular, have been repeat news items in the last several years, and many employers continue to consider their use as a means to mitigate employment and wage and hour class action litigation risk. For employers who have implemented such agreements, a recent federal court decision reminds them of a seemingly simple – but nonetheless critical – point: make sure if you have an arbitration agreement, employees sign on to it and you can demonstrate an employee’s assent to the agreement if you need to do so, because as the court indicated, employers cannot rely on general policies requiring employees to sign such agreements to compel arbitration if the employees have not actually signed them. Continue reading this entry

You’re NOT Paranoid – the Agencies ARE Ganging Up

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Feeling a bit paranoid these days, especially where government oversight or agency investigations are involved? Your perception of reality is probably being driven less by paranoia and more by the upticks in government activity, and that twitchy sense of more government scrutiny is actually well justified. In addition to executive agency actions placing more requirements on contractors, government agencies are practicing sharing and cooperation – and in ways that may not have quite the positive results you might normally expect. Continue reading this entry