Do Not Overlook FLSA Duties in Light of New Salary Requirements

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The upcoming change to salary requirements to the so-called “white collar” overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has garnered a lot of attention. However, even with a strong emphasis on the changes to the salary requirement, employers should not lose focus on the duties portion of the test.

The white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) generally have two components – payment on a qualifying salary basis and satisfaction of a duties-test requirement unique to each exemption. A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (covering Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota) reminds employers that even though most recent focus has been on the salary test component, the duties test inquiry remains as critical as ever. Continue reading this entry

Fired For My Firearm? I’ll Sue!

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As if employers already did not have enough reasons to have to think through termination decisions carefully, here is yet another “trigger” word that should make employers think twice about plans to discipline or fire an employee: guns. Before terminating an employee for bringing one (or more) gun to work, make sure state law does not create rights allowing employees to bring them to their work location that might allow an employee to sue. Continue reading this entry

Getting Past “Not Horrible”: Addressing Office Bullies is Good for the Bottom Line

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A Dallas jury recently awarded a verdict of more than a million dollars to a vocational nurse based upon her claims of sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. While it appears that verdict will not ultimately be enforced — following a post-verdict settlement reached between the parties just minutes before the jury’s ruling that was smaller, yet still sizable — it is a warning sign for employers in terms of changing views on workplace bullying. Continue reading this entry

State Attorneys General on the Attack Against Noncompete Overuse

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Too much of a good thing can be bad – a maxim that some employers have historically ignored by requiring entire workforces, including rank-and-file employees, to submit to post-employment noncompete obligations as a condition of continuing employment. In recent months, however, state attorneys general, specifically in New York and Illinois, have put significant heat on employers that have engaged in this practice and, in doing so, appear to be opening a new front in the battle over noncompete agreements. Continue reading this entry

The Fluctuating Workweek Approach to Compensation – It Could Save You Money!

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With the new, increased salary requirements set to take effect later this year for exempt employees, many employers are asking how they might reduce their overtime obligations. One possible approach is the fluctuating workweek method of compensation. However, prior to implementing such an approach, employers would be wise to seek guidance from counsel because the fluctuating workweek method comes with its own potential challenges, and it may not be permissible under some state overtime laws, such as the California Labor Code. Continue reading this entry