Tag Archives: Department of Labor

The Heat Is On: Is Your Company in Compliance with State Sun and Heat Worker Protections?

heat
With summer in full swing and heat waves sweeping the country, it is important that employers comply with any state regulations protecting employees who work outdoors from suffering from heat-related illnesses. Just last week, with the National Weather Service issuing excessive heat warnings for California, Cal/OSHA reminded all employers with outdoor workers to be mindful … Continue reading this entry

No Summer Break for New York State’s and New York City’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Protections

New York
With the summer (and many vacations) now in full swing, it would be easy for employers to miss the anti-sexual harassment protections that were added to the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (NY CPLR) and New York’s General Obligation Law, effective July 11, 2018, as well as the additional training, policy and other … Continue reading this entry

I Want To Dock My Employee’s Wages Because She Broke Her Laptop – Okay?

wages
The answer to this question depends – is the employee exempt or non-exempt? And, if non-exempt, will the deduction reduce her compensation below the minimum wage or affect her overtime compensation? We live in a time where company-issued computer laptops and tablets are commonplace. It is also fairly certain that, at one time or another, … Continue reading this entry

Trump’s DOL Issues First Opinion Letters

Independent
Back in January, we reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) was reviving the agency’s practice of issuing opinion letters at the request of employers.  The WHD stopped the practice of issuing opinion letters under the Obama administration back in 2010.  After nearly a decade, the WHD finally issued new opinion … Continue reading this entry

Getting PAID – A New Path for Employers to Address Federal Wage and Hour Violations

wage
It is a dilemma that many employers have faced. You discover that your company violated federal law on minimum wage or overtime payments. You want to fix the problem, but you do not know how to do so without prompting employee demand letters, a Department of Labor audit or, perhaps worst, a class action lawsuit. … Continue reading this entry

April 1, 2018 is Fast Approaching – Are Your Disability Claims Procedures Ready?

Disability
The Department of Labor issued the final disability claims regulations on December 16, 2016. These regulations are effective for all claims filed on or after April 1, 2018. The Department felt the update was needed to provide claimants a full and fair review, to promote fairness and accuracy, and to better protect participants.  The Department … Continue reading this entry

The Department of Labor Restores Bush Era Opinion Letters

wage
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is turning back the clock in a move that it believes will provide clarity for employers who seek to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On January 5, 2018, the DOL reinstated 17 opinion letters to employers that were published in January 2009, during the final month … Continue reading this entry

Are You Required to Pay Your Interns?

Salary
For-profit employers occasionally bring on unpaid interns to work at the company. The question employers must ask is whether an unpaid intern is actually an employee and, therefore, entitled to be paid minimum wage and overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If an intern is not an employee under the FLSA, … Continue reading this entry

Labor Department Proposes A Reversal Of Its Current Tip-Pooling Rules

Department
On December 5, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reverse its 2011 rule prohibiting employers from sharing tips obtained by service workers with non-tipped staff. The proposed rule would allow employers who pay at least minimum wage (without taking a tip credit) to share tips through a tip pool with … Continue reading this entry

OFCCP Offers Limited Compliance Relief for Federal Contractors in Wake of Recent Hurricanes

Hurricanes
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken two concrete steps to provide federal contractors compliance relief.… Continue reading this entry

Overtime Exemption Increases: Not Now, But (Probably) Soon

Overtime
As our readers are aware, we have devoted a good amount of space to discussing the status of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule on exemptions from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After a topsy-turvy year-and-a-half, in which multiple courts’ issues opined on the status of that rule, we recently asked … Continue reading this entry

NLRB’s New Joint Employment Rules Fail . . . But Live to Fight Another Day

Independent
No matter your political persuasion, there is little argument that during the second term of the previous administration, multiple federal agencies made landscape-altering changes to federal labor policy. These changes included rewriting guidance on independent contractor standards and accelerating the speed at which union organizing elections would occur following the filing of a representation petition.  … Continue reading this entry

What Ever Happened to the Department of Labor’s New Overtime Rule?

Overtime
As our readers may recall, last year we devoted a good amount of time addressing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule on overtime exemptions. Under that rule, which was supposed to go into effect on December 1, 2016, the minimum salary required to be exempt from overtime requirements under the certain Fair Labor Standards … Continue reading this entry

Trump Department of Labor Continues to Chip Away at Obama Wage & Hour Efforts - WHD Interpretive Guidance on Joint Employer and Independent Contractors Withdrawn

wage
On Wednesday, June 7th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew two highly provocative interpretive guidance letters issued under President Obama’s administration. The two letters, issued by the Wage & Hour Division (WHD) Administrator, sought to limit instances of misclassification of workers, and expand the instances where a business might be considered a joint employer … Continue reading this entry

H-1B Sponsors: Prepare for Site Visits and Increased Enforcement

On April 3, 2017, USCIS announced a program to deter and detect H-1B fraud and abuse. In the announcement, USCIS stated that too many American workers are ignored or unfairly disadvantaged as a result of the H 1B visa program. In an effort to combat fraud, USCIS will implement a targeted site visit program with … Continue reading this entry

Uncle Sam Wants You! (to Provide Employee Compensation Data)

harassment
A new lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) demonstrates how dogged the government can be in trying to obtain and review employers’ compensation data. The lawsuit, filed against Google with the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, alleges that Google failed to comply with its obligations to provide compensation data to the … Continue reading this entry

Federal Minimum Salary Drama? New York Says Fuhgettaboutit!

Wage and Hour
As if the start-again, stop-again saga with the U.S. Department of Labor’s rules increasing the minimum salary threshold for exempt workers wasn’t confusing enough, at least one state has jumped into the fray and changed its own overtime rules — New York. Effective December 31, 2016, the New York Department of Labor amended its minimum … Continue reading this entry

2016: They Say all Politics is Local: Now Employment Law is Too

Paid Family Leave
The end of 2016 is a good time to review and consider a subtle shift in employment law which appears to be gaining momentum. The shift, which may be imperceptible at first, could prove to have lasting impact on employers, especially those who operate in multiple cities and states, and can easily be described as … Continue reading this entry

The Revised Persuader Rule — An Obituary

EEOC Developments
The “Persuader Rule” — Brief Background After several years of review and public comment, on March 24, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its new interpretation of the so-called “Persuader Rule.” The new interpretation changed more than 50 years of DOL policy under which employers and consultants had no duty to report “persuasive … Continue reading this entry

Court Takes Injunction on Salary Threshold Levels Under Advisement

Today, Judge Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division heard arguments on an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction regarding changes to the federal salaried exemption threshold, which, absent an injunction, become effective on December 1, 2016. During the hearing, which lasted over three hours, Judge Mazzant asked several questions that provide insight into … Continue reading this entry

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

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 … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Tips for Surviving OSHA Inspections—Part IV

Over the last several weeks on the Work Knowledge Blog, we have outlined tips for employers to ready themselves for a potential influx of OSHA inspections.  OSHA inspections are often time-intensive and nerve-racking.  And they are mostly unexpected, so an ill-prepared employer may feel an intense pressure upon the beginning of an OSHA inspection.  That … Continue reading this entry

Moving Away From The “Mad Men” Era: The OFCCP Updates Its Sex Discrimination Guidelines

For the first time since 1970, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is updating its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors. These updates, announced last week, will become effective on August 15, 2016. Most companies subject to the OFFCP’s oversight – including businesses that perform work for the federal government … Continue reading this entry

DOL’s Increased Salary Test: What Employers Need to Know

For months, employers have been anxiously awaiting the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) final rule on exemptions from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and wondering whether the DOL would pass the rule as previously proposed or make modifications to its June 2015 proposed rule. Now the wait is finally over and, as anticipated, … Continue reading this entry