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08Oct2015

Fifth Circuit holds meal breaks may be compensable

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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   In Naylor v. Securiguard, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a meal break may actually be compensable when an employer-mandated transition or travel time to the designated break area significantly reduces the 30-minute meal period.   The U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations provide
24Sep2015

Some Routine Policies Aren’t So Routine Any More!

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   On-the-Job Fighting   Most companies today have policies prohibiting fighting and violence at the workplace. However, a recent Utah Supreme Court ruling may cause employers to double-check those policies. In this case, Wal-Mart employees were fired for wrestling with shoplifters who had weapons. The company claimed the employees
16Sep2015

DOL Issues New Guidance for Corporate Investigations

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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOL”) issued a memorandum explaining several important policy changes for corporate investigations. In the memorandum, the DOL reinforced its intention to pursue individuals for corporate wrongdoing and provided corporations with the following key guidance during civil and criminal government investigations:   1.
09Sep2015

Obama orders paid sick leave for federal contractor workers

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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   On Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring all federal contractors to offer paid sick leave by 2017. Federal contractors must allow employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year (one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked). This leave
17Aug2015

Discrimination & Tip Pools: When Companies and the DOL Get It Wrong

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   The Customer May Not Always Be Right!   A Lowe’s store in Virginia recently received a request from a customer: No black drivers were to deliver to her house. Initially, managers at the store honored the request. However, now that the company officials know about it, the managers
15Jul2015

DOL says most independent contractors actually employees

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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   The Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance today that clarified the independent contractor versus employee issue. The 15-page memorandum advised that most workers qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) expansive definition of employment, which defines employment as “to suffer or permit to work.”   Courts
09Jul2015

Breaking News from the Department of Labor (DOL)

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   It was announced last week that the Obama administration plans to raise the wage requirement used by companies that exempts millions of executive, administrative, and professional workers from overtime and minimum wage. This “white collar” exemption currently applies to those workers who earn more than $455 per week
30Jun2015

Staffing Agencies and Per Diems

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   Six staffing agencies have been investigated and are working on an agreement with the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to pay $3.5 million in back wages to about 3,000 workers. The workers were employed to work on projects in the Gulf coast area and were paid the minimum hourly
05Dec2014

Hot off the Press: Discrimination Issues

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   Two discrimination issues were in the news this week. The first issue deals with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. On December 3, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the UPS case and will determine whether the company had the responsibility to provide light duty work to
26Jun2014

Look Before You Leap Into the Pool! Tip Pools Explained

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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant (home of the 72-ounce steak dinner) recently paid $800,000 to settle a labor department dispute in which it was alleged that the restaurant took too much of a bite out of tips to workers. A 2011 audit found minimum wage and record-keeping
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