Labor & Employment

BLOG: New DoL Rule Clarifies Joint Employer Status Under FLSA

January 14, 2020
By Nichole D. Atallah
On January 16, 2020, the Department of Labor's (DoL) Wage and Hour Division will publish a final rule clarifying joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), adopting a four-factor test to determine joint employer status. The rule simplifies and narrows the interpretation of a joint employer from the interpretation implemented by the Obama administration. This final rule will benefit companies establishing cooperative business arrangements as they seek assurances as to whether they will be responsible for ensuring employees are paid correctly.
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BLOG: Liquidated Damages Clauses: Important Considerations for Business Owners

December 16, 2019
By Patrick K. Burns
When drafting or negotiating any contract, businesses should give careful consideration to avenues of recovery in the event of a breach by the other party. At times, this determination is straight-forward, such as where a party fails to pay amounts owed. But the analysis can become complicated in situations where damages aren't readily quantifiable, such as where a trade secret is misappropriated or a former employee solicits a company client. To simplify such issues, businesses include liquidated damages provisions in their agreements. The clauses provide for the payment of a stipulated amount of money if the agreement is breached. While commonplace, legal enforceability of such provisions is often overlooked by many business owners. Depending on the nature of the agreement, a liquidated damages clause may be worth considering, but is not always appropriate. Due to the many complexities involved, legal counsel is recommended to provide guidance on these issues.
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BLOG: OFCCP Releases Technical Assistance Guide for Construction Contractors

December 4, 2019
By Sara Nasseri
In keeping with its commitment to offer more technical guidance for government contractors across all industries, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently published its Technical Assistance Guide (the Guide) for construction contractors. The OFCCP released the Guide as a self-assessment tool to help contractors review the equal employment opportunity practices they have in place. Using this tool, and fixing issues it might reveal, may help construction contractors avoid potential investigation and interruption to their business operations. For a full copy of the Guide, please visit OFCCP's website here.
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BLOG: SCOTUS Clarifies Vague Arbitration Clauses Affecting Class Disputes for Growing Businesses

October 10, 2019
By Patrick K. Burns
For most small to medium-sized businesses, the threat of a class action is not usually front-of-mind. However, as a business grows, the threat can increase depending on the number of employees and the nature of the work being performed. Class actions are commonly thought of as involving hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals. However, courts routinely consider much smaller groups of employees, including groups of approximately 40 individuals to be sufficient to establish a class action. To reduce the risk of a class action disrupting business operations and impacting revenue, businesses may want to consider including arbitration clauses in their employment and consumer agreements.
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BLOG: Impact of DOL's Changes to FLSA Salary Basis Test on Government Contractors and Commercial Businesses

September 26, 2019
By Nichole D. Atallah
On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule to change the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) salary basis test, which is integral to classifying an employee as exempt from overtime payments. In order to designate an employee as FLSA overtime exempt, an employer must ensure that the employee meets both a salary basis test, which establishes a salary threshold, and a duties test, which establishes the types of responsibilities and knowledge required to be eligible for an exemption. The salary basis requirement is currently $455 per week, or $23,660 per year. PilieroMazza previously blogged about the proposed DOL overtime exemption rule here. Effective January 1, 2020, the final rule will increase the threshold amount to $684 per week or $35,568 per year, a slight increase from the originally proposed amount. Employers, including government contractors, with salaried employees making under $35,568 annually need to determine if it makes business sense to convert employees to non-exempt status or to raise their salary. Not understanding this requirement could lead to costly DOL violations.
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