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Human resources and other professionals who review job positions for possible exemptions under the federal wage and hour law (the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA) are familiar with the “salary basis” and “job duties” tests. Employees who work in jobs that meet both tests and who work in true executive, administrative, or professional capacities are exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.…
Block FMLA leave has its own challenges. But intermittent FMLA leave can be downright painful – including the fact that intermittent leave claims are the most common type of lawsuit under the FMLA. When employees need to take scheduled time off for an entire day, week, or even month, an employer has more notice and ability to find ways to make sure the employee’s work is still being done. However, when employees get valid…
Some pretty horrifying facts about workplace conduct at the Providence, R.I., Fire Department involving co-workers: calling a female lieutenant firefighter “bitch” “c—t,” “lesbian lover,” and “lesbo”; telling her, “I don’t normally like to work with women, but, you know, we like the same thing, so I think we’re going to get along”; spitting on and shoving her; and throwing the blood and brain matter of a suicide-attempt victim at her.  Based on these and other…
Some of our attorneys attended an update meeting with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Miami leadership on June 16, 2017. Mike Farrell is the EEOC Miami District Director, and Bob Weisberg is the EEOC Regional Attorney who heads up litigation for the District.  Both spoke about recent trends that will be of interest to Human Resources professionals, in-house counsel, and practitioners.  We digest their observations and pass on our own insights in this article.…
You are an HR generalist at a 300-bed community hospital. Your boss has instructed you to make sure that all personnel files document that the employee received the hospital’s annual mandatory flu vaccination. However, you notice that seven employees still have not gotten their vaccinations, two weeks after the deadline. When you email them to ask why, they respond they cannot get the vaccine due to their religion. What do you do next?…
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.…
For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions engage in. However, the permissibility of such requirements looked likely to disappear via a Supreme Court ruling this term. To the chagrin of many, that likely result suddenly disappeared, and due to fortuitous circumstances, the law of the…
Hospitals and other health care facilities often do not know exactly how many hours each week they may need nurses and other allied health staff to work. Other employees may get sick, have a baby, go on vacation, or patient censuses may spike. From the Emergency Department in a busy inner-city hospital to a burgeoning primary care practice in the suburbs, health care employers may need to request – or require – that employees work…
Though most Americans do not seem to realize it, anti-discrimination legal protections in employment for transgender, gay, bisexual, and lesbian (LGBT) employees are not uniform across the U.S. In fact, the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would amend Title VII to explicitly include these protected categories, has never passed. Therefore, it is still legal to fire, discipline, or even harass employees in the many states and local jurisdictions that lack these employment law protections.…
Depression. Anxiety. Bipolar Disorder. These and similar mental health diagnoses may affect your boss, the CEO of your company, the head of HR, your assistant, two of your peer workers, or maybe even you. And their symptoms may also affect how well employees perform their jobs. Just as with physical disorders, mental disorders that rise to the level of qualifying as a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and similar state and local laws)…