Larkin Hoffman Employment & Labor Law Blog

Insights on employment law for today’s employer

In the latest move in the proverbial tug of war over possible changes to the overtime laws, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a potential new rule on March 8 that would increase the salary required for the so-called “white collar exemptions” under the Fair Labor Standards Act  from $23,660 to $35,308, with automatic cost of living adjustments thereafter.  In other words, in order for a white-collar employee to be exempt from minimum wage and…
Businesses constantly search for ways to protect their competitive advantages, customer relationships, confidential business information and trade secrets.  Non-competition agreements (which often include confidentiality provisions) are usually part of those protection efforts.  Despite the belief of many employers (and employees) that these non-competition agreements are unenforceable and not worth the paper they’re written on, they are both enforceable and extremely valuable when properly drafted.  Attorneys, however, are often asked to revise or pursue enforcement of…
Companies are becoming more aware of the need for their websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. But what does this mean and what are the legal requirements?  The current state of the law is in flux and the fact is, there is no clear set of criteria to which a company can look with assurance for the prerequisites of a fully and legally accessible website.  That said, there are some steps a company…
The Minnesota legislature has once again taken up proposed legislation that would add language to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) eliminating the U.S. Supreme Court’s standard for actionable sexual harassment, which requires it to be “severe or pervasive.” House File No. 10 and its companion Senate File No. 1307 propose adding the following sentence to Minn. Stat. § 363A.03 subdiv. 43, “An intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment . . . does not require the…
When employees become dissatisfied with their union representation, they often ask questions of their employer as to how to get rid of their union.  When a union no longer enjoys the support of unit employees, it can be decertified. Decertification is the process of formally removing recognition of a union as the authorized representative of the employee unit.  However, the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) has strict requirements for decertification—including when an employer can even…
Most employers understand the importance of having a well-communicated policy that prohibits various forms of illegal harassment, including sexual harassment. Not only can such policies have the beneficial effect of reducing or eliminating the existence of such harassment in the workplace, but a documented program of addressing and correcting such problems can go a long way towards reducing or eliminating potential liability. No company can guarantee a pristine work environment, and the law does not…
Cannabis remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule I drug, leaving states to craft their own marijuana-related laws in true patchwork fashion.  By now, most states have enacted at least some form of medical marijuana law.  State officials increasingly understand the benefits of medical marijuana for patients who have qualifying medical conditions.  But acceptance does not necessarily create clarity in the law.  What happens when an employee with a qualifying medical condition seeks reimbursement…
A recent NLRB decision, SuperShuttle DFW, Inc. marks a renewed focus on entrepreneurship, giving businesses and workers greater flexibility in their relationships.  The decision is also a resounding victory for the franchise industry who, in recent years, have faced repeated threats to its core business model.  With a heightened focus on the entrepreneurial opportunity, franchisors are less likely to be determined joint employers with their franchisees based upon the degree of control they exercise…
As we settle into the new year, I would like to share a few thoughts about what I believe is in store for us in 2019. 2019 Federal Legislation It is unlikely there will be any new federal legislation in the next two years, with one exception. There has been some talk among the Republicans supporting a federal paid family leave. With Ivanka Trump being a close advisor to President Trump, it is possible that…
Most of you will recall the fight in numerous political elections just a few years ago over the issue of whether same-sex couples have the right to marry.  The Supreme Court put the issue to rest through a decision in 2015, holding that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides the fundamental right and requires all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriages on the same terms as opposite-sex marriages.  While that decision was certainly…