About

As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

Contact Us

Topics

Archives

Select Month:

Contributors

Posts tagged "employment law".

To be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee must perform certain duties and be paid on a “salary basis,” meaning that the employee receives a set salary each week, regardless of the number of days or hours worked, with limited exceptions. Under the FLSA, an employer may deduct from the pay of an exempt employee only under the following circumstances:

  • No work: When an exempt employee performs no work for an entire workweek, the employer is not required to pay the employee’s salary for that week.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter on March 15, 2019 that answered the question of “whether an employer may delay designating paid leave as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave or expand their FMLA leave beyond the statutory 12-week entitlement.” The DOL’s answer in short: No way.

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed rules that would update the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) so-called “white collar” or “EAP” exemptions from overtime. The importance of this issue for employers is tied to the fact that an employee must be paid on a salary basis at or above the DOL’s specified minimum weekly salary level in order to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.  

What Changes

Currently, employees paid a weekly salary below $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are deemed non-exempt and must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week.

The partial federal government shutdown appears likely to continue into a second week, with no agreement on funding for the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Justice Department and Interior Department, among other federal departments and agencies. For a second time this year, government contractors face the challenge of complying with a complex set of federal and state employment laws, while their federal contract work and workers remain idle. This article briefly identifies some of the issues affecting government contractors during the shutdown and provides guidance on how to navigate the issues.

In today’s global economy, it has become increasingly common for companies based in the United States to engage workers who live abroad for various purposes. U.S. companies often classify these workers as “independent contractors” to avoid having to navigate the employment landscape in other countries. However, U.S. companies should be aware of the potential pitfalls of misclassifying foreign workers, particularly in countries where employment laws tend to be more employee-friendly than U.S. law. Employers should consider the following factors when engaging foreign independent contractors to work abroad.

Like it or not, Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America.  Now that the initial shock has worn off, it’s time to evaluate how federal employment laws, regulations, and enforcement may shift under the Trump Administration. 

While President Trump has not spoken at length regarding employment law since taking office, his pro-business philosophy and nomination of Andrew F. Puzder, a former restaurant executive, for Secretary of Labor (Puzder later withdrew his name from consideration) suggests that the Trump Administration will be significantly more employer-friendly than the Obama Administration

On October 1, 2016, Montgomery County, Maryland (the “County”) joined the growing list of jurisdictions requiring paid sick leave for employees of all entities doing business in Montgomery County. The County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (“Paid Leave Law”) is applicable to all employers doing business in the County.

This week, the County Council unanimously approved an expansion of the Paid Leave Law, effective as of November 1, 2016, to allow employees to use paid leave for the birth of a child or for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. Employees will also be permitted to use paid leave to care for a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed child within one year of birth, adoption or placement of the child. The bill “is an important expansion of the [Paid Leave Law],” according to Tom Hucker, its lead sponsor, “to allow parents the flexibility to use their leave to spend time with their children.”

You can read an in-depth review of the Paid Leave Law here.

Social Media Apps on Iphone 2(00176961).JPG

As a follow up to my most recent post about the media coverage of the emerging trend of employers asking or requiring job applicants and/or current employees to provide their Facebook or other social media passwords, Maryland just passed legislation on Wednesday that bans employers from asking applicants and employees for their personal online passwords.

Maryland is the first state to enact legislation on this issue.  But other states are considering similar legislation, including California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington. Even Congress is considering a federal law that would protect applicants' and employees' privacy in their personal online passwords.  Virginia and DC have not yet addressed the issue.

Business in the dictionary (00091106).JPG

A new trend that has emerged in the employment arena is employers asking applicants to provide their Facebook username and password or other social media login information during the interview process.  Other employers are making compliance with this new policy a condition of employment.

Many Facebook users have increased the security settings on their accounts so that very little, iif any, of their profile is visible to the public.  In response, some employers seek social media login information in order to log in to applicants’ Facebook accounts in order to look at the applicant’s profile and other information that cannot be viewed by the general public.

In a recent decision, Virginia Employment Commission v. Community Alternatives, Inc. and April L. Collier, the Virginia Court of Appeals overruled the Virginia Employment Commission's position that in order to establish worker misconduct for failing a drug test, the employer must include in evidence a certification regarding the chain of custody of the drug test.   

Gavel - extra small.jpg

The case centered around Community Alternatives, Inc.'s ("CA") "drug-free workplace" policy. Under the policy, employees agreed to refrain from usage of illegal drugs and agreed to submit themselves to random drug testing. In 2007, April Collier was hired by CA.  When hired she signed the policy agreeing to the "drug-free workplace" policy. 

In September of 2008, Collier was randomly tested for drugs.  She tested positive for marijuana and was subsequently fired for violating the policy.  She filed a claim for unemployment benefits with VEC.  VEC ultimately awarded benefits despite CA's objections.