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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.

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Posts tagged "fourth circuit".

The recent decisions by the Fourth Circuit and the D.C. Circuit address a controversy that could have far-reaching consequences for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Under the ACA, states and the District of Columbia are authorized to establish health insurance market places (“exchanges”) where each state’s citizens may purchase health insurance.  If a state does not create an exchange, the ACA mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services establish a federal exchange to operate in the state.  At this time, fourteen states and the District of Columbia have exchanges, while thirty-six states have federal exchanges.

The ACA also creates a tax credit program that subsidizes the cost of insurance for lower income Americans. The ACA’s individual mandate requires individuals to maintain “minimum essential coverage,” which, in general, is enforced through a tax penalty. However, the individual mandate only applies when an individual’s health insurance premiums (after applying the tax credit subsidy to the premiums) are less than eight percent of their projected household income. Therefore, the tax credit increases the number of Americans who must purchase insurance, and since thirty-six states have a federal exchange, a significant number of Americans receive these tax credits without participating in state exchanges.

GavelIn our last two posts, we discussed terminating an employee and the importance of documentation. Earlier this week, in an opinion issued by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, Employers were provided with another example of why documentation is so important in the employer/employee relationship.  

The Case

The facts of the case are fairly straightforward: (1) Employee was terminated due to poor performance; (2) At the time she was terminated she was also pregnant; (3) Employee filed a lawsuit claiming pregnancy discrimination under Title VII. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than forty hours in a given week.  The Act provides several exceptions or “exemptions” to the forty hour rule.  If an employee falls under one of these exemptions, they are not entitled to overtime compensation.

businessman checking inventory

One exemption that is commonly used by employers and which has become the subject of recent debate is the “executive exemption”.  An employee falls under the executive exemption and is not entitled to overtime when he or she is an employee employed in a bona fide executive capacity. 

Under the FLSA and its associated regulations, an employee qualifies under the executive exemption when the following criteria are met:

  • The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week
  • The employee’s primary duty is management of the enterprise, department or subdivision
  • The employee customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more employees
  • The employee has the authority to hire or fire other employees or their suggestions as to hiring, firing, advancement or promotion or any other change in status are given particular weight