DOL Issues Rule Increasing White Collar Minimum Salary Requirement

Today, the Department of Labor issued the long-awaited proposed rules re-defining the requirements of white collar exemptions under the FLSA. The key provision of the proposed rule increases the minimum salary required in order for one to qualify as exempt from overtime payments from approximately $23,660.00 per year to approximately $50,440.00 per year. This is a dramatic increase that is assured to cause many employees to lose their status as exempt. The DOL estimates that as many as 40% of salaried employees will no longer be eligible for the exemption.  Continue reading “DOL Issues Rule Increasing White Collar Minimum Salary Requirement”

Be on the Lookout for Department of Labor’s Administrator’s Interpretation Clarifying Independent Contractor Status

Independent_contractorsOn Friday, June 5, 2015, David Wild the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor announced that his office would soon be issuing an “Administrator’s Interpretation” intended to “clarify” who qualifies as an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Mr. Wild said that the interpretation would contain a “very clear set of criteria” that would be complimentary to the “economic realities test” that federal courts continue to use in determining whether or not an individual qualifies as an independent contractor or employee.

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson will track the progress of this interpretation and issue further updates as more information becomes available.

OFCCP Posts Sample Affirmative Action Plans for Veterans and Persons with Disabilities

The OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) recently posted sample affirmative action plans (AAPs), styled for use by federal contractors with less than 150 employees. The sample AAPs, which can be found here, comply with federal regulations regarding employment of veterans and persons with disabilities. Continue reading “OFCCP Posts Sample Affirmative Action Plans for Veterans and Persons with Disabilities”

Why You Should Not Agree to Continue Health Insurance As Part of a Separation Agreement

Employers often agree to continue an employee’s health insurance coverage as part of a separation agreement. While this seems like a good idea, it can create significant unintended liability.

The risk usually comes to light something along these lines. Most benefit plans have eligibility rules. Those rules often require that an employee work a certain number of hours or maintain their employment in order to be eligible to participate in the plan. Once the employee’s employment ceases or they no longer work the requisite number of hours, they lose their eligibility. If you promised to continue the employee’s coverage for several months after their employment ceases and your policy does not specifically provide for this situation, your carrier could either deny their claims made during that time if it realizes what you have done at the time, or if the carrier discovers this agreement at a later date, it could refund your premiums and demand that you refund the claims that it paid during this time. Neither of these are a good result for you. Continue reading “Why You Should Not Agree to Continue Health Insurance As Part of a Separation Agreement”

OSHA Issues a Transgender Bathroom Usage Guidance

On June 1, 2015 OSHA issued a Best Practices Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers. The Guidance can be found here.

In short, the Guidance states Transgender_Bathroom_Signthat employers should allow the employee in question to determine which restroom provides the “most appropriate and safest option for him-or herself.” The guidanc
e also provides some best practices, including that the employer allow, but not require, employees to use single-occupancy gender-neutral facilities and multiple-occupancy gender-neutral facilities with lockable single-occupant stalls. (I suppose we should be grateful that OSHA has not yet recommended multiple-occupant gender-neutral lockable stalls.) Continue reading “OSHA Issues a Transgender Bathroom Usage Guidance”

US Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms

Those of you who have been losing sleep because the previously issued US Department of Labor FMLA forms had expired can rest easy. (You did know that they had expired, right?) The DOL has finally issued shiny new FMLA forms.

The new forms (WH-380-E, WH-380-F, WH-381, WH-382, WH-384, WH-385 and WH385V) can be located and downloaded from the DOL’s website here. For those of you who geek out on this kind of stuff, you should note May 31, 2018 on your calendars. That is the expiration date of the new forms. By then our federal government will have probably amended the FMLA again to further protect employee’s rights or intrusively over-burden employers, depending upon your point of view. Continue reading “US Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms”