The U.S. Department of Labor plans to rescind a Trump-era regulation on joint employment and an impending regulation on independent contractor use, it said in a March 11 announcement. The joint employment rule took effect in March 2020 and limited employers’ liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A federal district court, however, vacated large portions of the…

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As decisions are being made at the federal level, HR practitioners continue to seek guidance on FMLA certification procedures. Certifications for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave continue to challenge employers in all industries, especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC). The FMLA provides eligible employees up…

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With coronavirus vaccines receiving their emergency use authorizations from the FDA and being rapidly rolled out, employers will need to evaluate a mandatory vaccination policy that balances employee rights with novel business realities and pre-existing legal frameworks lacking clear guidance in the face of COVID-19. Under existing federal law and regulations, employers may be able…

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Employers can require proof that employees have received a COVID-19 vaccine — with some exceptions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said in Dec. 16 guidance. COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the Food and Drug Administration do not constitute medical examinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), EEOC said, but certain inquiries could implicate the…

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Automatic gratuities are not tips as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (Wai Tom v. Hospitality Ventures LLC No. 18-2509 (4th Cir. Nov. 24, 2020)). Though their hourly wage, tips and automatic gratuities exceeded the FLSA’s minimum-wage and overtime requirements, servers at a North Carolina restaurant…

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Workers undergoing methadone, Suboxone or similar addiction treatments are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reminded employers Nov. 16, announcing a lawsuit alleging such bias. The commission said it sued an Indiana-based transportation company for refusing to hire an applicant because of her Suboxone treatment for…

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has clarified the rules on when time spent fulfilling continuing-education requirements must be compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a recent opinion letter. In a separate opinion letter, the DOL explained when the travel time of nonexempt foremen and laborers is compensable. A main takeaway from…

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The much-anticipated surge of COVID-19 pandemic-related litigation has begun. As the pandemic continues to lay siege to the United States economy, claimants’ lawyers and government agencies have begun setting their sights on employers. In early May, we predicted an uptick in a variety of claims, including those relating to workplace safety, discrimination in furlough and…

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