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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Whether they have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic or sought to reopen after pandemic-related closures, employers have had to monitor the constantly evolving and often confusing guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal and state entities. OSHA has recently fined numerous…

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In a manufacturing environment, employees often work near each other, and the level of noise can cause conversations to go unheard by others not in the immediate vicinity. Like the quintessential example of “locker room talk,” “shop talk” in a manufacturing environment can walk a fine line between employee banter and inappropriate, or, in extreme…

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Even though it happens every four-years, it still tends to dominate the media, culture, and watercooler. We are, of course, talking about the presidential election. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, but citizens have been voting in some states since late September. As the airwaves become inundated with political ads, telephones get overwhelmed with robocalls,…

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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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Furloughs that last for six months — among other reductions — could trigger the law’s notice requirements. During the initial wave of COVID-19 business closures and public health orders, many employers dealt with uncertainty by placing employees on furlough rather than initiating layoffs. The situation is such that more than six months into the pandemic,…

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Employers have struggled with identifying remote working hours for non-exempt employees juggling telework, child care and/or virtual learning during the pandemic. Employees will now bear the burden of properly recording those hours, under new enforcement guidance issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) in late August. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer…

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Joel manages a garden center. He needs to hire a few extra hands to help with the extra customers shopping for mums, pumpkins and gourds in the fall. After interviewing a woman named Martha, he decides to add her to his team. Martha arrives for her first day. Joel gives her an apron, a nametag…

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Claims can take a toll on an employer’s reputation, finances, culture and more — not to mention the effect on employees directly involved. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a drop in charges received last year, the more than 72,000 filed show that discrimination and harassment complaints are still very much a concern for employers.…

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The U.S. Senate this week confirmed the nominations by Republicans of three commissioners for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Keith E. Sonderling, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, was confirmed Sept. 22 with a term that expires July 1, 2024 with a vote of 52-41. Sonderling was nominated in July 2019,…

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