Currently, there are no federal laws that require paid sick leave. If an employer is subject to the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), it is required to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to an employee under certain medical conditions when that employee is eligible. In many cases, an employer will require an employee to substitute paid leave for the unpaid FMLA leave. Similarly, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that an employee only be paid for hours worked.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently vacated a decision that made an employer responsible for the lifetime costs of its retirees’ health benefits, despite there being no language in the labor agreement with the union stating that the employer had this responsibility. The Court sent the case back to the appellate court to determine whether the parties intended for the employer to pay for all of the retiree health care costs in perpetuity.
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
Office Romances are Sweet,
Until Somebody Sues.
It’s February, and to quote Tom Jones “love is in the air, everywhere [you] look around.” Depending upon the make up of your work force, dating amongst your employees may be a common issue for you. A recent survey conducted by Vault.com reported that 59% of respondents had been involved in a relationship with a co-worker.
The NLRA requires employers whose employees are represented by a union to maintain the employee’s existing terms and conditions of employment and to negotiate with the union before implementing any changes to those conditions. Even fundamental changes in the business itself, which are exclusively the prerogative of management and not subject to bargaining, will give rise to a bargaining obligation over the effects of those decisions on unionized employees.
I recently had a client ask if the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) required him to reimburse employees for mileage for using their own vehicles to drive to and from mandatory training. Although many employers reimburse their employees for the employees’ use of their personal vehicles for work-related travel, you are not required to do so under the FLSA. The FLSA requires employers to pay their employees a minimum wage, but it does not address reimbursement of expenses.
On December 15, 2014, slightly less than three years after the NLRB’s first thwarted attempt, a final rule (the “2014 Final Rule”) reducing the time between the filing of an election petition and holding workplace union representation elections was published in the Federal Register. The 2014 Final Rule has an effective date of April 14, 2015. The Board described the 2014 Final Rule as “in essence a reissuance of the  rule,” which was invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on the ground that the Board lacked a statutory quorum when only two members voted to approve the rule.
As the calendar rolls over into a new year, many of us are busy making resolutions, and it seems that certain government enforcement agencies are no different. On January 14, 2015, the EEOC held its first meeting of the new year, resolving to renew its focus on the issue of workplace harassment. During the meeting, new EEOC Chair Jenny Yang announced the creation of a brand new task force dedicated solely to harassment issues, with the goal of reaching out to both employees and employers to promote rights awareness and best employment practices.
Even after a record number of wage and hour cases over the last decade, new issues keep arising in this area. One of the most interesting of those questions in recent years hit the United States Supreme Court last year, when the Court tackled the question of whether or not time employees spend in anti-theft security screening at the end of their shift is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).