Monthly Archives: September 2011

THE NLRB GIVES UNIONS A BOOST…AGAIN

As readers of this blog know well, union organizers all over the country have had the chance to act like children on Christmas morning an awful lot lately thanks to the National Labor Relations Board.

Putting aside for a minute the fact that things have gotten so bad a member of the House just proposed a bill called the National Labor Relations Reorganization Act of 2011 in an effort to abolish the NLRB, those organizers got a real treat about a month ago when news spread about the NLRB’s decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile.

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PULLING OUT ALL THE (VOTES) STOPS!

As we crowed a little about in this space one week ago, our Employment Essentials blog has been recognized as one of the top 25 labor and employment blogs of 2011 by LexisNexis.  But we don’t only want to be top 25 – we want to reach the peak of the mountain!  So we ask our dear readers to stuff the ballot box for us over and over before this Friday, September 30, 2011 in the hope of putting us at the top.

To vote for us, click on the badge in the right margin.  It will take you to the press release announcing our place in the top 25 and giving you instructions to cast your ballot for us as the top labor and employment blog of 2011.

The Employment Essentials team thanks all of our readers for their continued support (and votes)!!

HIRING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS – A COST SAVING MEASURE?

Even though the 111th Congress ended last year without passing the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act, employers should not feel that they have a free pass when it comes to classifying workers as independent contractors.  With the U.S. economy still on shaky ground, many employers remain hesitant to take on the expense of hiring full time employees and have resorted to filling vacancies using independent contractors.  The logic behind this decision seems simple enough: independent contractors cost less than employees because there is no requirement to pay them minimum wage or for overtime hours in excess of 40 per week; employers do not have to match withheld Social Security and Medicare taxes; and no payments need be made for unemployment insurance or workers compensation plans.  However, this “money saving” decision could end up being costly in the long run for employers because it may lead to potential tax, ERISA, and employment law penalties.

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THOSE THINGS RAISED UP ON YOUR BACK…THOSE ARE HACKLES

We all have known for years that the leadership of federal and state agencies are packed with appointees from the political party in power.  But never have those agencies seemed so philosophically bent or brazen as they do now.  We have all read about or experienced first-hand the ramped up regulatory agenda and enforcement of the current EPA, OSHA, and DOL.

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EMPLOYMENT ESSENTIALS VOTED ONE OF THE TOP 25 LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT BLOGS OF 2011

Well dear readers, rest assured …. you have been heard!

Thanks to all of your votes in a process that wrapped up about 10 days ago, I am pleased to announce that our Employment Essentials blog has been recognized as one of the top 25 labor and employment law blogs of 2011 by LexisNexis!

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FACEBOOK POSTINGS WERE PROTECTED ACTIVITY UNDER NLRA: HISPANICS UNITED OF BUFFALO, INC. V. ORTIZ

As we have discussed before on this blog, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is focusing much attention on social media.  In particular, several complaints have been filed recently that allege that employers have retaliated against employees who have used social media to engage in activity that is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  In Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc. v. Ortiz, on September 2, 2011, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) with the NLRB Division of Judges found that employees’ Facebook postings regarding their employment was protected, concerted activity and that their employer terminated their employment in retaliation for engaging in the protected activity.

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THE LATEST ON DONNING AND DOFFING UNDER THE FLSA: TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY

As most employers know, there has been considerable litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) over the years regarding whether employers must pay employees for time spent putting on and taking off (i.e, “donning and doffing”) various types of gear during the workday.  Because donning and doffing is always a hot topic in the context of employment law, the recent opinion of the Fourth Circuit – the federal appellate court that covers West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina – in Perez v. Mountaire Farms, Inc. is an important one all employers in the region need to be aware of.

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CALLING ALL VOTERS! CALLING ALL VOTERS!

Like sands through the hourglass, the deadlines to vote for this blog as one of the ABA’s top 100 blawgs (September 9), and to nominate the blog as a LexisNexis top 25 Labor and Employment blog (September 12) are fast approaching.  Kindly show us some love prior to that time by clicking on the links in the boxes on the right of this page and following the instructions.  We promise to return all such affection shown by posting in this forum continued timely and informative labor and employment content in Appalachia, nationwide and beyond.