By Ted Boehm
The U.S. House of Representatives will consider amending the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to permit private-sector employers to offer compensatory time off in lieu of monetary overtime compensation.
The fast-tracked Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1406) was approved by a House committee only eight days after its introduction.
Under the proposal, eligible non-union employees could agree to a comp-time arrangement “in writing or [in an] otherwise verifiable record.” The policy could be implemented for eligible unionized employees via a collective bargaining agreement. Participating employees would then receive at least 1.5 hours of comp time for each overtime hour worked. Read more…
By Lorene Schaefer
In July 2012, the National Labor Relations Board held that a blanket approach and policy requiring confidentiality during all internal workplace investigations violates employees’ concerted activity rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
As a result, employers were encouraged to review and modify, where appropriate, all internal investigation policies, procedures and forms to determine whether there are nondiscretionary requirements that employees always be instructed to maintain confidentiality of workplace investigations (You can read more about the July 2012 NLRB decision here).
Recently, the NLRB released an Advice Memorandum that provides additional clarification on its position on confidentiality in workplace investigations. Obviously, an Advice Memorandum does not have the same precedential value as a NLRB decision. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
An effective safety process requires consistent discipline to support other company safety efforts, but it doesn’t happen.
OSHA is aggressively suing employers for allegedly using safety rules to terminate employees for reporting workplace injuries. And in fact, it often turns out that almost the only employees terminated for safety violations were those terminated for unsafe behavior after an injury.
Why? The employer was sloppy about disciplining employees for unsafe behavior, and the only time the employers “caught” employees acting unsafely was … investigating the injury. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
In the 2 1/2 years of writing this blog, I’ve never had a post on the Equal Pay Act – until now.
The Equal Pay Act requires equal pay for equal work on jobs the performance of which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions. Any wage discrimination on the basis of sex violates the Act.
The EEOC celebrated “Equal Pay Day” last week. So, now is as good a time as any to address the Act through this recent case from the Third U.S. Circuit Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
Hopefully you are aware of the continuing escalation of all forms of whistleblower and retaliation claims, including under the 21 anti-retaliation laws enforced by special investigators from OSHA’s Whistleblower group. If not, check out the News Room on OSHA’s Whistleblower page.
A recent OSHA’s news press release advised that:
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against Duane Thomas Marine Construction LLC and owner Duane Thomas for terminating an employee who reported workplace violence, in violation of Section 11(c) of the OSHAct.”
Seems fairly standard. OSHA asserts that an employer fired an employee for complaining about unsafe work conditions. It’s a bit unusual to hear that the alleged unsafe conditions involved fear of workplace violence, but who can blame an employee in the current environment? Such claims are increasing. Read more…
By John A. Gallagher
Most Americans have a general understanding of the “employment at will” doctrine. They understand that it means that they are not guaranteed employment for any specific period of time.
In general, and at least intellectually, they understand that they can be fired at any time, and for any reason.
However, it is my experience that folks do not know what that overriding principle, that one can be fired at any time and for any reason, truly means and how it plays out in the workplace.
In order to truly understand this principle, it is helpful to examine workers who are not at-will employees. We will look at the three most common-type employees, from most populous to least. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
You run a delivery service using large trucks and require that drivers be qualified by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Although your facility managers aren’t often behind the wheel of the big rigs, you nonetheless require that they too be DOT certified.
One day, a manager with a disabling eye injury comes to you and asks for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: to be excused from driving trucks so that he may focus on “managing.”
Assuming that no other reasonable accommodation exists, must you give it to him? Read more…