Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
0 0

22 Jan 2013 Social Media Regulation Attracts Mainstream Media Attention

Regulation of employees’ use of social media continues to make headlines, with an article in today’s New York Times just the latest example of continuing coverage of the subject by national news organizations. The article, available here, summarizes the good and bad in social media policies, pointing out that a policy with specifics is more likely to withstand legal scrutiny than very general, sweeping policies that have the potential to chill lawful speech. Thus, employers are well-advised to adopt policies that remind employees to avoid harassment,…

READ MORE
0 0

17 Jan 2013 Can Employees Take FMLA Leave for the Flu?

With a nationwide flu epidemic in full swing, employee absences have been spiking the last several weeks. Not surprisingly, both employees and employers have been asking whether the FMLA might cover those flu-related absences. As is often the case with the law, the answer is a resounding “maybe.” While most colds, and even the flu, do not rise to the level of seriousness required to be covered under the FMLA, at least two federal circuit courts (the 4th and 8th Circuits) have recently held that as long…

READ MORE
0 0

16 Jan 2013 Mixed Motive Allegation Not Enough To Sustain “Regarded as” ADAAA Case

  When the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) became effective in 2009, it was clear proving a “disability” was going to be much easier for plaintiffs than it had been in the past.  Still, interpretive guidance on other aspects on the amended act – through regulation and court decisions – has been much slower to develop.  Although not controlling outside its jurisdiction, the Southern District of Indiana, in Nayak v. St. Vincent Hospital, recently shed light on the “regarded as” method of proving…

READ MORE
0 0

15 Jan 2013 Six Low-Cost Steps That Employers Should Consider Taking in 2013

Rather than a year-end list looking backwards, I recently wrote a two-part article for InsideCounsel identifying six low-cost steps that every employer should consider taking in 2013. The 6 steps are: 1. Focus on employee use of social media and policies that affect it.2. Make a plan for beginning to manage business information on privately owned electronic devices.  3. Review your use of background checks.4. Review key policies that leave no room for discretion.5. Understand your insurance coverage for employment claims.6. Schedule more training sessions. You…

READ MORE
0 0

15 Jan 2013 No Longer A Belieber

The former personal bodyguard of “teen icon” (as he is referred to in the complaint) Justin Bieber has filed suit against the celebrity for California wage and hour violations, among other charges. The bodyguard asserts he regularly worked 14-18 hours a day, seven says a week protecting the Biebs, but was wrongly classified as exempt and never received overtime pay. The bodyguard is also suing for unpaid wages and vacation pay.  The Complaint can be found here. In addition to the employment law aspect, Bieber’s…

READ MORE
0 0

11 Jan 2013 Wage and Hour Division Seeks Comments to Proposed Information Collection for Worker Classification Survey

Earlier this week, the Wage and Hour Division for the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Request for Comments on its proposed information collection for worker classification survey. According to the DOL, the purpose of this survey is to “collect information about employment experiences and worker’s knowledge of basic employment laws and rules so as to better understand employees’ experiences with worker misclassification.”  The DOL’s collection effort will “gather information about workers’ employment and pay arrangements and will measure workers’ knowledge about their current job…

READ MORE
0 0

11 Jan 2013 Department of Labor Secretary Solis Resigns

Earlier this week, Secretary Hilda Solis announced that she is leaving the Department of Labor (DOL), creating a vacancy for President Obama to fill. In her letter to DOL employees, Solis stated that she submitted her resignation to President Obama earlier in the day after “much discussion with family and close friends” over the holiday season.  Solis’ letter praised the enforcement efforts of the DOL, noting that last year the largest number of investigations were conducted “in recent memory, collecting the most back wages in…

READ MORE
0 0

09 Jan 2013 OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for 2013 Announced

On Jan. 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that at least 1,260 randomly selected establishments will be inspected by OSHA as part of its Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Program. The initial focus will be on workplaces with above-average injury and illness rates in high-hazard industries. Although the Program was named Site-Specific Targeting 2012 (SST-12), it became effective on Jan. 4, 2013 and is anticipated to continue through January 2014. According to OSHA, the SST-12 Program is aimed at preventing injuries and illnesses…

READ MORE
0 0

09 Jan 2013 8th Circuit Upholds Class Waivers in FLSA Cases

On Jan. 7, 2013, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision, holding that nothing in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits enforcement of an arbitration agreement that includes a class waiver. In Owen v. Bristol Care, Inc., former employee, Sharon Owen, brought several claims against Bristol Care, Inc. (“Bristol Care”) under the FLSA and attempted to seek class certification.  Bristol Care argued that Owen had waived all class claims when she executed the Mandatory Arbitration Agreement (Agreement) with the company.  Bristol…

READ MORE
0 0

07 Jan 2013 Texas Legislature Will Consider Employers’ Ability to Access Social Media Passwords

Tomorrow, the Texas Legislature will convene and on the agenda is a bill regarding employers’ ability to require employees to provide their social networking passwords. The bill, HB 318, introduced on Dec. 21, 2012 by Re. Heleln Giddings (D), would make it illegal for employers to require, or even request, that applicants and current employees disclose their usernames and passwords for social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Many experts have stated that the bill, as currently written, needs to be modified before…

READ MORE