Showing 8 posts in News & Events.
It is not typical that a single racial epithet used by a supervisor toward a worker is enough to establish a hostile work environment under federal labor law; however, the (liberal) U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently disagreed. Read More ›
Categories: Harassment, News & Events
Many business people in the State of Michigan (which is a “state plan vs. federal plan state”) routinely consider a citation from MIOSHA to be a mere nuisance and no more intimidating than a slap on a wrist or a parking ticket. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have had companies cited for workplace fatalities where the Presidents of the companies were actually tried on manslaughter charges. There will be an increased federal push to go after corporate executives in serious workplace fatality injury cases from now on. Being cited for a willful or repeated violation is not at all uncommon. There is a very low standard for being charged with “willful”, i.e. you merely had to know that what you were doing was probably wrong to be charged with a willful violation. Currently the minimum payment penalty for a willful violation is $5,000. It will shortly jump to $8,908, almost a 53 percent increase. Similarly, the maximum penalty for a willful will jump from $70,000 per violation to $124,709 per violation. That should be enough to get any CEO or CFO’s attention. On top of that, it is not unusual for MIOSHA to itemize citations or violations such that if there were three injuries caused by the same situation, they could be cited as three separate $124,000 violations. Read More ›
Categories: News & Events, OSHA and MIOSHA
A Federal court in Texas issued a temporary injunction yesterday against the new Department of Labor (“DOL”) overtime regulations that were set to go into effect December 1st.
The injunction follows court arguments heard on November 16th in a lawsuit brought by 21 states alleging the new DOL’s rules exceeds the DOL’s authority and violated administrative law requirements. The new regulations propose to raise the salary threshold for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476 and provide for an automatic increase to the threshold every three years. Read More ›
In a brand new decision by the National Labor Relations Board the Federal Government ruled that it was unlawful for AT&T to tell its union employees to stop wearing a button on their uniforms that AT&T considered profane and offensive. The buttons said "WTF AT&T." The Union argued that WTF was not profane but actually meant "where is the fairness," even though "where is the fairness" was published in the smallest possible lettering at the bottom of the button. The NLRB ruled the employees could continue to wear these buttons. Read More ›
In a stunning new decision last week by the National Labor Relations Board the anti-business agenda on the current Obama dominated National Labor Relations Board has turned the business model of employers and employees on its head. According to a case called Casino Pauma, it is unlawful for an employer in its employee handbook to have a rule that prohibits employees from conducting "personal business" on company property and "while at work." Does this make any sense? Are employees supposed to be paid by the employer for doing their own business instead of the employer's business? Read More ›
The law of unintended consequences by the do-gooders in Washington may seriously harm the very employees they wanted to help by changing an 80-year Federal Labor Law system for overtime hours and compensation.
The old salary threshold rules exempted employees with annual earnings of $23,660; if you earn that much annually, an employer does not have to pay you overtime. Now, the proposed changes jump that amount to $50,440 annually. Additionally, annual automatic increases to the $50,440 number are scheduled to take place in the future. Read More ›
According to the National news media over the last 72 hours, California is on its way to a $15 an hour minimum wage by the year 2022. That would give California the nation's highest minimum pay wage. Currently the wage in California is already very high at $10 an hour. While it is not yet law, the Democratic Party which is in control of the Governor's Mansion as well as the legislature, probably has enough votes to get it passed. What does that mean? Read More ›
Categories: News & Events, Wage and Hour
The Department of Labor issued its long dreaded "persuader" regulation that seeks to intimidate businesses and their labor counsel from working with each other in the future. In short, any labor lawyer who is engaged to help a company deal with union organizing or other union issues now may have to file, (under threat of potential criminal sanctions for failing to file), detailed information about the nature and cost of legal representation. Similarly, employers will have to file documents with the Department of Labor detailing who they retained, what they did, and how much they were paid. In addition, that information will probably be available on the Department of Labor website. Read More ›