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New White Collar FLSA Overtime Rules Are Here! Will You Be Ready By The Effective Date?

by Anita Byer, President - The Human Equation on 5/19/2016
stacks of money

They’re heeeere. No, not a poltergeist, though for many they may be just as unsettling. We’re talking about the new minimum wage and overtime exemption regulations for white collar employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The long-awaited Final Rule has been released and is scheduled for publication on May 23, 2016.

The Final Rule focuses primarily on salary and compensation levels for the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employee exemptions, which are the FLSA’s so-called white collar exemptions. Since the Final Rule is not identical to the proposed rule published on July 16, 2015, let’s look at some of the differences.

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Employers Increasingly Benefit from Telemedicine

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 6/24/2015
Telemedicine-call-doctor

Did you know that telemedicine can reduce the amount of time off taken by employees to see or take their child to a doctor for non-serious medical issues? This may come as a surprise, particularly if you don’t know the most common reason people have for going to the doctor. (You’ll have to keep reading to find out.)

Telemedicine generally refers to the practice of using telecommunications technologies (phone, Internet, etc.) to diagnose and treat patients, and it’s come a long way. Consider this:

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services describes telemedicine as a cost-effective alternative to providing medical care.
  • The American Medical Association says telemedicine is a key innovation that can maintain patient safety, improve access to health care and control costs.
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Categories: 2015, Human Resources

Florida Announces 2014 Minimum Wage

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 10/22/2013

Effective January 1, 2014, Florida’s minimum wage will be $7.93 per hour. This is an increase of 14 cents over the 2013 minimum wage of $7.79 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase by the same amount to $4.91 per hour

Florida’s minimum wage is the result of a 2004 voter-approved amendment to the Florida Constitution, and it applies to all Florida employees who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act’s federal minimum wage.

Every year, Florida’s minimum wage is recalculated to consider the rate of inflation during the prior year, and according to the Florida Supreme Court, only upward adjustments are permitted. More...

Unlawful Retaliation under Title VII: No More Mixed Messages

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 8/21/2013
workplace discrimination

Title VII prohibits retaliation against employees who engage in protected activity, such as opposing or alleging unlawful workplace discrimination. Those suing for unlawful retaliation must prove that there is a link between the retaliation and their protected activity. But, how strong must the link be? The U.S. Supreme Court recently answered this question in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar.

In this case, Dr. Nassar alleged that his supervisor was biased against him on account of his religion and ethnic heritage. His supervisor once remarked that “Middle Easterners are lazy,” and, upon hearing that another physician of Middle Eastern descent was hired, the supervisor said that the hospital had “hired another one.” Dr. Nassar lodged several complaints about his treatment. Thereafter, a series of events led to Dr. Nassar leaving the hospital for another position. More...

Who is a Supervisor under Title VII? Why does it Matter?

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 7/17/2013
supervisor and employee

Who is considered a supervisor under Title VII? Since our last article discussing Vance v. Ball State University, the U.S. Supreme Court has given us the answer. According to the Court, a supervisor is a person

empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim; to effect a significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits.

Vance involved allegations of racial harassment and discrimination in violation of Title VII. Though the parties disputed the precise nature and scope of the harasser’s duties, it was clear that the harasser did not have the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline the plaintiff. Given the harasser’s inability to take a tangible employment action against the plaintiff, the Court held that the harasser does not qualify as a supervisor under Title VII. More...

Individual Liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 4/3/2013
alarm clock

Did you know that individuals can be held personally liable for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? The FLSA’s broad definition of employer includes “any person acting directly or indirectly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee.” The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered when it is appropriate to hold someone personally liable for wage and hour violations under the FLSA.

In Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc., former employees sued their employer to recover unpaid overtime wages under the FLSA. The employees also sued two of the corporate-employer’s directors, arguing that they sufficiently controlled the corporation to justify holding them personally liable under the FLSA. To support their case against the directors, the employees showed that: More...

Improper Salary Deductions Under the FLSA

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 1/8/2013

The Fair Labor Standards Act limits an employer’s ability to make salary deductions from employees who are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation provisions. Exempt employees must generally receive their full salary for any week in which they perform any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. And, the FLSA generally does not allow employers to deduct from an exempt employee’s salary because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed.

However, there are limited exceptions to the FLSA’s general rule against salary deductions for exempt employees. For example, salary deductions are allowed:

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Florida's Minimum Wage Increasing on January 1, 2013

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 10/24/2012

Effective January 1, 2013, Florida’s minimum wage will be $7.79 per hour. This represents an increase of 12 cents over the 2012 minimum wage of $7.67 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase by the same amount to $4.77 per hour.

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ADA Court Ruling Shocks Employers - Reassignment may be a Reasonable Accommodation

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 10/17/2012

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued United Airlines since disabled employees who could no longer do their jobs had to compete for vacant positions instead of being automatically reassigned. According to the EEOC, this practice violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

When the EEOC made a similar argument to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2000, the Court held that the ADA does not require an employer to reassign a disabled employee to a job for which there is a better applicant—provided it is the employer's consistent and honest policy to hire the best applicant for the particular job in question.

Undeterred, the EEOC again asked the Court to answer the same question. This time around, the EEOC got a different answer. More...

Paying Employees for Travel Time

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 1/6/2012

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay employees the appropriate minimum wage and overtime rate for every compensable hour worked. Determining the number of hours worked by an employee is ordinarily a routine matter. However, when travel time is involved, employers must understand that the FLSA treats different types of travel, well, differently. More...

UPDATE: Florida’s Minimum Wage is Going up on June 1, 2011

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 5/10/2011

Florida employers must prepare for an increase in the minimum wage. On May 3, 2011, Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation announced that effective June 1, 2011, Florida’s minimum wage will be $7.31 per hour, which is six cents more than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This increase is not only unexpected, it is unusual.More...

To Pay or Not to Pay: Internships Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 1/12/2011

Many employers utilize the services of interns without giving much consideration to whether these volunteer workers should be compensated. In fact, employers often operate under the assumption that interns never need to be compensated. More...

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Categories: 2011

Florida's Constitution Amendment To Increase Minimum Wage

by Edmund J. McKenna, Board Certified in the Area of Labor and Employment Law - Ford & Harrison, LLP on 10/1/2010

On November 2, 2004, voters in Florida passed an amendment to the Florida Constitution raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.15 per hour. More...

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Categories: 2004

The Affordable Care Act’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 9/14/2010

Rising health care costs have made it difficult for employers to provide quality, affordable health insurance for workers and retirees while also remaining competitive in the global marketplace. More...

Health Care Reform Installment - Making Sense of the Affordable Care Act

by Anita Byer, President - The Human Equation on 7/19/2010

President Barack Obama signed into law on March 23 the most sweeping reform of the United States health care system in the last 50 years. More...

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Categories: 2010, Human Resources

Workplace Stress is an Everyday Occurrence, but Does it Have to Be?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 7/14/2010

For many of us in the workforce, stress has become as much a part of our daily routine as going to work in the morning. It rears its ugly head as we're getting the kids ready for school, takes a seat in the carpool for the long drive to work, and undoubtedly shares a cubicle with us as we work through the daily grind. More...

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Categories: 2010, Human Resources

Remember the HIRE Act!

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 6/17/2010

Despite the passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, or HIRE Act, some employers are not taking advantage of the benefits afforded by the law. More...

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Categories: 2010

Is It Time for a 401(k) Plan Check-Up?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 5/10/2010

Although employees are always looking for great returns in their 401(k) plans, most of them understand that “slow and steady” wins the race in this regard. More...

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Categories: 2010

Independent Contractor or Employee? Answering Incorrectly Can Prove Costly

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 5/10/2010

Determining whether a new worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor has always been an important decision. More...

Cold & Flu Season with a Twist: Is Your Workplace Ready for the Swine Flu?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 9/16/2009

As summer turns into fall, the normal din of the workplace will slowly but surely be supplemented with coughs, sniffles, and sneezes. More...

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Categories: 2009, Safety

The Human Equation's newsletters and publications are intended as an information source for the clients and friends of the firm. Their content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon the information in these publications without professional guidance. Please note that newsletters and publications that are archived by The Human Equation are not updated after initial publication and may not contain the most current information available.

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