Category: Employment Law

Early communication about data mishaps saves employers’ cash and reputations

As the public grows somewhat used to data breaches, simply having to acknowledge one might no longer be devastating to customer relationships, but how and when to communicate remains critical to damage control, a data security expert said in a recent webinar. In 2005 or 2006, when customers would be notified of a breach, “many would […]

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Woolsey Wants Higher Fines on Employers That Misclassify Workers

Companies that wrongly pay workers as independent contractors, rather than employees, strip workers of benefits and protections and put responsible employers at a competitive disadvantage, according to Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., who this week proposed increasing penalties on employers found to have misclassified workers. Woolsey’s bill, The Misclassification Prevention Act, (HR 3178) is the most […]

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The Dark, Ugly Side of Using Unpaid Interns (under the FLSA)

Unless they protect themselves, employers using unpaid interns risk running afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws. Indie movie spinoff Fox Searchlight (a division of Twentieth Century Fox) has been slapped with a lawsuit by two interns who worked on the set of the award-winning film, Black Swan. In Eric Glatt […]

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TRICARE Suffers Texas-sized Data Breach

Stop me if you’ve heard this one — a car is burglarized, and hardware goes missing that turns out to have sensitive personal data on thousands of beneficiaries, employees, patients and customers. Same old story — but in the millions this time. Medical information on nearly 5 million military clinic and hospital patients was on backup […]

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City’s Delay in Meeting Overtime Obligations Results in Court Order of Liquidated Damages

A federal court has ordered the City of Pittsburgh to pay $825,000 in liquidated damages alone to more than 900 municipal police officers. (O’Hara v. City of Pittsburgh.) The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania made the award following a five-year delay by the city in implementing a 2006 letter of understanding […]

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Employee Suit Evaporates Because No FMLA Rights Denied

The decision in Quinn v. St. Louis Co. illuminates a fine line for employers. While eligible workers must be granted unpaid time off for qualifying serious health conditions under the FMLA, the court showed that interference must have material consequences – such as actual denial of time off – for employees to make a convincing […]

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Tennis Umps Say USTA’s ‘No Overtime’ Policy Should Be Out!

Four umpires who worked the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Championship weren’t happy with the tournament’s outcome. It’s nothing personal against this year’s champions Samantha Stosur and Novak Djokovic, but rather the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), who the umps say should have paid them overtime. The umpires say the Open regularly requires working more than 40 […]

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Feds Team Up With States to Increase Heat on Employee Misclassification

Using independent contractors is a way to avoid paying unemployment, Social Security and Medicare taxes, overtime and  benefits. However, if an employer is found liable of misclassifying an employee in tandem with committing wage and hour violations, DOL may fine the employer, and the employer may be assessed back wages and taxes. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) […]

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Workers’ Comp Payout After Telecommuting Worker Trips Over Dog

The warning “Beware of the Dog” is making employers fearful in a new way. One downside of offering telecommuting privileges is injuries that occur while an employee is working from home. If an employee is injured at home while he or she is on a work-related task, he or she may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This raises […]

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Timing of the Essence: Firing for Misusing 20 Minutes of Leave Was Unfair, Appeals Court Says

An employer’s desire to quickly fire an employee can drag it into violating labor laws. Recently, the firing of an employee for misusing 20 minutes of family medical leave led to conclusions that the firing was retaliation for union activity. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided to uphold an NLRB […]

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