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Informed Employer: September 14, 2016 Informed Employer: September 14, 2016

Informed Employer: September 14, 2016

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Key Steps to Compliance with New Overtime Rule
The Department of Labor's new rule regarding the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will go into effect Dec. 1, which the DOL projects will impact 4.2 million workers across the country. This rule will impose a substantial increase in the minimum annual salary that must be paid to employees to qualify for certain exemptions from the FLSA's overtime pay protections -- from $23,660 to $47,476.
(Source: Workforce Management, 2016-09-07) Read the full article
EEOC Unveils Final Employer Retaliation Enforcement Guidance
The EEOC released a final enforcement guidance document on employer retaliation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-bias laws. The final guidance replaces the section of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 1998 compliance manual addressing retaliation. It follows the agency’s Jan. 21, 2016, publication of a proposed guidance and a June 17, 2015, public meeting at which the EEOC received stakeholder testimony.
(Source: BNA, 2016-09-02) Read the full article
Court Ruling Means Employers Can Face Liability in Bias Cases
A ruling by a federal appeals court in New York could make it easier for employers to face liability in discrimination cases where the firing was caused by company negligence. The case before the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with a company accused of bungling its response to a sexual harassment complaint lodged by a female employee who was later fired.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2016-08-29) Read the full article
EB-5 Visa Program Set to Expire at End of September
A contentious visa program that allows wealthy foreigners to obtain United States citizenship by investing in economic development projects will expire at the end of this month unless Congress acts to extend it. The program, called EB-5, allows foreign investors to gain citizenship by investing $500,000 to more than $1 million to finance a business that eventually employs, directly or indirectly, at least 10 American workers in economically depressed areas.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-09-11) Read the full article
Hearing Loss is Most Common Work-Related Injury, CDC Says
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workplace-related hearing loss is the most common work-related injury with approximately 22 million workers exposed annually to hazardous levels of occupational noise. An estimated $242 million is spent on workers' compensation annually for hearing loss disability, according to the Department of Labor.
(Source: USA Today, 2016-09-01) Read the full article
Fewer Companies Offering Day Care Services for Employees' Kids
Unlike other family-friendly benefits that are on the rise -- such as paid parental leave -- on-site child care is on the verge of extinction. Only three percent of organizations offer unsubsidized day care services, according to the Society for Human Resources 2016 benefits survey, down from nine percent in 1996.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-09-06) Read the full article
Men 25% More Likely to Get Pay Raise Than Women Who Ask
Women ask for a raise as often as men, but stand a much smaller chance of getting one. Research by Cass Business School and the University of Warwick in the U.K., and the University of Wisconsin, found that men are 25 percent more likely to get a raise when they ask for one.
(Source:, 2016-09-06) Read the full article
Seasons of Change: A Practical Look at Exempt-Status Reclassification

Emmanuel "Manolis" Boulukos

​It's not just the autumn winds and unruly leaf piles we have to look forward to. As sure as death, taxes, and pumpkin spice everything, new compliance challenges are on their way. On December 1, 2016, the new minimum salary requirement for most of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) "white collar" overtime exemptions goes into effect.

While the changes are easy enough to comprehend, achieving compliance while minimizing cost and disruption to your business requires a clear-eyed look at the realities of your workplace (both physical and virtual, as the case may be), and a measured consideration of your options for paying overtime to reclassified employees.

Read more here.


Don't Just Accept "Evolving" Injuries


​Mary has been treated for a shoulder injury for several weeks, and now she is complaining of neck pain. Maybe her doctor wants to do a cervical MRI! Get the past medical records, and perhaps a second opinion. Many workers, especially older workers, have a lot of musculoskeletal problems that can start hurting for no reason at all. Don't accept these "add-ons" without good medical evidence.

Additionally, studies found that early use of opioid medications following a low back injury increases the risk of disability. The study looked at people who suffered low back injuries. Approximately 1/3 of the group was prescribed an opiate early in the life of the injury. This group had a higher incidence of long term disability than the group that had not received such prescriptions. This might be a good time to see what your authorized treating physicians' prescribing practices are, and to discuss the Spine study with your doctor if narcotic medications seem to play too important a role.



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