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Informed Employer: With the Right Planning, the Impact of the New Overtime Rules Can Be Limited Informed Employer: With the Right Planning, the Impact of the New Overtime Rules Can Be Limited

Informed Employer: With the Right Planning, the Impact of the New Overtime Rules Can Be Limited

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New Overtime Pay Rules Could Have Big Impact on Small Businesses
With a broad new class of workers becoming eligible for overtime, many small businesses are scrambling to figure out how to factor the regulations into their bottom line. The Obama administration announced the final details of new labor rules to increase the salary cutoff for overtime pay.
(Source: El Paso Inc., 2016-05-18) Read the full article
High Court Sends Contraception Mandate Case Back to Lower Courts
The U.S. Supreme Court threw out lower-court rulings that had required Christian employers to comply with a mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law to provide female workers insurance covering birth control, but ducked a major ruling on the merits of the case. The court's unanimous action represented at least a short-term victory for the nonprofit employers, primarily Roman Catholic organizations, because it tossed out rulings in seven different cases that had endorsed the contraception mandate, forcing the lower courts to reconsider the dispute.
(Source: Reuters, 2016-05-16) Read the full article
Court Rules EEOC Doesn't Need Permission to Come on Site
Employers who feel the EEOC may have a tendency to overstep its authority were just dealt a blow. A U.S. district court just ruled the EEOC can, generally, conduct on-site investigations of harassment and discrimination claims at your facility -- and it doesn't need your permission or a warrant to do so.
(Source: HR Morning, 2016-05-13) Read the full article
As Caregivers Take on More Responsibility, Workplace Suits Abound
The Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California released a study finding that the number of lawsuits brought by employees claiming discrimination related to pregnancy or providing care for family members more than tripled between 2006 and 2015, so what's fueling this surge in litigation? For starters, American employees are shouldering a greater amount of responsibility when it comes to caring for family members, including disabled relatives and aging parents, and that has led to tension in the workplace, explained Cynthia Thomas Calvert, senior adviser to the Center for WorkLife Law.
(Source: CBS News, 2016-05-23) Read the full article
Lawmakers Want to Replace H-1B Visa Lottery with Salary Offers
Two U.S. House lawmakers are involved in a bipartisan effort to change how H-1B visas are allocated, moving away from a random lottery and using salary offers instead. The legislation by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) has not yet been introduced.
(Source: Computerworld, 2016-05-17) Read the full article
Companies Finding More Workers Can't Pass Employment Drug Tests
All over the country, employers say they see a disturbing downside of tighter labor markets as they try to rebuild from the worst recession since the Depression: They are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test. That hurdle partly stems from the growing ubiquity of drug testing, at corporations with big human resources departments, in industries like trucking where testing is mandated by federal law for safety reasons, and increasingly at smaller companies, but data suggest employers' difficulties also reflect an increase in the use of drugs, especially marijuana -- employers' main gripe -- and also heroin and other opioid drugs much in the news.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-05-17) Read the full article
30% of Female Doctors Sexually Harassed at Work, Survey Finds
For women in U.S. medical research, sexual harassment is less common than 20 years ago, but it was still experienced by 30 percent of those responding to a new survey, compared to just four percent of men, researchers say. Among women, 70 percent said they had perceived gender bias in the workplace and 66 percent had experienced it personally, including being left out of opportunities for professional advancement based on gender.
(Source: Reuters, 2016-05-17) Read the full article
Despite Desire from Workers, Few Firms Offer Student Loan Help
Much ink has been spilled about the growth in companies offering to help their employees repay their student loans. Unfortunately, 20-somethings actually hoping to take advantage of this perk may struggle to find a job that offers it.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2016-05-19) Read the full article
60% of Employers Use Social Media to Research Job Candidates
You know that social media is an important tool for job seekers, but did you know that employers are using it too? A survey conducted by Harris Poll for CareerBuilder showed that around 60 percent of employers now use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter to research potential job candidates.
(Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2016-05-19) Read the full article
With the Right Planning, the Impact of the New Overtime Rules Can Be Limited

Catherine Strauss

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor issued new rules changing the white-collar exemption requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Despite a cry that “the sky is falling” across the media and commentary relating to the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, employers can avoid any significant issues or adverse consequences with a little due diligence, some planning and the support from an experienced FLSA attorney. The new regulations change only the salary threshold. Now, those white-collar, salaried workers making less than $47,476 annually ($913/week) are entitled to overtime. This is an increase from the prior rule of $23,660 annually ($455/week). The new salary threshold for the highly compensated employee exemption is $134,004, up from $100,000. The salary amounts will be subject to increase every three years based upon pay data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prior to any increase, the DOL will provide employers with at least 150 days’ notice. The first increase won’t occur until January 1, 2020, with the DOL predicting an annual salary of $51,000.

Read more here.


Secondary Liability Under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act

Ann Stewart

When you enter into contracts for the performance of work, be sure to determine that the contractor has worker’s compensation insurance for its employees. Don’t just accept the assurance that there is valid coverage. Ask the contractor to provide proof of up-to-date worker’s compensation insurance for its employees or a Worker’s Compensation Clearance Certificate from the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana showing that the contractor is exempt from the Act’s requirements because it does not have employees. You should do this even when the independent contractor is an individual without a separate business name. Failure to obtain a certificate can expose the employer to secondary liability in the event of an injury. This documentation could also help clarify the relationship if that issue is raised after an injury.

For more information on secondary liability or other worker’s compensation topics, contact Ann Stewart or a member of our Worker’s Compensation group.


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