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Posts by James F. Hermon

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Showing 26 posts by James F. Hermon.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law, Imposing Paid Leave Requirements On Small And Medium Employers Beginning April 2, 2020

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) a few hours after the Senate approved the bill. Among other things, the new law, with which all employers must comply by April 2, 2020, requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ paid leave to employees who need to take time off because of an actual or potential illness related to COVID-19, to care for family members who are home ill or quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure or to care for children who are home because of school or care provider closures linked to the ongoing global pandemic. The new law also requires employers to provide employees up to 12 weeks' leave, with 10 weeks paid, for employees who have to take time off to care for children who are home because of school or daycare closure. Notably, in a substantial change from the bill passed by the House of Representatives on March 14, 2020 (discussed here), the law does NOT require paid leave for a longer period for employees home sick or self-quarantining because of potential COVID-19 exposure. Read More ›

House of Representatives Passes Far-Ranging Paid Sick and Family Leave Legislation for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). While the bill has not yet been passed by the Senate, the White House has indicated that it supports and intends to sign the bill into law once the Senate has an opportunity to address its provisions, which will likely be sometime early this week. Read More ›

Department of Labor Announces Final Rule Changing Salary Level Tests

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its Final Rule increasing the minimum salary level employees need to be paid in order to be deemed an exempt white collar employee, provided the employees otherwise meet the applicable duties and salary basis tests. The rule has been long-awaited since the predecessor Obama administration-era rule was enjoined by a Texas federal court in 2016. The appeal of that case has been on hold, allowing the Department time to consider a new rule that would more likely survive a legal challenge. It took nearly three years for this to happen, but the time has come. The new rule will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Read More ›

Sixth Circuit Provides Important Employer Guidance in Combating FMLA Abuse

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently provided employers addressing potential FMLA abuse with important guidance on how such matters should be addressed. It turns out that playing golf while on an FMLA leave can actually get you fired. Read More ›

Michigan Legislature Amends State Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Acts

On December 4, 2018, the Michigan Legislature pared back the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws it passed last September in an effort to preclude those issues from being on the November ballot. Had the Legislature not adopted the language of the ballot initiatives legislation, the measures would have been on the November ballot and it would have needed a vote of three-fourths of each house to amend the law if adopted by the voters. By enacting the proposals directly, it only needed a simple majority to amend those laws. The strategy of using a lame-duck legislative session to amend the laws by a simple majority it passed just two months earlier has been viewed as controversial, but the outcome is welcomed by many in the business community. Read More ›

United States Department of Labor Announces Regulatory Agenda

Last week, the Trump administration released the Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda describing the intended regulatory activity among the various departments or agencies within the Federal Government. While the announcement itself does not provide any guidance (or even very many hints) regarding the potential content of the regulations proposed, they nonetheless are sufficient to put employers on alert of likely upcoming changes. Read More ›

U.S. Department of Labor Revision of Intern Test Provides Clarity to Employers

On Friday, January 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) adopted a revised view of what constitutes an “intern” for private sector employers. In short, this revised guidance makes it much easier for employers to take on unpaid interns without incurring substantial risk that the DOL will later find those supposed interns actually were employees who are entitled to back pay. Going forward, the DOL will use the “primary beneficiary” test, which was adopted by several appellate courts to determine whether interns are employees under the FLSA. Read More ›

New FLSA Regulations Enjoined!

We have posted several blog entries regarding the FLSA regulations announced in May that drastically increased the minimum salary threshold for most executive, administrative and professional employees from $455 per week (or $23,660 per year) to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year). Late Tuesday afternoon, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a motion brought on behalf of 21 states and supported by business groups led by the United States Chamber of Commerce to preliminarily enjoin the new overtime exemption regulations set to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  

The Elements for Preliminary Relief Were Satisfied by the States

At the outset, the court had to determine if the states will “likely succeed on the merits” as the case is further litigated, and if a permanent injunction is on the horizon. The states’ case was premised on both constitutional and statutory grounds. The court concluded that while the states’ constitutional claims were unlikely to succeed, their statutory arguments appeared strong and likely to succeed.  Read More ›

New Federal Defense of Trade Secrets Act Requires Employers to Re-Examine Employee Confidentiality Agreements

This week, President Obama signed the Defense of Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law, providing owners of trade secrets new federal protections against trade secret misappropriation. The new law has several features which will be discussed (and inevitably litigated) over the months and years to come, including a provision allowing courts to issue ex parte seizure orders of property containing misappropriated trade secrets, a definition of trade secrets broader than the definition in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), and a definition of misappropriation narrower than the one in the UTSA. For employers, however, a provision of the act may require that longstanding confidentiality agreements be re-examined. Read More ›

EEOC Issues Proposal That Would Require Inclusion of Wage and Hour Data in Annual EEO-1 Submissions

On Friday, January 29, 2016, seven years to the day following passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule that would require employers with 100 or more employees to report pay data as part of annual EEO-1 submissions beginning with the September 2017 report. The proposed regulation would require affected employers to not only report the number of employees in each protected classification (gender, race, etc.) but to further break down those assignments into twelve pay bands used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its occupational statistics survey based on annual W-2 earnings. Affected employers also would be required to report the total number of hours worked by employees in each reported band, in an attempt to allow the EEOC to determine when apparent disparities might be attributed to part time work. A sample of the proposed form can be found hereRead More ›