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Posts by Robert A. Boonin

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Photo of Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog Robert A. Boonin
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Showing 45 posts by Robert A. Boonin.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Not Impacted by Employees Who Won’t Return to Work, If Properly Documented

As borrowers use their loan proceeds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to continue or restore payroll and call back laid-off employees, they may encounter reluctance or refusal by employees to return to work, which could impede borrower’s ability to obtain full forgiveness on their PPP loan. Borrowers looking toward full forgiveness of the loan amount must maintain a staffing level[1] during the eight-week period following the funding of the loan at the level maintained during a comparative period preceding the loan, as described in Section 1106(d)(2) of the CARES Act.[2] Read More ›

DOL Issues More FFCRA Compliance Guidance on Paid Leaves

Guidance Focuses on Concurrent Leave Issues, Hours to be Paid During Leaves, and Regular Rates of Pay Applicable

Now that covered employers are providing paid leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “FFCRA”), more questions about the FFCRA’s nuances are surfacing. In an effort to further guide employers who are trying to navigate the new law, the Department of Labor has added to its growing list of FAQs about the FFCRA, which includes clarification of some of its earlier answers. The substantive changes are contained in FAQs 80 through 88, in which the DOL focuses on the calculation of available leave time and regular rates of pay to be used for FFCRA paid leaves. The following will highlight these new guidance topics. Read More ›

Ironing out the Details: The Department of Labor Updates and Adds to Its FFCRA Guidance Faqs

As employers try to comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements, the Department of Labor has thrown them a curveball by quietly changing the answers to some of its Guidance about the FFCRA as well as adding 19 more FAQs to its prior compendium. These changes and additions focus on a) how an employer’s existing PTO policy may interact with the FFCRA, b) the definition of first responder, and c) the treatment of employees currently on non-FFCRA leaves of absence. Here are some highlights: Read More ›

Michigan Governor Issues Executive Order Creating Protected Class of COVID-19 Positive Employees

In an apparent attempt to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, on Friday, April 3, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36, which provides protection to all employees who stay home when they are at “particular risk” of infecting others with COVID-19. While this latest Order is well-intentioned, as implemented it may create significant impediments for employers who are attempting to staff positions in critical industries, and particularly for private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees who are required to provide benefits under the recent federal paid leave laws. Read More ›

A Timely Reminder: Employee Complaints About Working Conditions Are Protected

As employee complaints about safety and the availability of personal protection equipment (“PPE”) mount, employers should remember that the law protects employees engaged in concerted action. Specifically, the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) protects the right of employees “to engage in... concerted activities for the purpose of... mutual aid or protection.” These protections apply to both unionized and non-unionized employees. Read More ›

In the Nick of Time: Department of Labor Issues Temporary Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, the DOL provided employers with further clarity on the FFCRA by publishing temporary regulations. These regulations will be effective from April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020—the same effective period of the FFCRA. Also relevant to employers, the IRS issued guidance regarding the FFCRA tax credit. As with our other alerts on the FFCRA, the following highlights key aspects of the new regulations: Read More ›

New Wage and Hour Division Opinion Letters Provide Clarity on the FLSA “Regular Rate of Pay” Requirements

Though most employers are focused on COVID-19 issues, employers and the government are still multitasking and addressing other issues. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor is no exception.

Consequently, on March 26, 2020, the WHD issued three opinion letters offering interpretations of the Department’s final rule on the Fair Labor Standard’s Act (FLSA) regular rate requirements. All three involved different types of income and whether or not they must be included in the regular rate of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime pay. Read More ›

As Employers Work Towards Compliance, The Department of Labor Provides Third Guidance Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

It seems the DOL has stopped sleeping these days, but that means more guidance for employers. In its Qs&As 38-59 interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), the DOL shed light on the small business exemption, employees who can be exempted for the FFCRA leave provisions, and the interplay of the FFCRA and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FFCRA takes effect on April 1, 2020, so this guidance is, in a word, timely. Here are some highlights. (Dykema summarized Qs&As 1-14 on March 26, 2020, and Qs&As 15-37 on March 27, 2020.) Read More ›

The NLRB Ends 2020 With a Bang!

Over the past few weeks, the National Labor Relations Board issued a series of employer-friendly decisions overturning a number of Obama-Board precedent-changing decisions. While not all of these recent decisions totally restored the law to what it was before the Obama Board’s changes, they all significantly move the pendulum back to near the center. The Board also issued its final rule regarding representation case procedures, something employers have been anxiously awaiting. The following summarizes what has occurred.

1. The Obligation to Deduct Union Dues Ends When the Collective Bargaining Agreement Expires (Again) Read More ›

January 1, 2020, Means New Pay Rules – Are You Ready?

On January 1, 2020, a number of new pay rules will become effective. While these changes may not directly impact many employees, they could cause pay compression under many compensation plans. Pay compression issues trigger employee morale issues, and adapting to those issues may mean that more than just those at the bottom of pay scales will need to have their pay adjusted. This ripple effect, of course, could be costly. Further, if the employees are covered by union contracts, how these new rates are rolled in, and whether pay compression concerns may be addressed, are mandatory subjects of bargaining. While a union contract cannot violate the law, the effects triggered by compliance are subjects of bargaining.

The following will briefly summarize what employers should be aware of and address in some form: Read More ›