Millions More Americans to Qualify for Overtime Pay

After much anticipation, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final overtime rule on May 18, 2016.  The DOL’s website provides a link to the rule itself, frequently asked questions including a side-by-side comparison of the old and new rules, fact sheets, and other summary guides. The effective date of the final rule Continue reading

Eighth Circuit Rules Obesity, By Itself, Not a Disability Under ADA

Melvin Morriss, III v. BNSF Railway Company, No. 14-3858 (8th Cir. 2016) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that obesity, by itself, is not a disability under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).  Following the Second and Sixth Continue reading

New Federal Trade Secrets Statute Will Provide Additional Protection For Owners of Trade Secrets

On April 27, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (known as the DTSA) after the Senate passed a bill with the same Act a few days earlier. The DTSA is expected to become law with President Obama’s signature. The DTSA will provide federal protection for trade secrets Continue reading

Telecommuting Up to 4 Days a Week Not a Reasonable Accommodation

EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484 (6th Cir. 2015) Reversing its prior opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) is not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to allow an employee “to work from home on an as-needed basis, up to Continue reading

IRS Releases Employer ACA Reporting Final Forms

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Section 6056 for “Applicable Large Employers” (an “ALE”). An ALE is an employer or aggregate group with fifty or more full time and full time equivalent employees. Under the reporting rules, these ALE employers must provide information to the IRS about the health Continue reading

NLRB Adopts Final Rule Amending Representation Case Procedures

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently adopted a final rule amending its representation case procedures.  Upon the filing of a representation petition, the NLRB determines whether an election should be conducted to decide if the employees will be represented for collective bargaining purposes with their employer.  Effective April 14, 2015, the final rule will Continue reading

NLRB – Employees Have a Statutory Right to Use Employer Email for Section 7 Purposes

My daughter has a book called “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” that stars a young mouse who gets a brand new purse, filled with coins, as a gift. She brings it to school and cannot stop talking about it, disrupting the classroom in the process. Her mean teacher, Mr. Slinger, takes the purse to prevent Lilly Continue reading

Wellness Programs Catch E.E.O.C.’s Attention

Employers who offer wellness programs to their employees should be aware that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may challenge a program if it penalizes an employee for non-participation or requires an employee to provide confidential medical information. The E.E.O.C. has filed two lawsuits since August 2014 related to wellness programs. In one, the E.E.O.C. claims Continue reading

Independent Contractors Not Protected by ADA, ADEA, and FMLA

Larry Alexander v. Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, No. 13-2592 (8th Cir. 2014) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that independent contractors are not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Instead, these statutes Continue reading

Small Estate Affidavit Allows Institutions to Transfer Property to Survivors With Ease

Financial institutions regularly confront questions on how to distribute property following the death of an account holder. A handy Iowa law creates a simplified procedure for property distribution where the decedent has a small estate. In short, the successor in interest to the decedent’s property may present a Small Estate Affidavit to the financial institution Continue reading