While many employers shifted some of their focus to the new overtime rules in the past couple of weeks, cybersecurity remains top of mind for most.  The reason?  Because the number one threat to a company’s information (personal or confidential) is still its own employees.

Data security and privacy training are the first lines of defense against negligent employee behavior.  Thus, our colleague, Cynthia Larose, the Chair of Mintz’s Privacy & Security Practice, thought it prudent to put together a webinar on this very issue.

Join Cynthia and Kirsten Liston, SVP of Product & Market Strategy at ThreatReady Resources, as they explore why traditional training programs are falling short and what you can do to boost your efforts and counter top concerns regarding malicious and negligent employee handling of personal and confidential data.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 1PM EST.  You can register here.  We hope you’ll join us.

One of the few “wins” for employers under the DOL’s new overtime rule was that employers are now allowed to apply “nondiscretionary incentive payments” to meet up to 10 percent of the new salary threshold.  This change could prove very important for employers who pay employees on a commission basis or who use other incentive-based compensation.

But what qualifies as a nondiscretionary incentive payment?  What options do employers have in changing their compensation plans to ensure compliance with the new rule?  And what could be the unintended consequences of those changes?  This post looks at this new rule and attempts to answer some of those questions.

Continue Reading Handling Nondiscretionary Incentive Payments Under the New FLSA Overtime Rule

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to ERISA-covered retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). (For a list of, and links to, these final regulations, please see our April 11, 2016 post). As we explained previously, the final regulations will have important and far reaching consequences for financial advisors of all stripes (e.g., broker-dealers/registered representatives, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), and insurance agents and brokers, among others) who advise retirement plans and IRA investors.

In an earlier post we examined the new and greatly expanded definition of an “investment advice fiduciary,” which is of central importance to the Department’s new regulatory scheme.  In this post, we explain the “Best Interest Contract” (or “BIC”) exemption, which allows advisors to receive commission-based compensation that would be barred under the new fiduciary standard, subject to strict new rules intended to protect investors.

Continue Reading The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

As we reported earlier, the DOL has now released its final overtime rule. Two of the biggest takeaways are that the new rule (1) greatly increases the minimum salary threshold of the so-called “white collar” exemptions (at least $913 per week, equaling $47,476 annually); and (2) made no changes to the exemptions’ separate job duties’ tests.  The impact of the new rule is expected to be far-reaching – affecting more than 4.2 million workers, with a predicted $12 billion boost to wages over the next 10 years.  Below we address the new rule’s impact on California employers, who must still comply with the state’s wage and hour laws when making compliance decisions. Continue Reading The DOL’s New Overtime Rule: Considerations for California Employers

Many employers are familiar with the fact that the EEOC regularly conducts on-site workplace investigations after receiving charges of discrimination or harassment.  A recent federal court decision, however, may lead to an uptick in such on-site investigations – even if the EEOC does not have an administrative warrant for the investigation and even if the employer does not consent.

A federal court in Kentucky recently held that the EEOC has the authority to conduct a warrantless, nonconsensual search of a private employer’s commercial property to investigate a discrimination claim.  This marks the first decision in which a federal court confronted this issue.  Though this is not a favorable decision for employers, the court delineated several limitations and safeguards that help fetter the EEOC’s on-site inspection authority.

Continue Reading Federal Court Allows the EEOC to Conduct Investigation on Employer’s Premises Without Employer Consent or a Warrant

Relying on its precedent, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held for the second time this year that the Federal Aviation Administrative Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”) preempts application of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, M.G.L. c. 149, Section 148B, to couriers working for Federal Express and other same-day delivery companies.  As a result, these companies can continue to save billions of dollars each year in the costs associated with employees, such as overtime, health benefits, and workers compensation insurance

Continue Reading Same-Day Delivery Companies: 2; MA Independent Contractor Statute: 0. First Circuit Once Again Upholds Classification of Couriers as Independent Contractors

My colleague Patricia Moran, wrote a Law360 article entitled In The ACA Age, Employee Handbooks Can Help — Or Hurt as a follow up to her latest post, Have You Reviewed your Employee Handbook for Affordable Care Act Compliance? In the article, Moran urges employers to review their health and welfare benefit documentation for ACA compliance. Given the anticipated increase in IRS audits, she notes that an employee handbook can be great tool to ensure compliance with the ERISA and the ACA. In addition to outlining the value of an ACA compliant handbook, Moran also examines common noncompliance issues.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule aimed at updating the way it collects data and preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.  The final rule can be broken down into two parts: (1) Electronic Reporting and Data Collection; and (2) and Employee Involvement and Retaliation, each of which we discuss below.

Continue Reading OSHA’s New Electronic Reporting and Retaliation Rules Will Make Your Company’s Workplace Injury Reports Accessible to the Public

Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the final overtime rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of its December 1st implementation date.  Today we focus on the rule’s impact on non-profits and educational institutions. 

On Wednesday of this week, the Department of Labor announced its Final Rule, which is aimed at expanding overtime eligibility for millions of American workers.  At its core, the final version of the rule doubled the minimum salary employers must pay “white collar” workers to maintain their exempt status.  See our post here for a summary of the new regulations.

But what does this mean for non-profits, including educational institutions, which may be harder hit by these changes than private sector employers?  In short, generally the same thing it means for any other employer.

Continue Reading Where do the DOL’s New FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations Leave Non-Profits and Educational Institutions?

From:             Carrie Counselor

To:                  Ned Help

Date:              May 19, 2016

Subject:         RE: Privacy considerations for employees working abroad

Dear Ned,

I understand that one of your employees will be engaging a six-month temporary assignment around Europe to scope market opportunities, and you’d like to have a better understanding of what to be thinking about in terms of privacy.  Great question!  This is an area where many employers struggle because other jurisdictions protect privacy and personal data quite differently than we do here in the United States.

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Privacy considerations for employees working abroad