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Jill Collins is an Associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. She represents clients involved in litigation of federal and state employment disputes, including noncompetition and nonsolicitation enforcement, trade secret protection, discrimination and sexual harassment complaints, wrongful discharge claims, and wage and hour matters. She counsels clients on labor and employment issues, including leaves of absence, independent contractor and employee classification, internal investigations, reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, terminations and reductions in force, employment and separation agreements, and employee handbooks and policies.

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

The wait is over!  This morning, 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.  The final rule did not, however, make any change to the job duties test.

Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of the rule’s December 1st implementation date.  We will also host a webinar.  For now, we’ll briefly summarize the key provisions from the rule.

Continue Reading The DOL Releases Its Final Rule Updating the FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations

Five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, including stars Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, filed a complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging that they are paid almost four times less than the men’s national soccer team, despite generating nearly $20 million more in revenue in 2015.  The complaint alleges that U.S. Soccer violated the Equal Pay Act by paying the reigning World Cup champions significantly less than the U.S. men’s team for similar work.

Continue Reading Equal Pay for Equal Play – U.S. Women’s National Team Files Wage Discrimination Claim Against U.S. Soccer

This week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its first lawsuits alleging sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII against employers in Pennsylvania and Maryland.  In both cases, the EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.  The lawsuits are the latest step by the Commission to confirm its view that “sex” discrimination under Title VII encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Continue Reading The Next Frontier of Title VII – EEOC Files its First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Cases

July 2016.  That’s when the final rule on the white collar overtime exemptions is expected to be published by the DOL – this according to the OMB’s Fall 2015 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan released last Thursday.  Just one week earlier the Solicitor of Labor, M. Patricia Smith, reportedly told attendees at a conference that the DOL was targeting a release in “late 2016.”

Thus, given the continued uncertainties surrounding the timing of the release, employers should continue to take steps now to prepare for any changes to the rule, which, in its current form, would dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay.  We, of course, will continue to update you about any developments.

The Department of Labor’s proposed overhaul of the white-collar exemption overtime regulations, which could expand overtime eligibility to an estimated 4.6 million workers, may not go into effect on the breakneck timeline that employers feared.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Solicitor of Labor recently indicated that the final rule likely will not be published before late 2016, which would give employers a much longer runway to prepare for the changes before they go into effect. The revelation is welcome news to many employers who were bracing for the rule to be published later this year or early 2016.

The DOL is currently proposing to more than double the minimum annual salary threshold, which hasn’t been updated since 2004, but it hasn’t said whether it will change the relevant job duties test along with the salary bump.  Given the high stakes, the DOL received more than 250,000 public comments on the proposed rule this summer.  We will continue to update you as we learn more.

On June 19th, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued final regulations for the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, which goes into effect next week on July 1, 2015.   The final regulations, available here, differ in material ways from the proposed regulations and address a number of compliance issues that employers have raised in public hearings and by public comment.  A brief summary of some key differences in the final regulations are addressed below.

Continue Reading Attorney General’s Office Issues Final Regulations on Massachusetts Sick Time Law

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has issued proposed regulations to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law, which was approved by voters in November 2014 and goes into effect on July 1, 2015 – less than two months from now.   The proposed regulations, available here, address a number of key issues regarding when and how employees will accrue and may use sick leave under the law.  We briefly summarize them below.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Issues Much-Anticipated Proposed Regulations on Massachusetts Sick Time Law

These days most employers manage a vast amount of electronic information about their employees, including the employees’ personal identifying information.  But, what obligations do employers have to unionized employees with respect to managing that information and bargaining with them in the event of a breach of their private information?

Continue Reading More Than Employers Bargained For: Do Union Employees Have a Right to Bargain Over Company Data Breaches?