A Return To The “Old” EEO-1 Form; EEOC Will Not Collect Pay Data In 2018

Employers can breathe a sigh of relief: The EEOC’s initiative to collect summary pay and hours worked data in the new EEO-1 form has ended … for now, at least.

Just last year, on September 26, 2016, the EEOC announced that the annual EEO-1 reporting process would change for covered employers (private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50+ employees). Beginning in March 2018, covered employers would be required to submit summary pay data and aggregate hours worked by employees in the 10 EEO job categories (which did not change), in addition to the demographic data (gender, race and ethnicity) already reported on the annual EEO-1 form.  The EEOC redesigned its EEO-1 form and extended the submission deadline from September 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018 to provide employers time to collect and organize the new data. Continue Reading

Florida Employees: The Good Stand Tall When Bad Things Happen

Hurricane Irma! For Floridians, that’s all you need to say.

My family and I fled from Category 4 Irma. According to our Governor, this was “a deadly storm” the likes of which “our state has never seen.” We drove from Miami to what we thought would be a relatively safe spot – the city of Tampa. Hey-want to lose weight quickly and continue to have no appetite-just flee to a “safe” area (Tampa) that ends up becoming a hurricane’s bull’s-eye.

For all the anxiety, long gas lines, lack of electricity, lack of hot food, nonstop Weather Channel warnings, and crush of people on the road, I was impressed with so many employees with whom I interacted before, during, and after the hurricane. Almost all acted with grace and professionalism in the face of panicked and demanding customers.

Kudos to the food servers, managers, gas station attendants, police, housekeepers, stock clerks, cashiers, and store employees who were at their posts all along I-75 from Weston to Tampa both pre-and post-hurricane. Continue Reading

Spoiler Alert: Court Plunges Dagger In Heart Of Obama-Era Overtime Regs, Setting Stage For Season II Fireworks

Wow, this has been one crazy roller coaster ride.

Season 1 of this overtime soap opera kicked-off with President Obama directing the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the “white collar” FLSA exemptions. In May 2016, the DOL published revised regulations that increased the exempt salary threshold from $455 per week ($23,600 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually), and even included a mechanism for automatic, future adjustments.  The DOL set the “go live” date as December 1, 2016.

Chaos ensued. HR professionals spent the next several months tackling compliance issues, and the financial side of the house spent the next several months asking, “How are we going to pay for this?”

Mid-season in the soap opera, with the presidential election around the corner, several states and business groups sued the DOL and sought an emergency injunction in a Texas federal court. Suspense. Continue Reading

Our thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Irma

Dear Clients and Friends,

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, our thoughts are with you for a safe and speedy recovery.

We are back in business, fully operational, and here to assist in any way we can. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Our regular blog postings will resume next week at BeLaborThePoint.com and CafeConLabor.com.  Until then, be well.

Warmly,

Stearns Weaver Miller’s Labor & Employment Department

How Does Time Off Due To A Hurricane Affect Your Employees’ Pay?

It’s throwback Thursday … err Tuesday.  As those of us in Florida prepare for the potential landfall of Hurricane Irma this weekend, please check out my colleague Bob Turk’s interview with the Miami Herald about storm preparations for human resource professionals and my post from hurricane season last year on what happens to employees’ pay if your business closes due to the storm.  

 

EEOC Sues to Give Fathers the Same “Maternity” Leave as Mothers

In last week’s blog, I highlighted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he’ll be taking 2 months off work following the birth of his daughter later this year (even though, presumably, he would be entitled to 12 weeks under the FMLA, and 4 months under Facebook’s policy).

Well, paternity leave has hit the news again. Just yesterday, the EEOC sued Estée Lauder in federal court in Pennsylvania alleging that the company’s parental leave policy discriminates against men in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act.

According to the EEOC, female Estée Lauder employees are eligible for, among other benefits, up to 6 weeks of paid maternity, adoption, and primary caregiver leave, as well as a transition back-to-work benefit comprised of flexible scheduling and possible work-from-home arrangements. On the other hand, absent a surrogacy situation, biological fathers generally are eligible for up to 2 weeks of paid secondary caregiver leave and are not eligible for transition back-to-work benefits.  Continue Reading

New I-9 Form May Not Be AOK When Dealing With EADs

As many of you by now, on September 18, 2017, employers must start using the new Form I-9 that USCIS released on July 17. You can identify the new Form I-9 by the designation “Form I-9 07/17/17 N” in the lower left corner of the page.  You can find the current version of the Form I-9, including a fillable version of the form with drop down boxes, at the USCIS website.

The problem with the Form I-9 and its instructions, which are now fifteen pages long, is that the form and instructions cannot keep pace with changes to the rules and regulations governing who is authorized to work in the United States. A perfect example of this problem is the 180 day automatic extension of work authorization for certain employees who file to extend their employment authorization document (EAD).  The regulation creating this extension went into effect on January 17, 2017.  Yet the new Form I-9 and its instructions provide little in the way of guidance.  Employees who file for a new EAD before the current EAD expires will be eligible for an extension of work authorization for up to 180 days if: Continue Reading

“Like” or “Dislike” – Did Zuckerberg Overlook Facebook’s Paternity Leave Policy?

More than 3 years ago, I blogged about the unjustified criticism received by then-New York Mets (and now Washington Nationals) baseball player Daniel Murphy when he missed 2 baseball games for the birth of his child. That criticism – much of it voiced by other athletes and sports commentators – put a spotlight on the stigma associated with paternity leave.

The fact is that very few FMLA-eligible men take 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child. In fact, according to a 2012 Department of Labor survey, 70% of men take 10 or fewer days of paternity leave. Continue Reading

Our group is growing – Tampa here we come!

This is an exciting time for the Firm, our Labor & Employment Law Department and our clients. We are pleased to welcome two new members to our group and to expand our footprint in Tampa. Janet Goldberg McEnery and Andrew W. McLaughlin each brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and a unique perspective to navigating the legal and business challenges that HR professionals face daily.

For those of you familiar with our department, you know that our seminars and training for HR professionals are not just lectures but include games and gameshows, polls and other learning activities. We’re talking Family Feud, Pokemon, EEO Monopoly and mock trials! We anticipate hosting similar workshops in Tampa in addition to our Miami and Ft. Lauderdale events.

Read on to learn more about Janet and Andy: Continue Reading

Did A Florida Appellate Court Just “Dis” An Employment Agreement’s Arbitration Provision?

Is it prudent for employers to require employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements? There is no right or wrong answer to that question . . . just a long list of pros and cons.  Proponents of mandatory arbitration often focus on factors such as confidentiality, the ability to remove the risk of a “runaway jury,” and cost.  Conversely, opponents of mandatory arbitration often focus on factors such as the potential for the arbitrator to “split the baby” in an effort to appease both sides, limited discovery, cost, and limited appellate rights.

For employers who have adopted mandatory arbitration policies, the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Florida (with jurisdiction over Hernando, Lake, Marion, Citris, Sumter, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Volusia, Orange, Osceola, Brevard, and Seminole Counties) recently issued an order that may make it more difficult for employers to enforce mandatory arbitration agreements, particularly arbitration agreements in employment contracts. Continue Reading

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