Category Archives: Employment Law

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#MeToo Movement Motivating State AGs to Seek Changes In Federal Law

Last week, the Attorneys General (“AGs”) in each state and U.S. territory all announced their support for ending mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims.  They wrote Congress that the “secrecy requirements of arbitration clauses” as applied to sexual harassment claims “disserve the public interest … [by creating] a culture of silence that protects perpetrators at … Continue Reading

Morale Makes Money: How Starbucks Raised The Bar(ista)… Again

Last week, the CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, announced the ‘Partner and Family Sick Time’ benefits for all of Starbucks’ U.S. employees. Starbucks is giving employees a number of additional perks, including increased wages, stock grants, six-week paid parental leave for non-birth giving parents and five days of paid sick leave per year.  The $250 … Continue Reading

Continued Work Authorization for Haitian Nationals in TPS

On November 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti, with a delayed effective date of July 22, 2019. It was not until January 18, however, that the DHS provided guidance to Haitian nationals and their employers about what would happen come January 22, 2018, when the … Continue Reading

Does Sexual Harassment Training Work?

The New York Times ran an article on December 11, 2017, titled, “Sexual Harassment Training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do.” The article describes sexual harassment training as an exercise that consists of “clicking through a PowerPoint, checking a box that you read the employee handbook or attending a mandatory seminar at which someone lectures … Continue Reading

Tax Reform: Confidential Sexual Harassment Settlements Come With a Price

The recently passed tax act promises to have wide ranging impacts on businesses which go beyond the accounting department. There have been attempts by other agencies such as the SEC, EEOC, DOL and NLRB to limit the confidentiality of settlements.  The new tax act follows suit by including a provision which makes confidential payments or settlements … Continue Reading

Restaurants and Hotels: Are We Reaching a “Tipping” Point on Tips?

Florida and federal law allow restaurants and hotels to pay tipped employees minimum wage, less a credit of $3.02 per hour against tips received. Tips can be pooled and then redistributed to those who are in traditionally tipped positions.  However, if an employer wrongly allows non-tipped employees to share in the tips (e.g., supervisors, maintenance, … Continue Reading

Happy Holidays, or is it? Steering Clear of Religious Discrimination and other Landmines during the Holidays!

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are wonderful, but can produce some dicey situations for your HR Department. The holidays mean a lot of things to different people: whether it’s playing dreidel, decorating a Christmas tree, or doing nothing at all. Employers need to be mindful of the variety of different beliefs held … Continue Reading

Retirement Plan Hurricane Relief for Affected Participants

As we all know, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria severely impacted parts of Texas, the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico causing billions of dollars of damage. To help victims recover, Congress, the IRS, and the Department of Labor have issued special retirement plan relief for employers and participants located in those areas. Employers sponsoring … Continue Reading

Florida’s Minimum Wage to Increase to $8.25 per hour –What About the Loonie, eh?

I originally hail from Toronto, Canada.  As an employment attorney now practicing in Florida, I enjoy comparing US employment laws with their Canadian counterparts.  So first, the news from Florida. On January 1, 2018, Florida’s minimum wage will increase from $8.10 per hour to $8.25 per hour. This adjustment is based on the federal Consumer … Continue Reading

Halloween is a Scary Time for Employers

I have always been fascinated when the shy people that I know suddenly become exhibitionists when it comes to donning Halloween costumes. Whether it is a sexy French maid costume from Victoria’s Secret or Captain Underpants® (from the Dreamworks movie), adult costumes have become much edgier. Those costumes are perfectly fine at a private party … Continue Reading

What’s the effect of the Sessions’ memo on transgender discrimination?

On October 4, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum advising that the U.S. Department of Justice will no longer take the position that Title VII (the law which prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, and religion) prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity per se, including transgender status.” What does … 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 … 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.  … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … 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,” … Continue Reading

Massachusetts: Medical Marijuana May Be “Reasonable Accommodation”—Still No Guidance In Florida

On November 8, 2016, Florida voters approved the medical use of marijuana for individuals with certain debilitating medical conditions. The effective date was January 3, 2017.  However, to date, Florida has done nothing to address how employers are to treat employees who will be prescribed marijuana for their disabilities. One of the unanswered questions for Florida employers … Continue Reading
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