Stay Safe and Prepared During Dorian.

With Hurricane Dorian expected to make landfall this weekend, Floridians are stocking up on water, batteries, gas, and canned food. It’s important to be prepared and plan ahead for your home and family.

Please see our suggestions below on important action items to take to prepare for and recover after a storm. Continue Reading

Pay for Travel Time? The Scenic Route to Work Won’t Cost You

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Employers often wonder when they should be paying hourly employees for their travel time and the answer may not always be straightforward. Broadly speaking, federal wage and hour laws require that employers compensate employees for the hours they spend traveling for work-related activities. But the law makes several distinctions that every business should consider when calculating wages and overtime for non-exempt hourly employees. A few scenarios might help to illustrate employers’ obligations.

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Religious Discrimination: Gone Today, Hair Tomorrow

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As an update to this post from April, New York recently became the second state to prohibit race discrimination based on hair bias. The bill, signed into law on July 12:

Prohibits race discrimination based on natural hair or hairstyles; defines “race” for certain specific purposes to include, but not be limited to, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, and ethnic background, and to include traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles; and defines “protective hairstyles” to include, but not be limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists.

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NLRB Speak on Employee Handbook Provisions (Again). Private Sector Employers Take Note.

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Coastal Industries, a Jacksonville, Florida employer, thought it had an employee handbook that was compliant with the dictates of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After a NLRB review of its handbook, however, it got a rude awakening. Remember, the NLRB can find workplace policies to be unfair labor practices at both union and nonunion companies alike.

Within the last couple of years, the NLRB has begun using a test, called the Boeing test, which places workplace policies in one of three categories: (1) lawful, (2) unlawful, or (3) it depends. In reviewing the “it depends” policies, the NLRB will look at both the impact the policy has upon expression covered by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (which protects what is known as “concerted activity”) as well as whether the employer has a good business reason for creating the rule.

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A Four Day Workweek?

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It sounds dreamy doesn’t it? The other morning on my drive to work, I heard a story on the radio program Marketplace about four day workweeks.  According to the most recent Marketplace – Edison Research Poll, nearly two-thirds of the workers polled said they would prefer a four day workweek with ten hour days over the standard eight hour, five day workweek. I suppose the allure of the four day workweek depends on the nature of your work.  For me, the thought of work piling up in my absence and having to play catch-up – each and every week – would create more stress than benefit.  Apart from the issue of balancing the continuous flow of work, the Marketplace story made me wonder about employment law implications of a ten hour, four day workweek. Continue Reading

Covering Summer Interns Under Your Employee Benefit Plans – You Can’t Just Forget About Them

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It is prime time of the year for hiring “interns.” They usually are high school, college or even graduate students looking for work experience. Certain interns may be unpaid (the analysis of whether interns must be paid is an important issue but beyond the scope of this blog post). However, many companies provide paid internships. If the interns are paid employees, you may have to cover them under your employee benefit plans.  At a minimum, you can’t just think “oh, those are interns, not real employees; I don’t need to worry about them for benefits.” Think again. Continue Reading

Is It Already Hurricane Season Again?

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It is time to stock up on bottled water and fresh batteries and consider trimming those trees. It is also time for businesses to dust off and freshen up their emergency policies and procedures. Please see our suggestions below on what to review. Continue Reading

Gourmet Popcorn, A Lunch Buffet, and the Dating Game

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What do gourmet popcorn, a lunch buffet, and the Dating Game have in common? They were all a part of our Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminars in Tampa and Miami. For those of you who need a refresher or weren’t able to join us, we’ve included our top takeaways from both seminars below.

We look forward to sharing even more advice in 2020- cheers to avoiding a “Nasti Law Zoot” and congratulations to our blog contest winners! You will receive complimentary registrations to your choice of one of our 2020 Seminars. Continue Reading

Grooming Standards: No Longer So “Hair-Larious”

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After seeing several players’ hair covering their jersey numbers during a performance of the Star Spangled Banner, former New York Yankees’ owner, George Steinbrenner, instructed the players to cut their hair. It was then, in 1973, that the New York Yankees’ grooming policy was born.  The official team policy states that, “all players, coaches, and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar.” Over the years, many have commented about the policy and some have openly rebelled. Continue Reading

Comparing Apples to Apples: How Do You Prove Discrimination?

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On March 21, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers employers in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) issued a decision that helps us answer this question: How do employees prove they were victims of unlawful discrimination in the workplace? Lewis v. City of Union City, Ga., No. 15-11362 (11th Cir. Mar. 21, 2019).  For those of you with lots of time on your hands, you can click on the hyperlink and read the 100-page decision. Yawn.   For everyone else, here’s the skinny on this case. . . Continue Reading

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