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Friday
May092014

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014

Each Sunday I briefly review the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week.  You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

First up, the post on Sunday 5/4/14 was about employee records, your business, and the law. Yep, this is an important trio. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lists what information and records must be kept for each employee and for how long (at least 3 years and for at least 1 year after employment ends).

TAKEAWAY: If you are not familiar with the FLSA, you should review it (and make sure your HR personnel do too). The law provides for penalties for violation by employers.

On Monday 5/5/14 we did NOT discuss Cinco de Mayo and whether it caused any disruption to your workplace (did it? Let us know via our Facebook page, website, LinkedIn, or Twitter). What we DIDtalk about was internships: do it right or pay the price.  It’s no longer an easy thing to hire someone, call them an intern, and then have them provide services for no pay. This is as thorny an issue as misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor when in reality s/he is an employee.  Ok, back to interns. So what are some of the rules? First, it must benefit the intern, not the employer. Next, they cannot be hired instead of a regular employee. Third, try to provide educational credit in conjunction with the school. Also, make sure the relationship is put in writing.

TAKEAWAY: Interns are not just cheap labor – in fact, if not done right, they can be VERY costly for an employer.

Next, on Tuesday 5/6/14 we talked about whether fathers are punished at work too – and whether or not they have legal rights. Are men weak if they want paternity leave? Are they viewed the same as women who take maternity leave? Actually, no. Research shows that men with families are viewed favorably (but are penalized if they try to spend time with those families). Also, those who took family leave were perceived more negatively than those who did not. Read the entire post for more.

TAKEAWAY: Discrimination happens to both sexes, but we hear more about it when it happens to women. Employers must ensure that no employee is discriminated against for taking advantage of legal rights.

On Wednesday 5/7/14 we posted about Virginia Waffle Houses and their ADA violations. The issue is accessibility for patrons in wheelchairs. The case was filed against 45 locations; the plaintiff noted he had visited 4, but asserted the others would be the same as they are allegedly based on the same design. The court upheld the claim as to the 4 that he had visited but required more information as to the other 41.

TAKEAWAY: Businesses thathave customers coming to them must remember the public accommodation requirements of the ADA and not just the employee-accommodation portions.

On Thursday 5/8/14 the post was about the types of things that sent an FMLA case to the jury: questions on leave entitlement, usual & customary notice, and more. What was the key here? The employer told the employee he had 120 hours of FMLA leave remaining when he really only had 11. Why was that key? It left open a question for the jury as to the amount of the employee’s FMLA entitlement. Also at issue (and open for jury decision) were whether the employee had notice of an employer policy regarding doctor’s notes.

TAKEAWAY: Employers should carefully calculate available FMLA leave before giving a number to employees, otherwise it could come back to bite them – HARD.

The post on Friday 5/9/14 was about the fact that you don't need absolute proof to discharge an employee. That’s right. There is no burden for an employer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the reason for discharge. The discharge only has to be reasonable based upon the facts known to the employer.

TAKEAWAY: Courts will not second-guess an employer’s business decisions (unless they are illegal) as long as those decisions have a reasonable basis in fact and belief when made.

Finally, yesterday 5/10/14 we posted about a federal court ruling that Baltimore County's retirement plan violates the ADEA by requiring older employees to pay a greater percentage of their salaries into the plan based on their age at the time of enrollment. The link takes you to the actual court decision. The court did not agree that the “time value of money” is a reasonable justification for the disparate contribution rates where the County (1) amended the plan to permit employees to retire based solely on years of service without modifying contribution rates, and (2) treated older employees at the time of enrollment less favorably than younger employees “because of” their age. Further, the Court also disagreed with the assertion that that ADEA's “safe harbor provision” shields the County from liability since, even assuming service-based pension benefits qualified as “early retirement benefit,” that provision does not address employee contribution rates nor does it permit employers to impose contri-bution rates that increase with age at time of enrollment. After those rulings, the case was remanded to the trial court for a damages assessment.

 TAKEAWAY: Employers engaging in back-door age discrimination will be caught. Don’t try a workaround; just obey the law.

 

     Austin Law Firm LLC works with clients in the types of matters discussed in this blog and others occurring in the workplace or related to it. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us.

References (21)

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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Response: website design
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Response: foreclosure advice
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Response: life online
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014
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    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- May 4 - 10, 2014

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