HR Minute

Showing 7 posts by Raanon Gal.

FMLA Master Class: Georgia - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

On-Site Seminar:
Atlanta | Thursday, January 14, 2016

Choose your conference option! Attend the full conference, or just attend the morning or afternoon session.

Master FMLA administration in just one day with this all-new program created just for Georgia employers and HR management...

Continue reading FMLA Master Class: Georgia - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management ›

The U.S. Department of Labor Increases FLSA Pressure

On July 15, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued guidance regarding the proper classification of workers as independent contractors. The DOL claims that they are issuing the guidance because they are concerned that too many companies are misclassifying employees to escape overtime requirements, worker’s compensation and payroll taxes. The guidance is a reminder to employers that the DOL interprets the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broadly and that the DOL will take the position that the test for determining who is an independent contractor reflects that broad scope.

The guidance itself is detailed and heavily reliant on case-law that supports the DOL’s interpretation but also avoids contrary authority. The DOL opines that, based on the FLSA definition of “employ” as “suffer or permit to work,” and the manner in which federal courts have applied the “economics realities test,” that “most workers are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.” This conclusion follows that of at least one state, Vermont, whose Department of Labor has concluded that 99 percent of all workers working for Vermont employers should be classified as employees and not independent contractors.

Continue reading The U.S. Department of Labor Increases FLSA Pressure ›

Atlanta Fire Chief Fires-Off Lawsuit and EEOC Charge Against the City of Atlanta for Freedom of Speech Religious Discrimination

binoculars iconAs many in Georgia have heard, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was ousted from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration in early January for what the Mayor said was a breach in protocol in Cochran’s decision to publish a religious book about his Christian faith titled, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” At issue are passages describing homosexuality as a “sexual perversion” akin to bestiality. Cochran filed a lawsuit in February claiming that his termination was for expressing his religious beliefs after work. Was this freedom of speech or a legitimate termination for offensive anti-gay speech?

Continue reading Atlanta Fire Chief Fires-Off Lawsuit and EEOC Charge Against the City of Atlanta for Freedom of Speech Religious Discrimination ›

Reminder to Register for Next Thursday's Wage and Hour Master Class

Wage and Hour Master ClassRBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. recently agreed to pay $11 million to settle state and federal overtime misclassification claims from 5,800 employees spread over several states. The employees’ lawyers are also asking the court to have the bank pay over $4 million in fees and costs.

Wage and hour claims can cost millions. Companies large and small can be hit with claims, even giants such as Starbucks, Taco Bell, Walmart, and IBM.

Is your organization in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act? Are you sure?

Now there’s help for the FLSA frustrated: 2015 Wage and Hour Master Class for Employers. Invest just one day to become even more proficient in FLSA administration and handle top management’s and your employees’ questions with even greater confidence. You’ll get the very latest compliance tactics and you’ll enhance your advanced practitioner skill set when you attend this satisfaction-guaranteed event. Master Classes also qualify for continuing education credits.

You’ll learn:

  • Navigating the FLSA
  • Paying Employees Correctly
  • Overtime
  • FLSA Exemptions
  • Enforcement & Litigation Issues
  • State and Federal Law Issues for 2015
  • And much, much more…

Your Faculty:

Raanon Gal: Mr. Gal focuses his practice on defending employers in employment discrimination, FMLA, wage and hour, harassment and wrongful termination litigation. He has represented clients in a variety of industries and has provided representation under Employment Practice Liability Insurance arrangements. He also has experience in representing clients concerning cases involving non-compete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, employment/business torts and wage and hour litigation. His practice also encompasses all areas relating to the counseling, training and representation of management clients in federal and state courts, as well as before state and local agencies.

Glianny Fagundo: is a member of the Employment and Labor Relations practice group. Ms. Fagundo’s practice focuses on high-stakes employment cases, such as multi-party or class discrimination actions, collective FLSA/wage and hour suits, and civil rights, as well as litigation concerning unfair competition (restrictive covenants). She also routinely counsels employers on a multitude of workplace issues, including executive employment agreements, workplace policies, terminations, drug abuse, and wage and hour matters, and provides employee and management training on company policies and legal developments.

Joe English: is a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor Relations practice group. Mr. English regularly defends employers in employment litigation and arbitration at the administrative, trial and appellate levels, appearing in federal and state courts throughout the country. Mr. English’s litigation practice has included complex class action litigation, ERISA, wage and hour litigation, and the spectrum of employment discrimination and retaliation claims. In addition, he provides day-to-day counseling services to clients on general employment-related matters, including risk management and preventative practices.

Please Note: This program has been approved for 6.25 recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute.

Wage and Hour Master Class: The Advanced Interactive Workshop for Georgia Employers on March 5, 2015

Wage and Hour Master ClassRBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. recently agreed to pay $11 million to settle state and federal overtime misclassification claims from 5,800 employees spread over several states. The employees’ lawyers are also asking the court to have the bank pay over $4 million in fees and costs.

Wage and hour claims can cost millions. Companies large and small can be hit with claims, even giants such as Starbucks, Taco Bell, Walmart, and IBM.

Is your organization in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act? Are you sure?

Now there's help for the FLSA frustrated: 2015 Wage and Hour Master Class for Employers. Invest just one day to become even more proficient in FLSA administration and handle top management’s and your employees’ questions with even greater confidence. You'll get the very latest compliance tactics and you'll enhance your advanced practitioner skill set when you attend this satisfaction-guaranteed event. Master Classes also qualify for continuing education credits.

You'll learn:

  • Navigating the FLSA
  • Paying Employees Correctly
  • Overtime
  • FLSA Exemptions
  • Enforcement & Litigation Issues
  • State and Federal Law Issues for 2015
  • And much, much more...

Your Faculty:

Raanon Gal: Mr. Gal focuses his practice on defending employers in employment discrimination, FMLA, wage and hour, harassment and wrongful termination litigation. He has represented clients in a variety of industries and has provided representation under Employment Practice Liability Insurance arrangements. He also has experience in representing clients concerning cases involving non-compete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, employment/business torts and wage and hour litigation. His practice also encompasses all areas relating to the counseling, training and representation of management clients in federal and state courts, as well as before state and local agencies.

Glianny Fagundo: is a member of the Employment and Labor Relations practice group. Ms. Fagundo’s practice focuses on high-stakes employment cases, such as multi-party or class discrimination actions, collective FLSA/wage and hour suits, and civil rights, as well as litigation concerning unfair competition (restrictive covenants). She also routinely counsels employers on a multitude of workplace issues, including executive employment agreements, workplace policies, terminations, drug abuse, and wage and hour matters, and provides employee and management training on company policies and legal developments.

Joe English: is a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor Relations practice group. Mr. English regularly defends employers in employment litigation and arbitration at the administrative, trial and appellate levels, appearing in federal and state courts throughout the country. Mr. English’s litigation practice has included complex class action litigation, ERISA, wage and hour litigation, and the spectrum of employment discrimination and retaliation claims. In addition, he provides day-to-day counseling services to clients on general employment-related matters, including risk management and preventative practices.

Please Note: This program has been approved for 6.25 recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.

Eleventh Circuit Limits Employers; Defenses Against FLSA Claims

Midnight DeadlineThe Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees Georgia, issued a recent opinion in the Bailey v. TitleMax case that may make it harder for employers to defend against wage and hour claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One of the more frustrating parts of overtime claims for Georgia employers is the fact that the employer is often completely unaware that the employee was incorrectly paid and/or that the employee believed he or she was due additional overtime.

Continue reading Eleventh Circuit Limits Employers; Defenses Against FLSA Claims ›

Ban the Box Laws - Should Employers ask Applicants about Convictions on Employment Applications?

Tick Icon. Flat Design vector iconOver the past few years some states have passed laws known as “Ban the Box” laws.  Most of these laws prohibit employers from inquiring into convictions in job applications, unless employers are required by law to perform criminal background checks.  These laws typically allow for employers to ask about convictions in the interview process or after a conditional offer is made.  As of today, six states, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, have ban the box laws that extend coverage to private employers.   Several other cities across the country, including the District of Columbia, have also passed similar laws.   Additionally, several other states are discussing and proposing Ban the Box laws.  While Georgia has not yet passed a Ban the Box law that applies to private employers, last month the Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance that removes a requirement that job applicants disclose criminal histories to the City of Atlanta.  Violations of these state and municipal laws typically lead to fines and a potential cause of action for employers.

Employers should also be mindful that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers to do an individual assessment when they learn that an employee was convicted of a crime.  The EEOC suggests that employers analyze the nature of the crime; the time elapsed; and the nature of the job before refusing to hire job applicants over a conviction.

Bottom line, asking about criminal convictions in applications can be helpful to identify potential issues.  Employers should review their hiring and background procedures, including making sure they are compliant with both federal and state laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (which we previously blogged about last month), Ban the Box laws, and EEOC guidance.   Multi-state companies who wish to continue asking questions related to criminal convictions need to make sure they do not run afoul of Ban the Box state and/or municipal laws by having different versions of applications.

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