Archives: Labor & Employment

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Are pain and suffering and punitive damages recoverable under the ADEA and FLSA? The 5th Circuit issues inconsistent decisions

The Fifth Circuit has long held that pain and suffering damages and punitive damages are not recoverable under the ADEA. The Fifth Circuit has also expressed its intent to interpret remedies under the ADEA and FLSA consistently with each other since the ADEA incorporates the FLSA’s remedies provision. Thus, you would think that pain and … Continue Reading

EEOC’s targeting of wellness programs and what that means for your company

Husch Blackwell was recently named a finalist for the St. Louis Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers 2016 competition. The Business Journal’s profile of Husch Blackwell highlights the firm’s effective use of wellness challenges in the workplace and praises Chris Smith, a partner in our St. Louis office, for his dedicated participation in the wellness initiatives. Given … Continue Reading

Challenge to the doubling of the white collar salary exemption under FLSA

As most are aware, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its much anticipated final rule, drastically increasing the salary requirements to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee. The DOL estimates that the final rule will extend overtime protections to 4.2 million workers in the first year of … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit decision finds new exception to at-will employment: employee gun rights

Recently, Husch Blackwell partners Stephen Cockerham and Kevin Koronka presented a webinar to Texas employers concerning the impact legislation concerning gun rights may have on employers. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Texas federal district courts, recently released a decision concerning employee gun rights of which employers, particularly … Continue Reading

Compensating non-exempt employees using the fluctuating workweek method

Employers often misconstrue the terms “non-exempt employee” and “hourly employee,” leading them to believe the terms are interchangeable. But, not all non-exempt employees are necessarily hourly employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to pay their non-exempt employees on a salary basis as long as they meet minimum wage and overtime mandates. Paying … Continue Reading

Austin becomes first Texas city to “Ban the Box”

A new ordinance went into effect April 4, 2016, which prohibits many employers in Austin from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until they’re well into the hiring process. The Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, colloquially known as the “Ban the Box” measure, will forbid most employers from considering an applicant’s criminal record until after making … Continue Reading

DOL Announces FLSA changes will be effective no later than September 2016

Patricia Smith, U.S. Department of Labor solicitor, recently announced the final rules regarding the changes to the FLSA White Collar Exemption Regulations will be published in July 2016. She also indicated the regulations will be effective 60 days after their publication. This means the changes will become effective no later than September 2016.… Continue Reading

It takes 2 to avoid violation of the FCRA

Every business has new applicants applying for open jobs daily. When you consider obtaining that consumer credit report and complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA),  DO NOT think about conserving paper by including multiple key points all in ONE DOCUMENT – that eco-thinking decision will put you in violation of the FCRA.… Continue Reading

New proposed wage and hour regulations finally released

After missing several self-imposed deadlines to release new FLSA wage and hour regulations called for by President Obama, the DOL released proposed rules on Monday that will dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime payments. As expected, the proposed changes focus primarily on the salary threshold for the “white-collar” exemptions to the overtime … Continue Reading

Husch Blackwell No. 7 among Modern Healthcare’s largest healthcare law firms; No. 5 on AHLA’s list

National healthcare publication Modern Healthcare yesterday announced Husch Blackwell LLP is the seventh-largest healthcare law firm in the U.S. according to its 2015 rankings, up from No. 12 last year. Utilizing differing measurement techniques, American Health Lawyers Association also ranked healthcare practices, placing Husch Blackwell as fifth-largest in the country in its 2015 list, released … Continue Reading

Still no word from DOL on changes to FLSA regulations

The DOL’s self-imposed February deadline for announcing new FLSA regulations redefining “white collar” exemptions has come and gone with without any action from the DOL. No new deadline has been announced; however, the DOL’s website suggests that it still hopes to release the new regulations soon. Stayed tuned, and we will report back when the … Continue Reading

DOL issues final rule expanding FMLA leave rights to legal same-sex marriages

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule on Feb. 24, 2015, relating to the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act  (“FMLA”) Regulations. Beginning March 27, 2015, when the final rule becomes effective, the definition of “spouse” for purpose of FMLA leave will include eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages. … Continue Reading

Spouses of certain H-1B workers may obtain employment authorization

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will be extending U.S. employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses of foreign nationals in H-1B status. Family members of H-1B workers are permitted to enter the United States in H-4 status as dependents of the H-1B worker, but they are not authorized to work. This change permits spouses in H-4 … Continue Reading

Changes coming to FLSA regulations – Time to get ready

In March 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to prepare and propose new FLSA regulations. These new rules were to be announced late last year, but have been repeatedly delayed. Now it appears the new rules will be announced later this month. While the scope of the changes is unknown, it is anticipated … Continue Reading

Healthcare employers: Plan now for filing H-1B petitions for foreign national candidates, OPT employees

It’s time to begin preparing H-1B petitions for an early April filing and Oct. 1, 2015, effective date. Advance planning is crucial. Due to the improving economy and the backlog of demand from April 2014, the H-1B cap will likely be exceeded again this year. Employers that fail to file H-1B petitions on April 1 … Continue Reading

Proposed federal companionship regulations covering home care industry stayed by federal judge at 'eleventh hour'

Last week, Judge Richard J. Leon of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the “third-party” regulation on the federal companionship exemption, which would have prevented third-party employers from utilizing the companionship exemption from minimum wage and overtime, as well as the “live-in” exemption from overtime. On Dec. 31, 2014, the judge … Continue Reading

Husch Blackwell attorneys address Ebola challenges

A Dec. 1 Strafford webinar on the legal and regulatory challenges of Ebola will feature five Husch Blackwell attorneys. The 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A will provide guidance to healthcare counsel and their clients in addressing HIPAA and EMTALA concerns when treating Ebola patients. The panel will discuss state and federal mandatory reporting requirements, … Continue Reading

Upcoming webinar to offer legal, regulatory considerations for healthcare professionals preparing for Ebola

Now that patients with Ebola have landed on U.S. soil, hospitals and other healthcare providers must prepare for the possibility that a patient with Ebola will walk through the doors. In this Oct. 30 webinar, Husch Blackwell presenters will look at some of the pressing legal issues related to treating patients with communicable diseases such … Continue Reading

A five-part action plan for responding to a federal search warrant

The line between “white collar crime” and “street crime” is often blurred as prosecutors and investigators deploy all of the tools at their disposal against white collar and regulatory offenses. Principal among these tools is the search warrant. While the execution of a lawfully obtained search warrant cannot be stopped, a company’s reaction to the … Continue Reading

Game-Changing New Rules for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors on Disability Inquiries

New rules by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will require federal contractors and subcontractors to ask applicants and current employees whether they are individuals with disabilities.  These new rules are described in a recent alert by Husch Blackwell attorney Molly Kurt.  While such an inquiry is otherwise prohibited by the Americans with … Continue Reading

Is Your Hospital Required to Comply with OFCCP’s equal employment and affirmative action regulations?

Husch Blackwell attorney Molly Kurt recently addressed this question in a review of cases in which OFCCP has attempted to assert jurisdiction over hospitals as covered federal subcontractors.  Most recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued UPMC Braddock et al. v. Harris, in which the district court affirmed the decision of … Continue Reading

Employers Must Complete Revised Form I-9 Starting in May

This post was prepared by Toni Blackwood and Tim Hilton, labor and employment attorneys at Husch Blackwell.  Following 12 months of public comment, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised Form I-9 on Friday, March 8, 2013. The form has a new look, contains more specific instructions and solicits additional information. Although the … Continue Reading

Healthcare Organizations are Still Targets for Union Organization

While union organizing is decreasing in so many other parts of the economy, the healthcare industry remains a target.  The Service Employees International Union in particular continues in its efforts to organize healthcare facilities throughout the United States.  A recent settlement agreement through the NLRB between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Service … Continue Reading
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