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Employment Law Daily News for Apr 26, 2015

Legislation Introduced In California To Exempt “Highly Compensated” Employees From Overtime
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:07:58 - Pacific Time

Pursuant to federal law, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) most employees working in the United States must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. However, there are exemptions from overtime for certain employees, including those working as bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and for certain computer employees. However, to qualify for exempt status, employees must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis of not less than $455 per week. The FLSA also provides that “highly-compensated" workers are exempt from overtime. The FLSA defines highly-compensated workers as those who are paid a total annual compensation of $100,000 or more, which includes at least $455 per week paid on a salary basis. In addition, the employee’s primary duties must involve performing office or nonmanual work, and the employee must customarily and regularly perform at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an exempt, administrative or professional employee. In California, legislation has been introduced, AB 1470, to create a similar exemption for highly-compensated employees in California.

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Kevin Kish Sworn In As New Director of FEHA
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:53:39 - Pacific Time

Kevin Kish, a noted civil rights attorney, has been sworn in as director of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the largest state civil rights agency in the nation. Kish was previously with Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s premier public interest law firms. As director of the firm’s Employment Rights Project, Kish led the firm’s employment litigation, policy, and outreach initiatives. His cases focused on combatting violations of minimum labor standards in low-wage industries and human trafficking for forced labor. He led trial and appellate teams in employment and trafficking suits, including prevailing in the first civil case to reach a jury verdict under the California Trafficking Victims Protection Act. A graduate of Yale Law School, Kish developed and teaches an employment-law clinic at Loyola Law School and frequently speaks on issues related to poverty, employment, human trafficking and human rights. Read more here.

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Employer To Pay $14.5 Million For Alleged Race/National Origin Discrimination
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:28:20 - Pacific Time

Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC, a Snyder, Texas-based multistate oil drilling company, has agreed to pay $14.5 million and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) based on alleged race/national origin discrimination. The EEOC charged that the company committed race/national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation at its facilities throughout the country. Specifically, the EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that the company engaged in discrimination based on race and national origin on its drilling rigs, including assigning minorities to the lowest level jobs, failing to train and promote minorities, and disciplining and demoting minority employees disproportionately. The EEOC also alleged that the company tolerated a hostile work environment on the rigs, in which employees endured racial and ethnic slurs, jokes, and comments, in addition to verbal and physical harassment of minority employees. In addition, according to the EEOC, the company retaliated against employees who complained about discriminatory practices. Read more here.

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FS&K's 5th Annual Employment Law Conference
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:31:00 - Pacific Time

On Friday, June 19, 2015, Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP will hold its 5th Annual Employment Law Conference. The conference will take place at the Disneyland Hotel, located in Anaheim, CA. We invite you to join us for this full day conference that will offer education on both Employment Law and Workers' Compensation. Topics will include:

The Latest Information on California's New Paid Sick Law-Ensure Compliance Before July 1, 2015;

Mastering California Leave Laws Related to Disabled Employees;

Preventing Work Comp Fraud in the Workplace;

Understanding and Complying With the Amended California Family Rights Act Regulations-in Effect as of July 1, 2015;

Understanding, Preventing and Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims

Effectively Managing and Defending Work Comp Claims-Advanced Techniques From the Experts;

Performance, Discipline and Termination-Employer Best Practices

Work Comp Resignations and C&R's-What are the Legal Implications? and much more.

MCLE, CEU and HRCI Credits are approved for this conference.

For more information and to register, please visit FSK HR Training.

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9th Circuit Rules on “No-Rehire” Clause In Settlement Agreement
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:57:22 - Pacific Time

Employers entering into settlement agreements with former employees often include a “no-rehire” clause in the agreement wherein the employee agrees not to seek reemployment with the former employer. In a recent case, Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, et al., the Ninth Circuit questioned whether a “no-rehire” clause is an unlawful restraint of trade. California is protective of employees’ rights to compete. Specifically, Business & Professions Code section 1600, states that: “Except as provided is this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind is to that extent void.” In Golden, a physician refused to sign a settlement agreement containing a no-rehire clause on the basis that his former employer was a major medical group and planning to acquire other practices, which would inhibit his ability to obtain employment. The 9th Circuit concluded that the settlement agreement restrained the physician’s ability to engage in his profession and remanded the case to determine if the restraint was “substantial.” Read more here.

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Don't Miss The Big Work Comp Fraud Fighting Conference at PALA
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:14:53 - Pacific Time

Can you afford to gamble with your workers’ comp claims? Don’t miss this exciting event, packed with information and education. EXHIBITOR FAIR Included. Get the latest and greatest Tools, Solutions & Resources you need to increase your odds. Come, Learn, Stay and Play…Register TODAY using the form below, or print out the PDF and mail with a check.

Up to 9 Hours for CE Certificate for Adjusters

MCLE Credits 9 Hours

More Information is available here.

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Obama Administration Seeks Public Comment On Proposed Rules To Implement The WIOA
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:10:09 - Pacific Time

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, is the first major reform to federal job training programs in more than 15 years. The purpose of WIOA is to “improve the coordination of employment and training services across federal agencies, strengthen collaboration with state and local partners, and provide Americans with increased access to training, education and other support to succeed in the job market and in their careers.” The Departments of Labor and Education announced five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking to implement WIOA and seek public comment. The proposed regulations are designed to: update and improve federal workforce programs that serve workers, job seekers, and employers; strengthen accountability and transparency; increase access to work-based learning tools, such as apprenticeships; improve relationships with employers, including through sector partnerships, and foster more cohesive planning within economic regions. Read more here.

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Race and National Origin Discrimination Persist 50 Years After EEOC’s Founding, Experts Say
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:49:48 - Pacific Time

Despite significant progress in the 50 years since the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began operations in 1965, according to a panel of experts, discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities continues in 21st century America. At the meeting of experts, held in Miami, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, commented that, "Over the past 50 years, the Commission has made great strides in promoting equal employment opportunity for America's workers…Never before in our nation's history has the American workplace been more diverse and inclusive than it is today. Yet, across the country, we continue to see persistent barriers to opportunity based on race, color and national origin. At the EEOC, we are working every day to remove these barriers to achieve broad and sustained compliance with our anti-discrimination laws." Read more here.

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EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on ADA And Employer Wellness Programs
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:31:59 - Pacific Time

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describing how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. The NPRM is available in the Public Inspection portion of the Federal Register, and will be officially published on Monday, April 20, 2015. Members of the public have 60 days from that date (or until Friday, June 19) to submit comments. The EEOC's proposed rule would provide guidance to both employers and employees about how wellness programs offered as part of an employer's group health plan can comply with the ADA. In addition, the EEOC is also publishing a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses and a Question and Answer document for the general public. The EEOC's proposed rule makes clear that wellness programs are permitted under the ADA, but that they may not be used to discriminate based on disability. The rule explains that under the ADA, companies may offer incentives of up to 30 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage in connection with wellness programs. These programs can include medical examinations or questions about employees' health (such as questions on a health risk assessment).  Read more here.

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San Francisco’s Minimum Wage to Increase May 1, 2015
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:02:36 - Pacific Time

On November 4, 2014, San Francisco voters passed Proposition J raising the city’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2018. Effective May 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $12.25. On July 1, 2016, it will increase to $13.00; On July 1, 2017, it will increase to $14.00, and on July 1, 2018, it will reach $15.00. More information is available here, including a minimum wage poster for San Francisco employers.

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Past Employment Law News Articles

• Employer Will Pay $150,000 to Resolve Transgender / Sex Discrimination Lawsuit: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:47:09 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• CalChamber Releases Preliminary List of “Job Killer” Bills: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:24:42 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• Seattle Raises Its Minimum Wage: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:16:34 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• Court Denies Motion to Dismiss EEOC Race Discrimination Claim: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:37:42 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• HR Practice Pointer: When Should Interns Be Paid?: Thu, 09 Apr 2015 19:41:45 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• New OSHA Heat Regulations in Effect as of May 1, 2015: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:03:21 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• UBER Sued For Allegedly Failing to Protect Employee Data: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:51:24 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• OSHA Updates Guidance For Protecting Healthcare 
And Social Service Workers From Workplace Violence: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 01:32:01 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• Jury Awards More Than $1.3M in Back Wages And Damages: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 01:18:00 - Pacific Time: Read More...

• FS&K's 5th Annual Employment Law Conference: Mon, 06 Apr 2015 21:20:16 - Pacific Time: Read More...