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August 2016 Archives

FLSA Joint Employer Liability Now Affecting Even More Businesses

The Department of Labor is expanding the applicability of joint employment to apply "expansively" even beyond traditional definitions and interpretations of who or what is a joint employer. The DOL states that this interpretation is an attempt to keep up with the increasing popularity of non-traditional employment relationships such as the use of staffing agencies and independent contractors and the declining use of "traditional" employment relationships. Employers must evaluate their potential status as joint employers to avoid potential liability. Under the FLSA, if an employee is jointly employed by two or more employers, all the employee's weekly hours worked for every joint employer must be considered when computing minimum wage and overtime pay. Further, each and every joint employer of an employee is jointly and severally liable for any violations of the FLSA (meaning one employer, usually the one with the "deepest pockets", may be forced to pay an entire judgment or award though other employers were also at fault for the violations).

Avoid Religious Discrimination in Your Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law which prohibits employers (with at least 15 employees) from discriminating in the workplace based on such issues as religion.

Seventh Circuit Appears Reluctant in Determining Title VII Does Not Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Most people are aware of the EEOC's recent and highly publicized position that discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation constitutes sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC's position has been applauded by LGBT advocates who have been unable to get Congress to amend Title VII to include sexual orientation as a protected class. Despite the EEOC's position, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the dismissal of a professor's sexual orientation claim under Title VII. And while the Court felt handcuffed by precedent concerning sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII, it did not hold back in addressing the inconsistencies of such precedent. The Court implicitly urged the Supreme Court and/or Congress to resolve these inconsistencies in a way that would protect individuals from sexual orientation discrimination in employment.

Pokémon Go - an Employer Dilemma?

Pokémon Go has taken the United States and the rest of the world by storm with an estimated 75 million downloads in the first three (3) weeks of its release. For the uninitiated (like the author), Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game, where users try to capture, train, and battle digitally animated creatures on their mobile devices. The author has more than enough trouble battling real life creatures than delving into animated adversaries!

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