The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer’s guaranteed daily rate pay plan for an employee earning more than $200,000 per year did not meet the “salary basis” requirement of the federal Fair Labor Standard Act’s (“FLSA”) executive exemption test, and therefore, the employee was entitled to overtime pay for all hours he worked over 40 in a given 7-day workweek.  This decision highlights the importance for employers of correctly classifying employees under the FLSA’s exemptions from overtime pay.  Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, __ U.S. __ (Feb. 22, 2023)(“Helix”).  Simply paying an employee a substantial amount of money each year may not satisfy the technical requirements of the FLSA. Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Employee Earning $200,000 Per Year On A Daily Rate Is Entitled To Overtime

On February 9, 2023, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) published an Opinion Letter addressing the use of leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) by an employee with a serious health condition to create a reduced scheduled workweek for an indefinite time period.  That same day, the DOL also clarified in a Field Assistance Bulletin the application of several specific Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provisions and FMLA eligibility requirements to remote-based employees.  Neither of these publications create new law, but each serves as a helpful reminder of some of the more precise requirements of each law.  Below is a summary of the main points of each publication. Continue Reading United States Department of Labor Issues guidance on the FMLA and FLSA

There is a bipartisan bill in the New Hampshire Senate that would establish privacy rights for consumers in the state and privacy requirements for businesses and other organizations. On the latest installment of New Hampshire Business, host Fred Kocher is joined by Cameron Shilling, Chair of the Cyber Security Practice Group at McLane Middleton, to break down this proposed bill and the impact it could have on your privacy.

Click here to watch

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to prohibit employers from entering into post-employment non-compete agreements with workers. The proposed rule, if adopted, would essentially ban non-compete agreements nationwide, with very limited exceptions.  The FTC will soon publish the NPRM in the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day public comment period.‎  Here are answers to some of the key questions employers may have about the proposed rule. Continue Reading FTC Proposes Rule that Would Ban Almost All Non-Compete Agreements Across the United States

The employee interview process is a critical component of building and shaping school culture.  Not only is it a chance to learn more about candidates to your school and to determine their fit for a particular role, but it is also an opportunity to introduce your school, including its mission and vision, to the candidate.  The goal of the process is to find the right match between a candidate and a school; hiring the right employee will help fill a critical position while also helping to ensure a long-term, collaborative relationship between that employee and the school.  Similarly, schools should endeavor to avoid legal claims that could result from inappropriate, or even illegal, questions asked during an interview.

To best establish a lawful, engaging, and effective hiring process, schools should consider incorporating a number of straightforward tips and should be cautious of asking interview questions that could create legal exposure to the school.  This article addresses both areas in turn below.

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To kick off the New Year, employers with 11 or more employees working in Maine will need to review their policy related to the handling of accrued yet unused paid vacation at the end of employment.

Maine passed an amendment to Labor Law §626 requiring unused vacation time accrued on and after January 1, 2023, to be paid to employee at the end of employment. Final wages, now including unused, accrued vacation, must be paid to terminated employees no later than the next established payday. Continue Reading New Maine Vacation Payout Law Effective on January 1, 2023

On October 20, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a new poster entitled “Know Your Rights.”  This new poster replaces the previous “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” poster.  All employers subject to federal EEO laws must display the “Know Your Rights” poster on their premises in a conspicuous place.  The EEOC encourages employers to post it online as well.  An exclusively digital posting of “Know Your Rights” is permissible, but only if the employer does not have a physical location or its employees work remotely and do not come into the office regularly. Continue Reading EEOC Releases New Mandatory Workplace Poster

Published in the New Hampshire Business Review (10/20/22)

In January 2021, during the final days of the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor issued a new rule regarding the classification of employees and independent contractors for purposes of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  This rule, viewed by many as being more “employer friendly” than previous DOL policies, applies an “economic reality” test that asks whether “the individual is, as a matter of economic reality, in business for him or herself.”  The test considers five factors, but emphasizes two in particular: the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work, and the opportunity for profit or loss.  The remaining factors are subsidiary, and are only to be considered if classification is not clear after applying the first two.

Almost immediately, the Biden Administration took steps to delay, and then rescind the Trump era rule.  Earlier this year, a federal court blocked these efforts, and, for now, the 2021 Independent Contractor Rule remains in effect.  All of this back and forth has called into question the standards for determining employee classification questions under the FLSA and has caused significant confusion for employers.

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On July 26, 2022, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, which prohibits discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles in the workplace, public schools, and places of public accommodation (such as hotels and restaurants). The Act amends Massachusetts’ existing anti-discrimination laws, adding “hair texture” and “hair type” to the list of already protected categories (e.g., race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation). Continue Reading Massachusetts Enacts CROWN Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Natural and Protective Hairstyles