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Labor & Employment Blog

The Labor & Employment Blog provides employers with breaking news, insights, and legal analysis on the wide range of labor and employment issues facing employers.  While the Blog provides a general summary of regulation updates, it is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice.  The labor & employment attorneys at Chamberlain Hrdlicka stand ready to counsel employers on the issues they face.

Annette Idalski, National Chair, Labor & Employment
404-658-5386

Larry Carbo, Shareholder
713-356-1712

Diana Perez Gomez, Shareholder
713-654-9656

Kellen Scott, Shareholder
713-356-1767

Leslie Tan, Senior Counsel
713-356-1671

Julie Offerman, Senior Associate
713-654-9678

Ray Abilmouna, Associate
713-658-2553

Brian Smith, Associate
713-658-2547

Kyle Winnick, Associate
404-658-5420

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On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of an employee's sexual orientation or gender identity. Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of the individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In interpreting the statute, the Supreme Court of the United States determined the definition of "sex" includes sexual orientation ...

Over the past few months, government agencies have issued regulations and guidance documents in an effort to provide clarity to employers on compliance with federal law and regulations in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace.

The following is a summary of those regulations and guidance documents.  

Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued regulations related to leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Under FFCRA, employers with less than 500 employees are required to provide leave to employees under two ...

On Monday, May 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new regulations expanding the types of employers that can qualify as "retail or service establishments" under a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption.

Section 7(i) Exemption

Section 7(i) of the FLSA allows certain employees of "retail or service establishments" who are paid mostly on commission to be classified as overtime exempt.

To fall within this exemption, three conditions must be met:

(1) the employee's regular rate of pay must exceed 1.5 times minimum wage in the workweeks the employee works ...

Due to the economic downturn associated with the spread of the coronavirus, many employers have been forced to significantly cut their workers' hours.  As a result, there has been a significant spike in partial unemployment insurance ("UI") applications.  This client alert provides a broad overview of partial UI benefits in Georgia and Texas.

GEORGIA

            The Georgia Department of Labor ("GDOL") has recently mandated that Georgia employers must file partial unemployment insurance claims on behalf of their eligible employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or ...

In light of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Memorandum advises on the differences between layoffs and furloughs and the legal and practical ramifications for employers and certain employee protections in connection with the reduction of employee headcount. In addition, this Memorandum addresses other considerations in connection with a possible reduction in force.

FURLOUGHS

The term 'furlough' is generally defined as a temporary leave of absence from employment duties without pay typically caused by exigent circumstances, such as a lack of funds or ...

Due to the threat posed by COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor ("GDOL") has recently mandated that Georgia employers must file partial unemployment insurance claims on behalf of their eligible employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or when there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance ("UI") benefits paid to the employee. This Alert provides an overview of workers' eligibility for partial UI benefits.

           As an initial ...

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) was signed into law on March 18, 2020. The Act takes effect on April 2, 2020, and ends on December 31, 2020. The Secretary of Labor is expected to provide additional guidance with respect to implementation of the paid leave provisions within the next few days.

Covered Employers: The paid leave provisions discussed below only apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees. In addition, the Secretary of Labor has authority to (i) exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees when compliance with the leave requirements ...

In a worker classification case with significant implications for the oil and gas industry, a jury seated in the U.S District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division took a little over an hour to find that a group of rig clerks working on offshore oil rigs were independent contractors rather than employees of New Tech Global, an oilfield services company that processed invoices for the plaintiff rig clerks.

Plaintiffs brought the action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), initially as a class action, which was later decertified by the court and limited to ...

Employers with employees who work in San Antonio or Dallas should be prepared for the earned paid sick leave ordinances that are set to take effect for most employers on August 1, 2019. Barring a court enjoining the ordinances from taking effect, employers soon must begin allowing employees who perform at least eighty hours of work for pay in the cities in a year to accrue paid sick leave. 

Last year, the City of Austin led the way in Texas by requiring private employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Shortly thereafter, Texas legislators promised to pass a bill that would outlaw ...

In many respects, social media has become the new water cooler; employees utilize it to engage with co-workers, complain about their bosses and discuss their discontents. Many times, conference calls involve employees contemporaneously texting or group-chatting with each other, keeping up a running commentary of those things they would only say to each other and never to the boss.

With work bleeding into life more than ever (and vice versa), one issue commonly facing employers today is how to regulate off-duty social media comments made by employees that negatively ...