Employment Law

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Gov. Beverly Perdue has issued Executive Order 125 establishing a task force to address concerns that North Carolina em­­ployers are allegedly misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid obligations under federal and state laws, including laws governing wage-and-hour issues.

Q. Some of our employees are required to drive our company vehicles from home to various work sites in our area. Are we required to pay them starting from the time they leave home?

Chalk up a win for employers that fear huge class-action lawsuits. A North Carolina judge has decertified a class action against CEVA Freight, a freight hauler. The suit had alleged the company was underpaying some 2,000 drivers across the nation.

Q. Some of our full-time employees have told us that they are looking for part-time jobs to make extra income. We’re worried about how this will affect their performance at our company. Can we prohibit them from working for other employers after-hours?

A new law amends the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Law to bring it into line with the FLSA, which requires health care employers to pay overtime only if employees work more than eight hours in a day or 80 hours in a 14-day period.
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed legislation offering greater protection to service dogs that assist disabled people. Under the new legislation, dog owners whose dogs attack service dogs may be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor ...
A federal court has held that two doctors can sue over outrageous behavior in the operating room. Two Jewish anesthesiologists working for Aria Health can sue over another doctor’s be­­havior, which they allege caused them severe emotional distress.
By now, you have probably heard about the NLRB decision in Karl Knauz Motors, Inc. d/b/a Knauz BMW. On appeal, the NLRB agreed with the ruling of an administrative law judge  that Knauz BMW did not violate the National Labor Relations Act when it fired a salesman for making a derogatory post on Face­­book. However, employers shouldn’t take much comfort in the outcome.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is generally a fairly straightforward law—for most of the year. But winter weather—and the delays and closures that sometimes accompany it—can make wage-and-hour compliance more difficult.

Q. The animal care officers who work for us spend 80% of their time driving and responding to rescue calls via cellphone. Requiring them to pull off the road while talking on their phones wouldn’t work. Is there another way to limit our liability?

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