Employment Law

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There are now fewer union members than at any point in the past 70 years. And if employers, unencumbered by collective bargaining agreements, don’t spend much time worrying about unionization, it’s a safe bet that they give hardly any thought to how labor law intersects with the ways in which employees electronically communicate with one another. But there’s a powerful connection between the two.
In a significant decision for transportation companies operating in California, a federal district court judge recently dismissed several class-action claims brought by truck drivers who alleged meal and rest break violations under California law.
It’s only natural for managers to monitor the performance of an employee following a leave of absence to ensure that the employee falls smoothly back into the swing of things. There is a fine line, however, between monitoring performance and intensely scrutinizing it.
Under the FLSA, it’s not the job title or even some understanding between the employer and worker that matters, but business reality. If an employer controls how the job is done, chances are the worker is an employee covered by the FLSA and not an independent contractor.
Sharpen your pencils and put on your thinking caps. Here’s a list of “adverse employment actions.” Or maybe not. See if your definition of “adverse” jibes with that of our court system.
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.
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