Employment Law

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Twice every year, federal agencies offer an unheralded but revealing peek at their upcoming priorities. The Department of Labor’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda, released in late May, provides enforcement clues employers should heed.
Courts seem to be losing patience with so-called pro se lawsuits in which workers act as their own lawyers to sue and provide no specifics about alleged employer wrongdoing.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has announced plans to investigate the Scotland County Sheriff’s office, but it’s been mum about the investigation’s focus. At least one news report has linked the probe to the office’s practice of requiring deputies to moonlight for a local warfare training company.
An all-time high 8,126 Fair Labor Standards Act cases were filed between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014—a 5% increase over last year, and a 426% increase over 20 years.
A former meat packer at the Smith­­field Foods plant in Clinton has a bone to pick with the company. She claims her complaints about food safety went un­­heeded and uninvestigated during her 18 months on the job.
Q. One of our employees was involved in an incident and questioned regarding suspected ­wrongdoing. He is now bringing a suit against the company, alleging that the act of being brought into a room and questioned at length constitutes false imprisonment and that the aggressive questioning constituted assault. Does he have a case?
Q. We have some employees that have been misclassified as exempt. We are working to rectify the situation, but could we still be penalized for the time the employee was misclassified?
No longer are lawyers filing lawsuits containing one simple claim. Instead, you’re more likely these days to face a complaint with several claims, including charges that target executives and supervisors separately and personally.
Employers can expect more whistle-blower cases to be heard as unfair labor practices charges now that the National Labor Relations Board and OSHA have agreed to cooperate when employees file late safety-related complaints.
Following reports of numerous Minnesota nurses continuing to practice despite failing to abide by the state’s substance abuse diversion requirements, State Rep. Tina Liebling has introduced legislation to require regulators to suspend noncompliant nurses.
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