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Employee Rights Archives

Countering Myths About The New Overtime Rules

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced new rules that dramatically increase the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The rules increase the wage threshold from $455 per week (or $23,660 for a full-year worker) to $913 per week (or $47,476 for a full-year worker. The new overtime rules go into effect on December 1, 2016.

Serious health conditions and FMLA

Although some health issues can resolve rather quickly, others can result in long-term medical treatment and recovery times for patients. A California employer may have questions about discerning between serious health conditions and less serious situations as an employee requests FMLA leave. When conditions provided for in the law are met, an employee may take advantage of job-protected time away.

Determining whether an employee is covered by FMLA

Many California employees appreciate the availability of leave through FMLA as they address personal or family situations such as a serious illness. However, some face conflict with their employers based on disputes over eligibility. Both employers and employees need to be aware of the basic requirements for eligibility to ensure that such misunderstandings can be resolved effectively.

Human resource personnel could be liable in FMLA cases

A California worker dealing with difficulties related to using FMLA leave might wonder about a human resources department's role in a situation, especially if adverse action is taken. An employee could be asked to provide medical documentation to substantiate a request for leave, but there are certain limitations on the employer's part in terms of the timing of such a request. Because much of this activity tends to be handled by human resources personnel, the staff member making any critical decisions related to an employee's standing with a company could be held personally liable for violations of that party's FMLA rights.

FMLA policies and an employee nap lead to court case

Both California employers and workers may use recent court cases to learn more about FMLA rights and potential challenges. In one Ohio hospital, well-defined policies allowed the business to prevail in having a former employee's FMLA suit dismissed. The employee's failure to comply with a major element of her employer's policy led to her dismissal.

Company dismisses man for vacationing during medical leave

Employees in California should be aware that their actions while on a family or medical leave from work could prompt employers to terminate their jobs. A federal court recently declared that a company did not break the law when it fired a man who violated its social media policy during his leave for shoulder surgery.

Cautions for employers in responding to Zika concerns

The impact of the Zika virus has become a serious concern, and California employees who deal with international travel may be unsure of their rights as they face upcoming assignments or trips. Employers may also worry about the impact of the virus as they send workers to areas that are dealing with Zika outbreaks. While the main focus might be to protect the health of workers and the legal interests of a company, some employer actions could actually violate employee rights in some cases.

Potential violations of workplace laws

Some California employees might be hesitant to report concerns of potential workplace rights violations to authorities because of an uncertainty about the exact terms of their rights. However, such a lack of knowledge could be an advantage to an employer who is attempting to reduce costs through denial of overtime and other situations. It is important for employees to be familiar with these rights to ensure that unfair advantage is not taken.

Labor Department issues new guidelines for employers

Companies in California and around the country have increasingly been turning to temp agencies to fill positions without having to worry about providing worker benefits. Additionally, some organizations have been skirting laws that prevent workers from being harassed because the company in question doesn't actually have an individual on their payroll. The Labor Department also found that employees in these situations may not be receiving appropriate compensation.

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