Current Issues in Employment Law

There has been a recent trend within the workplace that does not involve complaints of discrimination or harassment. Staff are now pursuing claims for overtime underneath the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act; and in Ohio, pursuant to ORC Section 4111.03. R.C. 411one.03(A) provides that an employer should pay an employee for overtime at a wage rate of one and one-0.5 times the employee’s wage rate, for hours worked in far more than 40 hours in one work week, unless the worker is exempt under Section seven and Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”). If an FLSA exemption applies, then the worker is not entitled to overtime pay beneath R.C. 4111.03(A).

Exemptions are narrowly construed against the employer. The employer should demonstrate by clear and affirmative evidence that the employee is covered by the exemption. As a result of there is a presumption of non-exemption, the exemption is applied solely in “‘those circumstances plainly and unmistakably within the exemption’s terms and spirit.’” The manner in that an employee spends his time may be a fact question, however the issue of whether or not the employee’s duties fall at intervals an exemption may be a question of law. As an example of a typical exemption, an individual utilized as an outdoor salesperson who is compensated by commissions is an exempt employee. R.C. 411one.03(D)(three)(d). However, an employee cannot be thought of an outside salesperson unless, in performing his/her job duties, he/she is “usually and regularly engaged removed from the employer’s place or places of business.”

To successfully maintain an action for overtime below the FLSA, a plaintiff has the burden of building all of the subsequent: 1) that plaintiff was non-exempt under R.C. §411one.03(A); 2) that plaintiff has in fact performed work for which he/she was improperly compensated; and three) that the defendant employer had actual or constructive data that plaintiff was working overtime hours.

Unless this “three-pronged” demand is met, a plaintiff fails to satisfy his/her burden under the FLSA to maintain an overtime claim. An employee must gift sufficient evidence to ascertain that he/she in fact worked overtime hours and proof that the employer had actual or constructive knowledge of any overtime.

The recent trend of pursuing claims for overtime has gained momentum as a result of attorneys are keenly aware that as well as actual damages for failure to compensate an employee for overtime hours, cheap attorney fees will be awarded. From a monetary standpoint, this makes these cases attractive to those representing workers and usually leads to settlement to avoid giant attorney fee awards.

Common Qualities of the Best Law Firms

In my 12 years of observe, I have been employed with a big variety of law companies. When I set to open my very own observe, I started wondering the qualities that make up the best law corporations. In determining the best law firms do you embrace things like employee edges, firm culture and employee turnover rates? Or do you specialise in the qualities that affect a law firm’s most precious commodity – the consumer? My tackle this can be that the best law firms employ quality attorneys and employees with the highest of moral standards and the need to fight within their ethical bounds for their clients.

One key factor in having a successful law follow is a good leader. A good leader will have a vision for the firm’s direction, a commitment to serving its purchasers, and a need to find like-minded people that believe not solely within the clients, but the whole of the firm. I actually have found in my practice that effective leaders will quickly change with success and growth. They usually lose bit with the terribly folks that helped them grow into a successful powerhouse. It’s simple to go from a scenario of weekly partner/associate lunches to rarely, if ever, seeing a partner within the workplace. Effective leaders at the best law firm have a sensible understanding of the legal work returning out of the workplace, the general satisfaction of its shoppers, and an awareness of the workers’ overall job satisfaction. With success and growth, it is easy to lose bit with these important factors, however smart leaders can stay cognizant of those factors, even with exponential growth of the firm.

The simplest law companies additionally have compassion for his or her clients. When attorneys at these companies meet with shoppers, it’s never concerning sharing the attorney’s successes. Rather, it’s taking note of your shoppers considerations, determining their overall goal through representation by the firm, and showing empathy towards their scenario. Many attorneys look at their clients and see dollar signs. They have a look at the chance to bill or the entire fee they will earn on a contingency for an enormous settlement. These attorneys fail to recall one among the most basic ethical consideration of attorneys, acting in the simplest interest of the consumer. Because at the top of the day, all the billable hours in the globe will not create a follow successful If you do not satisfy and take sensible care of your purchasers. Corporations with this mindset usually have high turnover rates because they create billing THE priority. They burn their attorneys out and herald complete new attorneys and begin the method contemporary with them. This will easily cause dissatisfaction by clients. They may not know from one month to the next which attorney is representing them.

Another key quality of the best law firms could be a slim specialize in a explicit space of law. The days of general practitioners is (or ought to be) gone. Laws are complicated and will amendment in a moment depending on legislation or new case law handed down by appellate courts. The simplest law companies have concentrate on one area of law and become very good at it. They are attentive to recent changes also developing changes in their space of follow. With such a narrow focus, they can change strategy in a moment and become the authority to their shoppers by showing their information during a specific space of law. Beware of the lawyer who claims to apply in all areas of civil litigation. While it’s potential, take into account that opposing counsel may have a more narrow focus. They might have that golden nugget of information that can make the case a winner for them and a loser for your client.

There are a number of other factors to consider when making an attempt to see the best. That might be the discussion for a future article. However those mentioned here are, in this author’s opinion, the most vital factors to contemplate when trying to figure out what makes a firm one of the simplest.

When You Find Out Your Employee’s Medical Leave of Absence Was Really Spent at Disneyland

Dishonest workplace absences are nothing new. In reality, over thirty per cent of workers have known as in sick when they’re not actually sick, in keeping with a national CareerBuilder survey of a lot of than three,four hundred workers across varying industries and company sizes.

Outside of one-to-two day medical leaves, what can employer’s do when faced with a future medical leave of absence which may be fraudulent?

Back to Bob Smith, as an example. There’s no debating that Diane Jones will have a brand new Disney low mug sitting on her desk. But how should the employer handle things?

Before accusing Bob of ditching work for the theme park, first verify what is correct and current:

Is it potential Bob ordered the gifts on line?
Is it attainable the gifts had been sitting in Bob’s closet since his last vacation?
Were the gifts extremely even from Bob? Is there nefarious intent on the co-employees half in revealing this recent ‘gift’ information?

Unfortunately, most employers don’t have the time or the resources to enact detective-like investigations when determining the legitimacy of absences. The key in these medical leaves is to look at the surrounding circumstances to determine if the illness very will exist rather than simply taking the employees word for it.

POLICY

The easiest way to begin controlling absenteeism is by review of your current policy manual. What wording do you’ve got in place that addresses attendance? Do you’ve got something written in the slightest degree? Some firms require employee’s to call a call-off line when reporting an absence; others require a physician’s statement of come back-to-work if absent for three or a lot of days. Still different follow an intensive up front Q&A with the absent employee: [Can they see a doctor for their illness? What duties of the duty can they not perform? The specific reasons for the absence? When do they anticipate returning to work? Etc.]. Is there content obtainable at intervals your policy that clearly defines what’s thought of excessive absenteeism?

Employers who mark their line in the sand up front with new workers often have a less difficult time later in the employee’s tenure. Establishing, promoting and enforcing policy with all employee’s, however, might build a drastic impact on overall daily attendance.

However what of the extended medical leaves of absence? Those leaves that continue beyond one or 2 days? Are those employee’s automatically eligible for FMLA?

FMLA

FMLA needs lined employers to produce up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the subsequent reasons:

• Incapacity because of pregnancy, prenatal medical care or kid birth;

• To take care of the worker’s kid once birth, or placement for adoptions or foster care;

• To take care of the worker’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who encompasses a serious health condition; or

• For a serious health conditions that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.

The Family Medical Leave Act was enacted to shield employees who would possibly otherwise be terminated as an indirect (or direct) result of serious medical or pregnancy/child-connected problems.

However are these leaves enforceable? What rights do employers have to confirm extended medical leaves lined by FMLA are legitimate? Before you throw within the towel and start giving Bob your Disney wish list, think about the following:

1. You will raise for medical certification. This suggests that your employee should submit documentation from a certified medical professional. There are certification forms out there for each an Employee’s Serious Health Condition and a Family Member’s Serious health Condition [each forms will be found HERE ]. Make sure to include the employee’s job description when submitting these forms to the physician.

2. You will request extra clarification by your own physician.

3. You’ll establish an enforceable and affordable recertification – that means that the worker should perform Step 1 as many times as the recertification applies.

4. You will require a personal certification. This means the employee acknowledges the explanations she or he is taking a FMLA-connected medical leave. If it is determined that a person has taken leave that is inconsistent together with his or her personal certification this might be grounds for discipline.

As with all policy, enforcement ought to be honest and equal. Do not give one employee all of the paperwork and another employee solely some forms. Keep all FMLA documentation in a very separate FMLA folder in your medical drawer. If you do elect to keep FMLA certification forms in an employee’s medical folder build positive it’s clearly identifiable as certified FMLA paperwork.

While most extended medial leaves are legitimate and necessary, fraudulent misuse of those leaves and FMLA abuse are “in style” enough to warrant many forum discussions and employer confusion and frustration.

Avoid misguided tries at discipline until you’ve got all the facts, documentation, and an air-tight case of fraudulent abuse. Even then, proceed with caution.