On August 31, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant in the Eastern District of Texas issued a final ruling invalidating the Obama Department of Labor’s increase in the minimum salary for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  This is the same judge that issued the preliminary injunction on November 22, 2016 that prevented the rule

This time last year many employers were anxious about the new Department of Labor Rule that raised the minimum salary for exempt employees to $913 per week, more than double the existing minimum of $455.   The Rule was scheduled to become effective December 1, 2016.   Then, in a surprising stroke of fortune, on November

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, Vice-President Biden announced at a Middle Class Task Force event the creation of a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Bar Association.   According to the press release associated with the event, the purpose the collaboration is to “help workers resolve complaints received by DOL’s wage

Last week a mother quit her job soon after returning from maternity leave because she claims her employer denied her access to a lactation room for three days (See Des Moines Register story here).    Apparently, the employer had a lactation room on the premises as required by federal law. But, according to a complaint filed

Employee Availability After Hours Comes at a Price

The Wall Street Journal reports on a potential boom in lawsuits relating to unpaid overtime.  The culprit–company issued smart phones combined with lean workforces requiring fewer employees who handle more responsibility.   With new technology, employees are capable, and often expected, to handle work related communication anytime and anywhere, whether they are

As we enter the traditional "dog days" of summer, the world of labor and employment law remains active.  Here are are some highlights of important and interesting news this week:

1.   Furloughs

Although there is some indication the recession is easing, many employers remain concerned about the economy.    Pay reductions and temporary furloughs provide a means by which employers can manage payroll

Many businesses in Iowa and elsewhere continue to experience slack demand, lower revenue, and low to non-existent profits.   Economic indicators in Iowa continue to sink.   As a means of trimming payroll expenses while avoiding long term or permanent lay-offs of employees, many employers are looking to voluntary or even mandatory unpaid furloughs.  

Employers should be cautious