Labor & Employment Blog



As employers grapple with how to handle the proposed or actual employee status and/or compensation changes thought needed under the federal Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations that were then enjoined on November 22 by a federal court in Texas, they must keep in mind that the new regulations are not dead yet. 


The changes to the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees that were to take effect on December 1, 2016 have been halted by a federal judge in Texas.  The judge found that the new overtime rules improperly created a salary test to determine which employees were exempt, instead of a duties test. 


The new federal overtime rules, set to take effect on December 1, 2016, have been enjoined nationwide by a federal judge in Texas. Therefore, the higher $47,000 minimum salary for exempt employees will not apply, and current law remains in effect. More information from SHRM can be found here.

Check back Monday for information on less onerous New York State specific minimum salary regulations. 


Many employers are rejoicing that Donald Trump is President-Elect.  Many are convinced that the employer-unfriendly decisions of the past eight years at the National Labor Relations Board will be reversed, including its narrow focus on social media.  In addition, it is likely the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be replaced and that we may see its attention shift, including paring back the new EEO-1 reporting obligations, if not eliminating them altogether. 


Employers adapting to the new regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), effective December 1, 2016, are increasingly turning to the Salaried, Nonexempt designation in order to save costs by paying half-time instead of time-and-a-half overtime.


We last posted about employees’ right to time off to vote.  It is also important to know what the laws are regarding employees’ political expression as this election becomes ever more contentious as it draws to a close.


With Election Day fast approaching, don’t forget that New York State Law requires employers to provide sufficient time for registered voters to vote. Employees who do not have four consecutive non-working hours between polls opening and closing, and who do not have "sufficient" non-working time to vote, are entitled to up to two hours paid leave to vote. According to New York State Election Law, employees must request the leave between 2 and 10 days before Election Day, and employers can specify whether it be taken at the beginning or end of shift.


Much is often written about employers' duty of reasonable accommodation under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and with good reason as ADA litigation continues to be a significant risk for employers.  Lesser known are the accommodation obligations of employers when faced with religion, transgender and caregiver issues.


All employers should now be aware of the big changes to the DOL’s salary threshold required for an employee to be exempt from overtime take effect in December 2016.  A group of states and business groups has now filed lawsuits challenging the new regulations.  The lawsuits challenge both the general increase itself, claiming the increase was raised too drastically, as well as the new provision for an automatic increase in the salary threshold every three (3) years.


We were recently interviewed by The Daily Record (Rochester, NY) regarding current lawsuits filed against employers in relation to their handling of their retirement plans. The suits revolve primarily around the fees charged by, and the performance of, plan administrators chosen by employers for the retirement plans.  While these theories are not new, the number of cases has increased due to the United States Supreme Court’s Decision in Tibble v.