Social Security Wage Base for 2019

By on October 18, 2018

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the social security wage limitation for 2019 will be $132,900, up from $128,400 in 2018. Employees and employers each pay the social security portion of FICA (6.2%) on compensation up to the year’s wage limitation. In addition, the employee and employer will each pay 1.45% of their […]

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Individualized Hiring Assessments and the EEOC

By on October 18, 2018

In a well-publicized enforcement agreement, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reaffirmed its belief in the importance of following its enforcement guidance on the use of applicant criminal background checks.  The EEOC announced a substantial settlement agreement with a large retailer resolving allegations of race discrimination.  According to the allegations, applicants had job applications […]

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A New Issue With Cannabis and Drug Testing

By on October 3, 2018

A federal court in Connecticut held that the refusal to hire a medical marijuana user because she tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violated state law.  Before you wonder why should you care about Connecticut state law, read on. The plaintiff had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  She took one capsule of a […]

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A Second Reason for Performance Evaluations

By on September 19, 2018

Performance evaluations provide feedback to employees and identify opportunities for improvement. However, the importance of those reviews does not end at a termination. If the employment relationship has soured, performance reviews may serve an additional, important purpose. After a termination, it is not uncommon for an employee to claim that the termination was unlawful. This […]

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DOL Issues Sextet of Opinion Letters

By on August 29, 2018

On August 28, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued six opinion letters on a variety of topics under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While three of those letters deal with more esoteric topics, here are summaries of the three […]

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Troubles with Smartphones

By on August 15, 2018

With the frequent presence of smartphones in the workplace, a new problem for employers is on the rise:  employees recording conversations with managers.  This can be powerful evidence in a subsequent charge or lawsuit. Most states on the East Coast and in the South are “one-party” states, meaning only one party needs to know of […]

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Termination Upon Return From Protected Leave

On July 31, 2018

A federal appeals court recently found that an employer’s decision to terminate an employee the day she returned from maternity leave was not discriminatory.  During her leave, the employer discovered both substantive deficiencies in the employee’s performance and falsifications in her employment application to the company.  The appeals court concluded that the timing of the […]

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FMLA Model Forms

By on July 25, 2018

As many of you know, the U.S. Department of Labor maintains model forms to help employers meet notice requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  These forms are a simple way to help companies maintain compliance with the FMLA.  I have had two clients this week ask me about the pending expiration of the […]

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Amended Statutes Enacted July 1 Extend Employment Rights to Virginia Employees in the National Guards of Other States

By on July 17, 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, Virginia Code §§ 44-93.2-93.4 now also protect those private employees employed in Virginia and serving in the National Guard of another state. Prior to the amendment of those provisions, only members of the Virginia National Guard (VNG), Virginia Air Defense Force (VADF), and those Virginia residents serving in the National Guard […]

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Protected Workplace Speech

By on June 26, 2018

You may have noted that the NFL issued a new rule requiring all players on the field to stand for the national anthem.  Does that violate those employees’ free speech rights under the First Amendment?  Generally no, because the NFL is a private employer.  Private employers may limit certain workplace speech and activities. However, that […]

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