On March 15, 2011 Governor Gary Herbert signed the Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments Act. The ceremony took place at the state capitol in Salt Lake City.
Under the new Utah immigration law, undocumented workers would pay $2.500 for a guest worker permit that allows them to be employed in Utah. Undocumented workers could also apply for a family permit, which would allow all members of the immediate family to work in Utah.
The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2013.Implementation is complex, because currently the guest worker and his employer would still be in violation of federal immigration laws, including the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act or IRCA of 1986. That law imposes penalties on any employer (more…)
In the most recent case, the Supreme Court ruled that an employee who verbally complains to the employer about wages, overtime, salary, exempt status or other concerns is protected from retaliation, just as an employee who files a written complaint is.
Many employers expected such a ruling and have long refrained from retaliation against employees who lodge verbal complaints regarding wage and hour issues.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that a negative action against an employee’s spouse or relative was also illegal retaliation, under FLSA.
In Kasten v.Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, employee Kevin Kasten complained repeatedly that he and other hourly employees were entitled to payment for the time spent putting on and taking off special protective gear required in the industry. In particular, Kasten complained that the location of the time clocks – between the work floor and the locker room used for changing – made it impossible for employees to be paid for this time, as the FLSA requires.
Saint-Gobain argued that Kasten’s many gripes and confrontations with supervisors about this payment practice did not constitute an actual complaint, because it was not in writing. They argued that Kevin Kasten was fired for not clocking in and out properly, not as illegal retaliation for his many complaints. They argued that if (more…)
Updated federal labor law posters for 2011 such as the federal minimum wage poster, the “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster and the worker safety poster affect employers in other states as well.
Employers across the nation can be fined for not prominently displaying required labor law posters in the workplace, where all employees can see them. Employees who fail to do so can be subject to fines and penalties.
One of the best ways for busy employers and HR professionals to remain in compliance with employment poster requirements is to subscribe to a reputable labor law poster service. The poster service will deliver durable, high-quality laminated posters each time a federal or state poster is updated.
Other poster updates are specific to the state of California, including updated versions of the California minimum wage poster, the employee polygraph poster and “Your Rights under USERRA (Veterans Benefits).”
In addition, some California employers are required to display additional posters in 2011. Employers who (more…)
The Florida minimum wage remains at $7.25 in 2011, the same rate as the federal minimum wage. Because the state minimum wage is lower than the federal rate, by law employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. That rate is not expected to increase during 2011, according to an announcement by the state Agency for Workforce Innovation.
Tipped employees must still be paid $4.23 per hour in Florida during 2011. However, the employees must average at least $7.25 per hour for all hours worked in the payroll week, when tips and wages are added together. If the employee does not average $7.25 per hour in wages plus tips, the Florida employer must pay the difference in wages.
Every Florida employer covered by the state minimum wage law must display both a state and federal minimum wage poster in a “conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where these employees work.”
A recent ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court opens the door for more litigation by employees in the Volunteer State. This ruling means it will be much easier for an employee to sue an employer for discrimination in state court than in federal court.
On September 20, 2010, Tennessee’s highest court suddenly ruled that a different standard will apply to summary judgments from now on. Summary judgments are often used by employers to nip discrimination suits in the bud. When the employer wins an early summary judgment, the employee’s lawsuit cannot go forward. This is often the first line of defense that an employer has against an employee’s claim of illegal discrimination.
In Gossett v. Tractor Supply Co., the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that an employee had the right to sue the employer for illegal discrimination simply because she was reassigned after filing a complaint of sexual harassment against her supervisor. This was true, no matter how reasonable and justified the employer’s reason for the reassignment was.
This groundbreaking decision authored by Justice Janice Holder overturned the previous ruling in Allen v. McPhee, where a female employee was reassigned after complaining of harassment “to protect her from any further sexual harassment.”
Until now, Tennessee has used the McDonnell Douglas framework for determining summary judgments, the same legal test used by federal courts. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that when an employer (more…)