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The Modern Workplace

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*In honor of the Fair Labor Standard Acts 78th birthday and the highly anticipated changes to the DOL overtime regulations, the Modern Workplace is running a special multipart series entitled FLSA Fundamentals which will cover the basics of this important law and end with a discussion of the final changes to the regulation upon their release.*
As most employers are well aware, employees who are classified as non-exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be paid overtime at a rate of one and one-half their regular hourly rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 ...
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*This is the first in a recurring series of You Cant Make This Stuff Up posts.  One fun part of working in the employment law or HR world is getting to track new and interesting employment law developments and navigate situations that sometimes are stranger than fiction. In our You Cant Make This Stuff Up posts, well bring to your attention some of the strange and sometimes unbelievable situations that employers and employees face.*
In recent stranger than fiction news, a Mankato employer was raided Thursday by Minnesota drug agents because it allegedly gave its employees an unusual ...
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Last week, we wrote about employer best practices with respect to responding to possible employee medical issues. A recent case out of the Eighth Circuit showcases one employers creative approach to thinking about possible future medical issues.

BNSF Railway Company, based in Nebraska, reportedly has had a policy of not hiring any applicant for a safety sensitive position if the applicant has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.  In the recent Eighth Circuit case ...

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A helpful rule of thumb for employers trying to navigate compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other laws affected by employees health or medical conditions, is to leave the diagnosing to doctors. Employers are obligated to provide leave where appropriate, or accommodations when needed, but an employer who tries to determine on their own whether an employee (or an employees family member) has a real medical issue, what the cause of that issue is, or what it will take to accommodate that issue, puts itself at higher risk of ...
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On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion making it clear that employees can establish commonality through the analysis of an expert, and application of his representative sample evidence, for purposes of class certification of state law claims, under Rule 23, and certifying FLSA claims as a collective action, under 29 U.S.C. 216. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, __ S. Ct. __, No. 14-1146, 2016 WL 1092414 (March 22, 2016).

The plaintiffs in Tyson Foods worked in the kill, cut, and retrim departments of a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Iowa. To do their ...

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Last week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that a Jimmy Johns franchisee engaged in unfair labor practices and violated the rights of workers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), after the employees were terminated for staging a public campaign protesting the company's sick leave policy.

In MikLin Enterprises, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, employees were fired after displaying posters which protested the company's sick leave policy at the franchisee's Jimmy John's sites. The employees had ...
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