Richard D. Alaniz is senior partner at Alaniz Schraeder Linker Farris Mayes L.L.P., a national labor and employment firm based in Houston. He has been at the forefront of labor and employment law for over 30 years, including stints with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Alaniz writes regularly on labor and employment law and conducts frequent seminars for client companies and trade associations across the country. Questions about this article can be addressed to him at 281-833-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election years often bring a flurry of legislative and regulatory activity. This first of a two-part series will describe some key changes in federal regulations that may make it harder, more costly, and less efficient for employers to run their organizations.
The NLRB has regularly ruled that employees have the right to complain and even insult their employers online, as long as doing so constitutes “protected activity.” When developing policies around how workers can talk about their workplaces on social media, companies must be careful that they don’t violate federal laws.
An increasing number of cities and states are raising their minimum wages. As more politicians and union-affiliated groups push for higher minimum wages, employers need to prepare now for the significant financial, compliance, and regulatory challenges these changes bring.
When California’s Fair Pay Act took effect on Jan. 1, it represented one of the toughest equal pay laws in the nation. The law, which strengthened the state’s Equal Pay Act, represents the latest legislative change causing issues and concerns for employers throughout the United States.
For employers, an increase in OSHA fines could be a costly problem, underscoring the importance of a robust and effective workplace safety policy. However, OSHA’s recent enforcement positions are creating confusion over how to implement an effective safety policy.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a revamping of the “white collar” exemptions test. When the changes become effective, employers can expect greater scrutiny and a further increase in wage and hour lawsuits. It is therefore important for employers to understand the upcoming changes to the overtime rules.
In order to avoid problems, companies need to follow a few best practices to execute employment agreements that will help both employers and employees achieve their goals, and that will stand up to court challenges.
For companies that want to create a safe, harassment-free, professional work environment, the NLRB’s ruling in the Boch case presents challenges to achieving those goals. In order to avoid problems, employers need to understand the issues involved and carefully craft their dress code policies.
Companies can take steps to minimize the chances of workplace violence by understanding what the risk factors are and developing policies to minimize the opportunities for workers to be victims of such conduct. Due to the realities of workplace violence, companies should create policies and procedures for when violence does break out.