While the issue of whether employees are properly classified as exempt is always an issue that could potentially arise, exempt status is more likely to be called into question if and when the Department of Labor (DOL) goes forward with a proposed increase in the salary amount required to qualify as exempt. It has been reported that such a proposed rule could be issued in early 2019.
Today, however, it is the intense attention that has been focused on sexual assault and sexual misconduct in the workplace that has brought anything related to sex, including lewd or sexually explicit comments, to the forefront of employer’s legal concerns.
ICE agents have arrested an average of over 4,000 illegal immigrants per month compared to the slightly more than 1,700 per month during the Obama administration. The practice of conducting workplace raids, largely unused during the last administration, has returned with vigor as seen in the Southern Provision case and several others.
Often, when profanity is used in the workplace, managers, and supervisors are reluctant to address it for fear that they will be seen as prudish or part of the speech police. However, employers need to carefully consider their response to profane or obscene language when used by employees.
If President Donald Trump and Congress deliver on the promise of faster growth for the economy, it may well be reflected in a tightening labor market. That means that finding and hiring those star employees every company seeks will become even more difficult.
In a recent report on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) legal actions, it was noted that the agency had filed suit alleging American with Disabilities Act discrimination by an employer for the failure to hire an individual who informed his new employer that he was using Suboxone, an opioid.
One of the more significant election promises made by then-candidate Trump was his promise to reduce the regulatory burden on American businesses. With his “two regulations withdrawn for every one proposed” approach, he has been largely successful in making his promise a reality.
How often have we heard some company owner or representative declare “Our employees are our most valuable asset”? Certainly more than occasionally. Some companies have even adopted this claim as their byword. In this era of more-than- full employment and a growing shortage of qualified job applicants in virtually every industry, those words have now become a reality for most employers.