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Archive for January, 2010

You are currently browsing the Labor Law Talk Blog weblog archives for January, 2010.

Minnesota Travel Time

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
A Minnesota employer writes, “We have hourly employees who report to the warehouse each day, and then go out on service calls in company vehicles. The travel time is paid. Can we avoid paying overtime for travel by coding the travel time separately in our payroll system?”

... continue reading

Illinois Mini-COBRA Law

Thursday, January 28th, 2010
Posted by Tamara

At least 18 states have made changes in their mini-COBRA laws since February 2009. In most cases, these changes were made to permit employees of smaller companies to take advantage of the federal COBRA subsidy under ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Mini-COBRA laws ... continue reading

Wyoming Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many people from Steve Carell of the popular TV sit-com The Office to advice columnist Dear Abby (Jeanne Phillips) inaccurately use the terms “sexual harassment” and “a hostile work environment” interchangeably. In reality, the two are very different.   

A hostile work environment occurs when a Wyoming ... continue reading

Alaska Sexual Harassment

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that occurs when an Alaska employee is the focus of unwanted attention in the workplace due to his or her sex. Many employers mistakenly believe that in order for sexual harassment to occur, the employee must be promised a reward or ... continue reading

Texas Lunch Law

Monday, January 25th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many employees are surprised to learn that there is no Texas lunch law. Nor is there any federal law that an employer must provide meal breaks for employees in general industry.   

It is completely lawful for a Texas employer to require employees to work for 8, ... continue reading

Mississippi Meal Break Law

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Mississippi employees often object to taking unpaid meal breaks. They argue that since there is no state or federal law that requires meal breaks for Mississippi employees, it is optional.

The Mississippi employees are partly right. Mississippi is one of 31 U.S. states including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, ... continue reading

Maryland Comp Time

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Maryland employers and hourly workers both want to know if “comp time” can be granted in place of overtime pay. “Comp time,” incidentally, is paid time off in lieu of overtime.

The answer to the question is “No,” under almost all circumstances.

For example, a ... continue reading

Maine Meal Break Law

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In Maine, employees are entitled to a meal break that is a minimum of 30 minutes after 6 consecutive hours of work. The law includes exceptions for emergencies and where the nature of the work allows for frequent breaks throughout the workday. The law applies only where 3 or ... continue reading

Iowa Minimum Wage

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The federal and Iowa minimum wage laws require employers to pay employees for all time worked. That seems like a fairly straight-forward requirement, but it can be difficult to determine what counts as time worked.

Under the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, work time includes ... continue reading

Colorado Meal Break

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Under Colorado law, employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break after 5 hours of work. This law applies to every employee except when the shift will be completed in 6 hours or less. The employee may be permitted to eat while on duty only when the nature of ... continue reading

Minnesota Exempt Employee Workweek

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Many exempt salaried employees in Minnesota have questions about the workweek. What is the standard workweek for a salaried employee?

There is no standard workweek for Minnesota exempt employees under either state or federal law. This matter is determined entirely by company policy. Every employer is permitted ... continue reading

Iowa Comp Time

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Comp time is time off in a future payroll week granted to an employee instead of overtime payment.

Under the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, private businesses cannot grant comp time instead of paying overtime. Comp time is legal for some state and federal employees, ... continue reading

Nevada Holiday Pay Law

Friday, January 15th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Some Nevada employers stay open on holidays out of necessity. Some remain open by choice. In either case, it is entirely legal for them to schedule employees to work on those holidays.

It sometimes comes as a shock to workers, but no Nevada law requires employers to ... continue reading

Kentucky Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Just what is a “hostile work environment”?

Many workers and employers in Kentucky misunderstand the concept of the “hostile work environment.” It is, in fact, the most misunderstood idea in the Human Resources field.

It does not matter how rude, insulting or obnoxious a supervisor ... continue reading

New Mexico Comp Time

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
It is illegal in New Mexico and elsewhere in the U.S. for a business to give an hourly employee “comp time” in lieu of overtime pay.

“Comp” time is paid time off in place of paid overtime. Government agencies and non-profit organizations may grant comp time but ... continue reading

Wyoming Child Labor

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Children facing back-breaking work, exposure to pesticides, lack of an education, and failure to develop.

Is this about the children of the developing world? No. These are a few of the problems facing children who are laboring in the farm fields of Wyoming and elsewhere in the ... continue reading

Vermont Lunch Law

Monday, January 11th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Nineteen states in the U.S. have passed legislation requiring employers to offer lunch breaks to their workers.

Vermont is not one of them.

There is no Vermont lunch law. Federal law, furthermore, offers little protection when it comes to meal breaks. Workers in Vermont are ... continue reading

Connecticut Holiday Pay Law

Friday, January 8th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
It may be Thanksgiving. It may be Memorial Day or Labor Day. It may be Christmas.

It does not matter. Employers in Connecticut are not required to give their employees a paid holiday. They need not give them the day off. They do not even have to ... continue reading

Colorado Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What is an example of a “hostile work environment”? What can an employee do to combat the problem?

These are just two among the many questions about the concept of the hostile work environment that arise among Colorado employees. Questions come up because the concept is one ... continue reading

Arizona Comp Time

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
“Comp time” is sometimes appealing to both employers and employees in Arizona. Employers may want to use it to control payroll costs. Workers may like using it to take an afternoon off.

The question, however, is whether “comp time” is legal in Arzona. The answer is that, ... continue reading

Arizona Child Labor

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
An ironclad cycle of poverty is being perpetuated in the farm fields of Arizona and in other farm states across the country.

Children as young as 6 years old are harvesting crops when they should be in school.

Regular violations of the child labor laws ... continue reading

Worker Safety In Maine

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
  In previous years, companies that reported no days of work lost, employees on light duty or employees transferred due to a work-related accident weren’t inspected by OSHA.

That policy, however, has changed. OSHA recently issued a memo requiring local offices to implement more inspections and crack ... continue reading

Alabama Lunch Law

Monday, January 4th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
There is a federal regulation requiring Alabama employers to grant workers restroom breaks.

However, there is no law, however, requiring them to grant lunch breaks.

Meal breaks enjoy little or no protection in Alabama. There is no Alabama lunch law and, with few exceptions, federal ... continue reading

Georgia Holiday Pay Law

Friday, January 1st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
If Georgia employers decide to schedule a worker on a holiday, no state law requires them to pay the worker a higher-than-usual wage. Nor does any federal law require payment of a premium.

At the same time, if the employer chooses to close the business on a ... continue reading