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Archive for April, 2016

Did you know?

Most employers are familiar with the classes of people or characteristics that are protected from discrimination—race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, genetic information, and military status. But some of these categories have broadened in scope in recent years. In particular, the definition of sex has been expanding significantly over the years through decisions by the Equal Opportunity Commission as well as through case law . EEOC decisions come about when an employee lodges a complaint against an employer and the EEOC hears the case itself, resulting in an Agency ruling that will inform future actions and decisions by the EEOC. Though the EEOC decisions are not

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Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

In an effort to create more diversity-friendly workplaces, tech giants like Google and Facebook have been training employees to recognize their unconscious biases. As the term implies, these biases are below the surface, unintended, and often undesired. They’re implicit rather than explicit. Explicit biases are evident in what people say and do, and chances are those who have such prejudices are aware of them. The manager who talks negatively about “the millennials” knows she holds the younger generation in low regard. The person who uses racist slurs doesn’t try to hide his dislike of other races. The executive who believes women shouldn’t be in leadership roles avoids recommendi

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FLSA Exempt Employee Minimum Salary Changes: Doing the Math

Batten Down the Hatches! As you have probably heard, the Department of Labor is planning to dramatically raise the minimum salary requirement for employees to qualify as exempt under the “White Collar Exemptions.” It’s possible this new minimum will be as high as $50,440, which could impact nearly five million employees. The threshold could certainly be lower when announced, but for the sake of this article—and for being over-prepared, rather than under—we’ll assume the $50,440 number will hold. These new rules could be announced as early as this month. It’s also possible that, if the final rule is not announced in the next couple of months, Congress could take action that wou

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Ninth Circuit Rules on Tip Pooling: No Mandated Sharing With Back-of-House

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently released a 2-1 decision that would essentially outlaw tip pooling arrangements in which tips are required to be shared with employees who do not usually receive them. Such employees would generally include dishwashers, cooks, and janitors. The ruling affects employers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The question at issue was whether the Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to enforce rules related to tip pooling if the employer does not take a tip credit (it is undisputed that the DOL can regulate if the employer does take a tip credit). The court ruled that the

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