The laws addressing compensation for employee breaks are not that difficult to understand and properly apply. As one recent court decision reminded me, however, some employers unfortunately choose either not to learn those rules, or to simply ignore them until the United States Department of Labor becomes involved. Before discussing that decision, let's review the basic legal requirements.
In Our Judgment
Providing insight on developments in labor and employment law affecting East Tennessee employers and employees.
Earlier this year I commented upon a new enforcement emphasis by OSHA in the healthcare industry. At that time, OSHA issued a memorandum to its regional and state enforcement offices announcing a new inspection emphasis for inpatient healthcare providers, including hospitals and residential care facilities. The new inspection regime was designed to identify and correct causes of musculoskeletal injuries, slips, trips and falls, as well as workplace violence.
Disappointment often presents us with difficult but valuable learning opportunities. Every now and then, however, we can enjoy some good news and still take in a lesson or two.
On November 2 Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a budget agreement that received a substantial amount of media attention (The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015). What was not so widely reported was an obscure provision within that legislation that authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to significantly increase its fines for the first time since 1990.
Since the United States Supreme Court's recent rulings resulting in state recognition of same sex marriages, a number of employers have asked me if they should expect an extension of workplace anti-discrimination protections to gay and lesbian employees.