Posts by Charlie Plumb

Employer liable for off-duty murder?

Companies often assume they are not responsible for interactions between employees that happen off-site after hours and that are unrelated to their jobs. However, if a supervisor and a subordinate are involved and the employer failed to take appropriate action regarding workplace issues between the two leading up to the “off-campus” event, then a different…

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Attack on an employer’s promotion decision

Are you prepared to defend a promotion or hiring decision when someone accuses you of discrimination? That’s when an employer must be in a position to show their selection was absolutely non-discriminatory and based upon selecting the best candidate. Missed promotion For more than 18 years, Chris Edwards worked for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics…

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What not to do in wage and hour investigations

Last month the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $2.1 million dollar judgment entered against a Tulsa restaurant for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage violations. If you ever wanted a guide on how not to handle a Department of Labor investigation, here it is. It will make you cringe. El…

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No medical report means no accommodation

I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee — “Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard and Roy Edward Burris (1969) Although the Army Ammunition Depot is located in McAlester, it was a Muskogee federal court that upheld an employer’s right to require adequate medical support before granting an employee’s request their job be modified on…

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Texas court stops DOL effort to expand overtime

The November 22 ruling by a Texas federal court delays implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new regulations which would have increased the number of employees entitled to overtime pay. In fact, the court’s decision calls into question whether the proposed overtime changes will ever go into effect. The DOL’s proposed regulations doubling…

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Are you a joint employer?

Are you an employer who uses temporary employees, staffing agencies or independent contractors? Use of such contingent or contract workers is not unusual and may be necessary for your operations. If you are in that situation, 2017 might find you in the crosshairs of governmental agencies that want to treat you as a “joint employer.”…

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Employee fired while on FMLA leave: Why it was OK

Don’t get me wrong: Firing an employee while they are on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence is dicey. But, as a recent federal appeals court decision that covers Oklahoma employers demonstrates, there are circumstances when an employer should terminate the employee while on leave and can win a lawsuit brought by the…

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Must be qualified to apply

When someone contends they have been discriminatorily denied employment, whether the individual was truly qualified often becomes the primary issue. To defeat a discriminatory failure-to-hire claim, the employer must establish the individual did not meet requirements that were explained, essential to the position, and uniformly applied to all candidates. Truck driver successfully battles cancer Mark…

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Female deputy’s different treatment poses problem for sheriff

For many years, law enforcement was a male-dominated profession. Recently, police and sheriff departments have made strides to increase the number of female officers. All employers must ensure they are treating male and female employees the same when it comes to terms and conditions of employment. The sheriff of Canadian County, Oklahoma, received a recent…

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DOL releases new overtime regulations

On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the new Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations, which will mean millions of employees who are currently exempt will, for the first time, earn overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 during a work week. Previously, the minimum salary level to qualify for…

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