Posts by Charlie Plumb

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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EEOC issues bathroom guidelines for transgender employees

Last summer the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its “Best Practices: A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers.” In a nutshell, the OSHA publication stated that transgender employees should have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than their birth gender. Presumably in response to laws passed by…

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Wrongful discharge – alive and well in Oklahoma

It’s been awhile since Oklahoma’s Supreme Court weighed in on the ability of fired employees to sue their employers for wrongful discharge. Now a vomiting nurse gets to take a shot at the nursing center that terminated his employment. Not exactly ‘Employee of the Month’ Donald Dewayne Moore worked as a licensed practical nurse at…

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Keys to crafting an effective response to an EEOC discrimination charge

Once the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives a discrimination complaint from a current or former employee, the Commission begins gathering information about their allegations of discriminatory treatment. That process includes requesting the employer to provide relevant documents. Additionally, the EEOC typically asks the employer to submit its statement of position setting out its response…

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No Surprise: EEOC files two sexual orientation lawsuits

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed two lawsuits charging employers with discriminating against employees based upon their sexual orientation. In a Pennsylvania federal court, the EEOC claimed Scott Medical Health Center had subjected a gay employee to harassment because he did not meet co-employees’ gender stereotypes. The lawsuit alleges that the health center…

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