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March 2015 Archives

Pregnancy Accommodation Case Revived by US Supreme Court in Young v. UPS

In a 6-3 decision the U.S. Supreme Court this week revived Peggy Young's pregnancy accommodation claims against UPS. The high court's decision clarifies how the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is to be applied to pregnant employees who work for employers that accommodate employees with nonpregnancy-related disabilities.

Buy-Sell Agreement: a Multifaceted Tool

A buy-sell agreement is typically associated with the ownership of a small business. As the name might imply, a buy-sell agreement defines the terms under which an owner of a business can buy out or sell out to others - other owners, third parties, etc. With multiple owners, an up-to-date buy-sell agreement can give a good estimate of the value of the small business.

West Central MN Employment Law Update Set -- Save the Date!

The twelfth annual West Central MN Employment Law Update will be held Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Alexandria Technical and Community College. The morning session is designed to inform employers about developing areas of employment law, and it will be presented by four attorneys who practice extensively in that area of the law: Tom Jacobson, Mike Moberg, Sara McGrane and Penelope Phillips. Topics for this year's event will include:

Overworked and Underpaid: Overtime Pay Claims under the FLSA

  Overworked and underpaid. Many feel that way, but for those who are not paid correctly for all the hours they work, the feeling is legitimate. One of the common causes of this feeling is when employers pay employees a fixed salary without paying them for the overtime to which they are legally entitled. This is based on a law called the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Among other things, this law says that unless employees are exempt, their employers must pay them time and a half for their overtime (that is, hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week). The mistake many employers make is assuming that they can turn employees into exempt workers by simply paying them a salary. Oftentimes, the decision to pay that worker a fixed salary is accompanied by an elevated title such as manager, supervisor, administrator, etc. This is a mistake because under the FLSA, paying employees a salary and / or giving them a fancy title alone does not make them exempt from the law's overtime pay protections. Rather, the law requires employers to focus on their employees' primary duties. Only when the employees' duties fit squarely within one or more of the law's established exemptions may their employers avoid overtime pay via a fixed salary. If no exemption applies, employees are entitled to overtime pay, regardless of their job title or salary. The exemptions exist for:

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