Fridays with Frank – Aug 23, 2019

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Happy Friday!

I’m on vacation (or as close as I ever get to actually taking time off) with my family, so this week I’m going to share links to a few of the great articles I’ve been reading.

Is a New FLSA Overtime Rule Finally in the Homestretch?  Ok, I didn’t read this first article, I wrote it.  For many of us, trying to predict when—or even if—the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime (a.k.a., minimum salary) rule will be updated has become like betting on a horse race. Com

What We Can Learn From the Long Beach Marriott About Preventing Workplace Shootings  In this article, my great friend, and attorney, Janette Levey Frisch (aka the “EmpLAWyerologist“) explains how employees and management at the Long Beach (CA) Marriott did the right things to stop—what likely would have been—another disastrous workplace shooting, and the lessons employers should learn before faced with similar circumstances.

Sex Discrimination Works Both Ways  In another enlightening article, Janette Levey Frisch explores how parental leave and compensation policies and practices that treat men and women differently can lead to charges of sex discrimination.

DOL Confirms FMLA Covers IEP Meetings With Therapists at School  My friends at Ogletree Deakins discuss a recent opinion letter from the federal DOL, Wage and Hour Division, that confirms a parent is entitled to job-protected time off from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to attend a meeting at school to discuss their child’s Individualized Education Program (“IEP”).

New York Expands Harassment Laws, Protections of Religious Attire, Clothing, or Facial Hair   Jackson Lewis provides our last article for this week’s Fridays with Frank.  In case you weren’t aware (and missed my July Daily Record article), recent updates to the New York State Human Rights Laws (“NYSHRL”) include significant changes that make it easier for employees to show they’ve been harassed, and much more difficult for employers to defend against almost any allegations. (Also, although not included in the Jackson Lewis article, NY State followed California’s lead with updates to the NYSHRL which now protect employees against discrimination based on “natural hairstyles or textures associated with race.)

Thanks for joining me, and have a great weekend and week ahead!

No August Recess for Employers

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Welcome to HR Compliance Notebook!

The HR Compliance Experts team is excited to launch our blog, HR Compliance Notebook, with something we’re calling Fridays with Frank.  In my Fridays with Frank posts, I’ll share news and updates regarding state and federal legislation, regulatory information, links to employment-related articles, and maybe even a snarky comment or two.

I’d like this to be a two-way conversation, so, respectful and thought-provoking (and yes, snarky) comments are welcomed and encouraged.  Also, let me know what you enjoy–and what could be better–about Fridays with Frank, or the blog in general.  Use the comment section or send an email to theexperts@hrcexperts.com.

Thanks for spending a small part of your day with me!


The federal Department of Labor is a busy place

The federal DOL is a busy place lately. As you may know, Alex Acosta stepped down as Secretary of Labor on July 12, 2019, with deputy Secretary Patrick Pizzella stepping in to lead the agency on an interim basis. Pizzella, who is unquestionably pro-business, appears to have accelerated the pace of activity at the DOL. In addition to issuing several opinion letters since July, the DOL submitted its long-awaited final overtime rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review earlier this week.  This long-awaited rule updates the (minimum) salary threshold for the FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions.

Within days of Acosta’s resignation, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Eugene (Gene) Scalia—son of the late US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia—to be the next Secretary of Labor. Currently a partner in a Washington, DC law firm, Scalia also brings government experience to the table. He was the solicitor (chief attorney) of the DOL under President George W. Bush and served at the Department of Justice as Special Assistant to the Attorney General.

As has been the case with virtually all the President’s nominations, the road to Scalia’s confirmation is expected to be lengthy and the ride extremely bumpy.  So, I wasn’t surprised when more than two dozen members of Congress sent President Trump a letter fervently opposing the nomination Eugene Scalia.  (CLICK HERE to read the letter.)


NY State significantly changes laws regarding sexual harassment…again!

As expected, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed another landmark piece of legislation amending New York’s Human Rights Law. These sweeping changes add provisions to the law that, among other things:

  • Expand the application of the new standards beyond sexual harassment to now include alleged harassment based on an individual’s membership in any protected class;
  • Eliminate the “severe or pervasive” legal standard, instead validating any allegations of misconduct that appear to be more than “petty slights or trivial inconveniences;”
  • Significantly increase the protections provided to employees, and adds protections fornon-employees;
  • Expand what is required of employers regarding employee harassment prevention training; and
  • Extend the time individuals have to file harassment claims with the NYS Division of Human Rights, from one (1) year to three (3) years. 

CLICK HERE to read my article on this topic, NYS Raises the Stakes and Lowers the Bar on Harassment Laws…Again!, published in The Daily Record, July 16, 2019.


Posted by Frank Cania, president of HR Compliance Experts LLC.

Please feel free to contact Frank at frank@hrcexperts.com, or 585-380-1566 with questions or for more information.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Frank Cania and HR Compliance Experts LLC.