Fridays with Frank – Sept 27, 2019


Happy Friday!

September has been a whirlwind! First, with the October 9th deadline quickly approaching, I’ve conducted countless Sexual Harassment Prevention presentations (NY employers, remember the October 9th deadline!). Then, in addition to I-9 Palooza!, I spent three days at the NY State SHRM Annual Conference in Albany, where I had the pleasure to present on both the US Supreme Court and legislative advocacy for HR professionals.

But, the world doesn’t slow down because I’m busy. So let’s catch up together with another exciting edition of Fridays with Frank

Welcome Mr. Secretary  On Thursday, the US Senate confirmed Eugene (Gene) Scalia as the Trump Administration’s new Secretary of Labor. The Senate voted along party lines (53-44) to confirm Scalia, a former solicitor of labor during the George W. Bush administration, and son of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Secretary takes over the Department of Labor at a busy time, with a new overtime rule effective January 1, 2020, and other regulatory changes at various stages of the approval process.

Wow! It Only Took 15 Years!  On Tuesday, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued its updated final overtime rule. As you may remember, the DOL, under the Obama Administration, issued an update to the overtime regulations raising the minimum annual salary for the white-collar exemptions to more than $47,000. A federal judge in Texas halted the rule from being implemented just days before its December 1, 2016, effective date. The Trump Administration’s overtime rule, effective January 1, 2019, increases the minimum annual salary for exempt employees to $35,568 ($684/week). However, employers in states with higher minimum salary requirements–like NY and CA–must comply with state rules.

That’s Not On The Menu!  Closer to home, on Monday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it had filed a lawsuit against Green Lantern Inn, Inc., dba, Mr. Dominic’s on Main, located near my home in Fairport, NY. According to the lawsuit filed in US District Court, the restaurant’s head chef sexually harassed two female employees. His conduct included inappropriate physical contact; repeated sexually inappropriate, hostile, and offensive comments; and explicit requests for sex.

Does FMLA Stand For The Friday and Monday Leave Act?  Anyone who has administered the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) knows its coverage is intentionally very broad. Exactly how broad? For one employee, playing golf on days designated as intermittent FMLA leave for severe shoulder pain was out of bounds. But, you know it doesn’t end there. Check out Eric Meyer‘s explanation of what happened next, and some valuable employer and HR takeaways, in The Employer Handbook.

Discrimination, With A Twist  Unfortunately, some employers continue to discriminate in the hiring process. You know the scenario; employer discourages minority applicants, imposes unjustified “English-only” requirement, hires less qualified non-minority candidates, etc. What’s the twist? Marquez Brothers International, a producer and distributor of Mexican-style foods, discouraged and refused to hire, non-Hispanic applicants for unskilled production and warehouse positions. Among the employer’s unlawful tactics outlined in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s $2 million settlement with the employer, an unnecessary “Spanish-only” requirement.

Lastly, a belated Happy National HR Professionals Day to my team at HR Compliance Experts, and all my friends and colleagues!  

Thanks for spending a small part of your day with me and have a great weekend!

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

Please feel free to contact Frank at, 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.


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