Employee handbooks play an important role in communicating an employer’s policies and expectations regarding employee conduct. Given the potential for liability if an employee handbook creates an unintended right to continued employment, or fails to comply with existing law, all employers should review their handbooks regularly.
MBBP Employment Attorney Sandra Kahn has compiled a list of potential pitfalls for employees. Avoiding these mistakes will go a long way toward ensuring that your handbook serves its intended purpose and doesn’t become a source of employer liability.
Read the full article on New England In-House.
What are these changes?
- Minimum Wage Goes Up
- Earned Sick Leave Safe Harbor Ends
- Sexual Harassment Law Compliance
- Data Protection Compliance
For all the details read our Employment Law Alert.
On October 28, MBBP Partner and Employment Attorney Bob Shea was elected to serve a third year as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE). SBANE is a 600 member non-profit organization that helps New England businesses grow by providing profitable connections, innovation, leadership, advocacy, and education.
But, is this practice legal? Generally, the answer to this question is no. Under state and federal law, employees must be paid at least the minimum wage in cash. Providing equity, no matter how much the equity is worth, does not fulfill this requirement.
An exception to this rule is made, however, if the employee comes within the exemption for executive-business owners provided for in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). An individual who comes within this exemption is exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.
To be exempt as an executive-business owner under the FLSA, an individual must (1) be employed in a bona fide executive capacity, (2) own at least a 20% bona fide interest in the business and (3) be actively engaged in the management of the business.
Unless an employee meets each of these requirements, paying in equity alone will run afoul of wage laws, and could result in significant liability for the employer, as well as possible individual liability for the president, treasurer, and individual “officers and agents” of the employer’s corporate entity.
For further help in determining whether your employee comes within the executive-business owner exemption or questions about paying employees with equity, contact a member of our Employment Law Group.
An executive’s employment agreement defines expectations regarding role, responsibilities and performance. It also establishes key contractual obligations for the executive and the employer concerning compensation and benefits, equity grants, the length or term of employment, early termination and its consequences, post-termination restrictions, and dispute resolution. Compensation, termination and other provisions may implicate tax rules and trigger penalties. Later, if there is disharmony in the relationship or disagreement about the parties’ obligations, these provisions may critically affect the rights and obligations of the executive.
Here are 10 important considerations when reviewing an executive employment agreement.
For more information on this topic, please contact Scott J. Connolly.
The Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage & Hour Division issued a formal Interpretation to provide “additional guidance” concerning the misclassification of workers as independent contractors under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Businesses continuing to utilize independent contractors need to understand that combating misclassification is a priority for DOL and this latest action may lead to increased misclassification litigation.
To learn more about this important issue read our Employment Law Advisor.
Significant Amendments To The Overtime Regulations Proposed By The DOL Will Result In Many More Workers Becoming Entitled To Overtime
If the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule is adopted, any exempt employees who earn less than $50,440 per year will need to be reclassified as non-exempt. These employees will now earn overtime if they work over 40 hours per week.
This proposal would increase the salary level required significantly in order for the employee to remain qualified for the “white collar” exemptions.
To learn more about this proposal and how it may affect you if it goes into effect, please read our full Employment Law Advisor.