BLOGS: Fair Labor Standards Act Law

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Monday, January 14, 2013, 3:20 PM

New Year Resolutions for North Carolina Staffing Firms (A Legal Perspective)

Like most of us, recruiting and staffing firms prioritize their New Year resolutions to ensure a prosperous and successful year. Here are a couple of legal compliance issues to keep in mind when considering your “resolutions” as you kick-off the New Year:

E-Verify
As you are aware by now, North Carolina law requires some private employers to use the federal E-Verify program to verify the work authorization of all new hires. As of January 1, 2013, private businesses with more than 100 employees are required to enroll in the Internet-based E-Verify system.

The E-Verify program is operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration. It verifies a new hire’s work eligibility by comparing the employee’s I9 Form information with the Social Security Administration’s database. It is free, and it has been designed to be user-friendly for employers.

The final phase of the NC E-Verify law goes into effect on July 1, 2013 and requires private business with more than 25 employees to enroll in the E-Verify system. North Carolina businesses should be aware of the E-Verify requirements including recordkeeping requirements for storing and retaining E-Verify results and the I9 Form.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Beginning January 1, 2013, businesses, including staffing firms, must begin using new FCRA forms to notify applicants and employees of their legal rights. FCRA sets forth the procedural requirements that employers must adhere to when conducting background checks through Consumer Reporting Agencies. A Consumer Reporting Agency (“CRA”) is any third party that handles your background checks for new hires.

While there are no substantive changes to the FCRA forms (which consist of the consent form for obtaining a background check, preadverse decision notification, and adverse action notification), the forms must be updated to reflect that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken over enforcement of FCRA (which was previously handled by the Federal Trade Commission).

Conclusion
While a legal forecast for 2013 cannot be fully addressed in this article, we will touch upon some of the 2013 legal trends facing employers at the NCASP Annual Spring Conference (April 25-27, 2013).
The new E-Verify and FCRA requirements went into effect on January 1, 2013. Accordingly, all North Carolina employers should be prepared to comply with these changes immediately.

This article first appeared in the Jan./Feb 2013 issue of
Staffing Now, the North Carolina Association of Staffing Professionals (NCASP) Ezine.

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Monday, November 26, 2012, 3:03 PM

Wage and Hour Claims: Is the Staffing Industry a Target for the Department of Labor and Plaintiffs’ Counsel?

This article first appeared in the November/December 2012 issue of Staffing Now, the North Carolina Association of Staffing Professionals (NCASP) Ezine.

The number of wage and hour lawsuits filed in the United States is dramatically increasing, with thousands of federal wage and hour claims brought against employers so far this year. The increase is due in large part to the weak economy and high unemployment rate. These lawsuits arise primarily out of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) which is the federal law governing minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping requirements, child labor standards, and equal pay in employment. Wage and hour claims can also arise under state law, and, recently, we have seen a “hybrid” of cases consisting of both federal and state law claims. Not surprisingly, the staffing industry has been impacted by this rapid rise in wage and hour claims.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 12:20 PM

Jill Benson to Speak on EEOC Enforcement Guidance

RALEIGH, N.C.—Womble Carlyle Labor & Employment attorney Jill Benson will speak to the Triangle Technical Recruiters Association on Oct. 11th. Benson will speak on “EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Consideration of Criminal History under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”

The luncheon event takes place at the North Carolina State University Club in Raleigh.

Jill Benson is an experienced labor and employment litigator who represents employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues, including: Wage and hour claims (Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws); Leave of absence issues, including Family Medical Leave Act, military leave and paid time off concern; Anti-discrimination disputes, including those involving Americans with Disabilities Act claims, as well as claims involving alleged discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion or age; Trade secrets and employee non-compete cases; and Whistleblower retaliation claims. She practices in Womble Carlyle’s Greensboro, N.C. office.

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Monday, June 18, 2012, 10:59 AM

Jill Benson to Speak on Family and Medical Leave Act

Womble Carlyle attorney Jill Benson will speak on “Family and Medical Leave Act—What You Should Know” to members of the Legal Support Staff of Greensboro.

Benson’s discussion takes place from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31st at Womble Carlyle’s Greensboro Office, 300 N. Greene Street, Suite 1900, in Greensboro.

For more information, contact Kristen Saunders at ksaunders@wcsr.com or (336) 574-8048.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 4:56 PM

Incorporating GINA’s Safe Harbor Language into Employment Policies

This article first appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of Staffing Now, the North Carolina Association of Staffing Professionals (NCASP) Ezine. Authored by Womble Carlyle's Jill Benson.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA") makes it illegal for employers (that employ 15 or more employees) to discriminate against applicants or employees because of their "genetic information." Under GINA, employers are prohibited from requesting genetic information from applicants or employees and cannot use genetic information in making employment decisions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing GINA’s anti-discrimination provisions.

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Monday, April 16, 2012, 12:57 PM

More American Workers Sue Employers for Overtime Pay

From USA Today: Americans were pushed to their limit in the recession and its aftermath as they worked longer hours, often for the same or less pay, after businesses laid off almost 9 million employees.

Now, many are striking back in court. Since the height of the recession in 2008, more workers across the nation have been suing employers under federal and state wage-and-hour laws. The number of lawsuits filed last year was up 32% vs. 2008, an increase that some experts partly attribute to a post-downturn austerity that pervaded the American workplace and artificially inflated U.S. productivity.

Read more...(USA Today).

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Friday, April 6, 2012, 1:35 PM

US Labor Department Sues Bluefield, W.Va., Accounting Firm and President To Recover Back Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Bluefield accounting firm Raymond A. Froy Jr. CPA, PC and its president, Raymond A. Froy Jr., for alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that affected five employees. The suit followed an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found the defendants had violated the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements.

Read more (US DOL)...

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