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New Rule for Calculating OVERTIME for Fluctuating Workweeks

We all know (or learn) that not everything in life can be carefully planned.  For example, some weeks an employer may need a worker for just 30 hours, but in another week may need them to put in 50 hours.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has long provided employers with the option to pay nonexempt employees whose hours vary on a salary basis, but at times has offered inconsistent guidance on the impact of bonuses and commissions, or how to calculate overtime.  When courts got involved, sometimes there were conflicting rulings.

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Federal Appeals Court Finds Lawful Discharge of an Employee Bringing Baseless Harassment Claim

According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Army's decision to fire a civilian employee because it found her repeated complaints of harassment baseless, does not violate the federal discrimination laws.  Carrethers v. McCarthy, 2020 BL 198271 (5/28/20).  The employer had assigned an investigator, who concluded that it was "extremely clear" that the plaintiff was fabricating her complaints.  All of the 14 witnesses the plaintiff identified to the investigator contradicted her claims.  Thus, the employer had reason to believe the harassment complaints were not made in good faith.  Also, even if they were, the employer still had a legitimate basis for firing the employee.  The judge cited published rulings by the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits in support of the conclusion.

Editor's Note:  It is extremely controversial, even if legitimate, to fire an employee for making baseless harassment complaints.  Such actions should only be taken with advice of counsel.

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Defenses to Employers from Employee Claiming Infection of the Coronavirus on the Job

Employers, along with other establishments all across the country, fear operating under circumstances where employees may claim they became sick with COVID-19 by contracting the Coronavirus at work.  In most states, outside of certain healthcare workers, the federal and state executive orders do not grant any immunity to employers from such claims. 

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