Arkansas News & Analysis

  • When does it all end? Statutes of limitations vary

    It can be confusing to determine how long an employer may be exposed to a discrimination claim. A recent case from the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Arkansas employers) helps explain when statutes of limitations run out on discrimination claims.

  • You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get . . . money back

    It's common in personal injury cases for health insurance, longand short-term disability insurance, and workers' compensation providers to pay benefits to the injured person through their respective programs. The principle of subrogation states that these insurance providers should be able to recover the money they paid to the injured party because of the employer's negligence.

  • The wolf is at the door: When is enough enough?

    A government investigator's powers are broad, but there are limits. When a restaurant was faced with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) into whether it had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), those limits became clear.

  • 'Fair-share' fee ruling brings new day for public employers, employees

    With proponents of a U.S. Supreme Court decision against the collection of "fair-share" fees claiming a victory for First Amendment rights and critics calling the ruling an example of the Court siding with billionaires against workers, employers are adjusting to a major change in the world of agency shops in the public sector.

  • Can you reduce an employee's salary instead of letting her go?

    Q We are reducing staff because of a decrease in annual revenue. A total of 10 positions will be eliminated. For one of those employees, however, we are considering reducing her salary instead of terminating her. Are we legally allowed to do that?

  • Agency Action

    EEOC reports on age discrimination 50 years after ADEA. Age discrimination remains too common and too accepted 50 years after the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) took effect, according to a report from Victoria A. Lipnic, acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The report, released June 26, 2018, says only about three percent of those who have experienced age discrimination complained to their employer or a government agency. Studies find that more than three-fourths of older workers surveyed report their age is an obstacle to getting a job. The report includes recommendations on strategies to prevent age discrimination, such as including age in diversity and inclusion programs and having age-diverse hiring panels. The report says research shows that age diversity can improve organizational performance and lower employee turnover and that mixed-age work teams result in higher productivity for both older and younger workers.

  • Freedom of speech: What are employees allowed to say?

    With all the discussion about the right to freedom of speech surrounding NFL players "taking a knee" during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and societal discrimination, employers have become confused and uncertain about the scope of any free-speech rights employees might have in the workplace. Part of the problem is, there's a very different standard for private-sector employers and employers in the public sector.

  • Follow the bouncing (yoga) ball . . . to a compensable injury?

    The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently upheld a finding by the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) that an employee should be compensated for a head injury she said she suffered when she fell off a yoga ball she was using as a desk chair.

  • High court upholds arbitration agreements that bar class actions

    In recent years, one of the most highly disputed issues in employment law circles was whether an employer could require employees to waive their right to participate in a class action lawsuit and instead submit employment-related disputes to binding arbitration. Such a requirement has become a common condition of employment contracts, typically entered into at the beginning of an employment relationship, and/or as a condition of continuing employment.

  • Pros, cons of weekly attendance bonuses

    Q Our company recently implemented a weekly attendance bonus based on working the entire work schedule. The policy states that employees must be "present" for the whole week and will not earn the bonus if they use vacation or are out of work on any type of leave. Is this policy legal?