West Virginia News & Analysis

  • Winter is coming: FLSA and your pay obligations during inclement weather

    During the winter months, the threat of the weather turning frightful is on everyone's mind. No matter what business you may be in, inclement weather and treacherous road conditions can cause many headaches—including issues with employee payroll. Many employers grapple with the question of how to pay employees when the business is closed because of bad weather and whether deductions from pay for closures are allowed. Let's explore what the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires of employers when Mother Nature wreaks havoc.

  • Looking back at 2019 and to what's ahead for federal agencies in 2020

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) all ramped up their enforcement endeavors in 2019. The NLRB has refocused its efforts on unionized businesses, the new EEOC chair is pushing to settle old cases, the OFCCP director is aiming to end the year with the largest settlement total in the agency's history by resolving or litigating old audits, and the WHD has filed a record number of enforcement cases against employers.

  • 'Twas the very next day

    ’Twas a heck of a party.
    Thank God that it’s past.
    But the left-over problems
    Have left me aghast.

  • SCOTUS decision on LGBTQ workplace protections coming in 2020

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In recent years, controversy over whether the term "sex" as used in Title VII includes sexual orientation and gender identity has arisen among the federal circuit courts of appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to resolve the split. No matter where the Court falls on the issue, the decision will supersede existing precedent in at least some circuits and will have a lasting impact for decades to come.

  • Truth about holiday season? It's not always what it's nut-cracked up to be

    Many of us are fully involved in the crush of festivities and holiday shopping that traditionally mark the beginning of the sprint to New Year's Eve. This is the season of peace on earth and good will toward our fellow man, right? Well, not always.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reports progress in case processing. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reported improved case processing statistics for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The NLRB issued 303 decisions in contested cases during FY 2019. Adopting a case processing pilot program, the Board focused on issuing decisions in some of the oldest cases. As a result, the median age of all cases pending before the Board was reduced from 233 days in FY 2018 to 157 days at the end of FY 2019. The NLRB also said it reduced the number of cases pending before it to its lowest level since 2012. As of the end of FY 2019, the number of pending cases was reduced from 281 at the end of FY 2018 to 227 when the report was released on October 7. Also, the NLRB regional offices made strides toward meeting the Board's strategic goal to reduce case processing time by 20 percent over four years. In just one year, the regions overall nearly met the four-year goal by reducing the time of filing to disposition of unfair labor practice cases from 90 to 74 days, a decrease of 17.5 percent.

  • #MeToo legacy highlights need for cultural change

    It's been two years since actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet #MeToo, sparking a movement that exposed the staggering prevalence of sexual harassment in the modern workplace. To many seasoned HR professionals who have been working to eradicate sexual harassment their entire careers, the #MeToo movement appeared to have come several decades late. After all, the law has banned workplace sexual harassment for more than 30 years. It felt like Milano and the millions of people who responded to her tweet had just noticed that bell bottoms were out of style. Or were back in style. Or were out of style again.

  • A refresher on how to perform workplace investigations

    There's an old saying among trial attorneys that when you go to court, you're placing yourself in the hands of six people who aren't smart enough to get out of jury duty. Thus, when you perform an investigation that may result in a lawsuit, you must think about how the investigation will look to those six people. In other words, you must be able to explain to a jury that you were thorough and fair when you conducted the investigation.

  • How do you keep the whistle from being blown on you?

    No one is immune from whistleblower complaints, not even the president of the United States, who is facing an impeachment inquiry spurred by a whistleblower's concerns about statements he made during a call with the president of Ukraine. Whistleblower complaints brought by disgruntled former employees have become common in West Virginia (and elsewhere), and they are often expensive and difficult to defend. It's therefore very important to recognize and promptly address employees' complaints and concerns.

  • Looking to add an innovative benefit? Student loan assistance an option

    On a quest to recruit top talent, many employers are getting creative with perks and benefits. Free food and ping-pong tables are nice. So is a generous employer match on a 401(k). But many employees may not get too excited about perks and retirement benefits when they're struggling with student loan debt. And it's that financial burden that is leading employers to explore ways to ease the pain for their debt-ridden workers.