Written by: Don Benson, Esq.  The U.S. Department of Labor issued a new Opinion Letters on November 8, 2018, which will be of interest to many employers with tipped employees. History of Issue. On 01/16/2009 the DOL issued an Opinion Letter which was withdrawn for further study on 03/02/09.  The DOL has now reissued that earlier Opinion Letter in its entirety as official Wage and Hour Division policy. I. Tipped Employees in Different

By: Don Benson, Esq. and Chas Whitehead1) If your company has employees who drive on the job in Georgia, significant changes to Georgia law go into effect on July 1, 2018. Key changes include (1) restricting drivers from physically holding or otherwise supporting their devices while driving unless it is a wearable voice-based communication device (such as a Bluetooth earpiece or smartwatch), and (2) a broadening of the definition of “wireless

By Don Benson, Esq. A new Eleventh Circuit case is being criticized for changing the standard for summary judgment in a discrimination case. Jefferson v. Sewon America, Inc., No. 17-11802 (June 1, 2018) This is incorrect. Although it does not raise the bar for employers on summary judgment and does not change prior case law; it does emphasize an important point for Employers when addressing both Plaintiff/Employee’s direct evidence and circumstantial theories for proving discrimination in

Written by: Don Benson, Esq. Every summer, many employers take on “interns” and ask whether the intern must be paid. If interns, trainees and students are “employees” of a “for-profit” employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act, then they must be paid minimum wage and overtime. Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. In short, this

In this short informative video presented by Columbus CEO, Columbus partner Melanie Slaton discusses the importance of having a harassment policy for your workplace and why employees should have a better understanding about what harassment is to help prevent issues from arising.

by:  Ashik Jahan, Esq. & Carolin Esterl On August 28, 2017, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) made an announcement stating that they will begin to “phase-in” interviews for employment-based cases effective on October 1, 2017. The announcement stated that “adjustment of status applications based on employment”—i.e., categories EB-1 through EB-5—will be affected.  At this time, USCIS has not provided direction on how the “phase-in” process will proceed. Thus,

By Don Benson, Esq. and Eric Hoffman, Esq. When accommodating a deaf patient, what evidence proves effective communication under Title III of the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”) of 1973? A new Eleventh Circuit case [here] declares that the correct standard examines whether the deaf patient experienced an impairment in his or her ability to communicate medically relevant information with hospital staff. This focus is

By Don Benson, Esq. The Second Circuit issued an opinion on February 16, 2016, holding that “Hispanic” is a race for the purposes of both 42 U.S.C. §1981 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, Title VII. Village of Freeport v. Barrella, 814 F.3d 594 (2d Cir. 2016). The Court rejected the employer’s argument that promotion of a white Hispanic candidate over a white non-Hispanic candidate cannot be racial discrimination.  The employee could bring a claim

Written by: Don Benson, Esq. On December 7, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that a Hospital did not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act when it refused to allow a disabled employee to transfer to another, open position when the Hospital had better qualified candidates. EEOC v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, Inc. The ADA protected employee had to compete with other qualified candidates. The ADA’s duty to reasonably accommodate her

Written By: Don Benson, Esq. Many employers have been asking what is next step for them in light of the injunction issued 112/22/16 in the U.S.D.C. Texas holding that the DOL may not impose the new higher salary level for jobs exempt from overtime under the executive, administrative or professional exemptions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The preliminary injunction keeps the new higher salary level from going into effect