The Legal Line®

Final DOL Rule on Tip Pooling and Sharing

January 13, 2021

The DOL recently announced its final rule regarding when and how, if at all, employers can share tips with cooks, servers and others on the restaurant team. Among other things, the Department: removes prohibitions for those employers that do not take a tip credit from implementing mandatory “nontraditional” tip pools; prohibits employers from keeping employees’ … Read more

Paid Family and Medical Leave in Massachusetts Begins, for the most part.

January 13, 2021

Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave began January 1, 2021. Post your poster! Here is an example from the state: We’ve all been paying for this benefit already, but now the rubber meets the road to see if we’ve been paying enough and how the system will really work. Briefly, the new law gives employees … Read more

EEOC Issues Guidance on Legally Compliant COVID Vaccination Programs

January 6, 2021

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) once again updated its guidance concerning COVID-19, this time to address vaccinations.  Just as with past guidance, the new information regarding vaccinations comes in the form of questions and answers that show up in the last section of the EEOC’s COVID-19 technical assistance publication.  These … Read more

EEOC Publishes Proposed Religious Discrimination Guidance for Public Comment

December 10, 2020

Just before Thanksgiving, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published proposed new guidance regarding religious discrimination in the workplace.  The 100+ page guidance explains an employer’s obligations regarding religion discrimination mostly by giving common examples of how religion and workplace rules tend to collide and if and how the scenarios violate the law.  In fact, … Read more

Have a System to Track Remote Work and Pay for All Hours says U.S. DOL in New Field Assistance Bulletin on Telework

September 22, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to track hours of employees who are teleworking. Briefly, the new guidance clarifies that an employer has an obligation to exercise reasonable diligence to track the actual hours worked of employees who are working remotely away from a physical worksite. While the … Read more

EEOC Issues Guidance Regarding Accommodating Opioid-Related Disabilities

September 16, 2020

Opioid use has been on the rise in recent years. Many people became addicted after doctors prescribed opioid medications like oxycodone for pain control after a surgery or for a chronic injury. But because of their addictive nature, people began abusing these drugs, in many cases substituting illegal heroin (also an opioid) in their place. … Read more

DOL Says Declining Job Because of COVID Safety Concerns Does not Disqualify for Federal Unemployment but Not Being Able to Get a Job Because Businesses are Not Hiring Due to COVID Does

July 30, 2020

After months of being closed under applicable state orders, many businesses have identified enhanced Federal unemployment benefits as one of the obstacles to reopening during the pandemic. Some businesses say that their employees do not want to return because they are earning more in unemployment benefits than they would if they were working. On July … Read more

U.S. DOL Publishes OSHA-Related COVID FAQ’s and Recommends Cloth Masks

July 10, 2020

This week, the DOL issued new COVID-19 specific FAQ’s intended to guide employers about the steps they can take during the pandemic to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OSHA”). The FAQ’s address a variety of important topics, including cleaning and disinfecting protocols, training, and handwashing facilities. The FAQ’s also address dealing with … Read more