As COVID-19 sweeps through the country and does incredible damage to the health and well-being of many Americans, the virus has also caused significant economic damage. With so many cities and states issuing lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders, many businesses have had to completely change the way they operate in a matter of weeks. Some have had to shut down completely.
There are many reasons why an employer may want to prevent employees from discussing their wages, salaries, bonuses, or other compensation. Pay disparities - even if based on differences in experience, training, or pay - can disrupt the working environment and lead to unhappy employees. Such discussions may lead to an increase in the number of employees demanding raises and seeking new positions if not granted. In the worst-case scenario, the information can lead to discrimination lawsuits with the high legal fees and detrimental reputation damage that such lawsuits cause.
Workers compensation is supposed to protect employers from lawsuits brought by their employees. In exchange for a system of a no fault liability for on the job injuries, employers secure freedom from negligence lawsuits brought by employees that might yield much higher payouts. This protection, however, is not absolute. Like with any rule, there are exceptions.
The commercial general liability policy includes contractual liability as a standard feature, but contractual liability can be a misunderstood term. It sounds like what would arise from a breach of contract, but most liability policies specifically exclude damages resulting from a breach of contract. Instead, contractual liability covers an insured for a contractual agreement to assume the liability of a third party. The most common form of this type of agreement is an indemnification or hold harmless agreement.
Workers compensation systems exist to take workplace injuries out of the courtroom and resolve those claims in a more cost effective way without worrying about fault. Many employers purchase their workers compensation policies simply as a matter of necessity. But these policies cover more than just the statutory workers compensation scheme.
What duties does your business owe to the employee of a customer or vendor? This may not be a question many companies have considered. They have contractual relationships with their customers and vendors that spell out the duties each owes to the other. Furthermore, that contract may require that each party obtain workers compensation insurance specifically to recompense any employee injured on the job.
No one wants to be sued, businesses especially. They particularly do not want to be sued by their customers or vendors. Many companies invest significant resources into policies and procedures designed specifically to avoid lawsuits. Unfortunately, some organizations choose to view lawsuits as the primary means of resolving disputes with others.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets national standards for wage and hour issues related to employees. The law empowers the Department of Labor to set eligibility standards for overtime pay as well as a series of exemptions for it. On March 7th, 2019, the Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will change those eligibility standards significantly.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets national standards for wage and hour issues related to employees. The law empowers the Department of Labor to set eligibility standards for overtime pay as well as a series of exemptions for it. Employees who qualify for overtime under the law receive time-and-a-half pay for hours worked more than forty hours a week. Time-and-a-half pay is a 50% increase to the employee’s “regular rate of pay.”