Nondisclosure Clauses are NOT “Just Boilerplate”

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Your company may have entered into a settlement agreement with an employee, vendor, customer, or other party. The settlement could have been months or years ago, and while you recall that the matter settled, you may not remember all of the settlement agreement provisions.

Settlement agreements often contain a nondisclosure clause requiring the parties to the agreement to keep the matter confidential. A typical clause might read as follows:

As part of the consideration for this Agreement,

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The EEOC Has Been Busy . . . .

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Just days before its proposed rule on changes to its EEO-1 form and reporting requirements, on January 21, 2016, the EEOC released proposed changes to its Retaliation Enforcement Guidance.  While this document does not carry the force or weight of regulations or statutes, it can guide a court’s reasoning.  This 76-page document purports to summarize the law of retaliation and provide its investigators with information to help them conduct and complete their investigations.

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Obama Administration Taking Actions to “Advance Equal Pay for all Workers”

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On the 7th anniversary of President Obama’s signing into law his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he announced “several additional actions that his administration is taking to advance equal pay for all workers and further empower working families.”

The most interesting additional action would affect employers with 100 or more employees.  These companies would be required, on an annual basis, to report details of what they pay their employees categorized by race,

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DoL Publishes Joint Employer Interpretation

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On January 20, 2016, the Wage and Hour Division released an Administrator’s Interpretation concerning joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. The interpretation identifies common scenarios in which two or more employers jointly employ an employee and are thus jointly liable for compliance. It pulls together all the relevant authorities – statutory provisions, regulations, and case law – to provide comprehensive guidance on joint employment under FLSA and MSPA so that employers can properly analyze a potential joint employment scenario.

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House to Consider Federal Intern Protection Act of 2015 this Week

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On January 7, the House Majority Leader indicated that H.R. 3231, the “Federal Intern Protection Act of 2015,” may be considered in the House this week.  The resolution would extend protections against discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability to interns and applicants for internship.  Interns are defined in the resolution as individuals who perform uncompensated voluntary service in an agency to earn credit awarded by an educational institution or to learn a trade or occupation.

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Standard Mileage Reimbursement Rate Adjustment for 2016

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Employers often reimburse their employees for mileage when they use their personal vehicles for business purposes.  The IRS allows a deduction at a particular rate for each mile driven.  Last year the IRS rate was 57.5 cents per mile, but beginning on January 1, 2016, the rate was reduced to 54 cents per mile.  The full IRS announcement can be found here.

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Start Your Overtime Exemption Analyses Now!

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On July 1, 2015, I informed you that the Department of Labor was initiating a change to the white collar exemption regulations and beginning a public comment period.  As the DoL reviews tens of thousands of comments on its proposed changes to the White Collar Exemptions, employers should begin analyzing their exempt positions to determine whether they will still be exempt from overtime after the rule is inevitably issued.

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Salaried Means No Overtime, Right? Ask Halliburton

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to pay most workers minimum wage and overtime to nonexempt workers for work in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Overtime must be paid unless the worker is defined as “exempt” under the Act. Many employers believe that simply paying employees on a salary basis makes them exempt from overtime, but several more factors affect the classification than whether you pay employees a salary or pay them hourly.

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Idaho Human Rights Commission Statistics FY2015

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Today I attended a continuing legal education seminar for the Idaho State Bar Employment and Labor Law Section. Linda Goodman, Administrator/Director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission, was the presenter. I thought some of the statistics she presented were worth passing on.

During the Commission’s 2015 fiscal year, 443 new cases were filed, up from 435 in fiscal year 2014. Of the 443 new cases, 414 were employment related. The following table shows what categories of employment discrimination the cases alleged:

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House Joint Resolution 61 to be Considered by the Senate

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In the coming days, the Senate will consider House Joint Resolution 61, known as the “Hire More Heroes Act.”  The bill, if passed, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to exempt employees with health coverage from TRICARE or the Veterans Administration from being considered in the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The employer mandate of the ACA requires employers of 50 or more full-time employees to provide qualified health insurance.

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