Employment Law Alert – May 2016

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  • What New Mexico Employers Need to Know about the U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Regarding Constructive Discharge Claims 
    On May 23, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided that an employee’s time to file a discrimination charge for an alleged constructive discharge begins to run on the day that the employee quits his or her job (or gives notice of his or her intent to quit) rather than on the day of the last act of alleged discrimination that caused the employee to resign. The Court concluded that until an employee actually resigns, the employee does not have a “complete and present cause of action” as two key elements of a constructive discharge claim are (1) discrimination and (2) discharge. Applying ordinary principles applicable to statutes of limitation, the Court concluded that there is no viable claim for constructive discharge until the employee resigns, that it would be unfair to require an employee to make a claim prior to the date on which the claim became viable, and that the time period for filing a charge with the EEOC thus does not begin to run until the date of resignation. Continue Reading
  • EEOC Issues New Wellness Program Rules 
    New Mexico employers that offer or are considering offering a wellness program should be aware that on May 16th, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published the final version of two rules that regulate employer-sponsored wellness programs. The rules provide much needed clarity on what has previously been an area filled with legal uncertainty. The rules, which will take effect in 2017, explain how employers can offer a wellness program that is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). They apply to workplace wellness programs offered in conjunction with a health plan and stand-alone wellness programs. Continue Reading
  • The DOL’s New FLSA Regulations – Millions Entitled to Overtime Wages Beginning December 1, 2016 

    The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (the “DOL”) issued its final rule Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees on May 17, 2016 (the “rule” or “final rule”). The rule significantly impacts who now qualifies as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by changing the threshold salary requirements for the white collar exemption under the FLSA. The DOL has not updated these salary requirements since 2004, allowing employees who made $455 per week (approximately $23,660) to qualify for the while collar exemption under the FLSA. In the final rule, this salary requirement is now doubled—entitling many employees who make less than $913/week (or $47,475) per year to be paid overtime wages. The rule also establishes new threshold requirements for employees who qualify under the highly compensated employee exemption. Continue Reading