Over the past decade, the legal landscape for trucking companies has been rattled. The phenomenon of “nuclear verdicts” — colossal jury awards, often exceeding $10 million, are reshaping the dynamics of litigation. These mammoth decisions impact both plaintiffs and defendants. They place a particularly heavy burden on trucking companies that are facing rising costs across
Access to expertise and preparedness go hand-in-hand. This is especially true for employment law, a legal landscape subject to bureaucratic upheaval and judicial review. Like last year, 2024 holds the potential for significant changes.
Employment Law and Strategies for Preparedness
Vigilance in monitoring potential changes in employment law is essential for employers of any size. Beyond mere legal compliance, this awareness serves as a linchpin for strategic decision-making, risk mitigation, and fostering positive employee relations. In an era where corporate adaptability is a competitive advantage and social responsibility is scrutinized, staying abreast of evolving employment laws positions large employers not just to meet legal requirements but to proactively shape a workplace culture that aligns with both regulatory standards and the expectations of a dynamic workforce.
Our commitment is to remain aware of developments, especially as they pertain to relevant case law. As you consider the possibilities, will your response be proactive or reactive?
Independent Contractor Classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Department of Labor (DOL) is on the verge of finalizing a rule that determines the crucial distinction between employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If the new standard is finalized, it will replace the rule in place since 2021. The stated objective of the rule change is clarity for employers and a reduction in misclassification issues. Employers are getting ready to adhere to these evolving standards to ensure compliance and remain competitive in the talent market.
Read more about the rule on the Federal Register.
Joint-Employer Standard Changes by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Some changes are more than just possible, they’re on schedule. Effective from February 26, 2024, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has introduced a revamped joint-employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This new rule broadens the criteria for joint-employer status, impacting essential terms and conditions of employment. Liability and relationships with contracted workers are subject to change under these new rules, directly impacting the nature of employment agreements moving forward.
EEOC’s Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is considering updated enforcement guidance on workplace harassment, aiming to replace documents that have been in place since 1987-1999, depending upon the rule. The EEOC is reviewing public comments it accepted through November 2023. It is important to not that this enforcement guidance is not law, though it may be cited in court once it is finalized.
For employers, maintaining workplaces free from harassment is a vital matter. Clear understanding and compliance with standards can help ensure a harassment-free workplace and mitigate devastating legal risk.
DOL’s Proposed Rule to Update Overtime Exemptions
Significant changes to overtime exemptions may be on the way, including raising the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees, increasing the compensation requirement for highly compensated employees, and introducing automatic updates every three years. The stated aims of these adjustments are to expand overtime protections and ensure salaries align with current earnings data. November 2023 saw the close of this rule’s public comment period, so a final rule is expected in the near term.
Read the proposed changes on the Federal Register.
As we anticipate the coming year, our commitment to providing comprehensive legal services remains unwavering. The evolving employment law landscape demands vigilance and proactive adaptation. If you need access to legal expertise in employment law, contact us.