Bugbee & Conkle, LLP will host its annual Workers Compensation Law seminar, entitled “Who Would Have Thought?!” on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg, Ohio. Seminar topics will include: Secrets of Defending a Workers’ Compensation Claim, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and its interaction with Ohio’s workers’ compensation act, intentional tort law, subrogation, and unique cases in workers compensation. The seminar will begin at 1:00 P.M. with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. If you would like to attend the seminar please contact Shannon Abbey at 419-244-6788 or SAbbey@bugbee-conkle.com.
D.C. Circuit Strikes Down President’s Recess Appointments to NLRB
In a January 25, 2013, decision, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama had no authority to fill three of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) seats with so called “recess” appointments. According to the Court, the recess appointment power of the president only applies during an “intersession” recess of the Senate, not during intrasession adjournments. The NLRB could ask the full D.C. Circuit to review this judgment; however, it is more likely the Board will ask the Supreme Court to review the decision. The ruling nevertheless calls into question the Boards’ recent decisions, and leaves questions open, such as whether cases that were decided by the Board but never appealed may now be appealed or attacked. The Board has announced, though, that it will contin-ue to issue decisions despite this ruling.
ObamaCare’s Exchange Notice Requirements Delayed for Employers
On January 24, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that employers will not be held to the March 1, 2013, deadline for providing employees with a written notice about the Act’s health insurance exchanges. Employers will not have to comply until final regulations are issued and a final effective date is specified. The DOL expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be most likely in the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.
Court Permits Automatic Meal Break Deductions under the FLSA
Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Ohio employees, in White v. Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., rejected an employee’s claim to compensation for working during her lunch break, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as the employee failed to use internal reporting procedures that prevented the employer from becoming aware of its obligation for compensation. Plaintiff was an emergency department nurse. Employer’s handbook stated employees’ unpaid meal break was automatically deducted from their paychecks. The handbook also provided a way for the employee to give the employer notice the meal break was missed or interrupted for a work-related reason. Employees were instructed to record all time spent performing work during meal breaks in a log. Plaintiff alleged occasions when she missed meal breaks entirely or partially for work reasons. Plaintiff however did not report her missed meal breaks in the log. Because of this failure by the plaintiff, the Sixth Circuit held the automatic meal deduction system was lawful under the FLSA. Plaintiff prevented the employer from discovering its obligation to compensate the employee and thereby thwarted the employer’s ability to comply with the FLSA. If an employer does have an automatic meal break deduction, it is important to have that procedure outlined in the handbook with reasonable reporting procedures.