US Dept of Labor.jpg“Are you a joint employer?”

No, that’s not my law school pickup line. That would be a terrible pickup line; I’d be a lonely, single, blogging employment lawyer, sitting alone by candlelight eating baked beans out of the can.

Actually, it’s the question that Dr. David Weil, administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, asks in this blog post. And, here’s his answer: “In a nutshell, joint employment exists when a person is employed by two or more employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, for compliance with a statute.”

Does that sound like your business? Well, then, read Dr. Weil’s blog post.

Continue reading


There they are.

Those are my kids, after clearing our driveway with the discount shovels that I purchased from the dollar store. (I was tempted to splurge on the gas-powered snowblowers from the two-dollar store across the street; but, I’m not a monster).  So, I did what any proud parent would do. I marketed posed them on a nearby snowmound and forced smiles (under threat of cancelling Disney Jr.) to attract other area homeowners in need of quality labor. Hey, daddy needs a new set of camouflage 22-inch rims.

Continue reading


Back when I had three kids — the one-year old (not pictured) is salting the sidewalk — I took some liberties with snow days and the Fair Labor Standards Act. I’m exempt of course (Executive exemption — like a boss!). For the kids, rather than worry about minimum wage or overtime, I just paid them in Pop Tarts. An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Unless, they had dirty diapers. Then, I docked their pay.

Fast forward a few years. Now, I have four kids. So, with a big snow storm on the way, the older siblings can assume the position while the baby whips me up a hot toddy. Ok, coffee.

I like to pretend that I’m not in New Jersey. Let’s call it international waters. But for you folks in the “real world,” there are some Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act implications if your business closes for the impending snow. Let’s break ’em down:

Continue reading

About three years ago, I blogged here about Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, a Supreme Court decision addressing a situation in which a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action could be dismissed if the lead plaintiff rejects a Rule 68 offer of judgment. However, the Supreme Court left open the issue of “whether an unaccepted Rule 68 offer that fully satisfies a plaintiff’s individual claim is sufficient to render that claim moot.”

Well folks, strap in, because yesterday, the Supreme Court answered that question.

Continue reading

Telephone in bathroom

Well, at least it was a phone interview.

Hey, one thing you guys know about me is that I’m all about the low hanging fruit and the cheap laugh. So, when I see that CareerBuilder has published it’s 2016 version of “Employers Share Strangest Interview Mishaps and Biggest Body Language Mistakes,” I’m bout it, bout it.

(Sorry, FMLA compliance nerds, you’ll have to wait for another post).

Continue reading

***Double checks Powerball ticket***


Oh, hi there. I didn’t see you come in. Now, get out of here and head over to Thompson’s HR Compliance Expert. You’ll find a new feature called “Opposing Counsel.” At various points throughout the year, I will debate HR-compliance issues with employee-rights lawyer, and my buddy, Donna Ballman. Think, my snark — times two. Plus, you get the added benefit of the point of view of an attorney from the dark side. (Donna’s probably telling her readers the same thing…LOL).


I’ve blogged (here) that grilling a medical marijuana user about her disability, just before firing the employee, could give rise to a viable disability-discrimination claim. In other words, where the disability (as opposed to the medical marijuana use) motivates the employment action, that’s discrimination.

I’ve blogged before (here) that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not protect illegal drug use by employees. So, if the illegal drug use, and not the disability, motivates a company to fire an employee, that’s perfectly legal.

Continue reading

Jack Nicholson - 1976.jpg

Because all of the images of Colonel Jessup ordering a Code Red are copyright protected, you get this one of Jack. But, better than Jack, today you get Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot numbers a guest post from my colleague, Jordan Rand. In addition to having a half-decent jump shot, Jordan is developing a niche practice in cyber insurance, which could come in handy for many of you given the data breach risks that your employees present.

Anyway, check out Jordan’s post below. And, if you’re in or around Denver on February 17, check him out at the University Risk Management and Insurance Association’s Western Regional Conference, where he’s presenting “Cyber 2.0: What We’ve Learned So Far and What We Haven’t.”

If you want to connect with Jordan, you can email himContinue reading