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Employment Law Newsletter

October 2018 Employment Law Newsletter

What Employers and Employees Should Know about Confidentiality, Noncompete and Nonsolicitation Agreements May an employer restrict employees from working for a competitor following termination? The answer is yes, so long as the employer has a protectable legitimate business interest. Whether your company is an employer…

August 2017 Employment Law Newsletter – Special Alert

On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised Form I-9. Employers can begin using this form, but effective September 18, 2017 it will be mandatory.  Employers who continue to use the older I-9 form after this date may be subject to…

May 2017 Employment Law Newsletter

School’s Out For the Summer…What You Need to Know When Hiring Minors School is out for the summer and high school students (many of whom are under the age of 18) are “pounding the pavement” and looking for the perfect summer job.  For the purposes…

United States Department of Labor Issues its Final Overtime Rule – What You Need To Know Now…

The DOL finally issued its final rule governing overtime pay. Among other things, the final rule increases the minimum annual salary for an exempt employee to $47,476 per year from $23,660. The final rule is effective December 1, 2016 unless enjoined or overturned by Congress. …

President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and White House Takes Aim at Noncompete Agreements

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) creating a new cause of action that may be filed in federal court for misappropriation (theft) of trade secrets.  Two of the key federal remedies available under this…

Florida Supreme Court Decision in Castellanos Workers’ Compensation Case

Florida Supreme Court Rules Section 440.34, Florida Workers’ Compensation Statute is unconstitutional both the Florida and the United States Constitutions.  Attorney’s Fees Section 440.34 of Florida’s workers’ compensation statute is the provision that governs the payment of attorney’s fees in connection with workers’ compensation cases…

Christina Harris Schwinn Addresses Changes to Minimum Salary Test

In an article published by the Southwest Florida Business Today titled “Is your business prepared for changes to Minimum Salary Test?”  Christina Harris Schwinn discusses the steps to prepare business owners  for these changes. Click here to read the full article.

Could It Be A Game Changer? Joint Employers and the Fair Labor Standards Act©

On January 20, 2016, the United States Department of Labor’s Administrator, David Weil, issued his first Administrative Interpretation (“AI”) of 2016. The AI addresses the liability for overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in joint employment relationships that exist in a variety…

Special Edition: Florida Pending Bill Updates through January 26, 2016

This Special Edition of Legal Updates contains an attachment with information regarding all of the employment law bills that have had action taken on them, been filed or withdrawn through January 26, 2016. You will note that following the bill summary you will find HR…

Special Edition: Legislative Update Pending Florida Bills Through 1-12-2016

It is that time of year when the Florida Legislature is in session.  This Special Edition of Legal Updates contains an attachment with information regarding all of the employment law bills that have been filed through January 12, 2016.  You will note that following the…

July 2015 Employment Law Newsletter

Employees vs. Independent Contractors – U.S. DOL Reaffirms that the Economic Realities Test is the Appropriate Test to Use in Misclassification Cases… To read the full article click here.

May 2015 Employment Law Newsletter

Background Checks and The Fair Credit Reporting Act – Do you Know the Law? To view the full article click here.

Pavese’s Schwinn to Speak at Mentoring Event

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm Pavese Law Firm partner Christina Harris Schwinn will speak to Dress for Success clients at a mentoring event scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Central Bank, 1520 Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers. Schwinn…

Partner, Christina Harris Schwinn Takes Part In Panel Discussion

Christina Harris Schwinn will participate in a panel discussion on emerging issues in employee misclassification on March 22 at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. Click here to view the full article.    

Pavese Law Firm partner Christina Harris Schwinn will participate in a panel discussion on emerging issues in employee misclassification on March 22 at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston

Friday, March 22, 2013 – 9:00am – 8:00pm avese Law Firm partner Christina Harris Schwinn will participate in a panel discussion on emerging issues in employee misclassification on March 22 at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. The symposium will examine employment relationships and explore the legal…

National Labor Relations Board Approves New Rule Affecting Most Private Sector Employers

Update as of October 4, 2011, The NLRA’s new rule was supposed to take effect on November 14, 2011, but has been postponed until January 31, 2012, and it applies to a wide variety of private sector employees, but not all. August 25, 2011, the…

The Impact of Changes to Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Laws on Employers

Date Published: 2009-07-27 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Download Article: Impact of Changes to FL Unemployment Compensation Laws The recent economic downturn and corresponding rise in the number of unemployed individuals in Florida has put a strain on the funds available for unemployment compensation for those workers laid…

Identity Theft Red Flag Rules

Date Published: 2010-05-27 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Red Flag Rules (“Rules”) were originally slated to go into effect on June 1, 2008. Since that time, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a number of extensions regarding the enforcement date….

Unpaid Wage Claims In Florida

Date Published: 2009-04-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Article Download: Unpaid Wage Claims in Florida A recent decision issued by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals1 is a powerful reminder to employers that former employees employed in Florida have a statutory right to recover unpaid wages separate…

Could it Be a New Era in Employee Rights?

Date Published: 2009-02-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Article Download: Could It Be a New Era In Employee Rights   2009 brings with it a new presidential administration and a Congress in Washington, D.C., which is dominated by democrats.  Since democrats took control of the House and…

Crossing the Line – Just Say No

Date Published: 2009-05-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Article Download: Crossing the Line – Just Say No   In April of this year, another news story aired for several days relating to sexually explicit emails being sent and received by employees while at and during working hours. …

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date Published: 2009-03-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Article Download: American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009   This article provides an overview only of the monetary assistance available to individuals who find themselves unemployed due to no fault of their own in connection with maintaining their…

Mandatory Paid Leave Benefits May Be On The Horizon For Private Sector Employers in Florida

Date Published: 2009-05-27 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Click to Download Article: Mandatory Paid Leave Benefits Private Sector Employers Currently, private sector employers in the State of Florida have no obligation to offer paid leave benefits. The obligation to provide paid sick or vacation leave benefits to…

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Date Published: 2009-12-30 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn View Article Here: Looking Back-Looking Forward By the time this article is published, 2009 will have ended and the New Year will have begun.  As you may recall at the beginning of 2009, I wrote an article which discussed…

Contracting with the Federal Government, Social Security Numbers and e-Verify: What You Need to Know

Date Published: 2009-09-28 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn View the article here: Contracting with Federal Government, Social Security Numbers and E-Verify On September 8, 2009, a new social security number verification requirement went into effect.  The rule requires contractors and employers that contract with the federal government…

Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors Can Be Costly

Date Published: 2010-03-24 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Who is an independent contractor? An independent contractor for under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law is someone who meets at least 4 of the following criteria (see FS 440.02): (I) The independent contractor maintains a separate business with his…

Record Keeping Requirements Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Date Published: 2009-10-21 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Download Article: FLSA Record Keeping Requirements Originally Published by Lee Building Industry Association, www.bia.net. The Fair Labor Standards Act (“Act”) imposes a requirement on covered employers to maintain accurate records for each non-exempt worker employed by the employer. Generally…

An Employee Handbook Is a Valuable Business Resource

Date Published: 2009-01-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Click here to view article: An Employee Handbook is a Valuable Business Resource (1-09)   When used properly, employee handbooks can be a very useful management and employee relations tool.  An employee handbook should provide the basic underpinnings of…

Wage & Hour Quiz – True or False

Date Published:  2008-11-01 Author:  Christina Harris Schwinn TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE This month’s article is designed as an interactive exercise with the reader and to test the reader’s knowledge regarding wage and hour issues.  Please take a few moments to complete the quiz.  The answers will…

December 2014 Employment Law Newsletter

Florida’s Information Protection Act of 2014  – What Businesses Should Know. To view the full article click here.

The United States Department of Labor Shifts Its Focus

Date Published: 2010-04-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn On April 1, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a press release in which it announced a new DOL website. The website – www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/ — is part and parcel of the DOL’s public outreach and education…

E-MAIL: A Blessing or a Curse

Date Published: 2007-05-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Over the last 30 plus years, many of us have witnessed major technological advances that many of the younger generation take for granted (of course, those of us who remember the advent of the fax machine remember our…

Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts in the Workplace ©

Date Published: 2012-03-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Depending on your perspective, social media can either be a drain on productivity or a great promotional opportunity for businesses.  Either way, social media has made its way into the workplace.  While being valuable new tools of the…

News from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safey and Health Administration

Date Published: 2010-09-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn The Occupational Safety and Health Act (“Act”) requires employers to provide employees with a workplace that is safe from recognized hazards.  The type of industry determines what an employer must do to comply with the Act.  Construction industry…

The National Labor Relations Board What You Should Know

Written by: Christina Harris Schwinn Private sector employers often believe that because their workforces are not unionized that they do not have to be concerned about the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) activities or compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Wrong.  Generally speaking,…

Proposed FLSA Change – Time Off in Lieu of Overtime

Featuring Christina Harris Schwinn The meaning of overtime could change for private-sector employees here around the country. A proposed amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act would give employees a choice on how they spend their hours. It’s called the Working Families Flexibility Act of…

Schwinn, Pretasky to Present on Interviews

Pavese Law Firm partner Christina Harris Schwinn and Barb Pretasky of Lee Memorial Health System will present on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing From Both Sides of the Fence” during the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch & Learn series at 11:30 a.m. on Nov….

Pavese Law Firm Partner Christina Harris Schwinn Discusses Legal Differences Between Employees and Independent Contractors at Nov. 5 UNET Meeting

The distinction between whether an individual is classified as an employee or an independent contractor can affect business owners in a variety of ways, including how employers withhold a variety of taxes. Misclassification of an individual may result in a number of costly legal consequences….

March 2014 Employment Law Newsletter

Written by Christina Harris Schwinn Same-Sex Married Couples and the Impact on Florida Employers Florida State Legislative Update Case Law Update – Cases of Significance Emerging Trends Agency Update To view the full newsletter, click here.

Partner, Christina Harris Schwinn will discuss Employment Law at HRMA March Meeting

Christina Harris Schwinn will provide an employment law update to the HRMA of Southwest Florida, local chapter of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), at its March 12 luncheon event. The presentation will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Crowne…

HRMA of Southwest Florida Luncheon

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 11:30am – 1:00pm Partner, Christina Harris Schwinn will provide an employment law update to the HRMA of Southwest Florida, local chapter of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), at its March 12 luncheon event. The presentation will be held from 11:30 a.m. to…

Partner, Christina Harris Schwinn discusses Bills in Pipeline Could Impact Workplace

Now is not the time for business complacency. The 2014 Legislative Session is approaching, and there’s a slew of state and federal bills that could impact Southwest Florida employers. With debates ranging from workplace bullying to social media privacy and minimum wage, experts said it’s…

Schwinn to Address Above Board Chamber Panel on HR

Partner Christina Harris Schwinn will join other local human resource (HR) professionals at 11:30 a.m. on July 10 at the Above Board Chamber of Florida. The Above Board Chamber is bringing together Lee County’s top HR professionals from Hertz Corporation, Lee Memorial Health System, the School District…

Confidentiality, Noncompete and Nonsolicitation Agreements: One Size Does Not Fit All

Written by: Christina Harris Schwinn Many businesses in Florida use confidentiality, noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements to protect their confidential information and customer relationships.  Of the three types of restrictive agreements, a confidentiality agreement is the least restrictive, the noncompete agreement is the most restrictive, and…

I-9 Employment Verification Form

The United States Customs and Immigration Service recently announced that all employers should continue to use the I-9 Employment Verification Form dated August 31, 2012 until further notice. To verify that you are using the proper version of the form, look at the top right-hand…

OSHA Launches Workplace Violence Website

Written by: Christina Harris Schwinn The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) [the agency charged with enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”)[1]] recently launched a new website targeted towards providing information to employers about…

School’s Out For the Summer…

School is out for the summer and high school students (many of whom are under the age of 18) are “pounding the pavement” and looking for the perfect summer job. For the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“Act”), the federal law that governs…

Florida’s New Definition of Misconduct for Unemployment Insurance Compensation Purposes – A Change for the Better

Effective July 1, 2011, the Florida Legislature enacted amendments to Chapter 443 of the Florida Statutes governing unemployment compensation benefits and taxes.  Prior to the July 1, 2011 amendment, many employers complained about an employee being able to receive unemployment benefits even though the employee…

Making Good Hiring Decisions in Good Times and Bad Times (Part 2 of 2)

Date Published: 2011-05-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Last month’s article featured Part I of II – Making Good Hiring Decisions in Good Times and Bad Times.  This month, Part II of II will discuss effective interviewing skills. Effective interviewing skills can be developed if proper attention…

Making Good Hiring Decisions in Good Times and Bad Times (Part 1 of 2)

Date Published: 2011-04-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn There is no question about the fact that hiring the right employee for your company can be a daunting and time consuming process.  Unfortunately, many employers fail to recognize the overall benefit of having good hiring procedures in…

At-Will Employment Has Limitations-Even in Florida

Date Published: 2007-04-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn This article is focused on the private sector, not government employers. Florida is an employer-friendly state.  Unlike some other states, Florida is a right-to-work state and many of the laws that are in place favor the employer, not…

Answers to the Wage and Hour Quiz Appearing in Last Month’s Column – Private Sector Employers

Date Published: 2008-12-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn This month’s column will provide the answers to the questions presented in last month’s column in the Wage and Hour Quiz.  The questions have been repeated for the reader’s convenience. 1)    If I pay an employee a salary,…

Independent Contractor Rules – A Significant Change May Be On The Horizon

Date Published: 2010-11-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn There are two major pieces of legislation pending in Congress that employers should be aware of as both bills would significantly impact the classification of independent contractors and the tests that are applied for the purposes of determining…

Important News from OSHA and the Social Security Administration

Date Published: 2011-04-26 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn OSHA’S Fall Protection Directive Affects Residential Construction Contractors To the chagrin of the National Roofing Contractors Association, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected its challenge to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) December…

Conflict in the Office – Oh My! (Part 2 of 2)

Date Published: 2010-04-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Picking up where we left off last month, this second installment of this article on workplace conflict will focus on practical tips and things to consider when endeavoring to correct or discipline an employee’s inappropriate behavior, conduct or…

Conflict in the Office – Oh My! (Part 1 of 2)

Date Published: 2010-02-26 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Conflict in the workplace is an inevitability that we all deal with on a fairly regular basis. Whether you view conflicts in the workplace as a challenge or an annoyance will depend on your perspective. Encountering difficult people–or…

Discrimination Charges Filed With The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Hit Record High in Fiscal Year 2010

Date Published: 2011-03-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently reported that the number of charges filed under the discrimination statutes that it is charged with enforcing during its fiscal year 2010 reached the highest level in its history with 99,922…

Are You Paying People Under The Table? Think Again.

Date Published: 2010-10-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn During tough economic times it is tempting to pay people under the table. Why? To save money. By paying people under the table the employer avoids paying workers’ compensation insurance premiums, the employer’s portion of the social security…

Independent Contractor Rules: Proposed Changes to the Internal Revenue Code

Date Published: 2010-12-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn Last month’s article focused on the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (“EMPA”) which, if passed, will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act. This month’s article focuses on the Fair Playing Field Act of 2010 (“FPFA”) which was introduced into…

Mandated Breaks for Nursing Mothers – Employer Obligations

Date Published: 2010-08-01 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amends Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA Amendment”) and requires certain employers to provide mandated breaks to mothers who are nursing during the first year after the birth…

Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act Effective January 1, 2009

Date Published: 2009-06-30 Author: Christina Harris Schwinn When the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (effective 1992) passed, Congress intended the Act to “provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities” and “to provide broad coverage in…