Joel O'Malley

Joel O'Malley

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

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Employers: Take Precautions Now to Prepare for the Potential Ebola Threat

As a general business practice, employers should routinely anticipate and prepare for emergencies to ensure minimal interruption to their business. While West Africa is experiencing the largest Ebola epidemic in history,...more

10/29/2014 - Best Management Practices CDC Ebola Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Workplace Safety

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Question: The recent media coverage of Ebola has been overwhelming. As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect our employees and our business, but I also don’t want to overreact to what is...more

10/28/2014 - Best Management Practices CDC Ebola OSHA Workplace Safety World Health Organization

Quirky Question #237, Badger your employees to sign new non-competes?

Question: We are a Wisconsin employer that has recently lost a number of employees to competing companies in our area. We’re worried our competitors are getting an unfair edge in the market, basically using employees...more

8/7/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants

Quirky Question #236, “I need some time off to give my daughter a mental boost…”

Question: We employ a very elderly lady, Agnes. In fact, she’s a great-grandmother. See has asked to take some time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. See tells us that her daughter Beatrice is out of the...more

7/28/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA

Quirky Question #235, Payment of Wages – Better Late Than Never Is Half Right

Question: My company was in a tight spot last month with cash flow and we had to delay payroll by a few days. We did end up paying everyone what they were owed. I now have an employee, however, who is claiming the late...more

7/21/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FLSA Wage and Hour Wages

Quirky Question #234, Selling Accrued Vacation

Question: Our company allows employees to sell up to 40 hours of their accrued PTO (accrued vacation) each year. If an employee elects to sell the accrued PTO, we pay it out in a lump sum at the end of the year. Does...more

7/14/2014 - Accrued Benefits IRS PTO Vacation Pay

Quirky Question #233, The Regular Rate: Where Math and Law Collide

Question: We operate a warehouse in Minnesota where the employees work two weeks on / two weeks off. They work 10 hours per day, 7 days per week when they’re on at an hourly rate of $30. The employees also ordinarily...more

7/9/2014 - Bonuses Wage and Hour Wages

Quirky Question #232, We Can Require Our Employee To Work At The Office, Right?

Question: We are a medium-sized Minnesota employer. Our lead accountant recently spoke with our Director of Human Resources and requested to work from home several days a week due to a medical condition. We believe...more

6/27/2014 - ADA Disability EEOC Employer Liability Issues Reasonable Accommodation Telecommuting

Quirky Question #231, Is it Really Employee Appreciation if the Gift Card is Taxable?

Question: Our company awards prizes at holiday parties and, from-time-to-time, at employee appreciation events. The prizes range from company logo t-shirts to $50 gift cards and cameras worth about $125. Do we need...more

6/24/2014 - Gift-Cards Income Taxes W-2

Quirky Question #230, Accommodating Nursing Mothers

Question: We are a large Minnesota employer and we have a non-exempt employee who is asking for breaks to express her breast milk multiple times every day, and each break takes a long time. We let her do so in her...more

6/17/2014 - Affordable Care Act Conflicts of Laws Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies FLSA Non-Exempt Employees Reasonable Accommodation

Quirky Question # 227, New Bells and Whistles in Minnesota Statute

We have an employee who we have been planning to terminate because of performance issues. This employee may have realized this was coming because he recently sent an email to a number of people claiming that our company...more

5/1/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Employment Policies Good Faith Hiring & Firing Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Quirky Question #228, E-Cigarettes: To Vape or Not to Vape at the Workplace”

Our California company has a no smoking policy but had not thought to include a ban on e-cigarettes, as we had not experienced any problems with them at the workplace until now. A handful of our employees use e-cigarettes...more

5/1/2014 - E-Cigarettes Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Starbucks Wal-Mart Workplace Safety

Quirky Question # 225, California Law Is Not Going to Pieces

We are located in California and would like to change to a piece-rate system where we pay non-exempt employees a set amount for completed tasks. I understand that this is referred to as paying for a “piece-rate” and it is...more

4/29/2014 - Minimum Wage Non-Exempt Employees Trucking Industry Wage and Hour

National Pay Equity Day Marked by Presidential Action Targeting Equal Pay for Women

Today marks National Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men earned in 2013. This year’s National Equal Pay Day comes with the announcement of two actions by the White House...more

4/8/2014 - Equal Pay Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Pay Equality Notices

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