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DOL Reissues Previously Rescinded Opinion Letters : Jan 18th - Under the Obama administration, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it would no longer issue opinion letters. It also rescinded 17 opinion letters that had been issued under the Bush administration. Opinion letters historically served as a mechanism for the DOL to respond to fact-specific employer inquiries about wage and hour issues. While the opinion letters are not binding law, they remain a helpful resource for employers attempting to navigate the more ambiguous areas of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). A recent development suggests that the DOL may, once again, begin issuing opinion letters. On January 5, 2018, the DOL reissued the 17 opinion letters that were rescinded under the Obama administration. These letters offer significant guidance on numerous wage and hour issues, including the exempt status of many specific positions. Of broader relevance, the reissued opinion letters include the following: > FLSA 2018-14 - Salary deductions may be made when an employee is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability. Deductions may be made for absences of one or more full days for sickness or disability, if the deductions are made pursuant to “a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary occasioned by such sickness or disability.” Deductions from an employee’s guaranteed salary may only be taken if the employee misses one or more full days of work. The regulations do not permit salary deductions for partial day absences. > FLSA 2018-11 - In calculating the regular rate of pay for purposes of overtime, job bonuses that are conditioned only on performing the required work associated with the job must be included. > FLSA 2018-7 - Employers may calculate salary deductions for a full-day’s absence on the number of hours actually missed. Therefore, where an employee is scheduled to work nine hours during the workday, the employer may make the deduction for the full nine hours from the employee’s salary (i.e., the amount of time actually missed). The 17 reissued letters, along with older DOL opinion letters, can be found here (https://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/flsa.htm). Although not every letter is pertinent to all employers, they remain a valuable source of information and worthy of employer review. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact a member of our Labor & Employment Practice Group. Eric Baisden | ebaisden@beneschlaw.com | 216.363.4676 Pete Kirsanow | pkirsanow@beneschlaw.com | 216.363.4481 Karly Johnson | kjohnson@beneschlaw.com | 216.363.6265
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DOL Abandons Six-Factor Intern Test : Jan 9th - On January 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) adopted a more lenient standard for assessing whether interns qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Previously, in 2010, the DOL promulgated a more onerous six-factor test. Under that test, an intern was considered an employee unless each of six factors were met. Employers were forced to consider, for example, whether interns displaced any regular employees or whether they derived any “immediate advantage” from the interns’ work. Now the DOL, in reducing the burden on employers, has aligned itself with several appellate courts and implemented the “primary beneficiary” test. This seven-factor test is derived out of a 2015 ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. The test comprehensively analyzes the “economic realities” of an intern’s relationship with his or her employer to determine the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship and is more in line with the current test for determining independent contractor status. The seven factors of the newly-implemented test are designed for flexibility and the DOL advises that in administering the test, the unique circumstances of each case should be considered. The factors primarily focus on the expectations of the parties, the educational benefits, and the correlations with formal courses of study. The DOL has stated that it will update its enforcement policies and provide Wage and Hour Division investigators increased flexibility to holistically analyze internships on an ad hoc basis. This development is expected to benefit employers and ease employer concerns that interns will be inadvertently misclassified as employees. If you have any questions on this topic please contact a member of our Labor & Employment Practice Group. Eric Baisden (Chair) at ebaisden@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4676. Karly B. Johnson at kjohnson@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.6265.
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Unified Carrier Registration Fee Final Rule : Jan 8th - On January 5, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) published a Final Rule setting the fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement (“UCR”). The January 5, 2018 Final Rule (the “Final Rule”) reduces annual registration fees to be collected from motor carriers (for-hire and private), brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies for the 2018, 2019, and subsequent years. All interstate motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies should endeavor to complete their UCR registration as soon as possible. Though states’ enforcement of the payment of UCR fees generally begins on January 1 of the registration year, the UCR’s Board of Directors (“UCR Board”) has requested that states delay enforcement for 90 days (April 5, 2018) following the publish date of the Final Rule setting fees due to the delay in setting the fee schedule. The State of Indiana’s Department of Revenue, which operates and maintains the national online UCR registration system, had announced it would begin accepting registrations on January 5, 2018. Those interstate motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies based in states that maintain their own UCR systems may require more time for the state department to be prepared to accept registrations. The fee schedule, as determined by the Final Rule is as follows: http://www.beneschlaw.com/Setting-the-Course- ... (please click on link for chart) This Final Rule was anticipated in early 2017, as federal law requires that the UCR may only collect up to a statutory maximum, and on March 14, 2017 the UCR Board voted to recommend a reduction of registration fees collected in 2018, 2019, and subsequent years. The adjustment in fees and the Final Rule were required because the fees collected for the 2016 registration year exceeded the total revenue entitlements for the first time in UCR history. Please contact Kelly Mulrane at kmulrane@beneschlaw.com or 614-223-9318 with any questions or if you need assistance with any UCR-related issues.
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SCRUM : Jan 5th - Looking for a plastic company that has initiated the SCRUM philosophy into their organization. I would like to hear how you prepared for the change, how you communicated the change, how you actually initiated it and the bumps and bruises along the way (if there were any). Brian J
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Indistry standard scrap % of sales? : Dec 29th - I am looking for a benchmark on industry standard scrap/rejects as a percent of sales. does anyone know of a report or have an idea of what the standard is? Christopher Everett
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Group List

Allen, Dominique - Customer Logistics Coordinator
Bishop, Ron - Technical Manager
Bursley, Terry - Customer Service
Burt, Melissa - Customer Support & Logistics Manager
Cochran, Brian - Technical Manager
Czarnecki, Jenny - Materials Manager
Dudeck, Katie - Contract Administrator\Customer Service
Elliott, Deborah - Customer Service
Feitoza, Ingrid - Engineering and Sales Assistant
Fogle, Diane - Customer Service
Good, Monica - Customer Service Manager
Harshman, Sue - Customer Service
Holbrook, Catrina - Customer Service Rep.
Joel, Lori - Supply Chain Mgr
Justinger, Scott - Tech Development Manager
Lawrence, Audrey - Customer Service
Lehman, Lisa - Executive Assistant / Customer Service Manager
Marshal, Michelle - Sr Program Mgr
Masternak, Kari - Customer Service Manager
May, Cindy - Office Manager
Moran, Connie - Customer Service
Prinkey, Allison - Customer Service Manager
Ramos, Henry - Buyer/Planner
Robert, Beth - Administrator
Spencer, Dawn - Customer Service Rep
Tabor, Mike - Materials Manager
Urey, Brandi - Communications Coordinator
VanCamp, Fred - General Manager
Vandentoorn, Bill - CS/Scheduler
Vierling, Lisa - Customer Service Manager
Washburn, Shonda - Customer Service Coordinator
Zimmer, Robin - Production Control Manager
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