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An Innocuous Audit That Has The Potential to Create Enormous Liability: Arizona’s Department of Econ...

A tax audit letter from a government agency can sink even the hardiest of business owner’s stomach. Yet, a tax audit letter from the Department of Economic Security (DES) may not create the same sense of dread. These audits typically involve low dollar amounts, which may lure business owners into a false sense of security. However, a DES audit should put business owners on high alert. Although the dollar amounts may be low, a determination by DES that a business’ independent contractors are...
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The NLRB’s Latest Do’s and Don’ts of Employer Handbooks

By John G. Sestak, Jr. In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has launched a new approach with respect to employer/employee relations by studying employer handbooks to determine whether they violate the rules protecting concerted activity. On March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. issued a report and Memorandum[1] offering “guidance” on various provisions of employer handbooks in his hope that employers review their handbooks and rules to ensure...
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Are Unpaid Internships Illegal in Arizona?

By Lindsay G. Leavitt To pay, or not to pay? For Arizona employers offering internships, that is the question. Since the Great Recession, the number of unpaid internships has mushroomed, presumably because employers desire to reduce costs while students still need to bolster their resumes. What for-profit employers need to know, however, is that most unpaid internships violate Federal and Arizona laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that defines “employ” and...
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Department of Labor Announces Final Rule on Definition of Spouse under the FMLA

By Kami M. Hoskins The Department of Labor (DOL) will publish a Final Rule this week revising the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).  The changes will allow eligible employees in same-sex marriages to take FMLA leave to care for their spouses or family members, regardless of where the employee resides.  The DOL issues the Final Rule in response to the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which held section 3 of The...
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NLRB Rules that Employees May Use Company E-mail for Union Organization

By Keith F. Overholt A new name has entered the lexicon of American labor law:  Purple Communications.  It will turn employers several shades of red when they learn that, on December 10, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that if an employer makes its e-mail available to its employees for use in connection with their job, the employer must permit employees to use the e-mails system “for statutorily protected communications.” In a union context, that means if a union is...
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EEOC Sues CVS Pharmacy Claiming Its Separation Agreements Are Unenforceable

By John G. Sestak, Jr. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commenced litigation against CVS Pharmacy, Inc. alleging that its separation agreements unlawfully prevented employees from communicating with the agency (the EEOC) or filing discrimination claims.  Legal commentators have indicated that the form of separation agreement used by CVS is fairly standard for employers throughout the country.  However, the EEOC contends that the separation agreements interfere with the...
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Jennings Strouss Attorney Kami Hoskins Gives Tips to Small Business Employers

As part of National Small Business Week, JSS attorney Kami M. Hoskins is featured in AZ Business in an article entitled: Legal Tips for Small-Business Employers. The article addresses six hot employment law issues: At-Will Social Media Affordable Care Act Notices New Hire Checklist Employee Handbooks Document, Document, Document Read the full article...
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