November 2014 L&E Update from Baker Donelson

Submitted by Firm:
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Firm Contacts:
Jennifer L. Anderson, Kathlyn Perez, Phyllis G. Cancienne, Robert C. Divine
Article Type:
Legal Update

November may be the month for Thanksgiving, but employers are probably not going to be giving thanks for increased regulations at both the federal and state levels on hiring, firing and employee protection policies. Plus the cold weather may expose gaps in employers' inclement weather policies that should be zipped up before the snow starts to fall. Read on for updates and warnings that will take you into the holidays breathing a little easier that you've covered your bases.

IRS Announces New Retirement Plan Limits for 2015, by Baker Donelson's Tax Group

On October 23, 2014, the IRS announced the retirement plan limits for 2015. A variety of dollar levels or limits apply under employer-sponsored, tax-qualified retirement plans, and we offer a chart to help you sort it out. More...

Federal Contractors:  My Baby (well, actually, the OFCCP) Just Wrote Me A Letter!!, by David Harvey

On October 1, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget blessed a new Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing for Supply and Service contractors, which is effective immediately. Documentation and reporting of hiring practices related to minorities, the disabled and veterans just got more complicated. More...

Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold:  Winter Wage Law Woes, by Christie M. Hayes

Federal wage laws are specific in how employees are to be treated in terms of missing work due to weather-related issues. Employers should review their inclement weather policies and ensure they properly compensate all employees who may get caught in the storm. More...

Tennessee's Healthy Workplace Act: Extending Protection Beyond the Federal Protected Class, by Joann Coston-Holloway

According to a February 2014 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute, 27 percent of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work and another 21 percent have witnessed it. Although Tennessee's new Healthy Workplace Act currently applies only to public sector employers, it should be used as a guide for all employers to assure their employees are protected.  More...

Don't Let the OWBPA Put a Rift in Your RIF, by Adria Hertwig

Are you considering a reduction in force (RIF) that includes a severance package for employees?  Are some of the employees included in the RIF over the age of 40?  Before you take another step, make sure you know the requirements of the Older Workers Benefits Protections Act or you could be faced with paying both a severance package and for a lawsuit demanding more money.  More...

Immigration Corner, by Melanie C. Walker

This month: More questions for travelers, and carving through the definition of “Specialized Knowledge” for Brazilian chefs.  More...