Hurricane Irene Threatens the East Coast: Employers Don’t Forget the Wage Hour Issues

By: Kara M. Maciel

As Hurricane Irene is moving up the East Coast and threatening states from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, employers should refresh themselves on the wage and hour issues arising from the possibility of missed work days in the wake of the storm.

A few brief points that all employers should be mindful of under the FLSA:

  • A non-exempt employee generally does not have to be paid for weather-related absences. An employer may allow (or require) non-exempt employees to use vacation or personal leave days for such absences. But, if the employer has a collective bargaining agreement or handbook policies, the employer may obligate itself to pay through such policies.
  • An exempt employee generally must be paid for absences caused by office closures due to weather, if he/she performs work in that week. The Department of Labor has stated that an employer may not dock a salaried employee for full days when the business is closed because of weather. Partial day deductions for weather related absences are not permitted.
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ILN Today Post

Attorney Courtney G. Tito joins the West Palm Beach Office of McDonald Hopkins Law Firm

Attorney Courtney G. Tito joins the West Palm Beach Office of McDonald Hopkins Law Firm

West Palm Beach, Florida, (August 26, 2011) – Courtney G. Tito has joined the West Palm Beach office of McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm with more than 130 attorneys. Tito is an experienced litigator who focuses her practice on commercial litigation, mortgage foreclosures, receiverships, and other creditor’s rights litigation. She has eight years of law firm experience, which includes insurance coverage and trademark law.

Before joining the Litigation Department at McDonald Hopkins, Tito was a commercial litigator in a Miami law firm and a staff attorney for the Public International Law and Policy Group from 2006 to 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq. She worked with legislators and the Federal Supreme Court in Iraq advising senior ranking officials on amending current legislation, drafting proposed legislation and amending Iraq’s Constitution.

“Courtney’s experience in commercial litigation is impressive. She is an outstanding addition to our West Palm Beach office as well as our firm,” said John T. Metzger, managing member of the West Palm Beach office. McDonald Hopkins opened a Miami office earlier this year, which is led by Raquel A. Rodriguez, who served as general counsel to former Governor Jeb Bush.

Tito received a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University, a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, and a Master of Arts degree from the American University School of International Service.

Courtney G. Tito can be reached at 561.472.2978 or

About McDonald Hopkins

McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm focused on business law, litigation, business restructuring and bankruptcy, intellectual property, healthcare, and estate planning. The firm has offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami and West Palm Beach. The president of McDonald Hopkins is Carl J. Grassi. For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit


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EBG Wage & Hour Defense Blog Is Nominated As Top Blog

Congratulations to our fellow EBG bloggers:  LexisNexis has selected Epstein Becker Green’s Wage & Hour Defense Blog as a nominee for its Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs. LexisNexis annually honors a select group of blogs that set the online standard for a given industry. This year, LexisNexis expanded Top Blogs to the Labor and Employment Law Community.

To narrow down to its final list of 25 honorees, LexisNexis is seeking feedback and input from the online community. If you find Epstein Becker Green’s Wage & Hour Defense Blog useful and informative, we would appreciate your support.

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ILN Today Post

Financial Services Recovery Update

Mortgagee’s Duty of Care: Will the Court buy your defence to a claim of sale at undervalue?

By Amber Warren of Gadens Lawyers, Sydney

A recent amendment to the Conveyancing Act provides a timely reminder to mortgagees of the duty to be discharged when exercising power of sale.  read more…


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ILN Today Post

Building & Construction Update

Undocumented variations and the Home Building Act (NSW)
Clarity and a ray of hope for builders

By Robert Riddell and Bruce Hale of Gadens Lawyers, SydneyA decision handed down by the Court of Appeal on 23 June 2011 in Sydney Building Group v Edwards (Edwards’ Case) has provided clarity and a ray of hope for residential builders in NSW seeking payment for construction work not expressly set out in the building contract or a written variation order.  read more
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Corporate Risk & Insurance Update

Postponing the pre-litigation reforms

By Brianna Roach and Wendy Blacker of Gadens Lawyers, Sydney

The NSW Government has released a media statement on 23 August 2011 announcing that it will postpone the introduction of recent legislation, which required parties to take reasonable steps to narrow or resolve the issues in dispute before commencing proceedings. read more


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Connolly Bove Announces Continued Expansion

Wilmington, DE – Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP is pleased to announce two new partners in the firmʼs Intellectual Property Group, Edward F. Behm Jr. and Thomas J. McWilliams. Both joined the firmʼs Wilmington, DE office. They previously practiced at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLPʼs Philadelphia office. Connolly Bove has also added a new technical advisor, Jennifer L. Bachorik, Ph.D., as part of its ongoing expansion of its biotechnology and plant science practice.

“We are very pleased to welcome Ted and Tom to the firm,” said Chip Connolly, managing partner of Connolly Bove. “Their addition furthers our plan to expand our IP and emerging company practices. They will also deepen our bench in the computer, software and telecommunications fields.”

The full release can be seen here.

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Robert E. McKenzie addresses likely settlement by Credit Suisse for aiding tax invasion

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Robert E. McKenzie

Robert E. McKenzie

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Robert E. McKenzie was interviewed recently for an article that appeared August 14 on Bloomberg online on the likely settlement by Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, of aiding tax invasion. The story with Mr. McKenzie’s quotes was also picked up by the online publication Today. The U.S. Justice Department notified the bank last month that it was the target of a probe into its cross-border banking services to U.S. customers. Tax lawyers assert that their settlement may exceed $1 billion.

To read the Bloomberg article with Mr. McKenzie’s comments, please click here.

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ILN Today Post

Florida Unemployment Compensation Law Has Become More “Employer Friendly”

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On June 27, 2001, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law implementing several significant reforms to the Florida Unemployment Compensation Program. The new law is meant to save the state money, reduce taxes on employers and help get Floridians back to work. Among other reforms, the definition of “misconduct” under the new law has been expanded making it easier for employers to successfully defend unemployment insurance benefit claims. Specifically, under the new law, misconduct is defined as “any action that demonstrates conscious disregard of an employer’s interests and is found to be a deliberate disregard or violation of reasonable standards of behavior” and may include activities that do not occur at the workplace or during working hours. Therefore, this broader definition not only extends misconduct to activities that occur outside of the workplace, it also includes such events such as chronic absenteeism and tardiness, which may not have been deemed misconduct under the old definition.

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My property litigation partner, Alison Mould, has raised an interesting point. She tells me that permission may be required for attaching art to surfaces in premises that are let to the occupant.  Substantial works will require substantial hangings.  Anything more than the odd drawing pin may involve interacting with the fabric of the building and require a landlord’s licence to alter.  Licences can take two or three months to obtain and so, if anticipating an exhibition or gallery, this is something that will need to be factored into the timetable.
There’s good reason for landlords to be concerned.  One of our construction litigation partners, Frances Alderson, has a case where a building owner innocently hung several heavily framed paintings on a wall.  What he failed to check was whether the wall had been designed to take either the weight of the pictures or the movement in the wall caused by the weight.  In the event, the movement caused cracks, giving rise to a dispute as to who was to blame – the owner, the architect or the builders.
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