With a new year comes new opportunity, new issues, new progress…. In addition to new policies. Here is a quick overview of some changes coming or currently residing within our industry;

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made a new memorandum stating that agency inspectors can use drones for investigative work. These drones, if issued to your facility, will hover over your establishment looking for any direct safety hazards or violations.
However, the Fourth Amendment does come into play with this new policy as you have a right to object to the expansion of an overbroad inspection.
Inspectors must get your permission before flying drones over your facility due to this right……

In a legal dispute, Troester v. Starbucks, a California judge ruled that employees must be paid for time that they are required to work off the clock. This has caused a bit of a ripple effect for other wage and hours worked claims throughout California.
In these cases, the de minimus doctrine has been the stance the courts have relied upon. De minimus doctrine is “a stance of ancient common law, ‘de minimis non curat lex’—which in Latin means ‘the law does not concern itself with trifles’; the ‘de minimis’ doctrine seeks to avoid overburdening the legal system with lawsuits of little merit and allows sanctions against parties who try to bring frivolous actions into court”.
Although the courts have not eliminated de minimus doctrine, they have narrowed its scope.

The Supreme Court in the case of Epic Systems v. Lewis ruled that mandatory class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable. It is important to review your arbitration agreement with possible further changes coming in the upcoming year.
Several law students have even been pressuring law firms to eliminate arbitration agreements in order to make new hires.

This year was supposed to be the year the minimum salary threshold for white collar exemptions to increase. While there will still should be an increase from the USDOL, it will most likely not be the drastic change it was supposed to have. It was to have increased from $455 a week to $913 per week.


We are off to an interesting year in 2019 with continual rising of jobs and the complete division of political parties holding offices. We are looking forward to seeing how the upcoming year unfolds and the changes we will see throughout it!

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