Who has liability? 1/24/17

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: If I have contracted with a third-party vendor to be my company’s agent for COBRA notice purposes and that third party’s notice does not meet the requirements of COBRA, who has liability?

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Reacting to the injunction on the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime rule 11/28/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Though our company learned of the U.S. District Court of Texas' emergency injunction on Nov. 22, we had already announced to the employees the changes that would be made in anticipation of the U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule's Dec. 1 implementation. What are our options now that the rule is enjoined nationwide?

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Can newspaper management strongly oppose unionization of its workforce? 9/20/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: In August 2016, the NewsGuild-CWA (formerly known as The Newspaper Guild) unionized the newsroom at the Lakeland Ledger by a vote of 22 to 3. On Sept. 15, 2016, the same union organized the newsroom at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune by a vote of 22 to 16. Is it lawful for newspaper management to strongly oppose the unionization of its workforce?

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Can publications offer unpaid internships? 9/12/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Is it permissible under wage and hour laws to have unpaid internships?

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Could district managers be exempt? 6/7/16

The following Legal Hotline questions were addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Our district managers regularly deliver down routes, including home delivery. Could our newspaper use the Section 13(d) exemption from minimum wage and overtime requirements to avoid the higher salary requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor's new rule?

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Questions about new overtime rule 5/31/16

The following Legal Hotline questions were addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Are journalists and photographers exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act as creative professionals?

Question: How would you advise newspapers that have circulations under 4,000 with regard to the new overtime rules? Are papers under 4,000 exempt? Is the exemption for an individual newspaper or does a corporation that has multiple newspapers need to reach the 4,000 threshold when all of its circulations are aggregated?

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Can newspapers recruit independent contractors on Monster.com? 5/17/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Our Circulation Department wants to place an ad on Monster.com in an effort to attract prospective individuals to enter into Independent Contractor Agreements to deliver newspapers. The Monster.com template is not set up to recruit independent contractors. Should I be concerned about using Monster.com or other online job posting sites?

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How can newsrooms stay connected 24/7 without violating federal laws? 3/29/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: What policies or procedures do newsrooms use to allow for common sense, work-related mobile phone usage among non-exempt, hourly newsroom staff? How does a newsroom maintain 24/7 connectivity with the goings-on in the world, while staying within the parameters of the Wage and Hour laws?

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Can insurance carriers in N.C. require us to cover independent contractors? 3/8/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: Our newspaper is located in North Carolina. Our business insurance carrier is insisting that we cover our independent contractor newspaper carriers for Workers' Compensation – or it will provide no business insurance whatsoever. Are you seeing this with other insurance carriers? Further, if we do cover the independent contractors for Workers' Compensation, will this jeopardize our legal status?

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What are the options if acknowledgement isn't signed? 2/16/16

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm

Question: What should an employer do if an employee refuses to sign the employee handbook acknowledgment form?

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