January 19, 2020

January 17, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

January 16, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

'Tis the Season to Be Merry—and Worry re: Employment Issues

As the holiday season approaches and the weather turns cold, employers face a number of issues particularly relevant to this time of year.

1. Inclement Weather: Disputes often arise over weather and the impact on employees’ attendance. A clear and consistent policy and communication plan for how to deal with inclement weather and a practice that matches that policy are highly recommended. Many employers have telecommuting policies as well but safeguards need to be in place to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act for non-exempt employees working remotely.

2. Holiday Parties: It is possible that plaintiffs’ lawyers look forward to employer-sponsored holiday parties as much as employees attending these events, but not for the same reasons. Employers would be wise to implement policies and procedures that will prevent harassment and injury-related claims from arising out of those parties. They should remind everyone that while the party is intended to be fun, it is still a work event. The threat of misbehavior can be reduced by:

  • Reminding employees prior to the event that the company’s code of conduct remains in effect during the party.

  • Establishing procedures in advance to handle any inappropriate behavior that might occur.

  • Limiting the amount of drinking and providing cabs or other safe transportation to employees who may be intoxicated.

3. New Minimum Wage: Many states, including Missouri, have minimum wage laws that change annually. The new Missouri Minimum wage effective January 1, 2015 is $7.65 per hour. Compensation for tipped employees must also total at least $7.65 per hour. Employers are required to pay tipped employees at least 50 percent of the minimum wage ($3.825 per hour), or the amount necessary to bring the employee’s total compensation to a minimum of $7.65 per hour.

© Copyright 2020 Armstrong Teasdale LLP. All rights reserved


About this Author

Michael Kass, Labor, Employment, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale, law firm

Michael Kass is chair of Armstrong Teasdale's Employment and Labor Law practice group and is a former co-chair of the firm's Non-Compete/Trade Secrets practice group. He guides organizations, from small closely-held businesses to Fortune 100 companies, through the complex issues faced when managing employees.

Michael defends employers and their managers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Such...

Shelley Ericsson, Labor, Employment, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale, law firm

Shelley Ericsson provides practical, sophisticated advice to complex legal problems unique to the labor and employment arena.

In state and federal courts and before state, federal, and local administrative agencies, Shelley defends employers in matters involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wages. With a deep knowledge of employment law policies and an eye on the ever-changing economic reality, she litigates matters such as Title VII, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with...

Daniel K. O'Toole, Litigation Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale Law Firm

Dan O’Toole, a respected leader and trial strategist, heads Armstrong Teasdale’s Litigation practice group and is a key member of the firm’s executive and management committees.

In his practice, Dan defends employers against a broad range of complaints and threats of legal action involving workplace situations. Because of his background and achievements in employment and labor law, Dan has been recognized repeatedly by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and for the last several years was included as one of the “Top 50”...