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Fetured Job Of the Day
Fetured Job Of the Day


Employee Benefits Attorney with ERISA experience


Rochester office seeks employee benefits attorney having enthusiasm fo...
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Date Posted: Jun 21, 2017

Employer:   BCG Attorney Search

Salary: Not Specified


Location

Philadelphia
1735 Market Street, 51st Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -  19103-759

Website

http://www.ballardspahr.com

Other Offices

+Philadelph... +Denver 
+Baltimore 

Staff Size : 260
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Law Firm Salaries

Firm location 1st Year 2nd year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year 6th Year 7th Year 8th Year Summer Associate
Salt Lake City $113,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,200/week
Voorhees $120,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,300/week
Denver $113,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,200/week
Wilmington $125,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,400/week
Baltimore $120,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,300/week
Philadelphia $125,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,400/week
Washington $132,500 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,500/week


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Law Firm News

01-17-2006

In a case that highlights the issue of what constitutes compensable work time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), a federal appeals court has ruled that an employee mandated by her employer to attend counseling sessions after working hours was entitled to compensation for her time spent attending and traveling to and from the sessions.
The employee, an emergency dispatcher for the City of Aurora, Illinois, attended weekly counseling sessions to deal with work-related stress. Each session lasted one hour and required the employee to travel two hours back and forth. The time was in addition to her 40-hour a week schedule as a 911 operator, but was not treated as compensable work time by the City of Aurora. The City ordered the employee to attend these sessions — or face losing her job — because the employee had previously expressed frustrations with her job and, on one occasion, left work without permission. The City rejected the employee’s offer to receive counseling from her own therapist, and instead, required her to get counseling from a City-approved physician. Additionally, the City, which was short-staffed on dispatchers, paid 90% of the total cost of the employee’s treatment.
Affirming the district court’s decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that the time spent attending and traveling to and from the employer-mandated sessions was compensable work time. Citing the federal regulations implementing the FLSA, the appeals court noted that, as a general rule, an employee must be paid for all time spent in physical or mental exertion, controlled and required by the employer, and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer. In this case, the appeals court found that the counseling sessions were primarily for the benefit of the City because they were a mandatory condition of continued employment and were designed by the City to keep the employee working as a dispatcher and to improve her job performance and interaction with co-workers. The court found that imposing mandatory sessions at a time when the City was short-staffed for dispatchers created a presumption that the sessions were primarily for the benefit of the employer.
The court also found it significant that the City refused the employee’s request to see her own therapist and that it paid 90% of the sessions’ costs.
Although the court cautioned that its holding was a narrow one, specific to the facts of this particular case, this case raises the issue of whether an employer may be obliged to pay any employee it requires to participate in any Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) as a condition of employment. While we are not aware of any other federal court decisions that have specifically addressed this issue, we anticipate that courts would conduct a similar analysis to determine the primary beneficiary of the sessions. Moreover, the court’s approach here was consistent with opinion letters issued by the Department of Labor, holding that an employee must be compensated for time spent undergoing physical or mental examinations that an employer requires as a condition of continued employment.
To avoid being required to compensate employees for time spent in employer-mandated counseling sessions, employers should design any counseling program or mandated EAP primarily for the benefit of the employee. This may include, among other things, allowing the employee to select his or her own provider and develop his or her own schedule for counseling sessions and avoiding the appearance that the employer’s need to retain the employee is the motivating factor in requiring the employee to attend the sessions. Otherwise, time spent participating in such EAPs may be considered compensable time under the FLSA, subject to the minimum wage and overtime rules


Primary Practice Areas

Real Estate,Litigation,Corporate & Tax,Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery,Biotechnology/Life Sciences, Business & Finance, Construction, Consumer Financial Services, Eminent Domain/Condemnation, Employee Benefits, Energy and Project Finance,Environmental, Family Wealth Management, Financial Planning & Management, Franchise and Distribution, Government Enforcement/White Collar Crime, Health Care, Housing, Intellectual Property,Investment Management, Labor, Employment & Immigration, Land Use, Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Product Liability and Mass Tort, Public Finance, Real Estate, Real Estate Development, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Leasing, Resorts and Hotels, Securities, Securitization, Tax, Technology and Emerging Companies, Telecommunications, Transactional Finance, Valuation

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