On June 27, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released the Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations: A Report on the Department of Labor’s Request for Information (“the Report”). In December 2006, the Department issued a Request for Information on the effectiveness of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations. The Report was published in the Federal Register. See 72 Fed. Reg. 35,550 (June 28, 2007). To view a copy of the report, please click here

The Report summarizes in great detail case law and the comments that were submitted after a lengthy public comment period on the current regulations on the FMLA. The Report includes an executive summary that provides background on the FMLA and a summary of each chapter. The summary also discusses “recurring themes” which include: (1) concerns with unscheduled intermittent FMLA leave by individuals who have chronic health conditions; (2) problems with the medical certification process and communication about health conditions; and (3) the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers in complying with the FMLA.

New Federal Minimum Wage Poster Available

The “Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007” provides for a three-step increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage provision is embodied in the “U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007” (H.R. 2206). To view a copy of the Act, please click Here.

Effective July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage for covered non-exempt employees is $5.85 per hour. The minimum wage increases to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

A revised Federal minimum wage poster, reflecting the recently enacted minimum wage increases, is now available free of charge on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site.

Every employer subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s minimum wage provisions must post a notice explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

DBA Business Structure Does Not Shield Its Venturers From Liability And Can Prove Risky

The Puerto Rico Supreme Court issued an Opinión on June 22, 2007 in the case of Rivera Hernández et als. vs. Comtec Communication et als., 2007 TSPR 131, a case of first impresión on the subject of the individual liability of the venturers of an unincorporated (d/b/a) business in Puerto Rico. The Opinion confirms that the venturers of an unincorporated business who cause damages to another party are jointly liable for the damages caused by them in the furtherance of the business. This theory of liability stems from the general principle that everyone who jointly causes harm to another through fault or negligence is responsible for the ensuing damages.

Moreover, the high court held that service of process, of a copy of the Complaint and the Summons directed to the business, upon one of the venturers is enough to subject all of the venturers to the jurisdiction of the court. After liability is determined, any other venturers who have not appeared before the Court or otherwise not participated of the proceedings may be summoned to appear in court and show cause as to why the Judgment should not stand against them as well. In this case, one of the business venturers allegedly hired a receptionist for the business, but after just only three days on the job, she was terminated because of a physical handicap. After a trial, all of the venturers were held jointly liable for the damages proven to the Court.