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HR and Tax Newsletter-November 2001

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Employment Law

Arbitration Agreement. The Eleventh Circuit (the highest federal court in the Southeast) has held unenforceable an arbitration provision that required the employee to share costs in a claim based on Title VII (federal nondiscrimination law) . This decision is likely to apply to claims brought under other employment laws (such as ERISA) that permit the winning side to get its attorney fees.

Military Absences. Employees who serve in the armed forces are entitled to special protections under the Uniform Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). If you would like an electronic copy of the analysis of USERRA in Bill and Mike's book, please us know.

Fair Labor Standards Act. A court of appeals has held that the minimum wage and overtime laws do not necessarily apply to an employee who spends less than 50% of his time on executive activities if that employee's activities cannot be easily differentiated between executive and other duties.

Employee Benefits

Tax Qualified Plan Investments. Tax qualified plans are not limited to investments in stock. They can invest in nonstock investments such as real estate. It is even possible to acquire real estate through the use of loans. These transactions are subject to special rules.

Executive Compensation

Deferred Compensation. To limit the regulatory burden deferred compensation plans are usually limited to executives. One court of appeals has decided that small numbers of nonexecutives can be included in these plans. This ruling provides comfort to employers who wish to include nonexecutives in their deferred compensation plans.

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