Karen M. Buesing

Karen M. Buesing

Karen Buesing has counseled and represented management in employment law matters for more than 30 years. She is Board Certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in Labor & Employment Law. She has represented businesses, small and large, in litigation matters before local, state, and federal agencies, state and federal courts, and arbitration panels. Her experience includes discrimination and harassment claims, investigation, and litigation; whistleblower litigation; wage and hour litigation; non-compete and trade secret litigation; employment contract negotiation and litigation; litigation of fiduciary obligations; litigation of minority shareholder/partner disputes in closely held entities; and all aspects of employment counseling and training. Additionally, Karen assists health care providers in complying with their obligations to customers, patients, and companions who have hearing or other disabilities or are of Limited English Proficiency, including development of Section 504 compliance plans, ADA compliance plans and training programs, and representation in investigations of alleged violations.

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DOL Calling for Input: At What Salary Should A Worker Be Exempt From Overtime?

Now that the Department of Labor has gone back to the drawing board with the new regulation that set a $47,476 threshold salary for white collar employees to be exempt from overtime, it would like to hear from you.… Continue Reading

Minimum Wages Climb

Workers will now receive higher minimum wages mandated by state law in 19 states, effective this month. Florida’s minimum wage increased to $8.10 an hour from $8.05 an hour, effective January 1. Tipped employees in Florida are now entitled to receive a minimum of $5.08 an hour. Workers in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, … Continue Reading

The New Salary Regulations: The Saga Continues

While employers took solace from the Nov. 22 nationwide preliminary injunction which blocked implementation of a controversial rule increasing the salary threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, the battle is not over. The Department of Labor filed its notice of appeal December 1, the same day the new salary regulations were to take effect.… Continue Reading

Long-Awaited New Overtime Rule Issued

Beginning December 1, 2016 employers will have to pay “white collar” workers a salary of $47,476 ($912 a week) and ensure that they meet certain job duties tests established by law or else pay them overtime, under new regulations issued this week by the U.S. Department of Labor. Bonuses and commissions can count toward as much as 10 percent of … Continue Reading

Pay Data Required in Proposed New EEO-1 Reporting Form

Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to submit pay data by race, sex, ethnicity and job category under proposed new revisions to the EEO-1 reporting form. The changes were announced Friday by the EEOC on the 7th anniversary of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and published today in the Federal Register. The additional data will … Continue Reading

The NLRB Expands Its Reach in the Non-Union Workplace

The National Labor Relations Board continues to infiltrate the workplace even where there are no unions. Standard workplace policies — including those relating to employee conduct, protecting intellectual property, use of personal electronics, and conflicts of interest — are unlawful, according to a recent memorandum issued by the NLRB General Counsel. Basic contract and policy provisions requiring employees to maintain … Continue Reading

Input Sought on New Rules to Extend Overtime to More Workers

Employers and other stakeholders have just a few weeks in which to provide input on proposed regulations which would raise the salary threshold for workers exempt from overtime to $50,440 a year. On July 6, 2015 the Department of Labor proposed new regulations which would result in extending overtime pay to an estimated five million workers. The regulations would tie … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Guidance on Accommodating Pregnant Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued revised pregnancy discrimination guidance setting forth a framework for assessing how far employers must go in accommodating pregnant employees, following the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Young v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.  In that case, the Court held that, although a policy of providing light duty only to certain workers was … Continue Reading

Even Planned Surgery May Be “Unforeseeable” Under the FMLA

Employees seeking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act are supposed to give 30 days’ notice if the need for leave is “foreseeable,” but what does “foreseeable” mean? Based on a recent 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, even elective surgery which could be planned far in advance, if “relatively urgent,” would not be foreseeable and thus not require … Continue Reading

Managing Employees Who File Claims

Dealing with an employee who has filed a claim places an employer in a precarious position – the employer needs to properly manage the employee, but avoid a retaliation claim in the process. It’s like walking a tightrope.

Employers have seen it many times – a troublesome employee is about to be disciplined, sees the handwriting on the wall, and … Continue Reading

Automatic Gratuities Are Now Wages For FICA Tax Purposes

Restaurateurs and wait staff beware: beginning this month, the IRS will classify automatic gratuities not as “tips,” but as service charges reportable as regular wages which are subject to payroll tax withholdings.

Rev. Rul. 2012-18 provides that automatic gratuities – like that automatic 18 percent added to the bill for a party of six or more — are service charges, … Continue Reading

Employees Asserting Retaliation Must Meet Higher Causation Standard, Supreme Court Rules

The explosion of retaliation claims may skid to a halt or at least slow down after the Supreme Court’s decision this week holding that plaintiffs making Title VII retaliation claims must establish that their protected activity was a “but-for” cause of the alleged adverse action by the employer.

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Supreme … Continue Reading

Miscalculating Eligibility for FMLA Leave Can Be A Costly Mistake

Telling employees that they’re eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act when they’re not can be a costly mistake for an employer. That’s the message behind a recent Pennsylvania decision. In Medley v. Montgomery County, (E.D. Pa.) No 2:12-cv-01995, a nursing assistant worked fewer than  the 1250 hours required to be eligible for FMLA leave. However,  … Continue Reading

Akerman Labor & Employment Law Seminar to Feature Discussion on New Unemployment Compensation Law Amendments and How They Help Employers

Employers should welcome the new amendments to Florida’s unemployment compensation laws. Among other things, those amendments eliminate the provision that the unemployment compensation law is to be liberally construed in favor of the claimant, broaden the definition of “misconduct” which will disqualify a claimant from receiving benefits, and require claimants to take new steps to demonstrate efforts to find work.  … Continue Reading

NLRB Poster on Employee Rights Now Available for Download

The workplace poster on employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is now available as a free download from the NLRB website.

Most private-sector employers, both union and non-union, must display the poster where other workplace notices are posted as of November 14, 2011. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides For Further Job Protections

Yet another law for employers to worry about!

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final regulations implementing the employment provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). GINA applies to all employers covered by Title VII and generally prohibits discrimination and harassment in the terms and conditions of employment, including health benefits, on the basis of genetic … Continue Reading

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