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Labor/Employment Law

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Sarah Aiman Belger

McGuireWoods LLP

Other legal specialties: ERISA/employee benefits litigation
Birthplace:  Cleveland
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Washington & Lee University; law degree, The George Washington University Law School.
Spouse:  Jim
Children:  Two sons, ages 8 and 2
Hobbies or pastimes:  Reading, hiking, watching horseraces
First job as a lawyer: A very green associate at McGuireWoods
Fan of: The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Washington Nats
Favorite vacation spot: A cabin on Wilson Lake in Ontario, Canada, that you can only reach by boat.
Recently read book: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
Career mentors:  Stephen W. Robinson and James P. McElligott, Jr.

Will the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule have a big impact on your clients?
Most of the clients I work with are already paying their exempt employees more than $913 per week, so the rise in the overtime white collar exemption threshold will not affect them much without a corresponding change in the duties test.  The proposed rule raising the salary for highly compensated employers from $100,000 to $134,004, however, does affect many of our clients.  As of this writing, at least 21 states and many businesses have filed emergency actions seeking to block the Dec. 1 implementation date.

What other major developments are you seeing in employment law?

  • An increase in wage and hour cases with the anticipated overtime rule changes on Dec. 1 along with the Department of Labor’s recent guidance classifying independent contractors and joint employers.
  • An increased emphasis on protecting trade secrets under the new Defend Trade Secrets Act and the corresponding requirement to include certain language in agreements governing trade secrets and confidential information.
  • An increase in equal pay claims triggered by the EEOC’s proposal to collect summary pay data from employers based on race, ethnicity, and sex from employers who file an EEO-1 report.

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