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Maule to present at nonprofit business seminar

Byrona Maule

Byrona J. Maule is a Director and litigation attorney as well as a member of the Firm’s Labor & Employment and Healthcare practice groups.

Byrona J. Maule, Director and member in the Firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, will give a presentation on the current state of human resources on June 4 at a Nonprofit Accounting and Finance Seminar hosted by Arledge & Associates, P.C.

Accounting and finance professionals are invited to attend the seminar which is tailored to address tax and accounting issues specific to the nonprofit sector.

The seminar will cover a wide range of topics including audits, tax law changes and Financial Accounting Standards Board updates. Sessions will also cover employment law issues for nonprofits, donor relations matters and online marketing.

Byrona represents executives and companies in a wide range of business and litigation matters with a strong emphasis on employment matters, ensuring their compliance before various state and federal regulatory boards.

For more information about the seminar, click here.

Firm supports Big Brothers Big Sisters 2019 Bowl for Kid’s Sake campaign

Bowling Night attendees

Director Jennifer Miller, Director Melissa Gardner, Amy Bradt, and Director Zac Bradt wait for their turns at Bowling Night.

Months of fundraising events culminated into a night of bowling for Phillips Murrah employees, families and friends.

The Firm celebrated its annual fundraising efforts for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake campaign on May 16 with a Bowling Night event at Dust Bowl Lanes.

Director Byrona Maule spearheaded the campaign, raising $4,700.

“Thank you for your generous support of Bowl for Kids’ Sake. It is the biggest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. The Phillips Murrah family is just that, a family. But not everyone is blessed with a family like ours – and that is where Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma assists.”

The Firm hosts a series of firm-wide events to garner support for the campaign and raise money to help the organization’s cause.

“The money raised from Bowl For Kids’ Sake is used to support one-to-one mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters evidence-based mentoring programs are designed to create positive, measurable outcomes for youth, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. They match children, ages 6-18, (“Littles”) with caring adult role models (“Bigs”). The Bigs share experiences with the Littles that expand the Littles world in new ways.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma or to make a donation, visit their website here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

UPS to pay $2 million to resolve nationwide EEOC disability discrimination claims

Published on August 15, 2017

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Aug. 8 international shipping giant United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has agreed to pay $2 million to nearly 90 current and former UPS employees to resolve a nationwide disability discrimination lawsuit the EEOC filed in 2009, as well as to conciliate related administrative charges.

In the news release, the EEOC announced:

The EEOC charged that UPS violated federal law failing to provide UPS employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations that would enable them to perform their job duties. The EEOC further alleged that UPS maintained an inflexible leave policy, whereby the company fired disabled employees automatically when they reached 12 months of leave, without engaging in the interactive process required by law.

Such alleged conduct violates Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Case No. 09-cv-5291) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing $2 million in monetary relief, UPS has also agreed to update its policies on reasonable accommodation, improve its implementation of those policies, and conduct training for those who administer the company’s disability accommodation processes. Furthermore, the company has agreed to provide the EEOC periodic reports on the status of every accommodation request for the next three years to ensure the efficacy of its procedures.

“The ADA requires companies to make a real effort to work individually with their employees with disabilities to provide them with the necessary and reasonable accommodations that will allow them to do their jobs,” said Greg Gochanour, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office. “As a result of this lawsuit, UPS now has practices in place to better ensure that this happens.”

Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s Chicago District director, added, “Having a multiple-month leave policy alone does not guarantee compliance with the ADA. Such a policy must also include the flexibility to work with employees with disabilities who may simply require a reasonable accommodation to return to work. UPS has now made changes which will allow more people to keep their jobs.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

For more information on the EEOC, click here.

Disclaimer: This website post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not rely upon this information as a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal concern, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

Revised Form I-9 now available

Published on August 15, 2017

On Monday, July 17, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Instructions for how to download Form I-9 are available on the Form I-9 page. Employers can use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of “11/14/16 N” through September 17.

Beginning September 18, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of “07/17/17 N.” Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

Revisions included the Form I-9 instructions, changing the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name—Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, and “the end of” was removed from the phrase “the first day of employment.”

Additional revisions were to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9 including:

  • Addition of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
  • All the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) were combined into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents except the Social Security card have been renumbered. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

USCIS included these changes in the revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), which is also easier for users to navigate.

Disclaimer: This website post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not rely upon this information as a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal concern, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

How to Survive a Labor Law Investigation: USDOL offers free compliance assistance seminars for employers

Published on August 15, 2017

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) is offering free seminars to educate employers about the Wage and Hour Division, its enforcement of federal labor laws, and common violations to avoid.

The USDOL encourages employers and representatives from all industries to attend. This training is provided at no cost to participants.

The seminars will cover issues regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act including minimum wage, overtime, record keeping, youth employment, exemptions, deductions, common violations, and bonuses and other payments.

Participants will be trained on the Family Medical Leave Act and issues regarding coverage, employee eligibility, qualifying conditions, employer/employee rights and responsibilities, maintenance of benefits, and notification and records requirements.

For more information and to register, follow these links:

On-site registration will begin at 12:30 PM for each seminar. Seating will be limited.

Disclaimer: This website post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not rely upon this information as a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal concern, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

OSHA revises online whistleblower complaint form

Published on August 15, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced revisions its online whistleblower complaint form in July in order to help users file a complaint with the appropriate agency.

The updated form provides workers with another option for submitting retaliation complaints to the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA.

In the news release, OSHA announced:

The updated form guides individuals as they file a complaint through the process, providing essential questions at the beginning so they can better understand and exercise their rights under relevant laws. One significant improvement to the system includes pop-up boxes with information about various agencies for individuals who indicate that they have engaged in protected activity that may be addressed by an agency other than OSHA. The new form is available in English and Spanish.

“Workers who report unsafe conditions and wrongdoing have a range of legal protections from retaliation,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “The revised online complaint form works to ensure whistleblowers file their complaints with the appropriate federal agency for prompt action.”

In addition to the online form, workers can file complaints by fax, mail, or hand-delivery. Complaints may also be filed by contacting the agency at (800) 321-6742 or by calling an OSHA regional or area office.

Read more about whistleblower rights here, and learn more about OSHA’s role in ensuring safe and healthful workplaces at www.osha.gov.

Disclaimer: This website post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not rely upon this information as a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal concern, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

Bass Pro to pay $10.5 million to settle EEOC hiring discrimination, retaliation suit

Published on August 15, 2017

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced July 26 that Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, a leading retailer of fishing, camping, and hunting equipment and apparel, has agreed to pay $10.5 million and provide other significant relief to settle a hiring discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

The EEOC’s suit charged that the company discriminated in hiring at its retail stores, unlawfully retaliated against employees who opposed practices they believed to be unlawful, and failed to adhere to federal record-keeping laws and regulations.

The nationwide agreement seeks to strengthen and improve Bass Pro’s hiring and recruiting practices of African-Americans and Hispanics, and resolves a pattern-or-practice lawsuit filed by the EEOC on Sept. 21, 2011.

In the news release, the EEOC announced:

A central focus of the agreement is strengthening Bass Pro’s diversity efforts and its commitment to non-discriminatory hiring, including appointment of a director of diversity and inclusion, affirmative outreach efforts to increase diversity in its workforce, updated EEO policies and hiring practices, and annual EEO training for management and non-management employees.

“The EEOC is pleased to have reached what the agency believes to be a fair resolution,” said EEOC Deputy General Counsel James Lee. “We look forward to working with Bass Pro in implement­ing the consent decree.”

EEOC Houston District Office Regional Attorney Rudy Sustaita said, “The EEOC commends Bass Pro for its efforts in bringing the pending litigation to a conclusion, and for its commitment to hiring a diverse workforce.”

For more information on the EEOC, click here.

Disclaimer: This website post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not rely upon this information as a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal concern, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

U.S. Department of Labor Requests Public Input on Overtime Regulations

07/25/17

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that they will publish a Request for Information for the overtime rule on Wednesday, July 26.

In the news release, USDOL announced:

“The RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations which define and delimit exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees.

“The RFI solicits feedback on questions related to the salary level test, the duties test, varying cost-of-living across different parts of the U.S., inclusion of non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy a portion of the salary level, the salary test for highly compensated employees, and automatic updating of the salary level tests.”

In the RFI, the USDOL said that gathering public input will greatly aid in the development of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and help the department to move forward with rulemaking in a timely manner.

“The nature of the questions makes it clear that the current Administration and Secretary of Labor want additional input on these questions, and want to give due consideration to the impact these regulations will have on all employers,” said Byrona Maule, Director and Co-Chair of Phillips Murrah’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. “Replies to these questions are one of the key ways that the Administration can gauge how the regulation will impact companies.”

The public will have a 60-day public comment period from the date the RFI is published in the Federal Register.

  • For a sneak peak at the questions, which will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, click here.
  • To view instructions on submitting public comments contained in the RFI document, which you can view here.
  • Comments may also be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

 

Phillips Murrah sponsors Big Brothers Big Sisters bowling event

Assistant Marketing Director Nathan Hatcher, Chelsea Linn, Nick Potter, Administrative Assistant Cristal Bazemore, and Legal Secretary Sherree Williams take a break from bowling at Phillips Murrah’s Bowling Night.

After months of fundraising, five teams of Phillips Murrah employees, families and friends celebrated the Firm’s community efforts at Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake annual event.

Dust Bowl welcomed Phillips Murrah for the Firm’s Bowling Night on April 7, organized by Phillips Murrah and Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule spearheaded the campaign, which raised $5,437.

“Bowl For Kids’ Sake (BFKS) is the single largest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters – it’s a great way to provide financial support for matches and the bowling party is a lot of fun,” Maule said. “It is an easy decision on my part to facilitate Phillips Murrah’s participation in BFKS! “

The firm hosts a series of events and raffle drawings to garner support for the campaign and raise money to help the organization.

“I’ve seen these results first hand, as one of my Little Sisters had parents who were incarcerated,” Maule said. “These types of results make it easy to commit to supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma.  I’m so glad that Phillips Murrah, through teamwork, was able to contribute.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma or to make a donation, visit their website here.

PM attorney, distinguished BBBS advocate to attend national conference as Oklahoma State Governing Board Chair

Maule-Byrona-240x300

Byrona J. Maule is a litigation attorney and co-chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Byrona J. Maule, Phillips Murrah Director and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, will be attending the 2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference as Oklahoma’s State Governing Board Chair. The conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA on June 2-3, 2015.

Byrona is a passionate community advocate who has devoted much of her life to volunteerism and philanthropy. Her distinguished service to Big Brothers Big Sisters began in 1990, when she became a Big Sister to Vanessa—a relationship that enriched Byrona’s life in ways she never imagined. To date, she’s had three Little Sisters complete the program. Byrona joined the BBBS Oklahoma City Area Resource Board in 2007. Since then, her devotion has garnered awards, including:

  • Big Sister of the Year, Oklahoma City (2009)
  • Big Sister of the Year, State of Oklahoma (2009)
  • Champion of the Year, State of Oklahoma (2011)

Upon winning Champion of the Year, she said: “Being a Champion of Big Brothers Big Sisters is easy; these young ones are my passion and my servant mission. To be recognized for this passion is wonderful, but to help open the world to a child otherwise forgotten – to help that child grow into a successful, responsible, caring adult – that is the reward I carry in my heart for all time.”

Byrona was elected to the state of Oklahoma governing board in 2012. Most recently in 2013, she was elected chair of the Governing Board. Along with her husband, Marvin Meyer, she won the Big Couple Match for their current match with little brother Quintin.

The 2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference will provide opportunities for attendees to engage in peer designed workshops and events that will reignite the purpose and put renewed energy around all aspects of mission attainment. This two-day conference will be packed with dynamic keynote speakers, insightful panel discussions and plenty of opportunities for learning and networking.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

For more information or to speak with Byrona about the conference and her work with BBBS of Oklahoma,
contact David Rhea at 405-606-4746 or jdrhea@phillipsmurrah.com.

Phillips Murrah sponsors Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake event

Information Technology Director Sam Lincoln

Information Technology Director Sam Lincoln

Five teams of Phillips Murrah employees, families and friends showed off their bowling talents to celebrate the firm’s fundraising efforts toward Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake annual event.

Heritage Lanes welcomed Phillips Murrah for the firm’s night of bowling on May 14, made possible by donations from firm employees and members of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule spearheaded the campaign, raising $3,700.

“Bowl For Kids’ Sake is the single largest fund raiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters – it’s a great way to provide financial support for matches and the bowling party is a lot of fun,” Byrona said. “It was an easy decision on my part to facilitate Phillips Murrah’s participation in BFKS! “

The firm hosts a series of events and raffle drawings to garner support for the BBBS campaign.

“I’ve been a Big Sister/volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters for the vast majority of the last twenty five years,” Byrona said. “The children I have mentored are bright, intelligent, caring people who just needed an additional adult in their lives to help them through the unfortunate challenges that underprivileged children face. After experiencing first-hand the changes that having a mentor can have on a child’s life, it’s become my passion to do everything in my power to help provide a mentor to every child who needs one – and that takes financial resources. “

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma or to make a donation, visit their website here.

Leadership in Law profile: Byrona Maule

From The Journal Record
Published: May 2, 2008
Click to see full story – Leadership in Law profile: Byrona Maule

Byrona J. Maule is a Director and litigation attorney as well as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. She represents executives and companies in a wide range of business and litigation matters with a strong emphasis on employment matters.

Byrona Maule cannot remember a time when she didn’t want to be an attorney.

The Missouri native graduated in 1982 with honors from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s in political science. She also earned her juris doctorate in 1986 from MU’s School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of Barristers.

Her first job in the legal profession was an as assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri. She entered private practice in 1989 and worked as an associate for three different firms before joining Professional Home Care Inc. as general counsel and director of organizational development in 1996. Maule joined Phillips McFall McCaffrey McVay & Murrah as an associate in 2001. Today she is a shareholder in the litigation department and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment and Health Care practice groups. She represents individuals and both privately held and public companies in a wide range of employment, business and litigation matters.

“I think it is the concept of fairness that brought me to the law and that keeps me practicing. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law – in theory. In practice, it falls in large part to the legal community to see that through, and I take great pride in being part of that calling.”

Maule is admitted to practice in Oklahoma; Missouri; Alaska; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Eastern District of Oklahoma, Western District of Missouri, Eastern District of Missouri, and the District of Alaska; as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th and 10th Circuits.

She also is a moderator and presenter of employment law for Lorman Education Services and writes articles and presents and moderates seminars for the Paycom Report.

Maule’s honors include receiving the Thomas E. Deacy Jr. Prize in Advocacy and the American Jurisprudence Award in Family Law.

She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, Alaska Bar Association, Missouri Bar Association and American Bar Association, and is a master of the Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court XXIII.

Her civic involvement includes volunteering her time as a big sister and advisory board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Oklahoma City. She is active with Messiah Lutheran Church and School as a Stephen’s Minister volunteer, member of the personnel committee, youth choir chair and worship chair. In addition, she is a scholarship sponsor for Messiah Lutheran School and Redeemer Lutheran High School.