Texas federal court fast-tracks suit challenging DOL’s overtime rule

October 20, 2016 - by: Kate Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court has agreed to fast-track a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime regulation. The court has scheduled oral arguments for November 16, just two weeks ahead of the rule’s December 1 effective date.

The rule will more than double the salary threshold for employees. Employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) will have to be classified as nonexempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements, regardless of whether they meet any of the duties tests.

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OSHA again delays enforcement of new record-keeping rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has once again delayed enforcement of its new record-keeping rule that would, among other things, limit an employer’s ability to conduct postaccident drug and alcohol testing.

As first reported by McAfee Taft attorney Paige Hoster Good, OSHA agreed to delay enforcement of the rule until December 1, 2016. The rule had been scheduled to take effect on November 1, a date settled on after the rule was first scheduled to take effect on August 10.

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States, business groups file suits to halt DOL’s overtime regs

September 21, 2016 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Kate McGovern Tornone

Twenty-one states and several employer interest groups filed lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on September 20 alleging the agency’s new overtime regulations exceed its authority. The suits, however, are not expected to have any success in the near future, and employers would be well served to be in compliance by the December 1, 2016, deadline, according to one expert.


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Maryland equal pay law will take effect October 1

by Kevin C. McCormick

Maryland’s new Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which takes effect on October 1, will prohibit employers from providing less than favorable employment opportunities to or discriminating against employees by paying different rates based on their sex or gender identity.

Under the new law, which was signed by Governor Lawrence Hogan in May, employers will be prohibited from relying on sex or gender identity to assign or direct employees into less favorable career tracks or positions. Employers also will be prohibited from failing to provide information about promotions or advancement in the full range of careers or career tracks offered, and they will not be able to limit or deprive employees of employment opportunities that would otherwise be available to them.

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Massachusetts adds veteran status as a protected class

by Susan G. Fentin

Now that a new Massachusetts law adding veteran status as a protected class under the state’s antidiscrimination law is in effect, employers need to take a look at their employee handbook provisions related to veterans.    Proud saluting male army soldier on american flag background

At the end of the last legislative session, the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act Relative to Housing Operations, Military Service and Enrichment. The main purpose of the law, which took effect in July, is to give veterans who have disabilities that are 100 percent related to their military service greater access to housing. But the statute contains two provisions that may require employers to revise their handbooks.

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White Paper on DOL’s new ‘blacklisting’ rule now available

Attorneys with Fortney & Scott, LLC, in Washington, D.C., who edit Federal Employment Law Insider, sprang into action after the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations on August 25 implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order—often called the “blacklisting” rule. The controversial rule will require federal contractors and subcontractors to disclose purported violations of 14 federal laws (and their state-law equivalents) during the preceding three-year period when bidding on federal contracts worth more than $500,000.

To help readers and others who fall into that target group, Fortney & Scott’s Blacklisting Team has prepared a White Paper outlining the new obligations, along with suggestions on how to proceed. You may access the White Paper here. Following are some key points: read more…

Final ‘blacklisting’ rule for federal contractors issued

August 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The long-awaited regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order—often called the “blacklisting” rule—were made final on August 24, even though change may be on the way as a result of litigation and legislation. The final rule, announced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, will take effect on October 25.

President Barack Obama signed the Executive Order in July 2014. The order’s purpose is to require prospective federal contractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor and employment laws during the previous three years once the new rule is fully phased in. Those laws address wage and hour issues, safety and health requirements, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections. Government agencies are to consider the disclosures when awarding federal contracts.

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Columbia University decision latest NLRB victory for unions

August 24, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Colombia university campus groundsThe National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ruling that graduate student assistants at private colleges and universities are entitled to unionize is the latest Board action seen as a boon to union interests.

In a 3-1 decision issued on August 23, the Board ruled that graduate assistants at Columbia University are employees as well as students and may therefore be represented by a union. The ruling overturns the 2004 Brown University decision that determined that students working as teaching and research assistants should be considered students, not employees.

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Arizona voters will decide minimum wage, recreational marijuana proposals

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

On August 18 and 19, two Maricopa County Superior Court judges cleared the way for two voter initiatives with significant implications for Arizona employers to appear on the November ballot. One would raise the statewide minimum hourly wage to $10 on January 1, 2017, and the other would make recreational marijuana legal for people 21 and older and establish a regulatory system like Colorado’s.

Opponents of both measures challenged the petition procedure through which hundreds of thousands of Arizona citizens had endorsed putting the proposed laws to a vote. The dismissal of both lawsuits on August 19 likely means voters will get their say on whether the two provisions will become law.

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Notice for Colorado’s new pregnancy accommodation law available

by Besse H. McDonald

The Colorado Civil Rights Division has released a suggested notice for employers to post related to the state’s new pregnancy accommodation law. Under the law, Colorado employers must post a notice of employee rights as well as provide written notice to new hires at the start of employment and existing employees no later than December 8, 2016.

The new law, which went into effect on August 10, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees for health conditions related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The new law’s requirements also include an obligation to engage in the interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations.

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