DOL appeals overtime rule injunction

December 02, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on December 1 that it will appeal a court’s injunction temporarily halting its new overtime regulations.

A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas blocked the rules on November 22, calling the regulations “unlawful” and noting that the changes in the rules should be left to Congress.

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Stricter workplace smoking law taking effect in California

by Jim Brown
Sedgwick LLP

A new law expanding smoking restrictions in California workplaces is set to take effect on January 1.

State law previously restricted smoking in places of employment based on “enclosed space” areas. In addition to requiring signage, California Labor Code Section 6404.5 provided a list of exceptions or exemptions from the definition of “place of employment.”

The new law, Assembly Bill 7, amends Labor Code Section 6404.5 to, among other things, eliminate the specified exemptions from “place of employment” for hotel lobby and bar areas, taverns, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, and employee break rooms. Before Assembly Bill 7, local jurisdictions could enact rules prohibiting smoking in those areas, but no statewide law required such a ban.

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Judge clears way for antiretaliation portion of new OSHA rule

November 30, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The antiretaliation provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new electronic record-keeping rule are set to be implemented on December 1 after a Texas federal judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction on November 28.

The eventual fate of the rule isn’t known since Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said his decision to deny the preliminary injunction “is not a comment or indication” on who will ultimately prevail in a lawsuit challenging the rule. “This determination is left for another day,” he wrote in his opinion.

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‘Unlawful’ overtime rule temporarily blocked

November 23, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule on November 22, just days before it was scheduled to take effect. The judge who issued the order called the regulation “unlawful” and said such actions should be left to Congress.

At the request of 21 states, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted an emergency injunction halting the regulation, which would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) beginning December 1.

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DOL takes another beating: Court blocks persuader rule

November 18, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court has permanently blocked a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulation that would have created new requirements for employers looking to keep unions out of their workplaces.

On November 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment (dismissal without a trial) in favor of business groups and states challenging the so-called persuader rule, finding it “unlawful.” The ruling is the latest in a line of judicial and legislative actions aimed at undoing recent labor and employment initiatives from the Obama administration.

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Colorado voters OK minimum wage hikes

by Mark Wiletsky

On November 8, Colorado voters decided to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour over the next four years. By about a 54-46 margin, voters passed Amendment 70, which changes the Colorado Constitution to gradually raise the minimum wage.

Gradual increases in minimum wage

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States approve minimum wage, paid leave ballot questions

November 10, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

States with employment-related ballot questions mostly approved them during the November 8 election, and employers have little lead time before many measures will be implemented.

All told, 14 states have new provisions with which companies must comply, some as early as January 1, 2017.

Minimum wage

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With Trump win, many employment initiatives in question

November 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Recent employment initiatives undertaken by the Obama administration could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump’s presidency, but employers still need to comply with those laws and regulations for now, says one expert.

“In general, things are going to be pretty unpredictable,” said Connor Beatty, an associate with Brann & Isaacson  in Maine and editor of Maine Employment Law Letter. Not only has Trump never held public office, but he’s also changed his position on issues several times, Beatty said.

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Arizona voters approve increased minimum wage, paid sick leave

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

On November 8, nearly 60% of Arizona voters cast ballots in favor of increasing the state’s minimum wage and providing mandatory paid sick leave. The measure ensures that employers will have to pay at least $10 per hour beginning January 1, 2017. Thereafter, the minimum wage will increase by 50 cents each year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2020.

Based on unofficial returns, Proposition 206, the Healthy Working Families Initiative, passed by healthy margins in 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties, with only Graham County in the southeast corner of the state voting against it.

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Voters reject changes to South Dakota’s right-to-work law

by Jennifer Suich Frank

On November 8, South Dakota voters rejected Initiated Measure (IM) 23, which would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers reduced “fair share” dues for services like collective bargaining. An overwhelming 79 percent of South Dakotans voted against the measure.

A right-to-work law means employees have the right to work without being required to join a union. Right-to-work laws are aimed at preventing employers and labor unions from excluding nonunion employees or requiring all employees to pay a fee to a union regardless of whether they belong to the union. In essence, IM 23 would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers fees to cover expenses for work from which nonmember employees would purportedly benefit.

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