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.

Background

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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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Proposal calls for EEO-1 deadline to move from September 2017 to March 2018

July 14, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that its proposal to collect pay data through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) includes a change in the due date for the EEO-1 survey.

The revised proposal, published in the July 14 Federal Register, moves the deadline for employers to submit the EEO-1 survey from September 30, 2017, to March 31, 2018. According to the EEOC’s announcement, the change is to simplify reporting by allowing employers to use existing W-2 pay reports, which are calculated based on the calendar year. Employers will have until August 15, 2016, to submit written comments on the revised proposal.

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Employers praise injunction blocking new ‘persuader’ rule

June 27, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

An injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is drawing praise from employer interests concerned that the new rule would stifle their efforts to respond to union organizing campaigns.

The rule change was scheduled to take effect July 1, but a preliminary injunction issued June 27 prohibits enforcement pending final resolution of a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued the injunction after hearing arguments during a June 20 hearing. The scope of the injunction is nationwide.

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New Chicago ordinance will require employers to provide paid sick leave

by Steven L. Brenneman

On June 22, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will require nearly all employers in Chicago to provide paid sick leave to employees. The ordinance, which passed 48-0 despite opposition from business and employer groups, follows the lead of similar laws in several states and more than a dozen cities. It is expected to be signed into law quickly by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it will take effect on July 1, 2017.

The ordinance will apply to virtually all employers in Chicago, regardless of the number of employees. All businesses that have a location in the city or are subject to city licensing requirements must comply (except for employers in the construction industry).

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New final rule updates sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors

June 14, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors are getting a look at a new regulation aimed at preventing sex discrimination in employment, and while many contractors already are in line with its provisions, the new rule may create tension in some areas.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released a final rule on June 14 replacing sex discrimination guidelines from 1970 with new regulations that align with current law.

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Court’s decision solidifies NLRB’s ‘quickie’ election rule

June 13, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A June 10 ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to employers hoping to escape the constraints of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule speeding up union representation elections.

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and the National Federation of Independent Business filed the challenge to what many employers have dubbed the “quickie” or “ambush” election rule. The court’s opinion, authored by Judge Edith Brown Clement, states the Board “acted rationally and in furtherance of its congressional mandate in adopting the rule.”

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DOL’s new ‘persuader’ rule goes into effect July 1

by Steven R. Semler

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is set to take effect on July 1. The rule will require employers and their attorneys and consultants to file with the DOL for public disclosure all agreements and payments to attorneys and consultants for providing advice, counter-organizational campaign training, and assistance on maintaining nonunion status.

Under the old rule, attorney and consultant assistance on maintaining nonunion status was exempt from reporting under the “legal advice” exception of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).

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