Proposed rules on contractor ‘blacklisting’ order published

by Judith E. Kramer

The controversial proposed “blacklisting” regulations implementing President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order have been published in the May 28 edition of the Federal Register for notice and comment. The proposed regulations were issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council.

The order, which the proposed regulations interpret, applies to prospective and existing contractors with contracts over $500,000. The order provides that employers can be denied federal contracts if they have violated or have allegedly violated a number of federal, state, or local labor and employment laws within the past three years.

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Fire up the paper shredder: DOL issues new FMLA forms

May 27, 2015 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Time to head to the paper shredder. The expired Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) told you to keep using have been replaced. As first reported by attorney Jeff Nowak in his “FMLA Insights” blog, the DOL recently issued new FMLA forms that don’t expire until May 31, 2018.

Other than a change in the expiration date, it appears that the only substantive change to the forms is a brief reference to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in the WH-380E, 380F, 385, and 385V medical certification forms. According to the GINA regulations, if an employer provides a safe harbor notice with the request for medical certification, any receipt of genetic information in response to the request will be considered inadvertent (and will not violate GINA).

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‘Safe harbor’ available for Massachusetts paid sick time law

May 22, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Massachusetts attorney general has announced a “safe harbor” provision that may provide relief to at least some employers covered by the state’s new earned sick time law.

The law, which voters approved in the November 4, 2014, election, takes effect on July 1, but the safe harbor gives some employers until January 1, 2016, to come into full compliance.

Under the new law, employers with at least 11 employees must allow their workers to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, for a maximum of 40 hours a year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow them to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year.

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Proposed FLSA overtime regs go to OMB for review

May 06, 2015 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

by Susan Prince

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The new regulations will increase the number of employees nationwide who qualify for overtime. Employers, get ready because the changes will likely have a substantial effect on your workforce. Many employees who qualify for an exemption from overtime right now will be entitled to overtime once the regulatory changes are finalized.

How we got here

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Supreme Court allows judicial review of EEOC conciliation efforts

April 30, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed employers at least a small victory by unanimously ruling that courts are allowed to review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) conciliation efforts in discrimination cases.

On April 29, the Court imposed moderate standards for the conciliation efforts the EEOC is required to make before it files a lawsuit against an employer accused of unlawful discrimination.

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Massachusetts employers need to be ready for new sick leave law before July 1

by Kimberly A. Klimczuk

Employers with operations in Massachusetts can finally get a look at proposed regulations concerning the earned sick time law that goes into effect July 1.

The new law requires employers with at least 11 employees to provide paid sick leave. Employees will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, for a maximum of 40 hours a year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow them to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year.

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EEOC calling for changes to ADA regulations related to wellness programs

April 16, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing how employer wellness programs can be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC announced the proposed rule on April 16, and it was published in the Federal Register on April 20. Members of the public have until June 19 to submit comments. In addition to the notice, the EEOC has published a fact sheet for small businesses and a question-and-answer document.

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NLRB proceeds with ‘quickie election’ rule implementation

April 07, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

As the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “quickie election” rule moves a step closer to implementation, employers are being warned to be ready.

On April 6, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin Jr. issued a 36-page guidance memo that outlines how new unionization efforts will be processed from the time a union petitions to represent an employer’s workers through certification of the union as a bargaining agent.

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New OFCCP rule on sexual orientation, gender identity takes effect April 8

March 30, 2015 - by: Tony Kessler 0 COMMENTS

by Emily L. Bristol

A new rule that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited bases of discrimination under Executive Order 11246 goes into effect on April 8.

The rule, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), will apply to federal contractors that hold covered contracts entered into or modified on or after April 8.

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Texas judge puts FMLA rule’s new definition of spouse on hold

March 27, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

For the time being, employers in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage don’t have to comply with a new rule changing the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The rule was to take effect on March 27, but a federal district judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction on March 26 in response to a challenge from the attorneys general in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska.

District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the states making the challenge showed a likelihood that they would prevail and that they would be irreparably harmed if the rule were allowed to take effect. If the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule is allowed to take effect, it will require employers covered by the FMLA to allow eligible employees to take leave under the Act to care for same-sex spouses.

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