Mississippi passes broad anti-LGBT law

April 01, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

On April 5, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill that provides businesses, religious organizations, and individuals with legal protection for refusing to provide services to LGBT individuals.

The new law provides “certain protections regarding a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction for persons, religious organizations and private associations” that refuse services to LGBT individuals. Those beliefs or convictions include tenets that say: read more…

New FLSA overtime rule a step closer to reality

March 16, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule greatly expanding the number of workers eligible for overtime pay has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, a necessary step before the rule can be finalized.

The new rule is expected to make nearly five million workers lose their exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to the DOL, meaning they would be eligible for overtime pay at no less than 1½ times their normal rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

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Supreme Court’s ERISA ruling a victory for self-insured employers

March 03, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s March 1 ruling in a Vermont case relieves self-insured employers from the obligation to report claims data to state governments that have established databases reflecting healthcare use and costs for citizens.

The reach of the ruling extends beyond Vermont to all self-insured plans. “It absolutely has national implications,” Linda J. Cohen, an attorney with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. in Burlington, Vermont, said after the ruling was released.

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New joint-employer guidance puts employers ‘on notice’

January 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new guidance on joint employment means employers must think ahead when they find themselves in relationships that may fit the definition of “joint employment.”  DOL_logo

In a January 20 post on his blog, David Weil, administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), announced new guidance related to joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Weil said the laws share the same definition of “employment,” which was written “to have as broad an application as possible.”

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Proposed GINA rule clears up issue on wellness programs

November 02, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A new proposed rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settles the question of whether employers are justified in seeking medical information on covered spouses participating in wellness programs.

The proposed rule, published in the October 30 Federal Register, would amend regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The proposed rule’s summary states that it addresses how an employer may offer inducements for an employee’s covered spouse to provide information about current or past health status as part of a health risk assessment connected to the employer’s wellness program.

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Time for federal contractors to get ready for new pay transparency rule

September 10, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors need to be preparing now for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new pay transparency rule, a rule going into effect in January that is likely to present challenges to a number of employers, according to an attorney familiar with its provisions.

“This rule appears to me to be part of the overarching intention of the agency to provide for more defined and broader rights for workers,” Jo Ellen Whitney, an attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, said after publication of the rule was announced September 10. “Any time we add a section to the law that would broaden coverage or create a new category of discrimination or retaliation, we create employer issues. This is not because employers will violate the law, but because it is uncertain how it will be used to support any potential employee claim.”

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Contractors face August 1 deadline for new veteran reporting form

Beginning August 1, federal contractors must use the new VETS-4212 report to provide information to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) about their affirmative action efforts in employing veterans.

The VETS-4212 report replaces the VETS-100 and VETS-100A forms required by the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) that became final in September 2014.

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New guidance signals tougher stance on independent contractor classification

July 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A new interpretation of language in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the latest effort in the government’s fight against what it sees as troubling misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

On July 15, David Weil, administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), released Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1 to analyze how the FLSA determines whether an individual should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

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Employers need to examine policies, laws in light of Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling

June 26, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage means employers across the country need to take a look at their policies as well as the effect the ruling has on various laws dealing with employment.Pride flag at city hall

The Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down prohibitions on gay marriage in states covered by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. But it has the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

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Obamacare ruling means little change for employers

June 25, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

In a much-anticipated June 25 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a victory on his administration’s signature piece of legislation—the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although the ruling was crucial to the future of the healthcare law, it basically means business as usual for employers.

The Court ruled 6-3 in King v. Burwell that federal tax credits to subsidize healthcare coverage are authorized under the ACA. Opponents of the law argued that it doesn’t authorize subsidies to individuals in states that don’t offer a state-run healthcare exchange. Thirty-four states have not set up exchanges, so individuals in those states turn to a federal government exchange.

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