Injunction stops July 1 implementation of new ‘persuader’ rule

June 27, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new “persuader” rule, which was set to take effect on July 1.

Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued the preliminary injunction on June 27 after a June 20 hearing on a lawsuit challenging the new rule, which employers have criticized as stifling efforts to avoid unionization. The scope of the injunction is nationwide, and it prohibits enforcement of the new rule pending final resolution of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Charles H. Kaplan, an attorney with Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. in New York City, said the U.S. Supreme Court likely will decide if the new persuader rule remains permanently blocked. He explained that the DOL can seek a stay of the preliminary injunction from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and if it can’t obtain a stay in the 5th Circuit, it can seek a stay from the Supreme Court.

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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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Employers need to be ready for new overtime rule by December 1

May 18, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The flurry of speculation is finally over. The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have released the new final rule governing which workers must be paid overtime. The changes aren’t quite as drastic as what employers were preparing for based on the contents of the proposed rule made public last summer, but the final rule more than doubles the amount workers must earn to qualify as exempt from the law’s overtime pay requirement.  3D Man Overtime Clock

The changes mean some 4.2 million more employees across the country, according to White House estimates, will be eligible to earn overtime pay when the new final rule takes effect on December 1.

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DOL poised to release new overtime final rule

May 17, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The long-awaited final rule making millions more employees eligible to earn overtime pay is likely to be released on May 18, and if its contents match recent reports, employers and employees alike are in for big changes.

The Politico news organization reports that Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown will announce the rule at an event in Columbus, Ohio, on May 18. The report says the rule places the minimum salary for an employee to maintain exempt status at $47,500, up from the current rule’s floor of $455 a week ($23,660 a year).

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EEOC’s new wellness program rules give employers more to consider

May 16, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Employers are getting a look at new final rules affecting how they structure wellness programs, rules that are meant to clear up conflicts among various federal laws but that also may make administration of wellness programs more challenging.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) new rules describe how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness programs that request health information from employees and their spouses. The rules—one dealing with the ADA and the other with GINA—explain how workplace wellness programs can comply with the ADA and GINA consistent with provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Employers must meet new safety data requirement by June 1

by Jacob Monty

Employers need to be ready for a new requirement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that changes the format of safety data related to chemicals in the workplace.

OSHA is replacing its material safety data sheet (MSDS) requirement with a more uniform document called the safety data sheet (SDS). The deadline for employers to comply is June 1.

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New rule extends employment term for international STEM students

by Elaine Young

The rules affecting how long international students in certain fields can work in the United States without changing their visa status will change on May 10.

Currently, when international students in F-1 visa status graduate with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate from a U.S. school, they can work for one year, in a period called Optional Practical Training (OPT), in a job related to their major field of study. That training period is being extended for international students with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees from U.S. schools.

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As new overtime rule nears, questions surface about salary threshold

May 03, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 3 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

As time winds down for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to release its final rule changing who is eligible to collect overtime pay, reports are surfacing that the salary threshold may be somewhat lower than the figure originally proposed but still considerably higher than the level in the current rule.  OvertimeCalcultions

The DOL released a proposed rule in June 2015 that more than doubled the salary requirement for workers to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements. Under the current regulations, employees are exempt from the FLSA if they are paid a predetermined fixed salary of at least $455 a week ($23,660 a year) and if they perform certain executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales duties.

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