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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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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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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Fast-food strikes, NLRB policies take center stage

April 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

A day after the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “quickie election” rule took effect, low-wage workers across the country took to the streets in an effort to boost their pay and join unions.

The Fight for $15 campaign, supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), set April 15 as the date for the latest round of strikes that began in 2012. The protests include fast-food, homecare, airport, and other low-wage workers, including adjunct professors. Organizers reported that strikes were set for more than 230 cities and college campuses.

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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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Supreme Court clarifies employer obligations related to pregnant workers

March 25, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Young v. United Parcel Service means employers need to think twice before treating pregnant employees under job restrictions differently than they treat nonpregnant employees who are similarly unable to perform their jobs temporarily.

In a 6-3 ruling handed down March 25, the Court reached for middle ground between interpretations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) offered by both parties as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). By sending the case back to the lower court, the justices revived the employee’s claim that her treatment violated the PDA.

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