New bill latest effort to tackle definition of joint employment

July 28, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoThe definition of “joint employment” may be heading for another turnaround. Legislation introduced in Congress on July 27 takes aim at a 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that raised the ire of many in the business community, especially employers that work with franchisees, contractors, and staffing agencies.

The NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision broadened the joint-employment standard so that a business that exercises only indirect control over another employer’s workers still can be considered a joint employer for purposes of collective bargaining. The new bill introduced in the House—dubbed the Save Local Business Act—seeks to clarify the joint-employment standard and provide relief to businesses that are in a relationship with another employer.

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Texas Supreme Court balks at extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples

by Jacob Monty
Monty & Ramirez, LLP

The Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that the City of Houston’s extension of its employee benefits to married same-sex couples goes further than is required by the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared same-sex marriage equal in all 50 states. The plaintiffs in Friday’s decision argued that Obergefell didn’t impose on taxpayers the obligation to “subsidize” same-sex marriage. The city argued that the Supreme Court ruling requires it to treat employees in same-sex marriage equally.

In what same-sex marriage opponents are calling a victory, the Texas Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court for arguments to be made in light of Obergefell, which was announced only after the parties had briefed the case in the lower court. The court stated: read more…

Employers advised to stay up to date on legal trends affecting transgender rights

February 23, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Trump administration’s action rescinding guidance to public schools on restroom policies for transgender students sends a different signal than guidance from federal agencies dealing with employment, but the real message for employers is to stay tuned.

On February 22, the Trump administration revoked Obama administration guidelines that advised public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity instead of their gender assigned at birth. The Trump administration’s new guidance now puts the question of restroom access on states and school districts.

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Stakeholders get more time to comment on EEOC’s harassment guidance

February 06, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Stakeholders now have until March 21 to comment on proposed antiharassment guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The move is in line with the new administration’s overall approach of pausing Obama administration initiatives and taking time to evaluate them, said Jonathan Mook, a founding partner of DiMuro Ginsberg PC and an editor of Virginia Employment Law Letter. Given the change in administration, it makes sense to provide stakeholders more time, he said.

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With ‘no-brainer’ appointment, Lipnic will head EEOC

January 27, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

President Donald Trump has chosen Victoria A. Lipnic to serve as acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on January 25. She will replace Jenny Yang as chair, but Democrats still will retain a majority on the commission for some time.

Lipnic’s appointment was “a no-brainer,” says Jonathan Mook, a founding partner at DiMuro Ginsberg PC and an editor of Virginia Employment Law Letter. “It makes so much sense,” he said, adding that both employers and employees should fare well under her leadership. “She has a very good track record of working well with the Democratic appointees to achieve the goals of equal employment opportunity.”

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Transgender bathroom case makes it to Supreme Court

by Rachael L. Loughlin

On October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the request of the School Board of Gloucester County to consider whether the Court should overturn a decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit ordered the School Board to allow Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male, to use the boys’ restroom during his senior year of high school.

By now, most HR professionals are aware of the ongoing debate as to what restrooms should be available to transgender individuals. Though individual cases are popping up all over the country, none has captured public attention like the case of transgender Gloucester High School student, Gavin Grimm. Grimm is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and his lawsuit contends that the School Board’s restroom policy requiring students to use the restroom matching their physical gender, is discriminatory and violates Title IX of the federal education code, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

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Lawsuit aims to stop EEOC’s new wellness rules

October 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

New rules governing incentives offered as part of employee wellness programs are now the target of a lawsuit from a large advocacy group representing older Americans.   Health history form

AARP filed the suit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., on October 24, arguing that wellness programs can violate employees’ privacy and may not be truly voluntary.

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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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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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EEOC takes step toward adding pay data to EEO-1 reports

by H. Juanita M. Beecher

On January 29, President Barack Obama announced at a White House ceremony celebrating the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is proposing a new rule to collect pay data through the EEO-1 report. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on February 1.  EEOC-jpg

The proposal calls for revising the current EEO-1 report to collect W-2 compensation and hours-worked data by pay band for employers that have 100 or more employees beginning with the 2017 report. In 2016, all employers will file the currently approved EEO-1 report, and employers with 50 to 99 employees will file the current report after 2016. The pay data is to be grouped in 12 pay bands that are the same pay intervals the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses in its Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

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