Employment lawyers like new Trump pick to head DOL

February 16, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

President Donald Trump has nominated Alexander Acosta, a former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member, to serve as secretary of labor. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Trump’s first choice, Andrew Puzder, withdrew from the approval process.

Acosta, who is currently the dean of the Florida International University College of Law, is well qualified for the position, experts say. He was nominated to the NLRB by President George W. Bush and later served as assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which means he has a good understanding of how agencies operate, according to David S. Fortney, a founder of Fortney & Scott and an editor of Federal Employment Law Insider.

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Trump taps former NLRB member to head DOL after Puzder withdraws

February 16, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

UPDATE: President Trump has nominated Alexander Acosta, a former National Labor Relations Board member, to serve as Secretary of Labor. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Trump’s first choice withdrew from the approval process.

Acosta is currently dean of the Florida International University College of Law. He was nominated to the board by President George W. Bush and later served as assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

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Advocacy groups challenge Trump’s 2-for-1 regulation requirement

February 09, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Three liberal advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s 2-for-1 regulation mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and directs agencies to violate federal law.

In a January 30 Executive Order, Trump instructed federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one issued during the current fiscal year. He said the order is aimed at alleviating the regulatory burdens businesses face.

Now, consumer group Public Citizen is challenging the Executive Order, joined by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communications Workers of America. In a February 8 complaint, the groups alleged the order violates the Constitution and requires federal agencies to violate both the laws they implement and the Administrative Procedure Act.

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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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DOL’s health insurance marketplace form is now expired . . . but fear not

February 01, 2017 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Employers have a lot to worry about these days. Fortunately, the expiration of the marketplace notice form issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) isn’t something else to add to the list.

The form, New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage, comes in two versions: one for employers that offer some sort of health coverage and one for employers that don’t. Both versions of the form expired on Tuesday, January 31.

The DOL hasn’t issued new versions, and with the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in doubt, it’s unclear whether the agency will. Fortunately, employers may continue using the old versions of the forms for now without risk of penalty.

‘No-brainer’ appointment: Lipnic to 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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Trump takes aim at ACA on first day in office

January 23, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Following his inauguration on January 20, President Donald Trump signed his first round of Executive Orders, including one directing federal agencies to ease enforcement of some Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

Trump told agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of”ACA provisions that impose fees or other burdens on a range of stakeholders, including individuals and health insurers.

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Supreme Court will consider class action waivers

January 20, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a trio of wage and hour cases involving arbitration agreements that require workers to waive their right to pursue employment claims as a group.

In recent years, the validity of such waivers has divided federal appeals courts and drawn the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Board has held several times that even though federal law allows employers to adopt mandatory arbitration agreements, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants workers the nonwaivable right to pursue claims on a class or collective basis.

The NLRB first reached that conclusion in 2012, holding that an employer’s arbitration agreement violated the NLRA because it required employees to agree to dispute claims individually. The employer appealed to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the Board’s ruling. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, 737 F.3d 344 (5th Cir., 2013).

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Overtime rule update: District court won’t wait for appeals court’s ruling

January 04, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

On January 3, a federal district court judge said he won’t halt proceedings in the case challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rules despite concurrent litigation in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The rules, which were scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016, would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

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It’s time to cozy up to the new I-9

January 03, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

It’s time for employers to get acquainted with the new Form I-9. The form is easier to use than the old version, but with just a few weeks left before employers must make the switch, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the form now, says Jacob Monty, managing partner at Monty & Ramirez, LLP, and a coeditor of Texas Employment Law Letter.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued the form on November 14, 2016. While employers are free to use either form for now, they must use the new form beginning January 22.

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