Texas AFL-CIO seeks to join fight to save overtime rules

December 21, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A group of labor organizations is attempting to save the new overtime rules from almost certain death under the Trump administration.

The Texas AFL-CIO on December 9 moved to join a lawsuit challenging the rules, saying that if the president-elect drops the government’s defense of the regulation as predicted, the union group will see it through.

Background

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Time for federal contractors to meet new paid leave requirements

by H. Juanita M. Beecher

Contractors entering into federal contracts on or after January 1, 2017, must comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new regulations requiring them to provide workers 56 hours of paid sick leave a year.

The regulations implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13706, which was issued on September 7, 2015. The coverage provisions are the same as those for the $10.10 hourly minimum wage requirements for federal contractors. Employees whose wages are governed by the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, or the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are also covered.

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Puzder nomination could be the end of overtime rules

December 13, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The president-elect’s nomination of Andy Puzder for secretary of labor may very well be the final nail in the coffin for the new overtime rules.

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s employment initiatives for years. Several of those efforts, especially the overtime rules, are dead given Puzder’s appointment, says John Husband, a partner at Holland & Hart LLP and an editor of Colorado Employment Law Letter.

The overtime regulations, which would have required employers to pay overtime to all employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually), were scheduled to take effect December 1. With just days to spare, a federal district court judge issued a temporary injunction halting the rules’ implementation. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) appealed the injunction order to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed to fast-track its review. Still, the expedited schedule puts final briefings after the inauguration.

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Court expedites appeal of overtime rule injunction

December 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal appeals court will review the temporary injunction blocking new overtime regulations on an expedited schedule that wraps things up even faster than the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had requested. But it still won’t reach a decision until after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, and that could mean the end of the overtime rule, according to some experts.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the DOL’s motion for expedited review December 8. The court scheduled most briefing deadlines as the DOL had requested, but it slated final briefs for January 31 rather than the proposed February 7.

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Movement on overtime rules unlikely before Trump takes office

December 06, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has requested that an appeals court fast-track its appeal of an injunction blocking the new overtime regulations. But even if the court agrees to the DOL’s proposed expedited schedule, it wouldn’t take action on the injunction until at least February, weeks after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The department filed an appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 1. It argued that a federal district court judge’s injunction halting the rules “rests on an error of law and should be reversed.” The judge called into question the DOL’s authority to establish a salary basis test for overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In its appeal, the DOL argues that the 5th Circuit has already sanctioned the test in previous opinions.

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DOL appeals overtime rule injunction

December 02, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on December 1 that it will appeal a court’s injunction temporarily halting its new overtime regulations.

A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas blocked the rules on November 22, calling the regulations “unlawful” and noting that the changes in the rules should be left to Congress.

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Judge clears way for antiretaliation portion of new OSHA rule

November 30, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The antiretaliation provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new electronic record-keeping rule are set to be implemented on December 1 after a Texas federal judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction on November 28.

The eventual fate of the rule isn’t known since Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said his decision to deny the preliminary injunction “is not a comment or indication” on who will ultimately prevail in a lawsuit challenging the rule. “This determination is left for another day,” he wrote in his opinion.

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‘Unlawful’ overtime rule temporarily blocked

November 23, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule on November 22, just days before it was scheduled to take effect. The judge who issued the order called the regulation “unlawful” and said such actions should be left to Congress.

At the request of 21 states, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted an emergency injunction halting the regulation, which would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) beginning December 1.

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DOL takes another beating: Court blocks persuader rule

November 18, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court has permanently blocked a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulation that would have created new requirements for employers looking to keep unions out of their workplaces.

On November 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment (dismissal without a trial) in favor of business groups and states challenging the so-called persuader rule, finding it “unlawful.” The ruling is the latest in a line of judicial and legislative actions aimed at undoing recent labor and employment initiatives from the Obama administration.

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With Trump win, many employment initiatives in question

November 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Recent employment initiatives undertaken by the Obama administration could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump’s presidency, but employers still need to comply with those laws and regulations for now, says one expert.

“In general, things are going to be pretty unpredictable,” said Connor Beatty, an associate with Brann & Isaacson  in Maine and editor of Maine Employment Law Letter. Not only has Trump never held public office, but he’s also changed his position on issues several times, Beatty said.

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