New Wisconsin law grants leave to employees donating bone marrow or organs

by Saul C. Glazer

A new Wisconsin law granting employees leave to donate bone marrow or organs takes effect July 1. It applies to private employers with 50 or more permanent employees as well as to government employers.

The new law allows employees to take up to six weeks of leave to donate organs or bone marrow. The law provides job protections to employees who donate bone marrow or a heart, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, or other organ that requires the continuous circulation of blood to remain useful for purposes of transplantation. No more than six weeks of leave may be taken in a 12-month period, and leave may be taken only for the time necessary for the employee to undergo and recover from the donation procedure.

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Employers praise injunction blocking new ‘persuader’ rule

June 27, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

An injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is drawing praise from employer interests concerned that the new rule would stifle their efforts to respond to union organizing campaigns.

The rule change was scheduled to take effect July 1, but a preliminary injunction issued June 27 prohibits enforcement pending final resolution of a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued the injunction after hearing arguments during a June 20 hearing. The scope of the injunction is nationwide.

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New Chicago ordinance will require employers to provide paid sick leave

by Steven L. Brenneman

On June 22, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will require nearly all employers in Chicago to provide paid sick leave to employees. The ordinance, which passed 48-0 despite opposition from business and employer groups, follows the lead of similar laws in several states and more than a dozen cities. It is expected to be signed into law quickly by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it will take effect on July 1, 2017.

The ordinance will apply to virtually all employers in Chicago, regardless of the number of employees. All businesses that have a location in the city or are subject to city licensing requirements must comply (except for employers in the construction industry).

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New Rhode Island data security law takes effect July 2

by Timothy C. Cavazza and Matthew H. Parker

The Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015 will take full effect on July 2, meaning employers need to have their data security and notification policies in compliance or face serious financial consequences if even one data breach occurs.

The new law applies to employers and municipal agencies. It requires that any person or entity in Rhode Island that stores, collects, processes, maintains, acquires, uses, owns, or licenses “personal information” about a Rhode Island resident to “implement and maintain a risk-based information security program [that] contains reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate [for] the size and scope of [the] organization, the nature of the information[,] and the purpose for which the information was collected.”

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Portland, Oregon, ‘ban the box’ ordinance takes effect July 1

by Cal Keith

Employers in Portland, Oregon, need to be ready for the city’s new “ban the box” ordinance, which takes effect July 1.

The state of Oregon’s ban-the-box law took effect January 1, but Portland’s ordinance goes further than the state law.

Portland’s ordinance applies to businesses that (1) employ six or more employees and (2) have at least one employee who spends most of her time working in the city. It does not apply to law enforcement jobs, the criminal justice system, volunteer positions, or jobs for which federal, state, or local law requires criminal history to be considered.

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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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Colorado repeals state employment verification law

by Roger Tsai

Colorado employers soon will be relieved of their obligation to complete and maintain the state employment verification affirmation form aimed at ensuring that new hires are legally eligible for employment in the United States.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the measure into law on June 8, and it will take effect August 10. The law also removes employers’ obligation to keep copies of documents provided by new hires to prove their identity and employment eligibility in support of the I-9 verification process.

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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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Washington, D.C., employers to face $15 minimum wage

June 09, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The “Fight for $15” movement got a boost on June 7 when the Washington, D.C., City Council approved a minimum wage increase that will have the city’s lowest-wage workers earning $15 an hour by 2020.

The council unanimously approved the measure after council committee discussions worked out differences related to raising the city’s tipped minimum wage. Another council vote is required before the measure can be enacted, but that vote is seen as a formality. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has said she will sign the measure.

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