Federal contractors hail Congress’s decision to kill ‘blacklisting’ rule

March 08, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

On March 6, Congress voted to repeal a regulation requiring federal contractors to report employment law violations to agencies that award contracts. President Donald Trump is expected to approve the resolution.

The move was expected but is still a great relief to all federal contractors, according to Burton J. Fishman, senior counsel with Fortney & Scott and a contributor to Federal Employment Law Insider. Even the most compliant contractors had negative reactions to the rule. “They were all opposed to this[,] and that tells you something,” Fishman said. “This was really exceedingly burdensome with very little upside and had the trappings of political—not practical—purpose involved.”

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ACA repeal proposal: Employer mandate gone, Cadillac tax remains

March 07, 2017 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On March 6, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) released long-awaited proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a budget process known as reconciliation—a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate. The legislation is part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act.

Employer and individual mandates gone . . . retroactively

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Employers face uncertainty over ‘less disruptive’ new travel ban, H-1B delay

March 07, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The Trump administration recently implemented two major changes to its immigration policies, and the full effect for employers remains to be seen. Between a replacement Executive Order (EO) on immigration and the suspension of the fast-track process for H-1B (highly skilled) worker visas, employers and foreign employees may soon face new hurdles, albeit fewer than under the original immigration EO.

President Donald Trump signed the new EO on immigration March 6, rolling back parts of his original order. The first EO, issued January 27, barred travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, arguably including permanent U.S. residents, for 90 days. It also placed a 120-day hold on the U.S. refugee program, prevented even individuals who already had received refugee status from entering the country, and adopted a new religious test for refugees that had the effect of prioritizing non-Muslims.

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Supreme Court’s action on transgender rights keeps employers watching

March 07, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it has decided not to hear arguments in a case regarding restroom access for transgender students doesn’t directly affect employment, but it puts employers on notice to keep up with developments that could affect the workplace.

On March 6, the Court announced that it is sending back to a lower court the case of a transgender boy suing a Virginia school district in an effort to be allowed to use the boys’ restroom. The Court had been scheduled to hear arguments in the case later this month. But on February 22, the Trump administration revoked guidelines released by the Obama administration advising public schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

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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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California employers have until March 1 to comply with new restroom law

by Michelle Lee Flores and Brett Nicole Taylor

California employers need to be in compliance with the state’s new “all-gender” requirements for single-use restrooms by March 1.

Assembly Bill 1732 requires all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or local government agency in California to be identified as an all-gender restroom. Thus, if a California business has a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a lock controlled by the user, signage on the restroom must indicate that it’s an all-gender facility. California’s all-gender restroom law is one of many recent state laws addressing restroom rights for members of the transgender community.

In addition, federal agencies have released guidance on the issue. Under the Obama administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared that transgender employees are protected against sex-based discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published guidance on transgender employees’ restroom access that states that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

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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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Arizona Supreme Court keeps challenge to Proposition 206 alive

by Dinita L. James

The uncertainty surrounding Proposition 206’s mandate of a $10 minimum wage for 2017 will continue for a few more weeks, as the Arizona Supreme Court has decided to consider business groups’ challenge to the voter-approved law. After a Valentine’s Day conference, Chief Justice Scott Bales announced in a five-sentence order that the court will hear argument on one of the two issues raised by the challengers.

The court set a hearing for March 9, 2017, on whether the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act adopted by Arizona voters in November 2016 violates the Revenue Source Rule of the Arizona Constitution and, if it does, what the appropriate remedy would be. The rule requires that any citizen initiatives that require the expenditure of state funds specify from where those funds will come.

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Employers advised to be careful dealing with immigrant protests

by Jacob M. Monty
Monty & Ramirez, LLP

Employers need to be aware of legal risks associated with how they handle various protests related to immigrants in the United States, including a boycott and work stoppage planned for February 16.

The “A Day Without Immigrants” campaign is encouraging immigrant employees to stay home from work, immigrant-owned businesses to close, immigrant students to stay home from school, and immigrant customers to refrain from making any purchases on February 16.

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