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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California’s minimum wage going up on January 1

December 12, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The minimum wage in California will rise to $10.50 an hour on January 1 for most employers thanks to a measure signed into law in April. Future incremental increases will put the state’s minimum wage at $15 an hour by January 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees. Smaller employers will have more time to reach the eventual $15 level.

The current minimum wage in California is $10 an hour. Under the new law, employers with 26 or more employees will see the minimum wage go to $10.50 on January 1, 2017.

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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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New Tennessee law requires most employers to use E-Verify

by Todd Photopulos

A new Tennessee law taking effect January 1 requires employers in the state with at least 50 employees to use the federal E-Verify employment verification process.

The new requirement is a result of an amendment to the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (TLEA). Under the old law, private-sector employers had a choice: either use E-Verify for all newly hired employees or request and maintain copies of identity and work authorization documents from all newly hired employees before letting them work.

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Changes coming to Delaware’s discrimination law

by Lauren E.M. Russell

Changes that will expand the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) to include discrimination based on family responsibilities and reproductive health decisions are set to take effect on December 30.

Under the revised law, it will be unlawful for a covered Delaware employer to discriminate against employees because of their family responsibilities. “Family responsibilities” are defined as “the obligations of an employee to care for any family member who would qualify as a covered family member under the Family and Medical Leave Act [FMLA].”

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New California law mandates sexual harassment training for local officials

by Beth Kahn and Sigalit Shoghi
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP

Changes to California’s law requiring sexual harassment training for supervisory employees will go into effect on January 1, 2017, clearing up ambiguity about whether elected city officials are required to take sexual harassment prevention training and education courses already mandated for private-sector supervisors.

Assembly Bill 1661 requires that “local agency officials” (defined as any member of a local agency legislative body and any elected local agency official) receive sexual harassment prevention training and education if the local agency pays them any type of compensation, salary, or stipend.

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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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New Orleans restricts use of consumer credit checks

by H. Mark Adams

A new ordinance in New Orleans will prohibit contractors doing business with the city from using consumer credit background checks and consumer credit history in making new-hire and other employment decisions. The ordinance will affect new city contracts entered into on or after December 23.

Employees who perform fewer than 40 hours of work in a calendar year in New Orleans under a city contract aren’t covered by the new ordinance, which includes exceptions for employees in sensitive positions such as: read more…

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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Stricter workplace smoking law taking effect in California

by Jim Brown
Sedgwick LLP

A new law expanding smoking restrictions in California workplaces is set to take effect on January 1.

State law previously restricted smoking in places of employment based on “enclosed space” areas. In addition to requiring signage, California Labor Code Section 6404.5 provided a list of exceptions or exemptions from the definition of “place of employment.”

The new law, Assembly Bill 7, amends Labor Code Section 6404.5 to, among other things, eliminate the specified exemptions from “place of employment” for hotel lobby and bar areas, taverns, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, and employee break rooms. Before Assembly Bill 7, local jurisdictions could enact rules prohibiting smoking in those areas, but no statewide law required such a ban.

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