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U.S. Appellate Court Declares That Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  And it did so in no … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Says Appellate Courts Must Defer To District Court Decisions Regarding Enforceability of EEOC Subpoenas

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) bestows upon the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the right to subpoena records from employers against whom formal charges of discrimination have been filed; the EEOC also can subpoena employer representatives for interviews.  The purpose of this subpoena power is to allow the EEOC … Continue Reading

NLRB Will Not Hack Into Prior Decision Regarding Employee Email Use During Non-Work Time

Network security and protection of confidential information are among the reasons many companies place limits on how and when employees may use company-provided email.  However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has largely ignored if not outright rejected these legitimate concerns, finding that under certain circumstances, they are outweighed by employees’ right to … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Decision Regarding NLRB Workplace Investigation Confidentiality Policies Fails To Answer Critical Question For Employers

In 2015, we reported to you about the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in the Banner Estrella Medical Center case, which placed significant limits on employers’ ability to request employee confidentiality during workplace investigations. As a reminder, in the Banner case, the NLRB found that Banner Estrella maintained a policy of instructing employees involved in … Continue Reading

President Trump Strikes Down Federal Contractor Blacklisting Rule

As anticipated, on March 27, 2017, President Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting” rule that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations when bidding on new or renewed government contracts worth at least $500,000 (we reported on this topic on March 7). The President struck down the blacklisting rule, along with three other regulations aimed at protecting the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reins in Administrative Overreaching of NLRB

On March 21, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one-time acting National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Lafe Solomon improperly served as the agency’s Acting General Counsel while he awaited U.S. Senate confirmation to a permanent appointment, upholding a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling that most of his three-year tenure … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Executive Order Update: The Constitutional Tug-of-War Continues

Last week we saw another round in the battle between the Executive and Judiciary branches over the President’s travel ban impacting nationals Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Federal District Courts in Hawaii (State of Hawaii v. Trump) and Maryland (International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump) stayed the implementation of the revised Travel/Refugee … Continue Reading

EEOC Pilots New Online Inquiry and Intake Program in Five Major US Cities

On March 13, 2017, the EEOC launched a new Online Inquiry and Intake System, making it easier for employees to seek assistance from the agency regarding claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The new system is available to individuals who live within one hundred miles of the EEOC’s offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Expands Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protections

Adding to an existing split among the federal appeals courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on March 8, 2017 that employees who make internal reports about suspected violations of the federal securities laws and other anti-fraud statutes are covered by the “whistleblower” protections of the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank), even if … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Order Suggests It May Put Out To Pasture California’s Law Preventing Internet Publication of Hollywood Actors’ Ages

In a recent decision, United States District Court Judge Vince Chhabria issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily suspending AB 1687, a California law requiring certain online entertainment websites to remove ages of Hollywood actors, upon request by those individuals. The law’s stated purpose is to prevent age discrimination in the entertainment industry. IMDb.com, Inc., owned by … Continue Reading

If at First You Don’t Succeed: New Executive Order Replaces January Travel Ban

On March 5, 2017, the White House issued a revised Executive Order (New EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The New EO revokes and replaces the President’s prior EO of the same name, which which was issued on January 27, 2017 (January 27 EO) to significant consternation and … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Measure to Kill Obama-era Contractor Disclosure Rule

In another roll-back of Obama-era regulations, the Senate voted last night, 49 to 48, to repeal the contractor disclosure rule.  This rule required companies bidding on federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Finalized in August and blocked … Continue Reading

San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance:  What You Need to Know

On November 8, 2016, voters in the City of San Jose approved the “San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance.”  The Ordinance is well-intentioned, but open to significant interpretation.  This is important, given the potential exposure to steep penalties and legal liability for failure to comply.  Here, we break down what you need to know, and … Continue Reading

Premium (Expedited) Processing to be Suspended for all H-1B Petitions Starting April 3, 2017

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 3, 2017 that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B filings starting April 3, 2017, and this suspension could last up to six months. The temporary suspension applies to Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 H-1B cap filings as well as other cap-exempt cases including change of … Continue Reading

NLRB Acting Chair Dissent Opinions Indicate A Shift Back to Pro-Employer Decisions

The NLRB was intended to be an unbiased arbiter of labor disputes, ensuring workers were protected from unfair labor practices. As we have seen in previous blogs, in the past several years, the NLRB has been unapologetically pro-union. President Trump’s appointment of Philip A. Miscimarra, a tenured board member who has been a tireless advocate … Continue Reading

New York Revokes Proposed Direct Deposit and Debit Card Wage Payment Regulations

On February 16, 2017, the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) issued a Resolution of Decision invalidating and revoking regulations that would have required employers to satisfy certain notice requirements and obtain employees’ informed consent in connection with payment by direct deposit or debit card as well as regulated fees charged by vendors. … Continue Reading

DOJ Seeks Another Extension of Time to Respond In Appeal On DOL Overtime Rule

As we previously reported, in November 2016, a Texas District Court’s temporary restraining order halted implementation of the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) regulations that were set to expand overtime pay for many US workers starting in December 2016.  The Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed that order, and asked for expedited review by the … Continue Reading

What We Know About Who May Likely Be the First Latino Member of Trump’s Cabinet

Alexander Acosta is a Florida native and the son of Cuban immigrants, who has a legal background with many years of government service. He is well-credentialed, with an undergraduate degree in Economics as well as a Law degree from Harvard University. He has experience in the public sector, having served in the Department of Justice, … Continue Reading

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Are Commission Structures for Retirement Investment Advisers a Thing of the Past?

On Wednesday, February 9, a Texas federal judge upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial fiduciary rule for retirement investment advisers — just hours after the agency had asked to stay the case in light of President Donald Trump’s directive to it on February 3rd to conduct an “economic and legal analysis” of the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms TRO – Stay of Travel Ban Executive Order Remains in Place

On February 9, 2017 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld a Federal District Court judge’s decision (TRO) to temporarily block the President’s Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Our previous update regarding the TRO, the current state … Continue Reading
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