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NLRB General Counsel Advice Memorandum Is “Uber” Favorable For Gig Economy Companies Utilizing Independent Contractors (US)

In a recently-released Advice Memorandum dated April 16, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel (“GC”) determined that drivers utilizing Uber Technologies’ smartphone application-based rideshare platform are independent contractors, not employees, under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  In arriving at this conclusion, the GC utilized the independent contractor test … Continue Reading

New York City and New Mexico Protect Employees Who Are Medical Marijuana Users (US)

New York City New York City has enacted a first-of-its kind law (Intro. No. 1445-A) prohibiting pre-employment drug testing for the presence of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols. The law makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to require a prospective employee “to submit to testing for the … Continue Reading

EEOC Will Begin Collecting 2017 and 2018 Pay Data from Employers in Mid-July 2019 (US)

A federal judge recently ordered that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) collect two years of Component 2 EEO-1 data, including employees’ hours worked and W-2 compensation information, from employers with 100 or more employees (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) by September 30, 2019 (see our post here).  The agency was given … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Says “Gig Economy” Workers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees (US)

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter in response to an inquiry from an anonymous “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) concerning whether individuals who provide services through the VMC (“service providers”) are employees or are independent contractors for purposes of federal wage and … Continue Reading

Title VII And LGBT Discrimination: The Path To The High Court (US)

Expanding on her previous post on the subject, on May 1, 2019, Law360 published the following expert analysis authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorney Melissa Legault. After 11 private conferences during which the U.S. Supreme Court justices debated whether to hear the cases, the Supreme Court granted certiorari[1] in three cases involving the extent of protection — if … Continue Reading

New York City and California Take Aim at Hairstyle-Based Discrimination (US)

Both New York City and California have recently taken steps to ban hairstyle-based discrimination.  On Monday, April 22, 2019, the California State Senate passed the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), which seeks to amend California’s anti-discrimination statute, the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (“FEHA”).   The CROWN Act, if … Continue Reading

Federal Court Confirms September 30, 2019 Deadline for Employers to Submit EEO-1 Pay Data (US)

As we previously reported here, on April 3, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia proposing a September 30, 2019 deadline for the EEOC to complete collection of the required 2018 EEO-1 pay data forms. The brief was filed … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Rules That Agreement to Class-Based Arbitration Procedures Must Be Explicit  

The Court’s ruling in Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Varela is the latest in the Court’s ongoing pro-employer, pro-arbitration jurisprudence As we first reported here, the United States Supreme Court’s docket this term includes three significant cases interpreting various aspects of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  Earlier this year, the Court ruled in the … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Title VII Prohibits LGBT Discrimination

After considering the petitions at eleven separate private conferences, on April 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases involving the extent of protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – if any – against employment-based discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  As we … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Minimum Wage Hikes (MD, NM, CA); Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act; New Jersey Employee Rights; New York Voting Leave; Salary History Bans (OH, NM) (US)

Minimum Wage Updates On March 28, 2019, Maryland’s legislators voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2025 for employers with 15 or more employees and July 1, 2026 for employers with 14 or fewer employees.… Continue Reading

USCIS has drawn the H-1B lucky numbers, but winners may have to hold off on celebrating (US)

On April 11th, USCIS announced that its computer-generated random selection process was completed. USCIS drew the numbers of the lucky H-1B petitions that made the cut under the congressionally-mandated regular cap of 65,000 visa numbers and the U.S. advanced degree exemption of 20,000 visa numbers for fiscal year (FY) 2020.… Continue Reading

Does Obesity Qualify as a Disability Under the ADA? – It Depends on Who You Ask (US)

According to the most recent data from the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third of American adults are obese.  A person is considered obese when their weight is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height.  With obesity impacting such a large portion of the American public, employers are … Continue Reading

M&A News: Recent Case Provides Important Lessons For Buyers Acquiring Unionized Businesses (US)

When organizations are seeking to expand their operations, they often will find interesting targets who have union-represented employees. A union’s presence will create additional compliance obligations but contrary to common misconceptions, union-related obligations are not necessarily unmanageable.… Continue Reading

EEOC Proposes September 30, 2019 Deadline for EEO-1 Pay Data Collection (US)

As we previously reported here, on March 4, 2019, a federal court issued an order lifting the stay implemented by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) regarding the pay data collection component of the EEO-1 report, finding that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for the stay.  The order left many … Continue Reading

More DOL Letters Needed For Clarity On Enforcement Strategy (US)

Expanding on their previous post on the subject, on April 3, 2019, Law360 published the following article authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorneys Laura Lawless Robertson and Melissa Legault. The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a trio of opinion letters offering employers guidance in implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Proposes Update To Rules Governing Calculation Of Overtime Pay (US)

On March 28, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing proposed updates to the rules that govern how employers calculate overtime payments under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  As a reminder, the FLSA requires employers to pay additional compensation to non-exempt employees for work that exceeds … Continue Reading

Can An Employer’s Disclosure Of An Employee’s Lawsuit In A Required SEC Disclosure Constitute Prohibited Retaliation? (US)

If you’re a fan of unusual employment law cases, the saga between SigmaTron International, Inc. and its former employee, Maria Gracia, has been the gift that keeps on giving for the past eight years.  Four years after filing her first lawsuit against SigmaTron (in which she eventually won over $300,000), Ms. Gracia sued her former … Continue Reading

New Handbook Guidance Shows How the NLRB Views Common Employment Policies for Union and Non-Union Employers (US)

The National Labor Relations Board has once again clarified whether certain types of employee handbook policies will violate federal labor law. Employers should take note of these two new guidance memoranda, as they can help employers maximize the protection they afford to their confidential information, brands, equipment, and other important matters.… Continue Reading

H-1B Premium Processing Update: It’s On! Again! Mostly (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B nonimmigrant petitions, with an exception.  Premium processing permits an employer to pay an extra fee (currently $1410) to receive expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions. If requested, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing or it will refund the premium … Continue Reading

DOL Opinion Letter Clarifies Employer Responsibilities Regarding FMLA Leave Designation (US)

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, released an opinion letter, FMLA2019-1-A, stating that employers cannot delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave.… Continue Reading

Federal Judge Reinstates EEO-1 Pay Data Collection Requirement – Impact on Employers Still Unclear (US)

On March 4, 2019, a federal court issued an order lifting the stay implemented by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) regarding the pay data collection component of the EEO-1 report, holding that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for the stay. As we previously reported here, in 2016, the U.S. … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Minimum Wage Hikes (IL, NJ, CA, NM); Michigan Paid Sick Leave; New York Employee Rights, New Jersey Leave and Benefits Expansion (US)

Minimum Wage Updates On January 17, 2019, New Jersey’s governor and state legislators agreed to a deal that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024. The current minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.85 an hour.  Under the new law, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 an hour on July … Continue Reading

Déjà Vu All Over Again: U.S. Department of Labor Previews New(-ish) FLSA Overtime Exemption Requirements (Again)

For years – spanning two Presidential administrations – employers have been awaiting long-anticipated updates to the overtime exemption regulations to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Since 2004, to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements under the so-called “white collar” exemptions (e.g., executive, administrative, professional employees), employees must be paid on a salary … Continue Reading
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