How Far Can An Employee Go To Protest Working Conditions? NLRB Provides Important Guidance (US)

The newly comprised National Labor Relations Board recently clarified a key outstanding issue for employers: when will an employee’s “outburst” or unprofessional conduct go so far that the National Labor Relations Act cannot protect the employee? The Board’s decision may disappoint employers who hoped the new Trump-appointed members would create a new test. Nevertheless, the … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Pilot Employer Self-Reporting Program To Address Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations (US)

On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a new, nationwide pilot program which it claims will facilitate quick and efficient resolutions of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) minimum wage and overtime violations by allowing employers to promptly pay back wages to employees and at the same time avoid time consuming litigation … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Applies DLSE Overtime Pay Calculation Requirements Retroactively (US)

Few issues strike fear into the hearts of payroll professionals like trying to calculate overtime pay, especially given the challenges associated with determining the “regular rate of pay,” which serves as the foundation for the calculation of overtime pay for non-exempt, hourly employees. On Monday, March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor … Continue Reading

Measure Aimed At Reducing Frivolous ADA Public Accommodation Suits Passes House (US)

On February 15, 2018, the United States House of Representatives voted in favor of adopting the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 620, which, if approved by the Senate and signed into law, would amend the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Title III of the ADA (“Title III”) requires “places of public accommodation” … Continue Reading

NLRB Developments Raise Questions About New Joint Employer Test (US)

The National Labor Relations Board experienced a setback on Monday, just two months after it overturned its predecessors’ employee-friendly test for determining when entities constitute joint employers. These developments create some uncertainty and, at a minimum, delay the Board from implementing the new test it created last December.… Continue Reading

Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Says Second Circuit Court of Appeals (US)

Last spring, we reported that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin federal trial courts) had become the first federal appellate court to conclude that Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition also precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation. On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Slew of Advice Memoranda Providing Interpretative Guidance On Labor Issues (US)

During the first month and a half of 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released a torrent of memoranda authored by its Division of Advice (“Advice”), a section of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel.  As you may have read on our blog before, Advice memoranda are issued by the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

U.S. EEOC Announces Four-Year Strategic Plan

On February 12, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for FY2018 – FY2022 (SEP).   Congress requires federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC to develop strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website.  The EEOC’s plan serves as a framework for the agency in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection (US)

In a decision issued on February 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court substantially narrowed the class of employees who may claim whistleblower protection under the anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) was passed to protect investors from the possibility of fraudulent accounting activities by corporations. In 2010, Congress … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Finds That “Gig Economy” Workers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees (US)

Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates, DoorDash.  All are companies participating in what has been labeled the “gig economy,” where tasks are performed by workers on a short-term or freelance basis rather than through long-term or permanent employment.  As more people participate in this new, mostly smartphone application or Internet-based work model, litigation has followed centering on … Continue Reading

Ready Or Not, Here They Come … the U.S. Department of Labor Provides Notice of Future Audits (US)

On February 1, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (“CSAL”) to US federal contractor employers, indicating that the letter recipients have been selected for audit of their compliance with federal Affirmative Action regulations.  CSAL recipients were selected through the Federal … Continue Reading

State of the Union Address Provides Hints of Trump Administration Priorities for U.S. Employers

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made the case for his first year in office as one of extraordinary legislative and regulatory accomplishments as part of his Administration’s efforts to build a “Safe, Strong, and Proud America.” In fact, 2017 was not a year of major legislative accomplishments, with the exception … Continue Reading

Recent First Circuit Decision Illustrates Overlap Between Title VII Gender and Sexual Orientation Claims (US)

“Sticks and stones may break some bones, but harassment can hurt forever,” began the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s January 25, 2018 (60-page) opinion in Franchina v. Providence Fire Department, a “sex-plus” discrimination case; the opening line foreshadowing the ultimate outcome of the appeal. In the underlying trial of this matter, … Continue Reading

Arizona Law Generally Exempts Franchisors From Being Considered Joint Employers With Franchisees (US)

In the wake of fluctuations in federal labor law, in particular, as interpreted by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), regarding who may be considered a joint or co-employer of an employee, in 2017, Arizona enacted its own joint employer law.  A.R.S. § 23-1604 makes clear that, at least under Arizona law, a franchisor is not a … Continue Reading

Does the US Winter Weather Impact Employee Wages? (US)

With much of the United States covered in ice and snow, many employers are questioning when they need to pay employees who are affected by weather-related disruptions. All throughout the United States employees have been late to work because they were stuck in the snow or their kids’ school was yet again delayed and businesses … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Reinstates Previously Rescinded Wage and Hour Opinion Letters (US)

On January 5, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued 17 advisory Opinion Letters that were published during the final months of former President George W. Bush’s administration, but were subsequently rescinded by the Obama administration.  Opinion Letters do not establish new law, but instead are vehicles through … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Abandons Strict, Six-Factor Intern Test In Favor Of Flexible “Primary Beneficiary” Test (US)

On Friday, January 5, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a statement that it will no longer follow its six-factor test in determining whether an individual is a non-employee intern (rather than an employee) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and instead will apply a broader analysis commonly referred to as … Continue Reading

New York Proposes Expanded Call In and Scheduling Regulations (US)

The New York State Department of Labor has issued new, proposed regulations regarding “just-in-time,” “call-in,” and “on-call” pay – or pay required when an employer unexpectedly cancels a covered employee’s shift or calls them into work, or requires them to be on-call. The draft regulations supplement the state’s existing Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries … Continue Reading

Holiday Party Tips to Ensure Too Much Cheer Does Not Turn Into a New Year’s Liability (US)

With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to assess your company’s upcoming holiday party, with the biggest concern being employee alcohol consumption. While there is no way to completely insulate your company from liability arising out of employer-sponsored holiday parties, other than a decision not to hold a holiday party all together … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Overrules Controversial Decision Facilitating Union Organizing of Micro-Units

NLRB walks back Specialty Healthcare decision, eliminates “overwhelming community of interest” standard in deciding employer challenges to union-proposed bargaining units On December 15, 2017, in a 3-2 ruling in PCC Structurals, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) overruled its controversial 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile (“Specialty Healthcare”).  … Continue Reading

Major Developments for Union and Non-Union Employers – NLRB Announces New Standards For Employment Policies, Joint Employment, and Signals Change In Election Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) issued two groundbreaking decisions on December 14, which will give both union and non-union employers significantly more flexibility to manage their operations.  Earlier this week, the Board also signaled that it will revise the “quickie” election rules implemented in 2015 in the near future.  These developments will … Continue Reading