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Welcome to Legal Briefs for HR (LB4HR), a monthly update written by labor and employment partner Audrey Mross on employment issues and shared with over 6,000 individual HR professionals, in-house counsel and business owners, plus HR and legal professional organizations (who have been given permission to republish content via their newsletters and websites).  LB4HR helps you stay in the know about employment issues.  Recent issues are listed below.  If you would like to receive LB4HR, visit our newsletter sign up page.

Welcome to Legal Briefs for HR, an update on employment issues sent to over 6000 individual HR professionals, in-house counsel and business owners plus HR and legal professional organizations (who have been given permission to republish content via their newsletters and websites). My mission is to help you stay in the know about employment issues. [Read This Post]
On March 19, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the largest Dodd-Frank whistleblower awards ever, clocking in $83 million. The awards to individual whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the SEC with original and credible information can run from 10 to 30% of the amount the SEC collects for violations. This award stems from a $415 million settlement in 2016, between the SEC and Merrill Lynch. A $17… [Read This Post]
Workflex in the 21st Century Act introduced into Congress, if passed will offer more flexible work arguments for employees; JP Morgan Chase pays 16.7 million due to classifications of exempt employees; EEOC and employers disagree on ADA's reasonable accommodations beyond what is required by FMLA and employer policy. [Read This Post]
DOL seeks to raise the minimum salary for white collar exemptions after a proposed salary was rejected, share your informed opinion by September 25th; New I-9 form and updated employer guidance is available on the USCIS site; New Standard Form 100 has been revised and the due date has been updated; NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra steps down and will not seek reappointment... [Read This Post]
On June 7, Secretary of Labor rescinded two Obama-era guidance docs regarding independent contractors but the underlying federal law has not changed as of yet; DOL has filed an NPRM to rescind the rule entirely for now and look at the “indirect” persuasion evolution since 1962; On June 15, Dept. of Homeland Security rescinded the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program entirely, keeping the Deferred Action… [Read This Post]
On May 2, House passed Working Families Flexibility Act to amend FLSA and give private employees 1.5x their reg. rate in comp time or overtime; Use of 3rd party services to vet job applicants will be subject to the FCRA rules and regulations regarding background and credit checks; Board has decided that "Weingarten rights" no longer apply to nonunion employees at this time; 7th Circuit reversed prior… [Read This Post]
DOL issued a final rule expanding the types of persons who would be seen as fiduciaries with regard to employee benefit plans, including certain investment advisors, causing some to fear noncompliance if a retroactive effective date came into play - DOL to issue a temporary enforcement policy saying there would be no enforcement for non-compliance with the final rule during the gap period (i.e., time between April… [Read This Post]
See what’s happening in the new administration and how it will affect employers regarding the DOL, EEOC, NLRB, Supreme Court nominee, and immigration; IRA reports new scam involving employee W-2s and how to keep your company from falling victim; Updated Invitation to Self-Identify form available from the OFCCP and must be used by Feb. 10; U.S. House blocks what remains of the E.C 13673 blacklisting rule and… [Read This Post]
FLSA white collar exemptions still on hold, DOL grants expedited appeal briefing with oral arguments scheduled Jan. 31; NLRB judge reverses decision regarding Citigroup employee handbook policy regarding class-action waivers, relying on two prior 5th circuit decisions; [Read This Post]
Lawsuit filed by 21 states’ AGs causes a nationwide injunction on DOL “white collar exemptions” set to take effect Dec.1; DOL’s persuader rule officially dead thanks to a permanent injunction issued on November 16; Judge issues prelim. injunction for federal contractor that would require them to report any labor law violations; DOD issued class deviation to FARs banning them from using contractors with confidentiality agreements; As of… [Read This Post]
Many states are providing job-protected time off for employees who go vote on election day; Ruling in Hively v. Ivy Tech case regarding employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is reversed; New EEO-1 Report (Standard Form 100) are available and will take effect next year; FLSA set to increase the minimum salary pertaining certain exemptions on December 1, 2016; The ADEA does not protect prospective employees against… [Read This Post]
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act provides incentives for whistleblowers, while the SEC monitors employer agreements and how they explain employee rights; The DOL signs MOU to help identify improper classification of employees as part of misclassification initiative; NLRB advises that misclassification of independent contractors violates section 8 of the NRLA by depriving section 7 rights; Final rules and guidance issued regarding the Fair Pay and Safe Workplace… [Read This Post]
Deadline for filing the EEO-1 workplace report on gender and race demographics, as well as the VETS-4212 affirmative action reports employing veterans for qualifying EEO jobs groups, is September 30th; States consider what falls under the umbrella of employment discrimination as it relates to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression; OSHA pushes deadline on new regulation compliance from August 10 to November 1; OSHA web… [Read This Post]
District Court Judge issues injunction 3 days before DOL’s “persuader rule” takes effect; Appeal for Texas v. EEOC, case remanded back to district court; Supreme Court upholds injunction stopping enforcement of DAPA and parts of DACA; U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to shut down idle E-verify accounts beginning August 1, 2016; EEOC Chair plans to minimize burden on employers by revising the EEO-1 Report; Special EEOC task… [Read This Post]
FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions take effect December 1, employers trying to identify necessary changes, while Congress seeks to nullify new reg; EEOC issues new guidance on the “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act” which addresses misconceptions on when employee’s should return to work, employer policies, and other reasonable accommodations; [Read This Post]
Federal government steps in over bathroom debate after North Carolina's H.B. 2 mandates that individuals use gender-specific bathrooms matching gender as stated on birth certificate - with U.S. DOJ advising that H.B. 2 violates Title VII and Title IX; DTSA gives employers new tool to protect from trade secret misappropriation where the person is acting as a "whistleblower"; "White collar" exemptions set to be published May… [Read This Post]
Privacy protections for employers to consider stemming from recent jury verdicts awarded to Erin Andrews and Hulk Hogan; IRS issues warning on phishing scam seeking employees' personal identity information; [Read This Post]
DOL Secretary expecting final rule revising the FLSA "white collar" exemptions by the spring of 2016; Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits just released as helpful tool in keeping companies compliant; Event planning company tagged by administrative judge for $605,250 in reduced fines for I-9 violations; NLRB opined December 2015 that Whole Foods Market's policy prohibiting video and audio recording in the… [Read This Post]
NLRB taking a closer look at employee handbook policies; White House issues press release announcing "ban the box" trending; Supreme Court held that nonexempt employees should not be compensated for the time spent on pre-exit security checks; OSHA gets OK to effect a one-time "catch-up" increase in their fines starting August 2016; OSHA not a fan of employer programs with reward incentives for lack of workplace accidents;… [Read This Post]
U.S. Congress subcommittee heard feedback from association reps for restaurant, construction and retail employers that the proposed increase in the amount of salary necessary to satisfy the "white collar" exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not take into account regional economies or an employee's total compensation package; [Read This Post]
NLRB sets refined standard for determining joint employment; EEOC sees certain employment tests and screening procedures can violate laws; DOL justifies its shift in policy due to dramatic transformation of the home care industry between 1974 and now; [Read This Post]
Federal contractors and subcontractors need to be on the lookout for changes regarding minimum paid leave per year for employees, federal contractor reporting forms, invalidation of three-year EADs (used to help validate authorization to work in U.S.), and unpaid internships; The dentist who shot Cecil the Lion was sued nine years ago for sexual harassment by a female employee, with the matter reportedly being settled to the… [Read This Post]
SCOTUS ruling on Same-Sex Marriage supports the right to marry, regardless of gender, and could mean some updates needed on benefit plans and policies that implicate marital status; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking made public June 30th for DOL to increase the number of people eligible for overtime pay; EEOC enacting "ban the box" to limit employer access to criminal history and background checks prior to hiring; FMLA… [Read This Post]
Supreme Court accepts cert in the EEOC's claim of religious discrimination against Abercrombie & Fitch for refusing to extend an employment offer to a Muslim teenager who wore a headscarf/ hajib to a job interview - making it a must for those who are tasked with input on hiring to be trained on employment law basics, like reasonable accommodation of religion; Challenge to E.O. 13496's poster requirement… [Read This Post]
EEOC is tasked with enforcing several employment discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; A 6th Circuit case that explained “attendance” as an essential function of the job does not necessarily mean the employee must be physically in the workplace, opening the door to more widespread use of telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation of various disabilities; Employers who have been keen on… [Read This Post]
EEOC class action approved; temporary injunction stops deportation of immigrants; Wal-Mart increases internal minimum wage; The EEOC and DOL have partnered on a new hiring guide aimed at federal contractors entitled “Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining and Promoting People with Disabilities.” [Read This Post]
Pregnancy-related conditions should be treated as ADA-qualifying disabilities; class action against poaching in Silicon Valley; First whistleblower protection has been announced by the SEC; letter to the President asking prior convictions questions be banned on application; Movement to increase maternity leave; Definition of "spouse" under FMLA was expanded; ABA Labor and Employment FMLA case subsection; [Read This Post]
Proposed changes to ACA; presidential executive order on immigration; new OSHA reporting requirements; OFCCP clarification of VEVRAA pre- and post-offer invitations to self-identify; employer’s own FMLA policy does damage to its case; the importance of good policy and supervisor training on FLSA; employer’s “no caps” policy survives NLRB attack; smartphone microbreaks make your employees happier and more productive, per university study; [Read This Post]
No pay for security check time; new federal contractor rules for LBGT discrimination and discussion of wages; new NLRB member; $185M punitive damage award in pregnancy discrimination case; Texas and other suing U.S. over immigration executive order; EEOC must produce evidence of its own hiring practices to employer it sued; DHHS fines Alaskan nonprofit $150K over lax IT security; [Read This Post]