Hunton Profile

Administrative Law Task Force

The Administrative Task Force plays a critical role in keeping our OSHA practice current and vibrant.  We follow developments daily and we work together to analyze the impact that proposed and actual changes will have on the law in general and specifically on our client’s industries. Employers today face an unprecedented range of workplace safety and OSHA legal issues as government increases worker safety and health regulation and demands meticulous reviews by its OSHA inspection force.

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Illinois Becomes The Latest State To "Ban The Box"

Illinois recently joined a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed “ban the box” laws regulating when employers can inquire into an applicant’s criminal history. 

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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Now Protected Categories under EO 11246

On July 21, President Obama signed an Executive Order adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories included in Executive Order 11246, originally issued by President Johnson in 1965.  E.O. 11246 now prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

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EEOC Issues Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines Despite Pending High Court Case

In Enforcement Guidance issued last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took the position that employers should accommodate the physical restrictions of women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies as if those women had protected disabilities.

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Washington, D.C. Council Votes to Ban the Box

On July 14, 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia (“D.C. Council”) unanimously voted to “ban the box,” approving a bill that will restrict when an employer may ask a job applicant about his criminal background.  The bill will now go to Mayor Vincent Gray for his signature, and then to Congress for approval.

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Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Mach Mining LLC v. EEOC to Consider "Failure to Conciliate" Affirmative Defense

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted Mach Mining LLC’s petition for writ of certiorari, agreeing to take up the question of whether and to what extent courts may enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) duty to conciliate a case prior to bringing a lawsuit.

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Final ACA 90-Day Waiting Period Rule on Use of Orientation Periods

On June 25, the government issued final rules regarding the use of “bona fide employment-based orientation periods” in connection with the Affordable Care Act’s 90 day waiting period limits. These final rules largely track the proposed rules issued in February.

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California Supreme Court Ruling in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation: Class Waivers Revisited

On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court announced a landmark ruling that arbitration agreements with mandatory class waivers are generally enforceable while carving out one notable exception.  That exception consists of representative claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) which is unique to California.

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Supreme Court Nixes President Obama's "Recess" Appointments

In the most anticipated labor law case in years, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous judgment yesterday holding that the President’s January 2012 “recess” appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board was an invalid exercise of his Article II powers.   Noel Canning v. NLRB arose from a labor dispute in which the employer – Noel Canning – had unlawfully refused to execute a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union.  Noel Canning contested the Board’s unfair labor practice ruling on the grounds that, because three of the five Board members were invalidly appointed to the Board when the Senate was not in recess, the Board lacked a quorum to act and therefore had no authority to issue its ruling.

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CGL Insurer Must Defend Alleged ERISA Violations Where Factual Allegations Create a Possibility of Coverage

In Euchner-USA, Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., No. 13-2021-cv, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10797 (2d Cir. June 10, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that an insurer must defend its insured in a case alleging ERISA violations because the facts alleged (as opposed to the embedded legal conclusions) created a reasonable possibility of coverage under the general liability policy’s employee benefits coverage part. Central to the court’s decision was its finding that Euchner’s alleged misclassification of the plaintiff as an independent contractor rather than an employee arose from the Euchner benefit plan’s administration, thereby bringing the allegedly improper conduct within the scope of the policy’s employee benefits coverage.

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DOL Proposed Rule to Raise the Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

On February 12, 2014, President Obama announced Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors.”  The order seeks to raise the hourly minimum wage paid to workers performing services on covered Federal contracts to: (i) $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015; and (ii) beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Order.

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