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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Medical Marijuana - Colorado Supreme Court Further Clarifies Employer's Right To Drug-Free Workplace

As we previously discussed, employers continue to grapple with the workplace effect of medical marijuana laws (enacted in twenty-three states and the District of Columbia), as well as the recreational marijuana laws of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Notwithstanding these laws, marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and all courts to have addressed the issue thus far have held that employers may continue to insist on a drug-free workplace, conduct drug tests, and take adverse employment action based on positive drug tests. 

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DOL Proposes That Federal Contractors and Subcontractors Self-Report Violations of 14 Federal Laws and Executive Orders

Recent guidelines have been issued by the Department of Labor in connection with President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673.  Interested parties will have until July 27, 2015 to submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat for consideration before the proposals are finalized.

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Oregon Increases Safeguards on Employee's Social Media Rights

State legislation concerning employee privacy in social media continues to grow with six states passing such legislation in 2014, including Tennessee, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. As discussed here, these laws focus on an employee’s right not to disclose personal social media passwords to an employer, as well as prevent employers from requiring access to content not available to the general public.

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Supreme Court Holds That Employers Can Violate Title VII's Religious Discrimination Provisions, Even Where Applicants Have Not Disclosed Need for Accommodation

The Supreme Court recently held in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. that Title VII prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship, even where the applicant has not informed the employer of his need for an accommodation.

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PAGA Claims Survive Class Action Waiver Challenge - Again

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to take up a challenge to the California Supreme Court’s holding that California Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) claims cannot be waived in employment arbitration agreements containing a class action waiver.

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You're Invited: Interactive Webinar to Answer Your Questions About the NLRB's "Quickie Election" Rules

As we continue our discussion of the NLRB’s “quickie election” rules that went into effect on April 14, please join Hunton & Williams LLP for a complimentary interactive webinar.

NLRB Ambush Election Rules Upheld by Texas Federal Court

The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has just denied one of the employer community’s challenges to the NLRB’s ambush election rules.  As covered  previously, the Board’s new election rules, which went into effect on April 14, 2015, shorten the potential timeline for elections to be held 11 to 12 days after a union representation petition has been filed.  Several business groups have challenged the validity of the ambush rules in the federal courts. 

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Supreme Court Provides for Judicial Review of EEOC's Conciliation Efforts

The Supreme Court’s decision in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC provides for judicial review with respect to the EEOC’s conciliation efforts in claims of unlawful discrimination against an employer. In Mach Mining, the EEOC filed suit against Mach Mining, LLC on the basis of sex discrimination, specifically, with regard to Mach Mining’s hiring practices. After the EEOC determined that reasonable cause existed as to Mach Mining’s unlawful hiring practices, the EEOC sent a letter to Mach Mining inviting the employer to participate in an informal conciliation proceeding with the plaintiff to attempt to rectify the charge. In its letter, the EEOC notified Mach Mining that an EEOC representative would be contacting the respondent in order to begin the informal conciliation process regarding the charge. Roughly a year later, the EEOC sent a second letter to Mach Mining, stating it had determined that conciliation efforts had been unsuccessful.  The EEOC then filed suit in federal court.

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The Changing Landscape of Same Sex Marriage Law

As the national debate regarding rights for same sex couples continues, more and more states are granting marital rights to members of the same sex.  Although we are only in the second quarter of 2015, five states have either passed legislation or have high court rulings that expand the rights of same sex couples.  And, in the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule upon issues of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, eventually rendering a decision that may have significant impact on both federal and individual state laws.

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Wellness Programs: A New Layer of Compliance

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued proposed rules (“ADA Proposed Rules”) on the extent to which employers may offer incentives to promote participation in wellness programs without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The ADA Proposed Rules apply if a wellness program includes disability-related inquiries or medical examinations, including inquiries or examinations that are part of a health risk assessment.  Health risk assessments are reported to be the most common form of incentivized employee wellness programs.1 Thus, many employers would likely be impacted by these new rules if finalized.

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