On November 22, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas preliminarily enjoined the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule, which would have expanded overtime eligibility to executive, administrative, and professional employees making less than $47,476 per year, who were previously exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s requirements under its white collar exemption. The final rule was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.
On November 21, 2016, the EEOC announced the release of new enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination. Like many enforcement initiatives of late, the update is intended to address current cultural issues and legal developments. It updates an EEOC compliance manual section from 2002 (Volume II, Section 13: National Origin Discrimination). The EEOC also issued a small business fact sheet and a Q-and-A document.
On November 16, 2016, Judge Amos L. Mazzant, heard more than three hours of oral argument from a group of 21 States (“State Plaintiffs”) challenging the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. Following the hearing, the motion for a preliminary injunction of the rule was taken under advisement and a ruling is forthcoming on Tuesday, November 22,2016. Judge Mazzant’s pointed criticism of the rule during argument suggests employers may have reason to be optimistic.
On November 14, 2016, a federal judge in California denied summary judgment to Hanover Insurance Co. (Hanover), finding that class claims alleging a failure to reimburse reasonable business expenses were not excluded by a “wage-and-hour” exclusion contained in EPLI policies issued by Hanover. The lawsuit, brought by a former student of the Bellus Academy beauty school, alleged that Poway Academy (the owner of Bellus) and Beauty Boutique, Inc. (BBI) (operator of two other schools under the “Bellus” name), failed to compensate students for working on paying clients at an onsite salon and also failed to reimburse them for out-of-pocket costs to purchase necessary supplies. The lawsuit alleged a variety of wage-related claims. The lawsuit also alleged that the schools failed to reimburse necessary business expenses in violation of Section 2802 of the California Labor Code.
Donald Trump’s election took many by surprise. Companies must now quickly determine his likely impact on their operations and workforces.
Trump will be the first US president with no government or military experience. He voiced extreme views during his campaign on immigration and discrimination, but he has played it close to the vest when it comes to other labor and employment law issues. What is clear is that Trump will have the backing of a GOP-controlled House and Senate. Does this mean employers will see radical changes in policy? Will the change to a Republican administration cause more issues for companies, or less?
Though no one can predict with certainty what priorities Trump will have in the labor and employment law area, it is possible to identify the most critical anti-employer / anti-business rules, regulations, and case decisions on which Trump may focus. Join us for a 1-hour webinar that discusses Trump’s most likely targets for change and the methodology that Trump and his administration must follow to accomplish that change.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
The IRS has issued final versions of Forms 1095-C and 1094-C as well as updated final instructions on completing these forms. While the instructions and forms remain similar to those used last year, there are a few key changes worth noting.
In general, the Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are used by “applicable large employers,” or “ALEs,” to report offers of coverage to their full-time employees (those working 30 or more hours per week) as required under the Affordable Care Act, as well as by self-insured plan sponsors to report individuals covered under their plans.
It’s been a little over a year since the Real Estate Board of New York filed its opposition in New York’s Supreme Court to the City of New York’s Local Law 50, which prohibits owners of large Manhattan hotels from converting rooms to residential condominium units. Despite REBNY’s complaint being dismissed due to lack of standing to sue, the industry group isn’t backing down and filed a notice of appeal on Sept. 26. The moratorium is set to expire in eight months, but there is a strong suspicion that it will be extended.
The Ninth Circuit has joined both the Sixth and Fifth circuits in holding that USERRA claims are subject to arbitration pursuant to an employee’s agreement to arbitrate employment related claims. See Ziober v. BLB Resources, Inc., 2016 WL 5956733 (9th Cir. Oct. 14, 2016). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit, a traditionally pro-employee circuit, has assuaged any fear of uncertainty that employers may have had with respect to their rights to compel arbitration of USERRA claims.
It is very common for employers to pay employees by direct deposit, and an increasing number pay employees with payroll debit cards. Beginning March 7, 2017, employers in New York will have to deal with a new regulation regarding the use of direct deposit and payroll debit cards for payment of wages. The new regulation, issued by the New York Department of Labor and titled “Methods of Payment of Wages,” imposes heightened notice and consent requirements on employers offering either service.
This past week the FTC and DOJ issued an 11-page guidance document aimed at protecting employees against anticompetitive conduct with respect to naked wage-fixing and agreements, in which companies agree on salary or other terms of compensation, and anti-poaching agreements. The guidance to human resource (“HR”) professionals and hiring managers relates to both hiring and compensation decisions.
The government’s guidance makes clear that naked wage-fixing agreements and anti-poaching agreements, in which companies agree not to recruit each other’s employees, are illegal under U.S. antitrust laws and, moving forward, DOJ will criminally investigate both individuals and companies suspected of their violation. There is a carve-out for legitimate collaboration between employers. The most common form of relevant, legitimate collaboration would be a joint venture between two companies, as these are not considered per se illegal under the antitrust laws.