Since taking office, President Biden has issued Executive Orders covering topics from climate change to mask mandates.  Some of these new Executive Orders are aimed at eliminating discrimination and promoting equity at the federal level.  These directives will likely result in new requirements for private sector companies that are government contractors or subcontractors, and could require them to revise practices and policies in order to keep, or procure new, government contracts.
Continue Reading Executive Orders Impact Federal Agencies and Government Contractors

The Federal Reserve anticipates an approximate two percent reduction in unemployment by June 2021, envisioning rapid mass-hiring by employers once governments lift the more stifling COVID-19 restrictions.  Businesses requiring pre-employment background checks may be uniquely exposed to liability under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if minor mistakes are amplified by mass-hiring events.
Continue Reading Two Recent Ninth Circuit Cases Provide Guidance on FCRA Disclosure and Authorization Form Requirements

Last month, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York invalidated portions of the Department of Labor’s Final Rule on joint employment, holding that parts of the Final Rule conflicted with the statutory language of the FLSA and chiding the DOL for failing to adequately explain why the Final Rule departed from the DOL’s own prior interpretations.
Continue Reading Court Invalidates DOL’s Final Rule On Joint Employment Under The FLSA

As Fall settles in and schools reopen, many employees with children (and their employers) are breathing a masked sigh of relief. Back to school means back to work, and back to work means increased productivity and greater job stability during a time when productivity and stability are needed.
Continue Reading With Schools Reopening, Employers and Employees Must Continue to Navigate a Patchwork of Federal and State COVID-19 Leave Laws

On September 10, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a Memorandum and Order granting summary judgment in favor of a franchisor in response to claims by a purported class of franchisees that they were not truly independent contractors, but employees of the franchisor. The main issue addressed in the case was whether specific federal legal requirements that are imposed upon franchisors trump the general Massachusetts independent contractor classification statute.
Continue Reading Massachusetts District Court Rejects Employee Classification for Franchisees

On August 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down portions of the DOL’s Final Rule regarding who qualifies for COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, collectively referred to at the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Of particular importance to employers, the Court invalidated two provisions of the DOL’s Final Rule pertaining to: (1) conditioning leave on the availability of work and (2) the need to obtain employer consent prior to taking leave on an intermittent basis.
Continue Reading Federal Court Strikes Down Portions of Department of Labor’s Final Rule On COVID-19 Leave, Expands Coverage

Virginia became the first state in the country to pass a workplace safety standard specific to COVID-19 on July 15.  It includes hazard assessment, communication and training requirements, depending on the types of tasks employees perform at work.
Continue Reading Virginia Passes First-in-the-Nation COVID-19 Safety Standard – What it Means for Your Workplace

As part of Virginia’s overhaul of its labor and employment laws, the Commonwealth enacted Virginia Senate Bill 712, which amended the Virginia Human Rights Act to require covered employers to reasonably accommodate the known limitations of an employee as it relates to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless such an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Continue Reading Virginia’s Pregnancy Accommodation Law Will Require Most Employers to Update Their Policies