On March 22, 2021, Marty Walsh, the two-term Boston mayor, was confirmed as the Labor Secretary by the United States Senate in a 68-29 vote.  He becomes the first union leader to run the Department of Labor in over four decades. Workplace safety will be one area that we can expect to undergo significant change under Walsh. 
Continue Reading DOL and OSHA: Agency Updates

Previously, we wrote about a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the last days of the Trump administration addressing the appropriate test for classifying independent contractors under the FLSA. We noted that the future of the rule was in question because it was not set to go into effect until March 8, 2021. This delayed implementation provided an opportunity for the incoming Biden administration to freeze or withdraw the rule.
Continue Reading DOL Freezes Rule on Independent Contractor Classification Test under the FLSA and Withdraws Several Opinion Letters

In the last weeks of the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor published its final rule for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The distinction between an employee and independent contractor is of critical importance because independent contractors are not entitled to the benefits of the FLSA, namely minimum wage and overtime.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractor Classification Test under the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released a proposed rule seeking to clarify independent contractor vs. employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.   The proposed rule seeks to simplify the “economic realities” test currently applied by federal courts in various forms.
Continue Reading Deadline Approaching to Submit Comments on DOL Proposed Independent Contractor Rule

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the EEOC has periodically released updates to its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.,” These questions and answers have provided employers with much needed guidance on the EEOC’s position on how employers can ensure the safety of their employees while at the same time not running afoul of the ADA.
Continue Reading EEOC Releases New Guidance to Employers on Returning Employees to Work and ADA Compliance

Since 2014, OFCCP-covered employers have been required to invite job applicants, pre-offer, to disclose their disability status via a form prescribed by the OFCCP.  The information thus obtained helps employers analyze (1) the efficacy of their diversity recruiting efforts and (2) hiring rates of persons with disabilities. This week, the Agency unveiled a modified format for that invitation. OFCCP hopes the revised form will increase the response rate for applicants and employees, who are often reluctant to disclose disabilities.
Continue Reading OFCCP Updates Disability Self-ID Form

Today the EEOC published a Notice in the Federal Register, announcing a delay in its collection of EEO-1 Component 1 data — until March of 2021 — due to the coronavirus pandemic.  (FR Doc. 2020-09876).  Component 1 data is what most employers associate with the EEO-1 Report: employment data summarized by job category, race/ethnicity, and gender.  There will now be no EEO-1 Reports submitted in 2020. 
Continue Reading EEOC Postpones EEO-1 Reports to 2021

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently committed to begin the gradual process of reopening businesses in Texas. On April 17, 2020, Governor Abbott issued two Executive Orders that relate to the strategic reopening of select services as the first step to open Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Texas Governor Issues Executive Orders to Reopen Business for Retail and Healthcare Employers

The CARES Act established a $349 billion U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. On April 13, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott provided additional guidance to Texas employers when he announced that investment banking, securities and investment management firm, Goldman Sachs, will partner with San Antonio-based nonprofit organization, LiftFund, to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses.
Continue Reading Texas Governor Announces $50 Million Loan Program for Texas Small Businesses through Goldman Sachs/LiftFund Partnership