Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published in the Federal Register its newly-proposed rule regarding independent contractor vs. employee classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or the “Act”). Businesses have anticipated the release of this proposed rule from the Biden administration’s DOL since the DOL withdrew a more employer-friendly, Trump-era independent contractor rule in May 2021 that had not yet gone into effect.
On December 6, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised employers by announcing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that, starting December 27, NYC will mandate vaccines for all private-sector workers. The mandate is expected to affect around 184,000 employers.
Continue Reading NYC Mandates Vaccines for All Private-Sector Workers, But Will it Stick?
Most employers know the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees to be paid time-and-one-half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek unless an exemption applies. But what some employers don’t realize is, for the most-commonly-used overtime exemptions to apply, employees must not only satisfy various “duties” tests, but they must also be paid on a “salary basis” at not less than $684 per week. Payment on a salary basis means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent, basis.
Continue Reading Upcoming Fifth Circuit Hearing to Address FLSA Day-Rate Issues
In recent years, there has been a growing trend amongst litigants of protecting documents filed as part of the judicial record from public view by sealing them by agreement under a protective order. However, a recent opinion out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit criticizes this now-common practice. …
Continue Reading The Fifth Circuit Criticizes the Practice of Sealing Documents by Agreement
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
On November 17, 2020 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released proposed updates to its Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination. The draft revisions are available for public input until December 17, 2020, after which the EEOC will consider the public’s input, make any changes, and publish the finalized Manual.
Continue Reading For the First Time in 12 Years, EEOC Releases Updated Proposals to Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination
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
While most EEOC enforcement actions are related to individual complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation, so-called “pattern or practice” matters are those in which the EEOC attempts to show that an employer has systematically engaged in discriminatory activities. On September 3, 2020, the EEOC issued an opinion letter clarifying that section 707(a) does not provide a freestanding violation of Title VII, and that claims under section 707(a) are subject to section 706’s pre-suit requirements.
Continue Reading The EEOC Scales Back its Own Enforcement Powers through Clarification of its Interpretation of Pattern or Practice Case Requirements
In a little-publicized move near the beginning of the U.S. coronavirus lockdown, the EEOC temporarily suspended issuing right-to-sue letters with respect to most charges of discrimination. the EEOC resumed sending out right-to-sue letters on August 3, 2020, and announced that any suspended notices would be sent out between that date and September 30, 2020.
Continue Reading As the EEOC Resumes Sending out Right-To-Sue Letters, Employers Should Expect an Increase in Discrimination Lawsuits
Although the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” it has not yet declared the outbreak as a pandemic. Nevertheless, the emergence of the latest coronavirus is an opportunity for employers, as it reminds them to consider policies and procedures related to pandemic planning.
Continue Reading Coronavirus: A Reminder for Employers Without a Pandemic Plan