The practice of “tip-pooling,” which refers to the sharing of tips between “front-of-house” staff (servers, waiters, bartenders) and “back-of-house” staff (chefs and dishwashers), has been in the news recently as the Trump Department of Labor (“DOL”) seeks to roll back a 2011 Obama-era rule limiting the practice under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

Continue Reading DOL Expresses Interest in Banning “Tip-Skimming”

On January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari seeking to overturn the Fourth Circuit’s new joint employer test under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  As a result, employers will continue to be faced with differing joint employer standards in the various federal circuits.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Leaves Fourth Circuit’s New FLSA Joint Employer Standard Untouched

On October 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a formal letter on behalf of the United States Department of Justice stating the DOJ’s official position that Title VII “does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status,” officially retracting the DOJ’s previous position under the Obama Administration and setting up a direct conflict with the EEOC’s current position on the scope of Title VII.

Continue Reading The DOJ’s About-Face on Gender Identity Discrimination under Title VII

On September 15, the White House announced that President Trump will nominate Peter B. Robb, a longtime labor and employment attorney, to become the National Labor Relation Board’s next general counsel.  Assuming Robb is confirmed by the Senate, he would likely take over his position  hopefully in early November following the end of the incumbent’s General Counsel’s term and Robb’s swearing in.

Continue Reading Trump Taps Management-Side Lawyer to Serve as NLRB General Counsel

On August 3, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marvin Kaplan, a former Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission attorney, to fill one of the two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board.  Kaplan’s confirmation moves the Board one step closer to a Republican majority.  Kaplan was confirmed on a 50-48 party-line vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.  Kaplan joins NLRB Board Chairman Philip Miscimarra on the Republican side of the NLRB.  Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran are the Democrat Board members.

Continue Reading U.S. Senate Confirms Marvin Kaplan to Serve on the National Labor Relations Board

One of the most controversial regulatory actions from the US Department of Labor during the Obama administration was the DOL’s regulation significantly increasing the salary level under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white-collar exemptions.  The regulation sought to more than double the current salary requirement of $23,660 per year, and it included an automatic updating requirement that would have accelerated future salary level increases at a rate well above the rate of inflation.

Continue Reading Overtime Rule Update: DOL To File Request for Information In Two to Three Weeks

In a landmark ruling on April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, became the first federal appellate court to officially recognize a discrimination claim under Title VII based solely on the plaintiff’s sexual orientation.  The Court’s decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana reflects a groundswell of recent cases questioning whether sexual orientation claims are viable under Title VII.  Although the Seventh Circuit is the only appellate court so far to hold that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of “sex” discrimination under Title VII, recent panel decisions from the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals signal that additional circuit courts might be poised to overrule existing case law to find similar protections. Continue Reading Circuit Courts Reevaluate Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims Under Title VII

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Much has been written about the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial Browning-Ferris decision that significantly expanded the scope of joint employer liability under the National Labor Relations Act. But virtually no attention has been given to the Fourth Circuit’s recent panel decision in Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc., which creates an altogether new and incredibly broad joint employment standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act that makes the NLRB’s Browning-Ferris joint employment standard seem temperate at best.

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