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The Fourth Circuit issued an opinion in Messer et al. v. Bristol Compressors International, LLC et. al. that should serve as a cautionary tale to employers planning to use severance agreements when implementing layoffs.  There, the court considered three questions.  First, whether Bristol Compressors validly eliminated its severance plan before terminating Plaintiffs’ employment.  Second, whether certain Plaintiffs who signed a Stay Bonus Letter Agreement (“SBLA”) waived their claims against Bristol Compressors.  And third, whether four of the Plaintiffs received adequate notice under the WARN Act before their employment was terminated.

Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Outlines Pitfalls in Using Severance Plans for Layoffs
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In a recent decision in Perez v. Express Scripts, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey determined that plaintiff and a conditionally certified class of 200 members in a misclassification class action were exempt given that they were highly compensated.

Continue Reading New Jersey Federal Court Grants Reconsideration in Favor of Employer on FLSA Exemption for Highly Compensated Employee
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Webinar: Know Your Data! Best Practices for Performing a Compensation Analysis

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
12:00–1:00 pm ET
11:00 am –12:00 pm CT
9:00 am –10:00 am PT

Continue Reading CLE Webinar Invite – Know Your Data! Best Practices for Performing a Compensation Analysis
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The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services (collectively, the Departments) recently issued new guidance in the form of FAQs to plan sponsors and administrators of group health plans to assist with them with preparations for the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency and the Public Health Emergency.[1] [2]

Continue Reading New Guidance Issued for Employers Regarding End of COVID-19 Emergencies
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HuntonAK Labor and Employment partner Emily Burkhardt Vicente was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2023 Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Awards as a nominee for Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Executive of the Year.

Continue Reading Emily Burkhardt Vicente Nominated As DE&I Executive of the Year
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As pay equity and transparency continues to trend in the news, states and localities have passed pay disclosure and transparency laws to further assist employees in evaluating whether they are being paid fairly. These laws vary in scope – some require the disclosure of pay ranges on job postings, others require employers to provide the pay scale for a position upon an applicant or employee’s request, and others require employers to automatically provide pay scale information at the time of hire. Despite their differences, all of these pay disclosure laws are aimed at adding transparency to conversations about pay.

Continue Reading Pay Disclosure and Transparency Efforts Across the Country
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The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB or the “Board”) Office of General Counsel (“GC”) released an internal advice memorandum on February 27, 2023, which indicates that the NLRB will seek to enforce the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the “Act”) against employers that allegedly retaliate against employees for having workplace discussions about racism. The memorandum—which concerned employment actions the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Inc. (the “Tyson Medical School”) took with respect to a faculty member/physician following various discussions about race in the workplace—sets forth an expansive interpretation of conduct that constitutes protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the Act so as to include general discussions “working to end systemic racism, including its impact at the [e]mployer.”

Continue Reading The National Labor Relations Board Seeks to Regulate Discussions of Race in the Workplace
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OFCCP’s Director Leaves Agency For the White House

On March 29, 2023, the OFCCP announced Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Jenny Yang, will leave her position to take on a new role at the White House. Specifically, Yang will join the White House Domestic Policy Council as a deputy assistant to the President for racial justice and equity.

Continue Reading OFCCP Makes Headlines – What’s Happening at the OFCCP?
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On March 22, 2023, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”), Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memorandum providing guidance in light of the NLRB’s recent decision in McLaren Macomb, 372 NLRB No. 58 (2023). As previously reported, the Board in McLaren Macomb held that overly broad non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions in severance agreements violate employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the “Act”). The General Counsel’s memorandum—which is directed to the Board’s regional offices over which she exercises supervisory authority—seeks to clarify the scope of the McLaren Macomb decision, including: the types of provisions that may violate the NLRA; language that may be acceptable in light of the decision; whether the decision applies retroactively to previously executed severance agreements; and the potential applicability of the decision to supervisors. The memorandum is not legally binding, but it does give employers a more informed roadmap for how the Board initially will handle unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charges challenging severance agreements.

Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance Memorandum Regarding Severance Agreements