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Federal Contractors and Sub-contractors Win in Rollback of "Blacklisting" Rule

President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution that rolled back the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, which would have required bidders for federal contracts to disclose their alleged labor and employment law violations for a three year period for consideration in the bidding process. More ›

SEC Charges More Public Companies for Confidentiality Agreements That Might Deter Whistleblowers

In the past two years, the SEC has charged six public companies with violating SEC Rule 21F-17, which prohibits confidentiality agreements that could impede employees from making whistleblower claims directly to the SEC. Since the Employment Law Observer reported on the SEC’s first case attacking a confidentiality agreement., the SEC has charged five more companies with Rule 21F-17 violations. In each case, the employer had confidentiality or severance agreements that either: (a) purported to limit the types of information that an employee may convey to the SEC or other authorities; or (b) required departing employees to waive their rights to any individual monetary recovery in connection with reporting information to the government. The employers settled the cases by, among other things, amending the agreements and paying a significant civil penalty. More ›

Supreme Court Leaves Transgender Bathroom Issue Unresolved

Gavin Grimm is a transgender boy living in Virginia.  Grimm attends school in the Gloucester County School District, which adopted a new policy requiring students to use the bathroom of their birth gender.  Previously, Grimm had been given permission to use the boys restroom and did so for almost 2 months without any incident.   After complaints from parents, the new policy was put into place. Grimm fought this new policy requesting the right to continue using the boys' restroom. More ›

Employer Beware: The Time to Use the New Form I-9 Is Now

On January 22, 2017 employers became obligated to use a new Form I-9, dated November 14, 2016.  Prior versions of the I-9 form are no longer valid.  You can find the new Form I-9 hereMore ›

TREND WATCH: Philadelphia Becomes the First City in America to Ban Inquiries into a Job Applicant’s Wage History

On Monday, with the signing of the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance, the city's Fair Practices Ordinance was amended to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant's wage history at any point during the hiring process, making Philadelphia the first City to enact such a prohibition.  More ›

Retroactive Accommodations to Excuse Past Misconduct Not Required under the ADA

Envision a situation where you are about to terminate an employee for violating a work conduct rule. Sensing what is coming, the employee explains to you her disability caused her to violate the rule.  Are you required to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and forgo termination? The answer is no. More ›

EEOC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment

The EEOC issued Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment on January 10, 2017. It is designed to consolidate numerous agency guidelines into one document and addresses hostile work environment harassment prohibited by statutes enforced by the EEOC. The Guidance examines three primary elements of a harassment claim. First, is the conduct based on a legally protected status; second, is the conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; and third, is there a basis for employer liability. The 75-page treatise covers key case law since the Supreme Court first recognized harassment as an actionable form of discrimination in 1986. More ›

Texas Court Declines to Enjoin OSHA's Anti-Retaliation Rules

In the last few weeks, federal courts in Texas have been the center of attention, deciding what rules and regulations of the current administration may fall to legal challenges asserted in the jurisdiction by collections of states, business, and trade associations, among others.  Texas courts have issued preliminary injunctions impacting the persuader rule, and most recently the DOL's new overtime rule.  More ›

EEOC Issues New Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new enforcement guidelines regarding national origin discrimination. Since 2002, the EEOC has observed significant legal developments addressing national origin discrimination, warranting the need to replace its earlier guidelines. In 2015, approximately 11 percent of the 89,385 private sector charges filed with EEOC alleged national origin discrimination. These charges included unlawful failures to hire, unlawful terminations, harassment and language-related policies. More ›

Overtime Expansion Over? Texas District Court issues Nationwide Injunction of Expanded Federal Overtime Rules

What Happened?

A federal judge has blocked the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing new regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that expand overtime eligibility to 4.2 million salaried workers. The preliminary injunction issued yesterday found that the expanded overtime eligibility rules were contrary to the FLSA and Congressional intent.

The rules were supposed to become effective December 1, 2016. They grant overtime eligibility to millions of salaried white-collar employees whose salaries were not above a threshold of $921 per week ($47,892 annually), but whose duties otherwise would have made them exempt from overtime. With the injunction, the new regulations are on hold until the court issues a final decision. More ›

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