Practice/Industry Group Overview
At Ogletree Deakins, we understand that our clients’ employment issues often are not isolated to one state, country or region of the world. Our International Practice Group facilitates business growth by helping to centralize our clients’ employment, human resources and compensation practices. We offer cross-border solutions to today’s key challenges arising out of managing a global workforce, as well as assistance to growing businesses involved in foreign transactions for the first time. We pride ourselves on providing practical business solutions to complex employment issues in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
We assist our multinational clients with the full range of employment services designed to help drive consistent management practices worldwide. These include:
- Global codes of business ethics, employment handbooks and their components, including:
- Codes of conduct;
- Anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies;
- Finance and sales policies; and
- Compliant reporting and investigation procedures compliant with the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, data privacy requirements and local laws.
- Worldwide reductions-in-force/restructurings;
- Global compensation plans, including sales incentive/commission and bonus plans;
- Benefits plans, such as severance policies; and
- Worldwide management training in ethics policy compliance, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance, bullying/“moral harassment” and discrimination/ sexual harassment and investigation requirements.
Mergers and Acquisitions
We understand the interplay between global corporate transactions and domestic labor and employment protections imposed by statute, case law and contract. We facilitate cross-border transactions by:
- Analyzing Transfers of Undertakings principles and quantifying the resulting transaction costs;
- Advising on effective approaches to managing contractual rights and benefits in foreign employment agreements; and
- Assisting with benefits and compensation migration, training and integration.
Managing Foreign Employment Issues
Our U.S.-headquartered clients with overseas operations face a number of challenges managing distant employees. We help clients establish initial employment relations overseas with compliant worker classifications. We also assist clients in integrating local requirements and market practices related to employment contracts with their workforce practices and culture, and we enable clients to achieve business objectives when they are under resistance from local operations. We manage foreign counsel for clients and “translate” their advice into solutions that work for clients’ businesses. We conduct works council and trade union negotiations and supervise local litigation to ensure clients receive the same passionate advocacy they expect and on which they depend from U.S. counsel.
Easing the Challenges of the Domestic Subsidiary
U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign parents face challenges being managed from abroad and are often asked to participate in unfamiliar initiatives and benefits programs. We help U.S. domestic subsidiaries understand foreign directives and programs, quantify their impact on local cost models, and avoid unintended liability.
In addition, our diverse, multilingual team is sophisticated in the nuances of foreign cultures. We provide sound legal advice to foreign operations in U.S. labor and employment law compliance requirements.
Facilitating a Mobile Workforce
Pulling together a cross-functional team of Ogletree Deakins attorneys with experience in tax, immigration, benefits and employment laws, we assist with all aspects of moving employees among operations. From expat packages to short-term relocations, from contingent worker service agreements to establishing foreign subsidiaries, we will manage these arrangements with employees in a manner that protects clients’ interests and achieves their business objectives.
Effective. Efficient. Smart.
We understand the challenges clients face managing competing business priorities, cultural issues and corporate initiatives. Our services are structured to promote clients’ business models. We will never overstaff a discussion or make clients do the legwork to conduct multijurisdictional research. We communicate with clients efficiently and provide recommendations that clients can use.
Predictable, Cost-Effective Approach
We offer a range of billing structures designed to promote our clients’ budgeting priorities. These include fixed fee arrangements, project-based fees and blended rates.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
New Jersey Appellate Court Rules Arbitration Agreement in Employee Handbook Unenforceable
Robin Koshy,Steven J. Luckner,Evan J. Shenkman, January 18, 2016
In C.M. v. Maiden Re Insurance Services, LLC, No. L-3622-13 (App. Div. Sept. 18, 2015), the New Jersey Appellate Division held that an employee was not compelled to arbitrate her employment discrimination claims, notwithstanding her confirmed receipt of a handbook containing an arbitration...
Pay Transparency Rule to Go Into Effect on Same Day as OFCCP’s Webinar
Hera S. Arsen,Leigh M. Nason, January 18, 2016
On Monday, January 11, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) final rule on pay transparency, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees and applicants “who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their own compensation or the compensation...
New Brunswick New Jersey’s Paid Sick & Safe Leave Law Goes Into Effect
Robin Koshy,Steven J. Luckner,Evan J. Shenkman, January 15, 2016
On December 17, 2015, the City of New Brunswick passed its own paid sick leave ordinance, making it the eleventh municipality in the State of New Jersey to require paid sick leave. The ordinance becomes effective on January 6, 2016, but employees must wait until May 5, 2016 (or 120 days after they...
A New Year’s Resolution for California Employers: Fair Pay Act Compliance
Hera S. Arsen,Christopher W. Olmsted, January 11, 2016
California employers are preparing for the effects the Fair Pay Act—the new law signed by Governor Brown last October that significantly changes California’s gender equality pay law. Senate Bill 358 (SB 358), which went into effect on January 1, 2016, requires employers to pay employees...
Happy New Year from the IRS!
Ann Carr Mackey,Timothy G. Verrall, January 11, 2016
For the many employers and health care providers that have thus far been spending their holidays poring over the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new tax forms and their cryptic instructions in anticipation of the inaugural round of reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue...
How Federal Preemption Affects Local and State Labor Peace Agreements
David F. Loeffler, January 11, 2016
Unions have been largely unsuccessful in their efforts to organize employees and negotiate first contracts within the system created by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Only about 7 percent of the private-sector labor force is unionized. Consequently, unions have adopted new organizing...
DHS Issues Proposed Rule for Changes to Employment of High-Skilled Foreign Workers
Jacob D. Cherry, January 08, 2016
On December 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning employment-based visa programs for high-skilled workers. The notice is published in the December 31, 2015 Federal Register and is subject to a 60-day comment period ending...
Europeans Agree on New Data Privacy Laws
Simon J. McMenemy,Grant D. Petersen, January 07, 2016
After four years of debate and a year of uncertainty over the future of data transfers from the European Union (EU) to the United States, this week has seen a historic move towards finalizing new legislation to govern data privacy and protection laws in Europe. On December 15, 2015, negotiators...
Increased Criminal Enforcement for Worker Safety Violations?
Don A. Duggar,Margaret S. Lopez, January 07, 2016
In 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) let employers know there was a new sheriff in town. Now there will be a new police force as well. On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the expansion of the Worker Endangerment Initiative. In its...
Massachusetts Sick Leave Law-Full Compliance Deadline Looming
Mark H. Burak,Rachel Reingold Mandel, January 07, 2016
Readers are probably aware that last year, Massachusetts voters approved a new sick leave law that went into effect on July 1, 2015. Many employers with preexisting leave policies, however, took advantage of the so-called “safe harbor” provision in the law and its implementing...
New Jersey Annual Notice Reminders With Deadlines Fast Approaching
Mark Diana,Steven J. Luckner,Jocelyn A. Merced,Evan J. Shenkman, January 07, 2016
New Jersey employers should be aware of two impending annual notice requirements. First, employers must distribute to each employee working in New Jersey a written copy of the Gender Equity Notice on or before December 31 each year and must obtain a signed acknowledgement from each employee in...
Philadelphia Goes Beyond Ban the Box
Jacqueline R. Barrett,Julie Donahue,Emily K. O'Brian, January 07, 2016
On December 15, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed a bill amending Philadelphia’s “ban the box” law, formally titled the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance, which was enacted in 2011. With these amendments, Philadelphia’s ordinance joins New York City’s...
Revised “Persuader” Reporting Requirements Are Back
Harold P. Coxson, January 07, 2016
Don't look now, but the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda advances the controversial proposed revisions to the "persuader activity" reporting requirements under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). Final regulatory...
Elizabeth Becomes the Tenth New Jersey City to Require Paid Sick Leave
Mark Diana,Steven J. Luckner,Jocelyn A. Merced,Evan J. Shenkman, January 04, 2016
On November 3, 2015, voters in the City of Elizabeth approved a paid sick leave ordinance, making it the tenth municipality in the State of New Jersey to require paid sick leave. The ordinance, which goes into effect on March 2, 2016 (120 days after voter approval) is nearly identical to sick leave...
Mexico Increases the Minimum Wage Effective January 1, 2016
Pietro Straulino-Rodriguez, January 04, 2016
On December 11, 2015, the Council of Representatives of the National Minimum Wage Commission, pursuant to a vote to determine the minimum wage held every year, unanimously decided to increase the daily minimum wage by 4.2 percent in 2016.
New Jersey Advances Bill to Ban Most Employee Credit Checks
Mark Diana,Steven J. Luckner,Jocelyn A. Merced,Evan J. Shenkman, January 04, 2016
On December 14, 2015, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee released another bill-A2298-seeking to prohibit most credit checks on employees. Essentially the same as prior bills that failed in the New Jersey legislature (including those we reported on in 2010 and in 2012), A2298 would prohibit...
Still No NCAA Pay for Play-9th Circuit Denies O’Bannon v. NCAA Rehearing En Banc
John Richard Carrigan, January 04, 2016
On December 16, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that it would not rehear its earlier decision in a high-profile case on payments that can be made to student-athletes. Nearly three months earlier, a panel of the Ninth Circuit had upheld a lower court’s ruling that the...
India Eases Rules for Foreign Investment in LLPs
Diana J. Nehro, December 21, 2015
India has relaxed its rules for foreign direct investments (FDI) for limited liability partnerships (LLPs), with a recent abolishment of the requirement of regulatory approval for a foreign-invested LLP in India. This change was announced with effect just over a week ago, on November 24, 2015....
BOLI Issues Guidance on New Oregon Statewide Sick Leave Law
James M. Barrett, December 16, 2015
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has issued additional guidance on complying with the new Oregon statewide mandatory paid sick leave law, Senate Bill 454, OL 2015, Ch. 537, which takes effect on January 1, 2016.
Do I or Don't I?—Alcoholism and Accommodations in the Workplace
Lara C. de Leon, December 16, 2015
Any college football fan can attest that this has been quite the year for upsets. As interesting as the on-field action has been, we have seen increasing media attention and fan commentary focused on the action off the field—especially on the activities of college football coaches and players.
Hillsborough County, Florida Passes Wage Theft Ordinance
Edmund J. McKenna, December 16, 2015
On October 21, 2015, the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners enacted the “Hillsborough County Wage Recovery Ordinance.” By it terms, the ordinance applies to all employers within Hillsborough County and any company with an employee or independent contractor who performs work...
New Pinellas County Wage Theft Ordinance Goes Into Effect January 1
Edmund J. McKenna, December 16, 2015
The commissioners of Pinellas County recently adopted a wage theft ordinance that will become effective on January 1, 2016. The ordinance provides that if any employer fails to pay wages of at least $60 due to an employee 14 days or more from the date the work was performed, the failure to pay will...
New Regulatory Agenda Contains Surprises
Harold P. Coxson, December 16, 2015
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) just-released Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda and Plan Statement contains several surprises for federal labor and employment rulemaking. Although the timetables are often aspirational and not met, the announced agency goals for regulatory actions...
Overview and Guidance on Final Joint Standards on Diversity and Inclusion
Nonnie L. Shivers, December 16, 2015
On June 9, 2015, several federal agencies jointly issued a policy statement on standards that companies could use to assess their diversity policies and practices, particularly for entities regulated by more than one agency. The Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,...
Texas Supreme Court Vindicates Employer That Uniformly Enforced its Leave Policy
Tiffany L. Cox, December 16, 2015
On December 4, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court vacated a jury verdict in favor of a former employee who had alleged workers’ compensation retaliation, rendering judgment in favor of the employer and finding that the employee had not presented evidence that his termination had resulted from...
The Minimum Wage Battle Is Heating Up and Retail Is Fighting Back
Diane M. Saunders, December 16, 2015
Over the past two years, we have seen minimum wage hikes in states and cities (such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Emeryville) across the country as labor groups push for a universal $15 per hour minimum wage. With the presidential elections coming, organized labor is reinvigorating...
CDLE’s Official Guidance on Use-It-Or-Lose-It Vacation Policies: Still Prohibited
Steven R. Reid,Austin E. Smith,Roger G. Trim, December 15, 2015
The use of so-called “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation pay policies is receiving significant attention in Colorado, both from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and from employers trying to make sense of the CDLE’s recent announcements. A typical use-it-or-lose-it...
Final New Jersey Ban-the-Box Regulations Issued Today, Effective Immediately
Mark Diana,Evan J. Shenkman, December 10, 2015
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) published its long awaited, final “ban-the-box” regulations today, which take effect immediately. The final regulations, and the NJDOL’s comments to the regulations, clarify the following issues regarding New...
“Deaf Culture” Expert to Testify at Trial? Judge Allows EEOC to Test the Limits
James M. Paul, December 09, 2015
In the last couple of years, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has prosecuted at least 12 lawsuits on behalf of deaf or hard-of-hearing employees or job applicants. And, within the last 10 years, the U.S. Department of...
Is an Offshore Rig a Single Site of Employment Under WARN?
Jessica M. Knapp,Christopher E. Moore, December 09, 2015
A federal judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently issued an important ruling for oil field employers conducting layoffs. In Voisin v. Axxis Drilling, Inc. (October 21, 2015), the court held that for the purposes of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN...
Portland’s New Ban-the-Box Ordinance Imposes Stricter Rules Than State Law
Leah C. Lively,Kathryn P. Roberts, December 09, 2015
On November 25, 2015, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance restricting an employer’s ability to inquire regarding a job applicant’s criminal history. As of July 1, 2016, Portland employers with six or more employees will be prohibited from soliciting information regarding an...
Fifth Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Obama's Immigration Actions
Ashley Karen Kerr, November 27, 2015
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the preliminary injunction against President Barack Obama’s executive action that would potentially have shielded approximately 4.4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to immediately apply for work authorization....
Pennsylvania Still Requires Separate Consideration for Restrictive Covenant Agreements
Donald D. Gamburg,L. Evan Van Gorder, November 27, 2015
In a much anticipated decision released on November 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania closed the door—if it was ever open—on any arguments doing away with the separate consideration required for restrictive covenant agreements entered into after the commencement of employment....
Predictive Scheduling: A Primer for Retail and Hospitality Employers
Diane M. Saunders, November 27, 2015
One of the most closely watched issues today among retail and hospitality employers is “predictive scheduling,” or as opponents call it, “restrictive scheduling.” Predictive scheduling has become the new cause célèbre among labor activists around the country...
Website Accessibility Regulations Delayed Again! (For At Least Three Years!!)
Sherry Akande Nielsen,David H. Raizman, November 27, 2015
In a surprise announcement with major repercussions for businesses and their websites, on November 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in its Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities that it is delaying—by at least three years—its proposed regulations on the standards for...
Texas’ Open Carry Law: 3 Steps Hotels Should Take Before the New Year
John G. Harrison, November 26, 2015
The Texas statute allowing the open carrying of guns by licensed holders will become effective on January 1, 2016. Prior to this effective date, Texas hotel properties should consider following these three steps in an effort to comply with the law.
Everything You Need to Know About New York's New FCA Guidance
Gustavo A. Suárez,Aaron Warshaw,Stephen R. Woods, November 24, 2015
As we previously reported, New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA) went into effect on October 27, 2015. On November 5, 2015, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR or Commission) issued long-anticipated guidance on the FCA. Although the Commission’s website indicates that...
The Push for Pay Transparency and Equity
Kiosha Hammond Dickey, November 24, 2015
On September 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its final rule on pay transparency, setting a trend for states to enact legislation aimed at strengthening fair pay, pay transparency, and other legal protections in the...
An Easing of Brazil’s Restrictive Labor Laws? Only Time Will Tell
Carolyn Ann Knox, November 18, 2015
Brazil’s troubled economy has been making global headlines for the past few months. After five years of growth, understood now to have largely been fueled by China’s seemingly insatiable hunger for commodities, the economy has ground to a halt and is declining to negative growth for...
New ACA Reporting: Frequently Asked Questions About Form 1095-C
Stephanie Alden Smithey,Timothy G. Verrall, November 18, 2015
For many employers, the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already a reality. Having now worked out some of the administrative kinks associated with providing the health plan coverage required by the mandate, employers face a new and daunting challenge: detailed reporting to...
Here To Organize”— NLRB now Accepts E-Signatures on Authorization Cards
Timothy C. Kamin, November 17, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made union organizing by email and social media a reality. The NLRB’s General Counsel issued Memorandum 15-08 on September 1, 2015, stating that, “[e]ffective immediately, parties may submit electronic signatures in support of a showing of...
Transgender Issues in the Workplace: Navigating a Changing Legal Landscape
Kelly S. Hughes,Nonnie L. Shivers, November 17, 2015
Legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity is popping up all around the country. From California’s Senate Bill 703 prohibiting state agencies from entering into certain contracts with contractors that discriminate between employees on the basis of gender identity...
New York’s Wage Deduction Law in Effect for Three More Years
Brian Jeffrey Gershengorn,Sonu Ray, November 13, 2015
On October 26, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed State Assembly bill A07594, extending the expiration period of 2012 amendments to New York Labor Law §193, which had permitted employers to make deductions from employee wages in circumstances otherwise deemed impermissible by the New...
Is Your Workplace Violence Plan Ready? 5 Essential Elements of a Comprehensive Plan
Dennis A. Davis,Luther Wright, November 10, 2015
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one out of every six violent crimes occurs in the workplace. These crimes include assaults, rapes, robberies, and-on rare occasions-homicides. Employees, customers, and third-party individuals are increasingly acting out in ways that devastatingly alter...
Per Diems and the Regular Rate of Pay: What to Know for Your Overtime Calculation
Andrew P. Burnside,Jacob C. Credeur, November 10, 2015
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in Sharp v. CGG Land (U.S.) Inc., No. 14-cv-0614 (October 19, 2015), recently ruled in favor of an employer that had excluded per diem payments from a regular rate calculation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The...
President Obama Signs the 2015 Budget Act Increasing OSHA Penalties
Melissa A. Bailey,Shontell D. Powell, November 10, 2015
President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law yesterday. The deal was negotiated quickly to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. Perhaps as a result, it includes a surprise for those with an interest in occupational safety and health: penalties imposed by the Occupational...
D.C. Commuter Benefits Are Almost Here: Employers Must Comply by January 1
Vicki M. Nielsen, November 09, 2015
Employers with 20 or more employees working in the District of Columbia have fewer than 90 days to comply with a new law that requires them to offer commuter benefits to employees by January 1, 2016. Washington, D.C. is one of several cities and regions that have recently passed mandatory commuter...
New Speaker, New Agenda—Old Problems?
Harold P. Coxson, November 05, 2015
It has been quite an eventful few weeks in Washington, D.C., with actions taken that perhaps will give rise to a brighter future on Capitol Hill. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) resigned effective October 31 amid persistent attacks from the conservative House Republican Freedom Caucus.
California Court Deems Truck Drivers Employees, Not Independent Contractors
Christopher W. Olmsted, November 02, 2015
Companies that classify workers as independent contractors are facing increasing scrutiny in court and before administrative agencies. A recent unpublished California Court of Appeal decision in a case titled Garcia v. Seacon Logix, Inc. highlights the factors considered by a court in determining...
Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season
Sara E. Herbek,Miguel A. Manna, November 02, 2015
The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas, resulting in a “cap” on the number of visas that are awarded...
New York Expands Discrimination Protections Against Workplace Gender Bias
Michael R. Marra,A. Sonu Ray, November 02, 2015
On October 21, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a number of bills, which cumulatively expand protections against gender discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and human trafficking. This comprehensive legislation, which grew out of the governor’s call for a...
NLRB Makes a Mess of the Burns Successorship Analysis and Worker Retention Laws
Seth D. Kaufman, October 29, 2015
New York City’s Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Act (DBSWPA) is one of numerous local worker retention laws, which apply to various industries in jurisdictions across the country, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Providence, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia....
The Schrems Saga Continues: Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority Revokes Transfer Authorizations
Simon J. McMenemy,Hendrik Muschal,Grant D. Petersen, October 29, 2015
Citing the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) October 6, 2015 decision in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner, which invalidated the EU Commission’s Safe Harbor decision, the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority (ILITA) announced, on October 19, 2015, that it was...
Can a Prevailing Plaintiff Recover Expert Fees? The Second Circuit Says “No”
A. Sonu Ray, October 28, 2015
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that expert witness fees are not recoverable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Gortat v. Capala Brothers, Inc., No. 14-3304-cv (July 29, 2015), the Second Circuit ruled in a class action case filed by five former employees who sought...
St. Louis Minimum Wage Hike Struck Down at the 11th Hour
Joseph Charron,William M. Lawson,Robert W. Stewart, October 26, 2015
Hours before a St. Louis ordinance increasing the city’s minimum wage was set to take effect, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer struck down the ordinance. The ordinance, which was passed on August 28, with an effective date of October 15, would have increased the city’s minimum...
Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part II
Patricia Chavarria Perez, October 26, 2015
In part one of this two-part series, we covered five of the most common mistakes that employers make while conducting workplace investigations, including poor complaint mechanisms, ignoring employee complaints, failing to adequately plan an investigation, and failing to be objective while...
DHS Proposes New STEM OPT Extension Rules
Miguel A. Manna,Caroline Tang, October 23, 2015
On October 16, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning new rules for extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The...
Florida’s Minimum Wage Likely to Remain Unchanged on January 1, 2016
Edmund J. McKenna, October 23, 2015
On November 2, 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that created Florida’s minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to all employees in the state covered by the federal minimum wage. Florida law requires a new minimum wage calculation on September 30 of each year, based on...
The Fallout from the Schrems Decision Continues
Simon J. McMenemy,Hendrik Muschal,Grant D. Petersen, October 23, 2015
On October 14, 2015, the data protection commissioner from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein issued a position paper declaring that the use of model contract clauses by U.S. companies and European employees’ consent to transfer their personal data to the United States are invalid. This...
Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part I
Patricia Chavarria Perez, October 22, 2015
Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. Legal requirements have continued to expand in terms of what courts expect employers to do in order to prevent and correct wrongful behavior. In response, employers have increased mechanisms through which employees can lodge...
California Governor Signs Gender Wage Equality Law
Christopher W. Olmsted, October 20, 2015
The California Fair Pay Act (FPA), a state law that codifies the principle that an employee is entitled to equal pay for equal work without regard to gender, has been amended with the passage of Senate Bill 358 (SB 358), which Governor Jerry Brown signed yesterday.
European Court of Justice Invalidates European Commission’s Safe Harbor Decision
Simon J. McMenemy,Hendrik Muschal,Grant D. Petersen, October 20, 2015
On October 6, 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its much-anticipated decision in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner, Case C-362/14. The case considered the viability of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, which has been applied to permit U.S. companies to transfer personal data...
Everything You Need to Know About St. Louis’s Minimum Wage Law
William M. Lawson,Robert W. Stewart, October 20, 2015
On August 28, 2015, the city of St. Louis passed a law to raise its minimum wage. The minimum wage increase will start at $8.25 per hour and will increase to $11.00 per hour by 2018. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage will increase annually on January 1 of each year on a percentage...
Mexico Supreme Court Issues Guidance on Outsourcing
Pietro Straulino-Rodriguez, October 20, 2015
The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation in Mexico recently issued guidance establishing that outsourcing does not violate the constitutional principles of legal certainty and freedom.
New Maine Social Media Privacy Law Takes Effect October 15, 2015
David P. Mason, October 20, 2015
Maine has become the latest state to restrict employers’ ability to access social media accounts of employees and applicants. A new Maine statute, which will go into effect on October 15, 2015, prohibits a broad range of employer conduct.
OFCCP Publishes Final Rule to Promote Pay Transparency
Alec Hillbo, October 20, 2015
On September 10, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its final rule on pay transparency. The purpose of the rule is to prohibit “pay secrecy policies” to make it “possible for workers and job applicants to share information about their pay...
Is the Safe Harbor Framework Still Safe?
Simon J. McMenemy,Grant D. Petersen, October 15, 2015
On October 6, 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will issue its decision in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner, Case C-362/14, which may invalidate the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. The Safe Harbor Framework permits U.S. companies to transfer personal data regarding their employees and...
Is the Six-Factor Test Still Good? Eleventh Circuit Endorses Modified Intern Test
Kristy G. Offitt, October 13, 2015
A recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals appears to reject the U.S. Department of Labor’s oft-recited six-factor test, which is used to determine whether interns are actually functioning as employees. In Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., et al, No. 14-13169 (September...
Creating an Inclusive Law Firm Culture: A Strategy and a Story, Too
Michelle P. Wimes, October 06, 2015
In recent years, much has been written about the importance of creating diverse, inclusive workplaces to ensure the best possible business results. As with any other successful initiatives spearheaded by an organization, law firm inclusion requires a well thought-out strategic plan implemented by...
Do Your Employees Have the Right to a Union Rep During a Drug Test?
Michael Clarkson, September 28, 2015
On August 27, 2015, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued Manhattan Beer Distributors, LLC and Joe Garcia Diaz, (29-CA-115694) finding that an employer had unlawfully denied an employee his right to the physical presence of a union representative during a...
EB Filing Dates Pushed Back in Revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, September 28, 2015
On September 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015 that supersedes the original Bulletin dated September 9, 2015. In the current Bulletin, the dates for certain categories on the “Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa...
A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers
Charles Edward Gillman,Ceridwen J. Koski, September 25, 2015
Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were in the shutdown that occurred in October of 2013. Some federal agencies...
Identity-Protection Services You Receive After a Data Breach: Taxable or Not?
Jeanne Ellen Floyd,Vicki M. Nielsen, September 25, 2015
Data breaches and the identity fraud that may result from breaches can wreak personal and professional havoc. Recent large-scale data breaches have affected major retailers and companies, financial institutions, health insurers, and government agencies and have demonstrated that all forms of...
State Employment Laws That Every Virginia Employer Should Know
Tevis Marshall, September 24, 2015
Keeping track of the latest changes to federal employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), to name just a few, is hard enough. But employers sometimes forget that there are also specific state...
The Affordable Care Act: What’s Ahead?
Penny C. Wofford, September 24, 2015
More than five years after its enactment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be one of the top concerns for employers, and rightly so: the ACA is one of the most comprehensive laws impacting employee benefits since the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
The Latest OFCCP News: VEVRAA Coverage, Outreach Poster, and Approaching Deadlines
Gretchen W. Ewalt,Patrick Lawler, September 24, 2015
On July 2, 2015, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council amended the jurisdictional threshold for coverage under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Currently, a contractor with a single contract valued at $100,000 or more annually meets the threshold for the...
No Credit, No Problem: NYC’s New Guidance Further Limits Employer Credit Checks
Gustavo A. Suárez,Aaron Warshaw, September 23, 2015
As we previously reported, New York City recently passed a law prohibiting employers from requesting or using an individual’s credit history in making employment decisions. On September 3, 2015—the same day that the new law went into effect—the New York City Commission on Human...
Steep Fines Underscore Value of I-9 Compliance
Katherine C. MacIlwaine, September 23, 2015
A recent ruling by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (which has jurisdiction over cases arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act) underscores the importance of employers revisiting their internal policies and procedures for verifying employees’ ability to legally...
Home Health Care Agencies, DOL Continue to Wrangle Over FLSA Regs Effective Date
Robert R. Roginson,Carolyn E. Sieve, September 21, 2015
As we previously reported, on August 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Home Care Association of America v. Weil reinstated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care...
Accommodations Legalese: 5 Key Terms Every Employer Should Know
Patricia Chavarria Perez, September 18, 2015
It’s true in other areas of employment law as well, but in the world of disability discrimination law there are numerous phrases that have taken on special meaning and become true terms of art. Even those who are well-versed in other areas of employment law and HR often find it difficult to...
New IRS Qualified Plan Corrections Guidance
Christina M. Crockett,David S. Rosner, September 15, 2015
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two rounds of guidance modifying the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The IRS guidance gives employers greater flexibility in correcting relatively common operational errors such as benefit plan overpayments, missed deferrals, and...
Second Circuit Refines Title VII Pleading Standard
P. Kramer Rice, September 15, 2015
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently remanded a former employee’s racial discrimination lawsuit brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Littlejohn v. City of New York, No. 14-1395 (August 3, 2015), the court held that the “plausibility” standard for...
FAQs on the SEC’s Proposed Clawback Rule
John A. Morrison,Vicki M. Nielsen,Karen Trapnell Shriver, September 14, 2015
On July 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule directing national securities exchanges and associations to establish listing standards that require public companies to adopt and enforce a written executive compensation clawback policy. In particular, the rule...
OSHA Testing Joint Enterprise Theory in Wake of NLRB Ruling
John F. Martin, September 11, 2015
Around the same time the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its controversial and precedent-shattering decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, a franchise industry group revealed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration...
President Obama Orders Federal Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave
Dara L. DeHaven,James J. Murphy, September 11, 2015
On Labor Day, President Obama announced a new Executive Order that will require federal contractors to provide employees with paid sick leave. The new order, anticipated to apply to new federal contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017, will require covered federal contractors and...
Second Circuit Expands Protections for Internal Whistleblowers
Margaret Hutchins Campbell, September 11, 2015
As we forecast in our August 2015 post, “The SEC’s Interpretative Guidance on Internal Whistleblowing Under the Dodd-Frank Act,” a federal court of appeals today issued a decision in line with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) interpretation that the...
Important Changes to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin
Charles Edward Gillman, September 10, 2015
On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced important changes impacting certain individuals in the permanent residence (“green card”) process. This change will allow some individuals to file the last step of...
A Reminder for Retailers: Risks Associated With Hiring Third-Party Workers
Michael R. Marra, September 09, 2015
As the retail sector grapples with the many challenges of a perpetually evolving economy and an increasingly mobile, independent, and dynamic workforce, it has become common practice for retailers to engage third parties to provide specialized, non-core services. Whether engaged through staffing...
Unanticipated Retrogression of Visa Numbers for China and India in September 2015
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, September 04, 2015
The U.S. Department of State recently released its September 2015 Visa Bulletin, reflecting a significant retrogression for China and India in the employment-based Second Preference category (EB-2). The EB-2 category for mainland China and India retrogressed to January 1, 2006. This is a...
At Will? What’s That?
Rebecca Marks, September 02, 2015
Did you know that employees in most countries outside the United States have a contractual right to continued employment, whether or not they have written contract? If an employer does not provide an employee with a written contract, rights will be implied at law to the advantage of the employee...
The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled
John Richard Carrigan,James C. Pennington, September 02, 2015
In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction over religiously-affiliated colleges and...
California Minimum Wage Bill Stalls in Legislature
Christopher W. Olmsted, September 01, 2015
A controversial bill to increase California’s minimum wage has failed to pass in the state legislature. The bill would have phased in a $3.00 per hour increase to the minimum wage rate and also would have imposed annual cost of living increases.
Federal Court Upholds Louisiana Ban on Project Labor Agreements
Andrew P. Burnside, September 01, 2015
A federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently ruled that Louisiana’s ban on project labor agreements on public works projects was neither unconstitutional nor preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council...
Louisiana Supreme Court Reaffirms At-Will Employment Doctrine
Katherine E. Pizzini, September 01, 2015
In Read v. Willwoods Community, 2014-C-1475 (La. 2015), the Supreme Court of Louisiana overturned a jury verdict awarding damages to a plaintiff who claimed that his employer breached a verbal contract to employ him for a term of five years. The plaintiff argued that during his interview the...
NLRB Finds Joint Employer Status Can Exist Merely Based on Indirect or Potential Control
Mark G. Kisicki,Elizabeth M. Townsend, September 01, 2015
Overturning decades of precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), on August 27, 2015, issued its long-awaited decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, 362 NLRB No. 186 (August 27, 2015). The decision establishes a new standard for...
Red Flags for Homebuilders Related to DOL's Latest Guidance on Independent Contractors
Jessica M. Knapp,Charles E. McDonald,Ted D. Meyer, September 01, 2015
On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” (AI 2015-1) providing guidance on whether workers are employees or independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of...
Your Compliance Toolbox: 7 Tips for a Successful Interactive Process
Patricia Chavarria Perez, September 01, 2015
Dealing with issues related to accommodation requests at work can be a daunting task—even for the most seasoned HR or legal professional. The path to a successful interactive process and a meaningful analysis of an accommodation request is fraught with landmines at every turn. Though...
Indiana Employment Law Update: 5 Changes to Laws You Should Know
Brian L. McDermott,Robert F. Seidler, August 27, 2015
A number of significant changes to Indiana employment law took effect on July 1, 2015. These changes affected employer’s obligations in areas such as hiring, wages, discrimination, and termination. If employers have not already done so, they should review and revise their policies and...
Inability to Work Under A Particular Supervisor Is Not a Disability in California
Christopher W. Olmsted, August 24, 2015
In response to standard negative performance feedback from a supervisor, an employee takes a leave of absence due to stress and submits a medical note stating that the employee must be transferred to another department as an accommodation. Under California law, must a company grant such an...
Update on Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinances
Christopher G. Elko,Steven J. Luckner,Evan J. Shenkman, August 24, 2015
In the recently decided matter of New Jersey Business and Industry Association, et al v. City of Trenton (L-467-15, April 16, 2015), the court held that Trenton’s paid sick leave ordinance applies only to employers based in Trenton, and not to employers “whose employees have to come to...
California Amends FEHA, Protecting Accommodation Requests
Christopher W. Olmsted, August 18, 2015
On July 16, 2015, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), adding protections for workers who request accommodations for disabilities or religious beliefs.
Alcoholism and the ADA: The DOs and DON’Ts of Alcohol Testing in the Workplace
Michael Clarkson,M. Tae Phillips, August 14, 2015
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA) considers alcoholism to be a “disability.” Individuals who suffer from alcoholism are entitled to the protections of the ADA just as those with significant mental illnesses or those confined to wheelchairs are. Thus,...
Striking a Balance: Alabama’s Newly-Amended Restrictive Covenant Statute
James A. Patton, August 14, 2015
When Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed House Bill 352 into law on June 11, 2015, he repealed Alabama’s bare bones restrictive covenant statute and replaced it with a detailed codification of much of Alabama’s restrictive covenant case law. The new statute, which will become...
Play for Pay? Not Today, Says the Ninth Circuit in the Latest NCAA Ruling
Lisa Karen Atkins,John Richard Carrigan, August 13, 2015
Whether the amateurism rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violate federal antitrust laws remains an active issue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the dramatic changes ordered by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to take effect for scholarship offers made...
The SEC’s Interpretative Guidance on Internal Whistleblowing Under the Dodd-Frank Act
Margaret Hutchins Campbell,Jesse C. Ferrantella, August 12, 2015
On August 4, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an interpretive rule stating that whistleblowers who report misconduct internally-not just those who report to the SEC-are protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...
It’s Time to Work Overtime on Your Comments to the DOL
Steven F. Pockrass, August 07, 2015
Time is not on your side if you are an employer who has yet to address the U. S. Department of Labor’s proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar overtime regulations.
Lessons from Deflategate: 5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Investigation Fumbles
Michael Clarkson,Patricia Chavarria Perez, August 07, 2015
Over the years, the topic of workplace investigations has gained increasing importance in the HR and employment law world. Now, with investigations routinely making headlines, they have become a part of our popular culture as well. Most recently, the investigation conducted and conclusions reached...
OSHA Proposes New Rules to “Clarify” Recordkeeping Obligations
John F. Martin, August 07, 2015
On July 29, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to “clarify” employers’ recordkeeping obligations under 29 C.F.R. Part 1904. Comments are due by September 28.
Rhode Island Enacts Legislation Authorizing the Use of Electronic Pay Cards
Todd M. Torres, August 07, 2015
On July 10, 2015, the Rhode Island General Assembly sent Governor Gina Raimondo a compromise measure (House Bill 5590/Senate Bill 351) that would allow Rhode Island employers—for the first time in the state’s history—to pay wages via electronic pay cards. The measure became law on...
USCIS Issues Final Guidance on Recent AAO Decision in Simeio
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, August 07, 2015
On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued its final guidance on the recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC. Under Simeio, employers must file an amended H-1B petition, along with an updated Labor Condition...
West Virginia Amends State Rule Verifying Legal Employment Status of Workers
Caroline Tang, August 07, 2015
On July 1, 2015, a new legislative rule amending the procedures required for West Virginia employers to verify the legal employment status of their workers went into effect in West Virginia. Pursuant to section 21-1B-4 of the West Virginia Code, all employers are required to keep “records of...
Miners & Marijuana
Michael T. Heenan, August 04, 2015
As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug screens of job applicants. Mine operators have routinely made blanket...
Who’s That Knocking at Your Door? USCIS Plans House Calls to Retrieve Erroneous EADs
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, August 04, 2015
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking extreme measures to get back all the three-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards erroneously issued to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. On February 16, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in...
Independent Contractor or Employee: DOL’s Latest Guidance on Employee Status
Margaret Santen Hanrahan,Brittni Alecia Pitts, August 03, 2015
On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on determining whether a worker is an independent contractor in the form of an “Administrator’s Interpretation.” Describing independent contractor misclassification as resulting in an “uneven playing field...
Here We Go Again—The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act
Dinah L. Choi,Gwendolyn K. Nightengale, July 31, 2015
For the fourth time since the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in April 2010, a Congressional bill proposes to further amend the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act was first introduced on December 3, 2010, and again on April 15, 2011, and...
New York Wage Board Recommends Minimum Wage of $15 per Hour for Fast Food Workers
Aaron Warshaw, July 31, 2015
As we previously reported, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently appointed a Wage Board to make recommendations on increasing the minimum wage for New York State fast food employees. Throughout the recent public meeting process, fast food employers have roundly criticized any proposed minimum...
U.S. Embassy in London to Be Temporarily Closed August 7 and 10
Lowell Sachs, July 31, 2015
The Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State has announced that the Embassy of the United States of America in London will be closed from Friday, August 7, 2015 through Monday, August 10, 2015. Specific reasons for the closure have not yet been made public. As a result of...
Employees Now Have Greater Rights to Work Overtime in Wisconsin
Timothy G. Costello, July 28, 2015
According to a Wisconsin state law, employers are required to provide a consecutive 24-hour rest period every 7 days for employees in factory and mercantile workplaces. As a result of the budget bill recently signed by Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin employers will no longer be required to obtain...
President Obama Signs Trade Measures
Harold P. Coxson, July 28, 2015
It was not easily accomplished, but on June 29, 2015, President Obama signed into law a series of trade measures, including Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), providing the administration with rules governing the negotiation of international trade agreements. With the passage of TPA or...
Retailers Should Review I-9 Processes in Light of Recent DOJ Settlement
Rebecca L. Sigmund, July 28, 2015
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement agreement with a large clothing retailer to resolve claims that the company discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen in violation of the federal immigration laws. The agreement requires the payment of substantial back pay...
New York City Enacts “Ban the Box” Legislation
Aaron Warshaw, July 23, 2015
As we previously reported, the New York City Council recently passed the Fair Chance Act (Intro No. 318-A, 2014) that—among other requirements—prevents employers from inquiring about job applicants’ criminal arrests and convictions prior to hire. As expected, on June 29, 2015, New...
City of Chicago Increases Minimum Wage
Daniel O. Canales, July 16, 2015
Effective January 1, 2015, the City of Chicago increased the minimum wage within its city limits to $10.00 per hour worked for non-tipped employees and to $5.45 per hour worked for tipped employees.
Restroom Rights-The New Challenge for Texas Employers
Robert E. Bettac, July 16, 2015
Time was when an employer’s only preoccupation with restrooms was whether the cleaning crew was keeping them stocked with soap, towels, and toilet paper. Enter the new reality: federal agencies and LGBT rights groups are contending that transgender employees should be given the right to...
California Governor Signs Paid Sick Leave Amendment-Effective Immediately
Christopher W. Olmsted,Robert R. Roginson, July 15, 2015
California Governor Brown signed legislation on July 13, 2015 that aims to clarify and improve California’s new paid sick leave law that requires employers to offer employees 3 days or 24 hours of paid sick leave per year as of July 1, 2015. The amendments are effective immediately.
Employees Permitted To Openly Discuss Wages in Connecticut
William C. Ruggiero,John G. Stretton, July 15, 2015
On July 2, 2015, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 15-196, entitled An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness (the Act). The Act is effective as of July 1, 2015 and limits an employer’s ability to discourage employees from having open discussions about their wages.
IRS Notice 2015-43 Addresses Expatriate Health Coverage
Christina M. Crockett, July 15, 2015
New guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) leaves in place the limited Affordable Care Act (ACA) exemptions set out in the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA). IRS Notice 2015-43 (Notice) permits a good faith interpretation of the EHCCA exemptions and attempts to...
New 2015-2016 Employment Laws for Oregon Businesses
Sean M. Driscoll, July 15, 2015
The 2015 Oregon legislature has adjourned, but not before handing Oregon businesses a number of significant new employment laws. Below is a brief summary of the new legislation, all of which Governor Kate Brown has signed, that Oregon businesses should consider as they head into the third and...
The CFRA Amendments: How to Prepare Your Organization
Kathryn B. Gray,Patricia Chavarria Perez, July 15, 2015
On March 4, 2015, the California Fair Employment and Housing Council approved updates to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations. These updates, which took effect on July 1, 2015, clarify certain CFRA provisions and align the CFRA more closely with the federal Family and Medical Leave...
DOL’s Part 541 Proposal: Next Steps
Alfred B. Robinson, July 13, 2015
Now that the Obama Administration and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL or Department) have released its proposal to revise the Part 541 overtime regulations, it is important to understand what may be next and when we can expect developments with this regulatory proposal.
Indiana Wage Law Amendments Become Effective on July 1, 2015
Bonnie L. Martin,Steven F. Pockrass, July 10, 2015
Two significant changes to Indiana’s wage laws will become effective on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. First, liquidated damages will no longer be mandatory when an employer violates Indiana’s Wage Payment or Wage Claims statutes. Instead, a court must find that the employer was not acting in...
In Fresenius, the NLRB Admits It Was Wrong . . . Sort Of!
Harold P. Coxson, July 07, 2015
On June 24, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a new decision involving allegations that an employer had unlawfully discharged an employee who had scrawled sexually-oriented obscenities and threatening statements on the face of union literature. In Fresenius USA Manufacturing,...
The People Have Spoken, and It’s Time to Start Smokin’. . . Or Just Say No
Sean M. Driscoll, July 07, 2015
It’s July 1, 2015, and Oregon law now allows adults to lawfully use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Many employers have already faced questions from employees about the impact of the state’s new marijuana law, and many more will face such questions in the coming...
The Proposed Overtime Regulations: Are Your White Collar Employees Still Exempt?
Hera S. Arsen,Steven F. Pockrass,Alfred B. Robinson, July 07, 2015
On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its long-awaited proposed rule that would revise the regulations concerning the white collar exemption contained in section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the announcement, the proposed rule would...
Your Rx for Complying with California’s Newly Effective Paid Sick Leave Law
Hera S. Arsen, July 07, 2015
The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which Governor Jerry Brown signed on September 10, 2014, goes into effect today, July 1, 2015. The Act requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Below is a round-up of some...
The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Key Employee Benefits Take-Aways
Jeanne Ellen Floyd,Ann Carr Mackey,Stephen A. Riga, July 06, 2015
Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly-anticipated decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, ruling that all 50 states must license marriages between two people of the same sex and must recognize a same-sex marriage lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions
Lisa Karen Atkins,John Richard Carrigan,James C. Pennington, July 01, 2015
Before December of 2014, religious colleges and universities could generally assume that under the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “substantial religious character” test, the NLRB would decline to assert jurisdiction over them because of their religious missions. The...
School’s Out For Summer, But Not For Administrators: California’s “Yes Means Yes” Legislation Becomes Effective on July 1, 2015
Tracy A. Warren,Sarah A. Williams, July 01, 2015
On July 1, 2015, California colleges, universities, and postsecondary schools are required to bolster their compliance with new state laws regarding policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This new law requires, among other things, that Cal Grant Fund...
The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Key Employment Law Take-Aways
Nonnie L. Shivers, July 01, 2015
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States answered the two questions it posed in the consolidated same-sex case, Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (June 26, 2015). The consolidated case arose from challenges to Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee state laws that continued to ban...
Rhode Island Raises Minimum Wage Again: Now $9.60 per Hour
Andrew E. Silvia,Todd M. Torres, June 26, 2015
On June 22, 2015, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law another increase to the state’s minimum wage. This marks the fourth straight year that Rhode Island has raised its minimum wage. Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will be $9.60 per hour.
“Ambush” Election Challenge Fails in Federal Court
Hera S. Arsen, June 24, 2015
A federal judge in Texas recently ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case challenging the Board’s “ambush” election rules. The lawsuit, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 1:15-cv-00026 (June 1,...
Ninth Circuit Holds No Status Quo Obligation During First Contract Negotiations Under Railway Labor Act
Todd C. Duffield, June 24, 2015
On June 8, 2015, in International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airlines Division v. Allegiant Air, LLC, No. 14-16465 (June 8, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), employers are not precluded from unilaterally changing working conditions during...
Oregon Legislature Mandates Sick Leave for All Employees
Sean M. Driscoll, June 24, 2015
On June 12, 2015, Oregon became the fourth state in the country to pass a statewide mandatory sick leave bill. Provided it is signed by Governor Kate Brown (which is virtually certain), the new law will require all Oregon employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of legally protected sick...
Oregon Legislature Votes to “Ban the Box”
Sean M. Driscoll, June 24, 2015
Oregon will soon join the ranks of states with “ban the box” legislation. Provided House Bill (HB) 3025 is signed by Governor Kate Brown (which is virtually certain), the new law will regulate when Oregon employers can ask applicants to disclose criminal convictions. The effective date...
Oregon Tightens Restrictions on Noncompetition Agreements
Sean M. Driscoll, June 24, 2015
Oregon strictly regulates the use of noncompetition agreements by statute, generally limiting them to (a) exempt employees earning more than the median income for a family of four (approximately $74,000 currently), and (b) conditioning enforceability on a “bona fide advancement” or an...
New York City Moves to “Ban the Box” on Criminal Background Checks in Job Applications
Sonu Ray,Aaron Warshaw,Stephen R. Woods, June 19, 2015
On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed the Fair Chance Act (Intro No. 318-A, 2014) by a vote of 45-to-5. The legislation prevents employers from inquiring about job applicants’ criminal arrests and convictions prior to hire. Employers will be permitted to make such inquiries after...
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Two Significant Opinions for Employers
Rachel Reingold Mandel,Diane M. Saunders,Andrew E. Silvia, June 18, 2015
In April 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued two important decisions providing guidance for employers on the scope of Massachusetts’s wage and hour laws. In one decision, the Court held that employers may institute no-tipping policies in the Commonwealth without violating...
Fifth Circuit Finds Settlement Agreement Did Not Release Employees’ FLSA Claims
Tiffany L. Cox, June 17, 2015
In Bodle v. TXL Mortgage Corp., No. 14-20224 (June 1, 2015), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a generic, broad-form settlement release between an employer and two of its former employees did not bar those employees’ subsequent lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for...
AAO Guidance Clarifies That Worker Mobility May Come at a Cost
Miguel A. Manna,Lowell Sachs, June 16, 2015
In a move likely to elicit equal parts appreciation and exasperation among the employer community, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance on the need to file an amended H-1B petition when there is a change in worksite locations. The guidance, which was issued on May 21,...
California Employers Take the Heat . . . of new Revised Heat Illness Standards
Hera S. Arsen, June 16, 2015
On April 7, 2015, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the state safety and health agency announced that the current heat illness prevention regulation has been amended. The Office of Administrative Law approved the state Occupational Safety & Health Standards...
FY 2016 H-1B Cap Petition Not Selected: What Are the Options?
Sara E. Herbek,Lowell Sachs, June 16, 2015
Most “new” H-1B petitions must be counted against an annual H-1B cap. This limit, or “cap,” administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is currently set at 65,000 plus an additional 20,000 reserved for those who hold an advanced degree from a U.S....
Missouri Supreme Court “Calls an Audible,” Upholds Arbitration Agreement
Andrew L. Metcalf,James M. Paul, June 16, 2015
In recent years, Missouri courts have seemed reluctant to enforce arbitration agreements entered into between employers and employees. But in a recent decision, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed that trend and compelled arbitration of an employee’s age-discrimination claim. The...
New Texas “Open Carry” Legislation On Its Way to Becoming Law
Stephen J. Quezada, June 16, 2015
The Texas House of Representatives recently passed legislation (H.B. 910) that will allow holders of a concealed handgun license to carry holstered handguns in plain view. The Texas Senate passed its version of the “open carry” law (S.B. 17) in April 2015. The bills will proceed to...
Ninth Circuit Extends ERISA Deadline, Revives Untimely Appeal
Sean P. Nalty, June 16, 2015
Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in LeGras v. AETNA Life Insurance Company, No. 12-56541 (May 28, 2015), holding that the 180-day period to appeal a denial of a long-term disability claim was extended to the following Monday because the last day to submit the appeal...
OSC “Pattern and Practice” Investigations to Continue
Jacob D. Cherry, June 16, 2015
Over the past few years, the number of employer investigations—and perhaps more noteworthy, the amount of the penalties assessed—by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has steadily increased. All indications suggest that this trend...
OSHA Issues Guidance on Restroom Access for Transgender Employees
John F. Martin, June 16, 2015
On June 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its publication of new guidance on best practices regarding transgender employees’ bathroom access. The announcement comes after the National Center for Transgender Equality formed an alliance with OSHA and...
Pending California Bill May Cure Sick Pay Law
Christopher W. Olmsted, June 16, 2015
Mere weeks before sick pay becomes mandatory in California, the state legislature is racing to cure what is ailing employers. Beginning on July 1, 2015, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA) will obligate employers in California to offer sick pay to employees in nearly every...
Projected Impact of the Upcoming Overtime Rules On Retail and Hospitality
Diane M. Saunders, June 16, 2015
As we await the issuance of new federal overtime regulations, employers in the retail and hospitality industries may be interested in the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) report, “Rethinking Overtime.” The NRF report includes the results of a study conducted by Oxford Economics...
Tips for Lawfully Hiring Teenagers for Summer Jobs in California
Christopher W. Olmsted, June 16, 2015
Summer is almost here and many teenagers will be hitting the workforce to earn a few extra dollars. Companies that hire teenagers should be aware that state and federal law restricts the employment of minors or “child labor.”
Yet Another Municipal-Level Paid Sick Leave Measure Passes in California
Hera S. Arsen,Brooke S. Purcell, June 16, 2015
In addition to implementing a minimum wage rate increase, the ordinance that the Emeryville City Council unanimously approved on June 2, 2015 will provide paid sick leave to employees in Emeryville—over and above what is already provided to employees under state law. The “Minimum Wage,...
Uniforms, Dress Codes, and the FLSA
Elizabeth S. Washko, June 08, 2015
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not prohibit employers from requiring employees to follow a particular dress code or wear a designated uniform. However, it does prohibit employers from requiring employees to pay for uniforms, if such costs would cause an employee’s pay to drop below...
Changes to Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visa Exchange Programs
Maria Fernanda Gandarez,Matthew Kolodziej, June 01, 2015
In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of State revised Subpart A of the exchange visitor regulations. Changes to the reporting and English language proficiency requirements for exchange programs went into effect on January 5, 2015. Another major change that went into effect on May 15, 2015,...
Temporary Suspension of USCIS ‘Premium Processing’ for H-1B Extensions
Jacquelyn P. Maroney,Caroline Tang, June 01, 2015
On May 19, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary suspension of its “premium processing” program as it relates to H-1B extensions in the United States. The suspension will be in effect from May 26, 2015, until July 27, 2015. Premium processing is...
Ten Tips To Comply With California’s Upcoming Sick Pay Mandate
Christopher W. Olmsted, June 01, 2015
Mandatory sick pay is coming to California in less than 60 days. Beginning July 1, 2015, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA) will obligate employers in California to offer sick pay to nearly every category of employee. The minimum obligation is to provide sick pay at the...
Set It and Forget It? Not so Fast, Says the Supreme Court in Tibble
Preston R. Burch,Timothy G. Verrall, May 29, 2015
On May 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a much anticipated (by ERISA attorneys, at least) decision in Tibble v. Edison International, clarifying a relatively narrow but still significant issue involving fiduciary responsibilities and retirement plan investments. Tibble v....
Captain of the Cheerleading Team: An Employee Too?
Dawn M. Knepper, May 27, 2015
On April 21, 2015, California’s legislature advanced a bill that would require professional sports teams based in California to classify their cheerleaders as employees and pay them a minimum wage. The state assembly’s Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media...
USCIS Publishes Long-Awaited Filing Guidance for H-4 EAD Applications
Caroline Tang, May 27, 2015
On May 20, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published long-awaited information to help eligible H-4 dependent spouses apply for employment authorization documents (commonly known as “EAD cards”) under the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses...