Labor & Employment Administrative Agency

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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BREAKING: Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner to Retire At End of Year

Sharon Palmer, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor, will retire at the end of this year, news that was first reported by the CT Mirror website. According to CT Mirror: In an interview, she...more

Why Getting Handbooks Right Matters: NLRB Judge Holds Verizon’s Restrictions on Employee Communications During Non-Working Time...

Despite previous NLRB rulings telling them to stop, some employers continue to impose broad prohibitions on personal employee communications over company email. As an administrative law judge recently reminded us, failing to...more

Court of Appeal Rejects Challenge Against Employment Tribunal Fees

By way of background, Employment Tribunal fees were introduced in the U.K. in 2013 (see our update of July 2013). Under this regime, claimants must pay an "issue fee" to submit their claim and a "hearing fee" before a full...more

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Issues Final Regulations on Reportable Events

Earlier this month, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued final regulations on reportable events under ERISA in connection with defined benefit pension plans and their sponsors (the Final Regulations). The...more

Safety contractor wins appeal of $1,000 administrative penalty under OHSA

Don’t be seen to cause a traffic jam that inconveniences a government health and safety officer. Perhaps that is the real moral of this story. A safety contractor was providing traffic control services on the...more

Ingles Solamente Reglas

English-only rules are not as common as they once were, but many employers still require employees to speak English only in the workplace. Justifications for these rules vary, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

D.R. Horton Déjà Vu: Will NLRB be Forced to Respect Class Action Waivers for Employers Doing Business in 5th Circuit?

As it stands, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has taken the position that class action waivers in individual employee/employer arbitration agreements are illegal and the agency continues to invalidate these...more

Franchisors Vulnerable to Unfair Labor Practice Allegations

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently broadened the definition of joint employer.  In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB adopted the joint employment standard recommended by the NLRB’s General Counsel.  The...more

Illinois Attorney General Limits "Personnel" Exception Under Open Meetings Act

In Public Access Opinion 15-005, issued on Aug. 4, 2015, the Village Board of the Village of Blue Mound was accused of violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) for going into closed session to consider a contract with...more

Christopher Green Selected as Director of EEOC's San Diego Local Office

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Christopher Green has been selected as the new director of the San Diego local office for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. As of Aug. 23, 2015,...more

Why Doesn’t California Have A Labor Day?

Federal law establishes ten “legal public holidays”, including “Labor Day, the first Monday in September”.  5 U.S.C. § 6103.  California, on the other hand, names “Labor Day” in several statutes (e.g., Civil Code § 1689.24)...more

Obama Board Reaffirms Successor’s Right to Set Initial Terms of Employment when Taking Over Unionized Operation

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board issued a refreshingly employer-friendly decision which allowed a successor company to implement new pay terms without having to first bargain with the labor union. ...more

Comment Period Will Not Be Extended

There will be no extension of the original 60-day period for commenting on the U.S. Labor Department's proposals and requests relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. U.S. Wage and Hour...more

IFA Seeks OSHA Explanation of Applying a New Joint Employer Standard

The International Franchise Association (IFA) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asking for the rationale behind questions that its inspectors are...more

Washington Supreme Court Applies Public Records Act to Public Employees’ Private Cell Phones

On August 27, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously held in Nissen v. Pierce County that text messages sent or received by a public employee in his or her official capacity are public records within the meaning of the...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds USDOL’s Revised Regulations on the “Companionship Exemption” Under the FLSA

On August 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s revisions to the “companionship exemption” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and reversed two...more

Executive Labor Summary - July / August 2015

Quickie elections seem here to stay, but Senate Republicans aren’t giving up. On July 29, the National Labor Relations Board won another challenge to its “quickie election” rules pursued by employer groups. This time, Judge...more

Second Circuit Holds That Parties May Not Voluntarily Settle Claims Under the Fair Labor Standards Act With Prejudice Without...

In Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc. et als., the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that parties may not privately settle claims arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) with prejudice...more

EEOC: Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down restrictions on marriage by same-sex couples, but it did not address other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, such as in employment....more

Change to FLSA Companionship Exemption Extends Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections to Home Health Care Aides

After almost fourteen months of legal challenges, the U.S. Department of Labor has emerged victorious in its attempt to modify the FLSA’s companionship exemption. On August 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit...more

Appeals Court Agrees with DOL: Home Health Care Workers Employed by Third Parties Have a Right to Minimum Wage, Overtime

Domestic service workers providing either companionship service or live-in care for elderly, ill or disabled persons and who are employed by a staffing agency or other third-party employer are entitled to minimum wage and...more

New OSHA Directive to Assist in Early Resolution of Whistleblower Complaints

On August 19, 2015, OSHA issued new policies and procedures (Compliance Directive: CPL 02-03-006) for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. This directive is OSHA’s attempt to institute an early...more

New OSHA Directive to Speed Up Resolution of Whistleblower Complaints Under OSH Act, Dodd-Frank, Other Laws

A directive to establish nationwide policies and procedures aimed at speeding up the resolution of “whistleblower” complaints handled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was issued on August 19, 2015....more

Based on Improper Appointment of Acting General Counsel to NLRB, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Voids Unfair Labor Practice Ruling

On August 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon's appointment violated the Federal Vacancies Reform...more

UK Report Assesses Workplace Exposure and Control Measures During the Manufacture and Handling of Engineered Nanomaterials

The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prepared a report entitled Summary of work undertaken to assess workplace exposure and control measures during the manufacture...more

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