Employment And Labor Law Developments (And A Few Other Things) I’m Thankful For

by Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Contact

This has been a weird year for me. (And, no, I’m not even thinking about the election!) But ITurkeyDrawing.flickrCC.LovelornPoets have much to be thankful for, and I hope you do, too.

BREAKING THING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Yesterday evening, the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule governing white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act was struck down by a federal judge in Texas. I’ll have more on the decision itself later today.

No. 1. A possibly kinder, gentler EEOC. As I reported last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released charge-filing/resolution statistics for Fiscal Year 2016, which ended September 30. The statistics (which are incomplete) indicate more charges filed, but less money paid by employers in mediation, settlement, or conciliation, less money recovered through lawsuits, and fewer lawsuits filed, compared with FY 2015. Nice!

No. 2. The ignominious defeat of the new Persuader Rule. In addition to being burdensome for employers, the new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor would have seriously infringed on the attorney-client relationship. Last week, a federal judge in Texas issued a permanent, nationwide injunction, which prevents the rule from ever taking effect (subject to the DOL’s right of appeal).

Click here to view video.

No. 3. (*Not a political endorsement*), but if President-Elect Trump gives some regulatory relief to employers, I will be thankful. (Although federal judges in the State of Texas are not leaving him much to do!)

No. 4. “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” isn’t dead yet, but it’s pretty darned sick. This Rule would have required federal contractors to report on “labor law violations” to the government, and the information would have been made publicly available and would have been used against federal contractors to debar them from working with the federal TurkeyDrawing.flickrCC.LovelornPoetsgovernment in the future. The worst part of this rule was that “labor law violations” included findings that had not been adjudicated finally. For example, if the EEOC made a “reasonable cause” determination against an employer, then that was a “labor law violation,” even though an employer can still go to court and win a case in which the EEOC has found “cause.” Another example is that the rule would have found a reportable “violation” when a Regional Director of a National Labor Relations Board decided to issue a complaint against an employer. (My blood pressure is rising as I write this!) But a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in October, which for now blocks the rule from taking effect. Most political observers believe that President-Elect Trump will scrap the rule completely when he takes office. Good riddance.

No. 5. We should get some clarity on LGBT rights under Title VII in the not-too-distant future. As I’ve written numerous times before, the federal law on LGBT discrimination — and, in particular, whether Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation — is a muddle right now. But I don’t think that will continue much longer. The issue will be heard November 30 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and on January 20 by the Second Circuit. In addition, the Sixth Circuit will be hearing the EEOC’s appeal of the lower court decision in EEOC v. R.G. and G.R. Funeral Homes, in which a federal judge in Detroit found that an employer could lawfully terminate a transgender woman based on a “Hobby Lobby” exception that is available to closely held companies who are forced by the U.S. government to violate the religious beliefs of the owners.

No. 6. Constangy was named the best law firm for women and minorities! In 2016, our firm racked up the recognition for being a great place for female and minorityTurkeyDrawing.flickrCC.LovelornPoets lawyers. First, Law360 ranked us as being in the top 10 in the nation for African-American attorneys, in the top 25 for women partners, and in the top 100 for minority attorneys and women attorneys. Then the National Law Journal named us the fourth best law firm in the nation for women lawyers. But wait! There’s more! In August, vault.com rated us Number One in the nation for women AND minority attorneys.

No. 7. Speaking of women, I’m grateful for FOCUS, our new women’s leadership blog that was launched this year, and for my law partner Heather Owen, who is the proprietor.

No. 8. I’m thankful for my firm, and especially to Neil Wasser and Don Prophete, to Chief Marketing Officer Tori Whitaker, and to Tori’s outstanding team — (in alphabetical order) Stephanie Hendricks, Madeline Holihan, Rebecca Pugh, and Kian Wint. And no less thankful for my assistant, Tina Tucker, for my wonderful clients (you know who you are!), my excellent and fun colleagues, and our newsletter contributors — too many to mention, but there are two stalwarts I must thank by name: David Phippen and Susan Bassford Wilson. And also my law partner Leigh Tyson, who did us all a huge favor by agreeing to be “the hostess with the mostest” on our new ConstangyTV — she is awesome!

Click here to view video.

No. 9. I’m thankful to all the folks who have contributed to the blog this year, especially the members of our Affirmative Action/OFCCP Compliance Practice Group and our Public Sector Industry Group. I counted 17 contributors besides TurkeyDrawing.flickrCC.LovelornPoetsmyself this year! Thanks ever so much to 2016 guest bloggers (in alphabetical order) Ken Carlson, Cara Crotty, Louise Davies (no web page), Tommy Eden, Billy Hammel, Steve Katz, Ellen Kearns, Damon Kitchen, Angelique Lyons, Marcia McShane, Alyssa Peters, Ray Poole, Angela Rapko, Kristine Sims, Stephanie Underwood, Heidi Wilbur, and Jon Yarbrough. Wow!

No. 10. Saving the best for last, I am profoundly thankful for my wonderful family, including my beautiful grandson who was born in April, and my friends, and of course you, my dear readers.

Because of the holiday, there will be no blog post this Friday. I hope you all have a safe and very happy Thanksgiving!

Still Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Lovelorn Poets.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Contact
more
less

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.