Employment Law This Week®: Changes at the NLRB, New Tax Bill, EEOC Wellness Rules, New California Laws

by Epstein Becker & Green
We invite you to view Employment Law This Week® - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field, brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! Read the firm's press release here and subscribe for updates.

This week’s stories include See more +

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week® - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field, brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! Read the firm's press release here and subscribe for updates.

This week’s stories include ...

(1) Change Comes Swiftly at the NLRB

Our top story: The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) takes a new direction. The last month of 2017 saw the Republicans take control of the NLRB for the first time in nine years. And the new majority quickly set a new tone, overturning controversial Obama-era decisions. The NLRB discarded the joint-employer test adopted in Browning Ferris, created a new test for handbook and rules violations, and reversed the Specialty Healthcare “overwhelming community of interest” standard for bargaining micro-units. With the end of NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term on December 16, the Board has now shifted back to a 2-2 split until a replacement is nominated and confirmed. Steve Swirsky, from Epstein Becker Green, tells us what other changes we can expect in 2018:

“The tea leaves are very clear that there are another indeterminate number of precedents that are going to be reviewed. The Board members Kaplan and Emanuel have given some indications in several footnotes in decisions that said that ... where they've said they want to look at particular issues, and they think that they should be ripe for reconsideration by the Board. These include the precedents from the Obama Board concerning confidentiality in settlement agreements. Something else that came out in December was a Request for Information from the Board looking for comment and experience from parties across the spectrum on the Board's 2014 amendments to the representation election processes. I think it's likely that that's a precursor to another round of rulemaking by the Board to address some of the inequities in those 2014 election rules, if not to revert to the prior rules completely.”

(2) New Tax Bill Impacts Employers

This new year will also usher in new tax rules, thanks to tax reform legislation passed by Republicans in late 2017. Corporations will see a reduction of the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and a repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax. Employers will lose deductions for moving and transportation expenses. Companies will not be allowed to deduct as business expenses any settlements paid on claims for sexual harassment if the payments are subject to a nondisclosure agreement. These and other provisions will have a significant impact on the taxes that companies pay and the tax-free fringe benefits they can offer to employees.

(3) EEOC Wellness Rules to Be Vacated

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wellness rules allow employers to give employees incentives for participating in workplace wellness programs, worth up to 30 percent of an employee’s cost of health insurance. Back in August, a federal district court judge in the District of Columbia invalidated the rules and directed the EEOC to reconsider them. The court found that the agency did not adequately explain why the incentive did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s requirement that any disclosure of disability-related information must be voluntary. In December, the judge amended his order and vacated the challenged portions of the rules, effective January 1, 2019, stating that the timeline will give employers an opportunity to adjust their programs.

(4) New California Laws Impact Employers

The state of California added 859 new statutes last year, and many of them will have an immediate impact on employers. Among these new laws are a prohibition on salary history and criminal conviction questions in the employment application process and an extension of leave to new parents working for smaller employers. California employers will also see new limitations relating to granting worksite access to immigration enforcement officials without a warrant. Most of the new laws have already taken effect, so employers need to make sure that they are up to date and in compliance.

(5) Tip of the Week

Dr. Gerlind Wisskirchen, a Partner at CMS Germany, is here with advice on preparing for the artificial intelligence (“AI”) workplace:

“I think HR and Legal has to be aware of three issues that are coming. One could be, could affect the business model, so there might be a disruptive business model which will turn over the organization totally. And secondly, HR and Legal should take into account new forms of the organization. Some of them have already started in many companies. ..."

Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com. See less -


Other MultiMedia by Epstein Becker & Green

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.

© Epstein Becker & Green | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Epstein Becker & Green

Epstein Becker & Green 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):

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.


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.