DOL Issues Four New Wage & Hour Opinion Letters

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/20/2021
The U.S. Department  of Labor issued four new opinion letters on January 19, 2021: FLSA2021-6 A trade association of staffing firms asked for an opinion on whether the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) “retail or service establishment” exemption applies to staffing firms that recruit, hire, and place employees on temporary assignments with clients.     Qualifying for the exemption would mean there is no overtime requirement under the...
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Two New Wage & Hour Opinion Letters from DOL

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
01/12/2021
In the final weeks of the Trump administration, the Department of Labor has been busy putting out guidance on wage and hour matters.   Let’s put aside last week’s Final Rule on independent contractors, issued January 6, 2021.  That rule is expected to face substantial challenge in court, so while it is an interesting change in approach by the DOL, all should recognize the uncertainty of its lasting effect. Please turn instead to two Wage...
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EEOC Issues Updated Guidance On Religious Discrimination

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a new update to its 2008 guidance on religious discrimination in the workplace.  Recognizing the "altered legal landscape" that has transpired in the last 12 years, the agency issued a modernized version of its guidance that covers employer obligations and employee rights.  Specifically, the guidance addresses: Coverage, including when a particular religious practice or...
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DOL Issues Guidance On Federal Contractor Diversity Training

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/13/2020
On September 22, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, which states that United States policy is “not to promote race or sex stereotyping of scapegoating.”  The Order prohibits federal contractors from training employees in a manner that promotes race and sex stereotyping or scapegoating. Last week, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) issued answers to FAQs concerning what E.O. 13950 permits and...
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EEOC Proposing To Share More Details With Employers During The Conciliation Process

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
10/09/2020
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a newly proposed Rule that would alter the conciliation process, which the EEOC uses as a method of alternative dispute resolution with employers that have had a finding of "reasonable cause" issued against them at the conclusion of the EEOC's investigation.  Conciliation is technically a voluntary alternative to litigation after the agency has determined, based upon its investigation,...
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EEOC Opinion Letter Presents New Interpretation Of Its Authority To Sue Employers For Systemic Discrimination

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
09/30/2020
On September 3rd, the EEOC issued an opinion letter that reversed course on its authority under Section 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to initiate discrimination actions against employers.  The EEOC concluded it does not have the power to sue employers for discriminatory workplace practices without first complying with other procedural steps.  The opinion letter answered two questions: 1) does a pattern or practice claim...
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DOL Proposes New Independent Contractor Rule

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/22/2020
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on September 21, 2020 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that re-defines “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it relates to independent contractors.  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/2020-independent-contractor-nprm.  The  NPRM is available for review and public comment for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The issue of who qualifies as...
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In Its Own Backyard: EEOC Must Confront Discrimination Lawsuit by Former Attorney

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/21/2020
Those of us who deal with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a regular basis sometimes lose track of the fact that it, like the folks we represent as management attorneys, is an employer too.  And, it is subject to many of the same anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation legal requirements as the employers it investigates.  A recent decision from the D.C. Circuit shows that even the EEOC is sometimes required to explain its actions...
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EEOC Sues Kroger For Failure to Accommodate Religious Objectors to Rainbow Logo

We've heard a lot about LGBTQ issues in the workplace this year, including the Supreme Court's landmark June ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County.  However, a  September 14, 2020 lawsuit filed by the EEOC against Kroger in Arkansas raises a different workplace issue relating to the LGBTQ community: does an employer have to accommodate the religious beliefs of employees who believe LGBTQ practices violate their sincerely held religious...
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DOL Issues Revised FFCRA Regulations

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
09/15/2020
On September 11th, the U.S. Department of Labor issued revised regulations on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new regulations are a response to an  August 3, 2020 decision from a New York federal court finding that DOL's interpretation of the FFCRA excluded too many health care workers from the Act's coverage. The court also  struck down a provision that allows employers to deny leave when they don't have work available,...
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