DOL Announces Revised Overtime Regulations

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/06/2015
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez reported on the Department’s blog yesterday that he has submitted a proposed revised rule to the Office of Management and Budget to address what President Obama believes are  deficiencies in federal laws governing overtime pay. Working off the assumption that overtime pay rules have eroded over the years and that a high number of salaried workers who should be getting overtime are not eligible for overtime pay, the...
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Supreme Court Rules That Courts May Review Whether The EEOC Has Satisfied Its Duty To Attempt Presuit Conciliation

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
04/30/2015
On April 29, 2015, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated a Seventh Circuit decision holding that courts cannot delve into whether the EEOC satisfied the conciliation requirement of Title VII. The EEOC has a legal duty to try settling cases first, but the question before the Court was how much a court could peer into those negotiations to ensure that the EEOC acted in good faith. Ruling against the agency, the Court gave employers a new, albeit...
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EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Workplace Wellness Programs

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/17/2015
On April 16, 2015, the EEOC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") on how the ADA applies to employer wellness programs that are part of a group health plan.  The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015, and the public will have a 60 day period within which to file comments.  The EEOC may then revise the rule based on the comments before taking final action to implement it. Under Title I of the ADA, employers are...
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Supreme Court Okays DOL's FLSA Interpretative Rule Change

The Supreme Court has confirmed that federal agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), are exempted from the Administrative Procedure Act's formal notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements when changing interpretative rules, as explained in its unanimous decision Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n, No. 13-1041, (U.S. March 9, 2015).  With this decision, the Supreme Court overruled the long established doctrine from Paralyzed Veterans of...
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Department of Labor Issues Revision To Definition of Spouse Under FMLA

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/05/2015
On February 25, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule changing the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Final Rule impacts those individuals who entered into legal same-sex marriages in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but now reside in a state that does not.  The prior iteration of the Rule defined “spouse” (29 CFR §§ 825.102 and 825.122(b)) based on the residency of the eligible...
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Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of EEOC Background Check Claims

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/24/2015
On February 20, the Fourth Circuit became the second jurisdiction to reject the EEOC’s most recent attempt to expand disparate impact race claims. In EEOC v. Freeman, the Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer in a case involving a challenge by the EEOC to the use of criminal background and credit history checks in the hiring process. The decision marks the second time in less than a year that the EEOC’s tactic has been...
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Supreme Court to Determine Scope of Judicial Review on EEOC Conciliation Process

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/21/2015
Under what circumstances may a court scrutinize the EEOC’s claim that conciliation has failed? The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Mach Mining v. EEOC to address this precise issue. No. 13-1019 (Jan. 13, 2015). Although the vast majority of employment discrimination claims each year are brought by private parties, the EEOC possesses authority under Title VII to sue employers on behalf of an aggrieved employee(s), but only after...
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NLRB Defers Ruling on Legality of Employer Email Policies

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
09/30/2014
For the past six months, legal prognosticators (myself included) have told readers that when the NLRB issues a ruling in the Purple Communications case, we'd have a new standard for what restrictions, if any, employers may place on employee use of company email systems.  On September 24, 2014, the Board issued its ruling.  And the answer is ..... "check back with us later (probably after the November election)." Purple Communications provides sign...
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Congress Considering Bills for a More “Transparent” EEOC

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/23/2014
Any lawyer who has defended an employer sued by the EEOC knows that sometimes – not always – it can be a real challenge, facing an unrelenting assault by a government agency that seems bent on destruction. Sure, you might run into a private practice plaintiff’s lawyer who is uncivil, who is unwilling to discuss reasonable settlement terms, and whose mission in life is to ratchet up attorneys’ fees and/or drive the employer into bankruptcy....
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Wellness Plans - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/05/2014
Wellness plans have been around for quite some time, and in varying forms.  Employers are, more often and with regularity, implementing some category of wellness plan for multiple reasons: healthier workforce, better attendance and productivity, higher morale, lower health insurance costs, and the like. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act permits employers to offer financial incentives to employees to encourage participation in these programs. The...
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