Posts from November 2016.

Ho, ho, ho! We have all of your 2016 workplace holiday party needs right here!Santa.flickrCC.Dennis Hill

(Well, anyway, everything you need to know to keep your risk of being sued to a minimum.)

First, we have a new episode of ConstangyTV's Close-Up on Workplace Law. Our latest show is on workplace holiday parties, in which host Leigh Tyson interviews Gary Wheeler of our Jacksonville Office about the legal risks ...

Which means the rule will be enforced starting day after tomorrow, December 1.

Judge Sam A. Lindsay of the Northern District of Texas found in TEXO ABC/AGC, Inc. v. Perez that the plaintiffs challenging the rule had failed to show that they would suffer irreparable harm if the rule was not preliminarilyStove fire.flickrCC.StateFarmIns enjoined. He also found that the plaintiffs had failed to show that the balance of ...

NOTE FROM ROBIN: As I posted last night, the U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rule, which would have taken effect a week from tomorrow, has been preliminarily enjoined. I am re-posting here a client bulletin by Jim Coleman, co-chair of our Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation Practice Group, and me. This went out to our clients this morning.

Jim Coleman
Jim Coleman

The new regulations that ...

Heidi Wilbur
Heidi Wilbur

Last chance! The deadline to comment on the Interim Rule that adds pay transparency language to government contracts is this coming Tuesday, November 29.

On September 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule  called “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of ...

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 ...

Judge Amos Mazzant has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the U.S.Stove fire.flickrCC.StateFarmIns Department of Labor's overtime rule from taking effect as scheduled on December 1. I'm reading the decision now and will be back with details as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, here's a copy of the decision for you. We can read it together!

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by State Farm ...

Was the EEOC more laid-back this past fiscal year than it was in FY15?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its Fiscal Year 2016 Performance Report this week (here's the press release, in case you don't want to read all3231-EEOC_SEAL_2 104 pages of the report), and the agency seems to have slowed down a bit, as compared with the prior year.

(The EEOC's fiscal year runs from October 1 ...

The U.S. Department of Labor's new Persuader Rule, which was scheduled to take effect July 1 before it was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in Lubbock, Texas, has now been permanently enjoined. That means the new Rule is dead, Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrissubject to the DOL's right to appeal the decision. And, of course, with the incoming Trump Administration, it isn't clear whether the DOL will bother with ...

Don't mess with Texas.

In Lubbock yesterday, Judge Sam R. Cummings permanently enjoined the U.S. Department of Labor's Persuader Rule, which is great news for employers. David Phippen has the full story here. The DOL can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (it's already appealing the preliminary injunction issued in June), but with the coming change in ...

Cara-Crotty.322.jpeg
Cara Crotty

The U.S. Department of Labor recently rolled out www.worker.gov, an online tool designed to help employees file various types of complaints against their employers. The White House announced that the website will assist individuals “if they have had wages stolen, been injured on the job, faced discrimination, or been retaliated against for joining together to seek ...

Feeling whipsawed?

Girl.flickrCC.HelgaBirnaJonasdottir
"C'mon . . . make up your mind!"

Last summer, I reported on the Hively v. Ivy Tech decision, in which a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not "sex discrimination" or unlawful sex stereotyping that violates Title VII. That decision has since been vacated, and the case will ...

Effect of Election 2016 on labor and employment law. We asked our practice group heads and some thought leaders to tell us how they think employers will be affected by a Trump Administration Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrison specific labor and employment law issues. This client bulletin is packed with prognostication about what we may see in the areas of affirmative action and OFCCP compliance, litigation ...

Congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, and to everyone who was elected or reelected to office yesterday. With a President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, employers may see some changes in the form of less aggressive regulatory agencies, a National Labor Relations Board that is more employer-friendly, and some relatively conservative ...

Cara-Crotty.322.jpeg
Cara Crotty

For the past eight years, as President Obama was unable to push much of his legislative agenda through Congress, federal contractors have faced an onslaught of increasing regulatory burdens and an aggressive enforcement agency. Will the positions of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs soften under a Trump Administration? Here are my predictions.

Fair Pay ...

I am delighted to announce the launch of ConstangyTV's Close-Up on Workplace Law, a new video series on labor and employment law issues. We'll be offering these videos on a monthly basis, in addition to our newsletters and blog posts.

Our debut is about the evolving definition of sex discrimination under federal law. Host Leigh Tyson, a partner in our Atlanta Office, interviews Cara ...

How much can you do - and not do - about your employees' personal appearance and grooming? Take this quiz and find out! As usual, I'll have the answers at the end, so if you get one wrong, no one but you will know.

Ugly Fake Glasses.flickrCC.LoganIngalls
"Don't hate me because I'm ugly."

QUESTION 1: If I operate in a jurisdiction that doesn't have a law against appearance discrimination, I can make any rules about appearance and grooming that I want. 

TRUE

FALSE

QUESTION 2: My employees are required by OSHA to wear masks on the job. The masks are no good unless there is a proper seal around the employee's mouth and nose. Since facial hair prevents a good seal from forming, we have a no-beard policy. I have one employee who is Sikh and wears a beard for religious reasons. What should I do?

A. Let him keep his beard and pray that the mask will work without the proper seal.

B. Tell him he has to shave the beard off or lose his job.

C. Meet with him and explain that the mask is required by OSHA and the safety rationale for the rule. Talk with him about reasonable accommodations, which might include use of a different type of mask that works with a beard, or transfer to another position that doesn't require use of a mask. After you've talked and perhaps consulted with vendors or safety experts, make a determination of what to do that won't violate the law or endanger his safety while accommodating his beliefs as much as you can.

Our crack Workplace Safety team has a bulletin explaining the new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on its "Reasonable Reporting Procedures" rule, Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrisless catchily known as §1904.35(b)(1)(iv). The good news is that OSHA's restrictions on post-incident drug testing are fairly mild. But there are many unanswered questions about how the rule will ...

KPC
Ken Carlson

The holiday season is almost upon us, and with it comes one of the largest “gifts” the U.S. Department of Labor has ever provided – the new Final Rule on overtime exemptions, which will, in all likelihood, take effect as scheduled on December 1. Unfortunately for employers, this gift is heavily weighted in favor of expanding overtime eligibility for employees, and ...

KMS
Kristine Sims

Federal contractors, will asking applicants to voluntarily self-identify by race -- a request that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires you to make -- be used against you in a hiring-discrimination lawsuit?

A recent decision from a federal court in New Jersey indicates that the answer is NO, as long as you handle the information correctly.

In ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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