Three hot regulatory issues for employers to watch

The feds are talking about NLRB-EEOC coordination, an end to collection of compensation data, and an inflation-indexed salary test for the overtime exemption. Here's the scoop.

NLRB/EEOC coordination. The National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are planning to issue joint guidance on how employers can comply with their obligations to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace without infringing on employees' rights to engage in protected concerted activity. In 2016, the EEOC issued guidance on harassment that included a recommendation that employers conduct "civility training." The EEOC had to acknowledge that "civility training" might be problematic to the NLRB, which during the Obama Administration had found that employer expectations of "civility," "courtesy," and "respect" had a "chilling effect" on employees' exercise of their rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. The forthcoming guidance will be much appreciated.

EEOC may scrap collection of pay data in EEO-1 reports. Called it! Acting EEOC Chair Victoria Lipnic said at a Federalist Society event that the agency might abandon plans to require employers with 100 or more employees to provide compensation data to the EEOC every year. Ms. Lipnic voted against the pay data collection proposal, and Janet Dhillon, President Trump's nominee for EEOC Chair, and Daniel Gade, the President's nominee for Commissioner, may not be too enthusiastic about it, either. Meanwhile, the National Women's Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement have sued the EEOC and the Office of Management and Budget (which blocked the pay data collection proposal earlier this year). The plaintiffs contend that the OMB did not have authority to block the proposal. 

Moving on to the FLSA, will the new salary threshold be indexed to inflation? Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta has said that he is considering adopting automatic increases to the salary threshold used in determining whether an employee qualifies for the executive, administrative, and some professional exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The overtime rule issued by the Obama Administration, which never took effect, would have provided for automatic adjustments every three years based on inflation. Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, oppose indexing. Instead, they say, increases in the salary threshold should be made only after notice and an opportunity for public comment.

(SOURCE: Bloomberg BNA's Daily Labor Report.)

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by waferboard.   

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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