Labor and Employment Law Update August 2017: It’s Stormy Out There!

Debra Franklin Human Resources, News Leave a Comment

It’s not easy to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve quickly, there have been an unprecedented number of changes in 2017. August was a very active month, so here’s my take on the “Top 10” list:

  1. DOA?: Overtime Rule Struck Down By Federal Judge
    A federal judge in Texas struck down the controversial Obama-era change to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that was intended to substantially raise the minimum salary threshold required for employees to qualify for the “white collar” exemptions.
  2. White House Blocks Revised EEO-1 Report
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced on August 29 that it was implementing an immediate stay of the revised EEO-1 Report, putting a halt to long-awaited pay data reporting requirements.
  3. Hurricane Harvey Slams Texas, Leaving Employers With Many Questions In Its Wake
    The catastrophic impact of Harvey led to many questions from employers, on topics such as military and family leave, unemployment claims, workplace safety, employee benefits and charitable giving, wage and hour compliance, labor relations, workers’ compensation coverage, immigration, and plant closing laws. (Hurricane Irma hit Florida with even greater force in September, and so all of these issues will apply to that ongoing situation as well.)
  4. Another Federal Appeals Court Rejects Workplace Recording Bans
    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently became the second federal appeals court this year to hold that an employer’s rule prohibiting recording in the workplace violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Yet another reminder that employers need to tread carefully when it comes to personnel policies restricting audio and video recording.
  5. Court Decisions Mean We’re One Step Closer To A Unionized Gig Economy
    The battle over organizing workers in the on-demand economy continues to heat up, with two significant court rulings coming down in favor of unionization this past month.
  6. Back To The Drawing Board? Court Tells EEOC To Reconsider Wellness Program Rules
    A federal court in the District of Columbia told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to reconsider two of its recent regulations surrounding incentivizing participation in employer-sponsored wellness programs.
  7. Trump Creates New Hurdles For Employment-Based Green Card Applicants
    The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on August 28 that it will start phasing in the requirement for an in-person interview for anyone obtaining employment-based permanent residency.
  8. Heightened Risk Of Future Identity Theft Enough For Standing In Data Breach Class Action, Rules D.C. Circuit Court
    Much to the dismay of employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit made it easier for plaintiffs and their attorneys to bring class action data breach cases against businesses.
  9. Labor Board Dunks On Employer’s Contractor Classification Attempt
    In a ruling sure to leave businesses and gig economy companies crying foul, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concluded that workers producing electronic video display content for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves were misclassified as independent contractors and are actually employees.
  10. Affirmative Action Bombshell: Justice Department Announces New College Admissions Project
    Higher education institutions felt seismic shockwaves on August 1 as the New York Times reported that the Trump administration would soon redirect Justice Department resources toward investigating – and possibly suing – colleges and universities over their affirmative action admissions policies.

So there you have it, folks. This was August – just wait for September! For more information or if you have questions, please contact Murray Securus HR Solutions.

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