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DOL Releases Final Rule Governing Association Health Plans

XpertHR • June 24, 2018
The US Department of Labor has released a final rule governing association health plans (AHPs) that aims to help small businesses and their employees. The new rule provides an added mechanism for meeting the definition of employer under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and could affect an estimated 3.2 million enrollees in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual and small group markets.

How Employers Can Detect Lies and Deception: #SHRM18

XpertHR • June 24, 2018
Can you tell if someone is lying during an internal investigation? The truth is most people can’t because they’re looking for the wrong cues, said Michael Wade Johnson during a riveting presentation at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago.

Beltway Buzz, June 22, 2018

Ogletree Deakins • June 24, 2018
Agency Overhaul Proposal Announced. On June 21, the Trump administration issued a sweeping proposal to consolidate and streamline federal agencies. Of particular significance to the Buzz is the proposal to combine the departments of education and labor into the Department of Education and the Workforce. The administration maintains that this consolidation will “allow the Federal Government to address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way, eliminating duplication of effort between the two agencies and maximizing the effectiveness of skill-building efforts.” As it has with most D.C. initiatives, the Buzz has seen this movie before: the Department of Education has been on the chopping block since its inception. The Buzz isn’t sure what makes this time better than any of the other times, so we will go out on a limb and predict that this merger won’t happen anytime soon.

More Trouble for Chevron Deference

Ogletree Deakins • June 24, 2018
Chevron deference is increasingly coming under fire from the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. That came through loud and clear in Pereira v. Sessions, issued on June 21, 2018. Not only did the approach of the majority opinion appear to be at odds with the Court’s past approach to Chevron deference, but Justice Kennedy stated in a concurring opinion that “it seems necessary and appropriate to reconsider . . . the premises that underlie Chevron and how courts have implemented that decision.” Justice Alito asserted in dissent that “the Court, for whatever reason, is simply ignoring Chevron.”

Weingarten Rights Only Apply When Requested—What Constitutes a Legally Sufficient Request?

Ogletree Deakins • June 24, 2018
The recent split decision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Circus Circus Casinos, Inc., 366 NLRB No. 110 (June 15, 2018), is a reminder that the validity of an employee’s request for Weingarten assistance at an investigatory interview or disciplinary hearing often turns on the nature of the request and the factual circumstances surrounding it.

Court Permits Website Accessibility Lawsuit Against Hooters To Proceed

Fisher Phillips • June 24, 2018
A federal appeals court just breathed new life into a disability access lawsuit filed against restaurant chain Hooters, permitting a blind plaintiff who claims he could not access the company’s business website to proceed with his ADA claim—despite the fact that the company was in the midst of fixing its website at the time the lawsuit was filed. The decision from earlier this week should be a wake-up call to all businesses with websites accessible to the public, serving as a reminder to ensure their sites are ADA-compliant (Haynes v. Hooters of America).

Planning for Catastrophe

Jones Walker • June 24, 2018
With hurricane season upon us, employers are justifiably concerned about the potential impact of a natural disaster on their business. A hurricane, natural disaster, or any other crisis in the workplace can bring a business to a screeching halt and devastate the lives of a business’s most valuable asset, its employees.

What Vermont’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Means for Employers

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 24, 2018
Vermont’s recreational marijuana law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, lifts penalties for individuals possessing limited amounts of marijuana. However, the new law does not require employers to tolerate marijuana possession or use in the workplace. Further, employers may continue to test for marijuana, though any adverse employment actions must be considered carefully for the risk of disability discrimination claims.
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