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How Rising Minimum Wages Will Tie Employers’ Hands on New Overtime Rules

XpertHR • May 23, 2016
The increase in state and local minimum wages will limit the range of responses employers will have available to comply with the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules.

Did Your Company Fail to Adopt a New Preapproved Defined Contribution Plan by the April 30th Deadline? The IRS Has a Solution for You

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 23, 2016
Sponsors of preapproved defined contribution retirement plans were generally required to sign new plan documents on or before April 30, 2016 that incorporated changes required by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA). Defined contribution plans include profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, and money purchase pension plans. Preapproved plans are plan documents that have been approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are sold to plan sponsors through law firms, banks, brokers and other financial institutions.

NLRB to Decide Organizing Rights of Non-Teaching Employees at Religious Colleges, Universities

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 23, 2016
The National Labor Relations Board is set to decide if the same test used to determine whether teaching employees of a religious school are subject to the Board’s jurisdiction should be extended to non-teaching employees. Islamic Saudi Academy, Case 05-RC-080474 (May 12, 2016).

OSHA Issues New Spring Regulatory Agenda

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 23, 2016
It’s that time of year again…when OSHA tells us what is on the horizon for rulemaking activity. On May 18, 2016 the spring semiannual regulatory agenda for federal agencies was published. This Regulatory Agenda provides a complete list of all regulatory actions that are under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review and covers regulatory actions for over 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions.

SCOTUS Gives Boost To Employee Constructive Discharge Claims

Fisher & Phillips LLP • May 23, 2016
In a 7 to 1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found today that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge claim under Title VII begins on the date of the employee’s notice of resignation, not on the date of the last alleged discriminatory act by the employer. This is a bad decision for employers and will likely lead to an uptick in legal claims filed by disgruntled former workers. It opens the door for former employees to file constructive discharge claims long after the alleged discriminatory conduct occurred by simply delaying their resignation indefinitely. Green v. Brennan.

Should we really be this panicked about the DOL overtime regs? Probably not.

Ogletree Deakins • May 23, 2016
By now, everyone is aware that on May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. (Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions or Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.) Since then, there have been dozens of helpful articles, analyses, explanations, and in-person and electronic trainings to explain the rule. Panic is rampant, as employers attempt to understand the change to the regulations. But stay calm – it’s not that complicated.

Fee Wars: Supreme Court Eases Defendants’ Burden for Attorneys’ Fees in Baseless Discrimination Actions

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 23, 2016
In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that attorneys’ fees for successfully defending a Title VII action can be recovered by an employer even if the defendant’s victory is not based on the merits of the case. CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375 (May 19, 2016). The ruling overturned an earlier Eighth Circuit decision that had allowed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to escape payment of attorneys’ fees. The ruling is important because defendants sometimes prevail in frivolous lawsuits for procedural reasons that are not merits-based.

Massachusetts Noncompete Bill Advances, but Passage Remains Uncertain

Ogletree Deakins • May 22, 2016
In March, we reported that Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo had announced his support for legislative restrictions on employee noncompetition agreements, signaling a potential turning point in the long-running debate in Massachusetts over whether noncompetes should be banned or restricted through legislation.

Application of New DOL Overtime Rule to Puerto Rico

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 22, 2016
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, announced the final changes to the regulations that govern the “white collar” overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). It remains to be seen, however, if and when these regulations will apply to employees in Puerto Rico. While these changes are scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016, pursuant to the latest version of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”), H.R. 5278, 114th Cong. §404 (2016), it is possible that Puerto Rico will be exempted from this effective date.

Invocation of "The Rule" During Trade Secret Injunction Hearings

FordHarrison LLP • May 22, 2016
The Texas Supreme Court ruled today that a party accused of stealing trade secrets does not have an absolute right to be present in the courtroom for the entirety of a preliminary injunction hearing when the trade secrets at issue are discussed. In December 2014, MI-SWACO, a subsidiary of oil and gas services company Schlumberger sought a writ of mandamus after a trial court allowed the party alleged to have received or benefitted from misappropriated trade secrets to be in the courtroom during evidentiary proceedings discussing the trade secrets at issue.
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