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Will Ending Government Shutdown Turn on DACA?

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 16, 2019
Is it possible that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program might be the key to ending the government shutdown? A DACA-for-border-funding compromise that was taken off the table a year ago is again being talked about by some lawmakers. Here is an update on where DACA stands.

Federal Judges Halt Expanded Exemption From ACA Contraceptive Mandate

Ogletree Deakins • January 16, 2019
In back-to-back decisions, two federal district court judges have blocked implementation of a Trump administration rule that would exempt more employers from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that employer-sponsored group health plans cover birth control supplies and services as preventive care without cost-sharing. State of California v. Health and Human Services, No. 17-cv-05783-HSG (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, January 13, 2019). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump, No. 2:17-cv-04540-WB (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, January 14, 2019).

Supreme Court of the United States Upholds Bar to Arbitration for Interstate Driver

Ogletree Deakins • January 16, 2019
On January 15, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not apply to wage claims brought by an interstate truck driver, even though the plaintiff was classified as an independent contractor.

Rare Win for Workers in Supreme Court Arbitration Case

XpertHR • January 16, 2019
The Supreme Court has handed a rare victory to workers in a case involving a mandatory arbitration provision. In New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, the Court ruled unanimously that while a court's authority to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) may be considerable, it isn't unconditional and does not extend to all private employment contracts.

End of the Road: SCOTUS Ruling Means Many Transportation Workers Are Now Exempt From Arbitration

Fisher Phillips • January 16, 2019
In a unanimous 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that federal courts can’t force interstate transportation workers—including contractors—into arbitration, ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act’s Section 1 exemption for these workers is a threshold question for the court to resolve, not the arbitrator. Perhaps more importantly, the Court also applied the Section 1 “contract of employment” exemption from the FAA to include not only interstate transportation workers with employment agreements, but also to those interstate transportation workers with independent contractor agreements (New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira).

Here OSHA Goes Again: 2019 Increases to Maximum Penalty Amounts Announced

Fisher Phillips • January 16, 2019
Employers will be facing higher penalties from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Fed-OSHA”) in 2019. On January 15, 2019, Fed-OSHA announced that it plans to increase the maximum penalty an employer can be issued for serious and other than serious citations to $13,260, and the highest amount that can be issued for repeat and willful violations to $132,598. Fed-OSHA’s announcement regarding the increases can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/penalties/2019InflationAdjustments.pdf and a chart containing all increases by the agency is below:

Supreme Court Rules Independent Contractor Truck Driver Not Required to Arbitrate Wage Claim

FordHarrison LLP • January 16, 2019
Executive Summary: In New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, the U.S. Supreme Court held today that the Federal Arbitration Act’s (FAA) exclusion of certain “contracts of employment” from the Act’s coverage applies to transportation worker independent contractors. In its holding, the Court did not define who constitutes a transportation worker under the FAA.

Before OSHA Arrives: Developing a Culture of Worksite Safety

Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 16, 2019
In daily business practice, one of the most difficult decisions any company leader can make is to change company culture. Despite many company leaders providing a well-thought out strategic plan, the entire collective of company employees ultimately controls company culture.

Fashion Industry Impacted by New York's Amended Sexual Harassment Law

FordHarrison LLP • January 15, 2019
Executive Summary. In groundbreaking legislation last year, New York State amended its Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL") to prohibit sexual harassment against non-employees of all types, including models, stylists, and artists in the fashion industry who are classified (correctly or not) as independent contractors. Because of this amendment, “IRS Form 1099” workers throughout NYS will have the same sexual harassment and retaliation protections as “IRS Form W-2” employees. They can file internal sexual harassment claims with the talent agencies that assign them or the companies that actually engage them or file legal complaints with the NYS Division of Human Rights or in court. Businesses referring or engaging even one independent contractor are covered. For independent contractors who work in NYC, this amendment adds statewide protections to existing NYC sexual harassment protection under the NYC Human Rights law. (“NYCHRL”)

A Roadmap for the Future of Work: California’s Little Hoover Commission Issues Report Highlighting the Importance of Building a "Human Infrastructure" to Ride Out the TIDE

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 15, 2019
The opportunities and challenges that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are creating for the labor market are gaining increasing attention in both policy circles and society at large. The creation of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, whose members are expected to be announced early this year, is intended to “prepare Americans for the 21st century economy and the emerging industries of the future” in light of the rapid changes that “technology, automation, and artificial intelligence” are generating. These changes are expected to arrive soon. Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist, recently predicted on 60 Minutes that AI could displace up to 40% of the world’s jobs within the next 15 years.

California Legislature Considers Two Bills Related to Independent Contractor Misclassification

Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 2019
Two competing bills related to the classification of workers are in play in the California legislature.
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