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Beltway Buzz, April 19, 2019

Ogletree Deakins • April 21, 2019
A note from Jim: It is with a heavy heart that I must inform our readers that Hal Coxson passed away on April 18, 2019. Hal was a great man, a fantastic and faithful friend, and a giant in the labor policy arena. Hal welcomed me with open arms when I first strode into the labor policy world 10 years ago in Washington, D.C., and helped guide me through various legal and political battles along the way. I jumped at the opportunity to work by his side when he subsequently recruited me to join Ogletree Deakins. It was an honor to co-chair the firm’s Governmental Affairs Practice Group with him. (Indeed, this publication was his idea.) I will miss him dearly.

Court’s Final Decision on EEO-1 Pay Data Requirement Imminent

Ogletree Deakins • April 21, 2019
As a follow-up to our April 4, 2019, article, we wanted to provide you with the latest update on the status of the pay data requirement for 2018-EEO-1 reports. On April 16, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held a hearing on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposal to collect pay data by September 30, 2019, using a third-party contractor, and the plaintiff’s response that the EEOC should be forced to collect 2017 and 2018 pay data by May 31, 2019.

USCIS Plans Closure of International Field Offices

Ogletree Deakins • April 21, 2019
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to close all 22 of its international field offices over the next year. The agency is expected to shift its international workload to the U.S. Department of State and to USCIS offices within the United States; USCIS believes the closures will allow the agency to reallocate its resources to better address the increasing immigration backlogs.

OFCCP Proposes Revised Scheduling Letter for Compliance Checks

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
This is the second in our series of blogs on OFCCP’s proposed changes to its various scheduling letters.

EIGHTH CIRCUIT RULES AGAINST THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR IN CROSS-PLAN OFFSETTING IN GROUP HEALTH PLANS

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
On January 15, 2019, the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Peterson v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 913 F.3d, 769 (8th Cir. 2019), in which the Court upheld the federal district court’s holding that UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (“United”) was not authorized to reduce (or “offset”) payments to medical providers under ERISA group health plans for which United was the third-party administrator (or “TPA”) by the amounts United determined had been previously overpaid to the same providers under completely different group health plans also administered by United. This practice is known as “cross-plan offsetting.”

Secret Video Surveillance Found in Hospital Labor and Delivery Rooms

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
The New York Times newly established Privacy Project, recently highlighted the extent to which our society has created a “facial recognition machine” – cameras are everywhere, even in doorbells. Segments of society have accepted widespread surveillance on public streets, shopping malls, and in common areas of office buildings, apartment complexes, schools and similar places. But there are limits.

“Me Too” Evidence in a #MeToo World

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
Before “#MeToo” became a movement, it was a well-known, damaging type of evidence to employers litigating discrimination claims. “Me too” in the employment litigation context refers to evidence that employees other than the plaintiff also were also discriminated against. Employers had traditionally sought, with mixed results, to exclude such evidence as improper character evidence under FRE 404(b) or as substantially more prejudicial than probative under FRE 403. Debate raged over admissibility. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court tackled the issue and held that “me too” evidence is not per se admissible or inadmissible. See Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. v. Mendelsohn, 552 U.S. 379, 388 (2008). Rather, the Court found, admissibility depends on a fact-intensive inquiry.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave: What Employers Need to Know Before July 1, 2019

Ogletree Deakins • April 21, 2019
Last year, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law what has been referred to as the “grand bargain” legislation. When it was enacted, we covered some of the law’s key provisions that would have a significant impact on Massachusetts employers, including the phase-in of paid family and medical leave under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML).

Poster Released for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
Westchester County has released a poster for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”). By July 10, 2019, all employers covered by the law must post the poster in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the County of Westchester, in a conspicuous location. To date, Westchester County has only released the poster in English.

Bill Which Would Expand the CCPA Private Right of Action Moves Forward

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
As we reported, in late February, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced Senate Bill 561, legislation intended to strengthen and clarify the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Massachusetts Agency Issues Paid Leave Notice Guidance

Fisher Phillips • April 21, 2019
The Massachusetts Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave—the agency charged with regulating and enforcing the Commonwealth’s nascent paid leave program—just issued its mandatory workplace poster and guidance on the law’s notification requirements. Yesterday’s announcement provides employers with needed guidance on the law’s notice requirement—an obligation you must meet by May 31, 2019. What do Massachusetts employers need to know about this latest development?

Kentucky Enacts Pregnant Workers Act, Requiring Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant and Lactating Employees

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 21, 2019
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) recently signed the Pregnant Workers Act, SB 18, to provide pregnancy-related accommodations for employees in the Bluegrass State. This measure amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) to require employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees related to pregnancy and childbirth, and extends existing protections against retaliation and discrimination to cover pregnancy and childbirth.

Massachusetts Releases Paid Family and Medical Leave Employee Template Notices

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2019
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has released template notices employers may use to fulfill the notice requirement to employees and 1099-MISC independent contractors under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), G.L. c. 175M. Employers must provide a notice to their current workforce by May 31, 2019.
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