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ten most recent federal employment law articles Ten Most Recent Federal Articles

eLABORate: In a Boost to the Gig-Economy, NLRB Says Uber Drivers are Not Employees

Phelps Dunbar LLP • May 22, 2019
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has released an advisory opinion concluding that Uber drivers are independent contractors, restricting those drivers’ right to unionize, file labor complaints, or seek protections from the federal government.

Labor Board Announces Rulemaking Agenda: Should Employers Pay Attention?

Fisher Phillips • May 22, 2019
The National Labor Relations Board announced today in its spring 2019 regulatory agenda that it intends to consider rulemaking in the following substantive areas arising under the National Labor Relations Act:

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes (May 22, 2019)

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 22, 2019
“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. This is the 23rd blog in this series, which digs into the FMLA regulations to address discrete mis-steps that can result in legal liability.

5 FAQs on the Equality Act and Employment Nondiscrimination

Ogletree Deakins • May 22, 2019
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bill that would amend federal law (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

U.S. District Court Highlights Job Reinstatement Obligations After FMLA Leave

Ogletree Deakins • May 21, 2019
On May 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied summary judgment on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliatory transfer claim. The court found that the employer’s explanation for eliminating the plaintiff’s position while she was on leave, the timing of the decision, and remarks made during the plaintiff’s FMLA absence raised a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff’s transfer was in retaliation for her exercise of FMLA rights. Ottley-Cousin v. MMC Holdings, Inc., No. 16-CV-00577 (MKB).

Employers, Politics, and Free Speech

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
With political campaigns well underway, the protection of “free speech” and concerns that regular political discourse could create potential liability are mounting.

OSHA Requests Information on Potential Changes to Lockout/Tagout Standard Including Addressing Robotic Technology

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard at 29 C.F.R. 1910.147 regulates the control of exposure to unexpected energization during service and maintenance on machines or equipment. On May 18, 2019, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “information regarding two areas where modernizing the Lockout/Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without additional burdens to employers: control circuit type devices and robotics.”

NLRB General Counsel Seeks to Deflate Scabby the Rat

Franczek Radelet P.C • May 20, 2019
Scabby, the gnarly, diseased, inflatable rat, has long been recognized as a symbol of a labor protest. During the Obama-era, the National Labor Relations Board likened the use of Scabby to peaceful, protected activities such as hand-billing and found that the rat did not have an unlawful, coercive effect. Not surprisingly, that view seems to have changed now that the Board has shifted to Republican control. In a recent advisory memo issued by the Board’s Office of the General Counsel, Scabby was categorized as a coercive symbol that “create[s] a symbolic, confrontational barrier” and is the “functional equivalent” of unlawful picketing. As such, the General Counsel’s memo urges the Board to overturn Obama-era Board precedent and find that a union’s act of inflating Scabby may violate the National Labor Relations Act.

Labor Board General Counsel’s Review of Employer Work Rules a Mixed Bag

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 20, 2019
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel (GC) has issued an Advice Memorandum on whether unfair labor practice charges alleging four employer rules violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have merit. In a Memorandum released on March 14, 2019, the GC concluded that the employer’s dress-code, confidential-information, and media-relations rules were lawful, but its cell-phone rule was unlawful.

Changes to Employee Benefit Plans May Create Unforeseen Disclosure Deadlines

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 20, 2019
Believe it or not, it may be time to distribute a new Summary Plan Description (SPD) to include all changes made since the last issuance or a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) for any amendments adopted during the 2018 plan year.