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

Agencies Release Final Rule on “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 26, 2016
On August 24, 2016, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (FAR Council) released the final rule implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (EO). Simultaneously, the Department of Labor (DOL) released final guidance on key provisions of the final rule. The so-called “blacklisting” EO requires prospective and existing contractors on covered contracts to disclose administrative determinations, arbitral awards, and civil judgments (referred to collectively in the rule as “labor law decisions”) finding or (sometimes even just alleging) violations of 14 enumerated labor laws and state law equivalents.

DOL and FAR Council Publish Final ‘Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’ Rules for Government Contractors

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 26, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (“FAR”) Council have published the highly-anticipated final guidance and regulations implementing President Barack Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (E.O. 13673), often called the “Blacklisting” or “Bad Actors” Executive Order. Signed by President Obama in July 2014

Class Action Retirement Plan Litigation Hits Higher Ed Hard

Ogletree Deakins • August 26, 2016
In recent weeks, multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against private, nonprofit universities across the country alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and claiming millions of dollars in damages for retirement plan participants. Each action was filed by the same law firm that previously filed similar class actions against several large private companies and which now appears to be targeting higher educational institutions.

Ninth Circuit, California Appellate Court Take Aim at Arbitration Agreements

FordHarrison LLP • August 26, 2016
Executive Summary. The Ninth Circuit and the California Court of Appeal have each issued decisions that may fundamentally affect how employers deal with arbitration agreements in the future. In Morris v. Ernst & Young, the Ninth Circuit held that it is unlawful to require an employee to sign an arbitration agreement that includes a class action waiver. In Esparza v. Sand & Sea, Inc., the California Court of Appeal refused to enforce an arbitration provision that was contained only in an employee handbook.

NLRB Rules Grad Students Are Employees, Can Unionize

XpertHR • August 26, 2016
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants are statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB's ruling, in a case filed by a group of Columbia University graduate students, clears the way for graduate assistants to unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions.

Ninth Circuit Holds Class Action Waivers Violate NLRA: What Employers Should Do Now

Ogletree Deakins • August 26, 2016
In an important 2–1 decision, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are unenforceable. This ruling adds to the growing circuit split on this critical issue, increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court of the United States will resolve the open question, and presents key strategic decisions for employers to make in the interim.

Labor Department Settles Overtime Pay Dispute with Its Own Employees

FordHarrison LLP • August 26, 2016
Executive Summary: The Department of Labor (DOL) has agreed to pay $7 million to resolve claims that it failed to pay overtime to thousands of its own employees. The settlement reached with the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 (AFGE), which represents approximately 3,000 federal employees in the Washington metro area, brings closure to longstanding allegations claiming the DOL failed to properly compensate employees.

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Franczek Radelet P.C • August 26, 2016
Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long), required her to “announce” her bathroom breaks to others, prohibited her from taking shift breaks, denied access to water, and eventually terminated her employment in front of other employees because she attended a prenatal doctor’s appointment.

Attention—The DOL Has Made its FMLA Poster More “Reader Friendly”!

Ogletree Deakins • August 26, 2016
Generally, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees of covered employers with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons, with continuation of group health insurance coverage for an employee under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. The law also provides certain family military leave entitlements. Employers generally are required to preserve the jobs of employees on FMLA leave and to restore those employees to their positions upon expiration of the FMLA leave.

Pokémon Go in the Workplace: Catch all the Issues before They Catch You

Nexsen Pruet • August 26, 2016
The new smartphone app, Pokémon Go, has taken the world by storm. This increasingly popular free game uses the GPS feature and camera of the player’s smartphone to capture creatures called “Pokémon” who appear on the user’s screen as if the creature was actually in the same location as the user. Players must travel with their smartphones to find the different Pokémon creatures who may be residing in different areas based on the player’s GPS location. To catch the Pokémon, players launch a “Poke Ball” at the creature on their screen by using their finger to flick the ball toward the Pokémon.