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

Department of Labor Plans To Take Next Step in White Collar Exemption Overhaul in November

Brody and Associates, LLC • July 28, 2014
Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Secretary of Labor to overhaul the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and minimum wage requirements.

Here We Go Again—Significant Threat of Automatic Debarment from Government Contracts Slipping in Under the Wire!

Ogletree Deakins • July 28, 2014
Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by voice vote, a little-understood and little-noticed amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4923) that would debar large federal contractors that have been found to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) within the past five years. “Debarment” is a sanction imposed for violations of law that prohibits cited contractors from doing business with the federal government for a length of time.

EEOC Updates Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Goldberg Segalla LLP • July 28, 2014
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues, marking the first comprehensive update of the EEOC’s guidance on the subject in over 30 years. This guidance has been issued after several states and cities including New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia have passed laws regarding accommodations for pregnant employees. Importantly, the guidance incorporates significant developments in the law that have transpired over the past three decades and also sets forth suggestions for best practices for employers to adopt with the goal of reducing the chance of pregnancy-related violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Circuits Split Regarding Validity of Federal Subsidies of Health Insurance Purchased on Federally-Established Exchanges

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 28, 2014
Two federal appeals courts have issued opposing decisions regarding whether the IRS has the authority under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) to extend federal tax subsidies to individuals who obtain health insurance coverage through a federal Marketplace (also known as an Exchange).

IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 28, 2014
On July 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft forms that employers will use to report on health coverage that they offer to their employees. In March, the IRS issued final rules implementing the health coverage reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The information reporting requirements become effective for the 2015 tax year.

Senate Committee Approves Bill Making ERISA Clarifications

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 25, 2014
On July 23, 2014, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously approved S. 2511, a measure that aims to clarify the definition of "substantial cessation of operations" under Section 4062(e) of ERISA. According to a statement issued by the committee, "this legislation will bring clarity to the pension downsizing liability rules and will ensure that there is a workable mechanism to protect pension benefits when employers show symptoms of financial distress."

House Hearing Focuses on Federal Wage & Hour Enforcement

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 25, 2014
Members of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the exponential rise in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) litigation, and the Department of Labor's employer compliance assistance efforts. According to Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the FLSA and its regulations are "exceptionally complex and outdated . . . promot[ing] the interests of trial lawyers" over employees. Moreover, the "patchwork of conflicting interpretations and a complex regulatory structure have created an environment of legal uncertainty."

Captain Obvious Issues Most Obvious FLSA Decision of 2014 (So Far...)

Franczek Radelet P.C • July 25, 2014
If you have been anywhere near a TV or radio over the past few months, you have probably seen or heard the ads for Hotels.com featuring Captain Obvious. If you’re from the Midwest, and Indiana in particular, it has probably crossed your mind whether the Bob and Tom Show’s Mr. Obvious and Captain Obvious are somehow related. Well, maybe

Dear Employers: We Have to Stop Sticking It to Pregnant Moms and Expectant Dads

Franczek Radelet P.C • July 25, 2014
Although I eagerly anticipate the arrival of a baby due to be born in the Nowak family within the next couple of weeks [number 4...somebody help me!], I assure you that my status as “expectant dad” is not clouding my objectivity regarding the rights of moms and dads in the workplace.

Airline Industry Legal Alert: Pregnant Employees Now Entitled to ADA-Type Accommodations

FordHarrison LLP • July 25, 2014
Executive Summary: The EEOC has issued new guidance on the reach of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA") that greatly expands the protections it claims all employers must provide to pregnant employees. The two most significant new provisions of this guidance are that (1) the PDA requires that pregnant employees be afforded the same job accommodations as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) qualifying disabled employees, and that (2) denying a pregnant employee light duty work pursuant to a policy limiting such work to employees injured on the job violates the PDA. Both positions obviously represent significant departures from prior EEOC policy and even case authority.