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

OSHA Communicates New Instruction for Communication Tower Personnel Hoists

Goldberg Segalla LLP • July 30, 2014
In 2013, the communications industry was confronted by an increasing number of fatalities involving worker falls from cell tower sites. Alarmingly, OSHA recorded fourteen fatalities, all of which were determined preventable — either a result of an employer’s failure to provide fall protection or an employee’s failure to use the equipment. In the wake of this statistic, on July 17, 2014, OSHA implemented a new directive governing all work activities on communication towers that involve the use of a hoist to lift personnel to or from their workstations.

Recent Board Decision Highlights Serious Threat to Employers

Jones Walker • July 29, 2014
Several years ago in a case entitled Specialty Healthcare, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") changed a decades-long standard with regard to how a union can organize employees. Prior to Specialty Healthcare, unions typically had to organize "wall-to-wall," meaning that if they wanted to go after a particular facility, they had to organize all production and maintenance employees at the facility. Naturally, the larger the unit, the more difficult it was for the union to organize.

Department of Labor Brief Provides More Guidance on Interns

Franczek Radelet P.C • July 29, 2014
In the past, we’ve explained the DOL’s test for whether employers must pay their interns. Put simply, public employers and qualifying not-for-profit entities do not have to pay their interns.

USCIS Policy Memo Provides Guidance on use of H-1B Petitions for Nursing Positions

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 29, 2014
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the United States is projected to experience a nurse shortage as a generation of Americans age and the need for healthcare increases. This shortage in nurses could potentially be a problem for healthcare employers, but thanks to a new policy memorandum recently issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 11, 2014, healthcare employers may have a solution: the H1-B Petition.

Global Visa Delays Follow Technical Difficulties with State Department System

Ogletree Deakins • July 29, 2014
Last week, the U.S. Department of State’s visa processing database, which controls the issuance of visas and passports at the U.S. consulates abroad, experienced system performance issues (including outages) leading to worldwide delays in visa issuances for individuals seeking entry into the United States. The malfunction in the Consular Consolidated Database stalled the processing of U.S. visas for foreign nationals at consulates around the world, and was not limited to one consulate or country.

When to Come Out: The Challenges Facing Gay CEOs

Knowledge@Wharton (Reg Required) • July 29, 2014
Being gay or lesbian in America in the past half decade has meant watching barriers fall in some surprising quarters. Institutions as seemingly unyielding as marriage, the military and professional sports have opened their doors to a degree unimaginable just a few years ago.

Yes, sexual harassment plaintiff, you can shoot yourself in the foot. Here’s how.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • July 29, 2014
Even an air-tight case of sexual harassment can be sabotaged if (1) the employer has a policy banning it and an effective mechanism for handling complaints, and (2) the victim refuses to cooperate in the investigation.

Employer May Determine Workweek for Payroll Purposes under FLSA, Federal Court Rules

Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 29, 2014
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer may use a Monday-through-Sunday “workweek” to calculate overtime pay for employees with work schedules of Thursdays through Wednesdays, the federal appellate court in New Orleans has ruled. Johnson v. Heckmann Water Res. (CVR), Inc., No. 13-40824, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13501 (5th Cir. July 14, 2014).

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.

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