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

Advertising Requirements in PERM—A Survey of BALCA’s Application of 20 CFR § 656.17(f)(7)

Ogletree Deakins • September 03, 2015
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) permanent labor certification (PERM) program requires employers to conduct specific recruiting activities to test the labor market before filing an application. The regulation at 20 CFR § 656.17(f) sets forth the advertising requirements, which also apply to the Notice of Filing (NOF).

Federal Court Finds “Field Preemption” of Minnesota Drug Testing Statute

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 03, 2015
It has long been recognized that federal regulations mandating drug testing for certain employees in safety-sensitive industries preempt contrary provisions in Minnesota’s state drug testing law known as “DATWA” (Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act). But some Minnesota practitioners have argued for years that employee protections in DATWA should not be preempted if they are not explicitly in conflict with federal law. A recent order from the District of Minnesota has likely put an end to this line of reasoning. MN Airlines, Inc., d/b/a Sun Country Airlines v. Levander, No 15-CV-2454 (PAM/BRT) (D. Minn. Aug. 28, 2015).

Independent Contractor—Or Not? Spend More Now to Avoid Big Payments Later

XpertHR • September 03, 2015
There’s been somewhat of a push and pull over the last few years for employers and HR professionals when it comes to staffing issues. On the one hand, many employers have been hesitant to add new staff since the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, even despite signs of an upturn. On the other hand, with business starting to pick up existing staff members have a feeling of being overwhelmed that needs to be addressed.

Mine Safety Commission Overturns, Remands Parts of Judge’s Ruling

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 03, 2015
Citing its 1994 legal decision holding that the “wholesale incorporation of a litigant’s brief is a questionable judicial practice,” the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has remanded for further analysis a judge’s determinations regarding enforcement actions taken against a Virginia coal operator and vacated others.

OSHA Updates Its National Emphasis Program on Amputations

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 03, 2015
Noting that the manufacturing sector experienced more than twice the rate of amputations as that of the entire private sector in 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated its nine-year-old National Emphasis Program (NEP) on amputations.

NLRB's General Counsel Skips Regulatory Process to Allow Unions to Use Electronic Signatures on Election Petitions

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 03, 2015
On September 1, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board's General Counsel issued a guidance memorandum on using electronic signatures to support a showing of interest related to a union petition. The General Counsel announced that its current regulations allow the Board to accept electronic signatures to support a union’s showing of interest for an election petition. As with all petitions, the union must provide evidence that at least 30 percent of the bargaining unit supports its petition before the Board will schedule an election.

Quickie Elections Just Got Quicker: Electronic Signatures Okayed to Support Union Petitions

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 03, 2015
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has decided to accept electronic signatures in support of a showing of interest, effective immediately.

SSA Revises SSN Application Rules, Updates SSNVS Handbook for Employers

XpertHR • September 03, 2015
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a final rule, effective September 9, 2015, revising its regulations regarding the procedures an individual should follow to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) card. The rule also revises certain related evidence requirements. The changes are intended to provide greater flexibility in the ways in which an individual may request a Social Security card and permits the SSA to implement an online SSN replacement card application system.

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

Ogletree Deakins • September 02, 2015
In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction over religiously-affiliated colleges and universities—allowing unions to organize those institutions’ employees—following the NLRB’s decision last year in Pacific Lutheran University.

Comment Period Will Not Be Extended

Fisher & Phillips LLP • September 02, 2015
There will be no extension of the original 60-day period for commenting on the U.S. Labor Department's proposals and requests relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. U.S. Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil has so notified members of the House of Representatives and the Senate (see below for a link to a copy of Dr. Weil's letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce).