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

House Hearing Focuses on Federal Wage & Hour Enforcement

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 24, 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 According to Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the FLSA and its regulations are "exceptionally complex and outdated .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."

Senate Advances Insourcing Bill

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 24, 2014
The Senate has voted overwhelmingly in favor of advancing a bill that would provide a tax incentive to employers that move their overseas jobs back to the United States, and eliminate a tax credit for moving operations outside the country. The chamber voted 93-7 to send the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2569) to the Senate floor for consideration.

Obama Prohibits Contractors from Discriminating Because of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • July 24, 2014
More than two years after expressly declining to do so, this past Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Five Recent NLRB Cases Provide Further Insight on Structuring Employers' Social Media Policies

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 24, 2014
Employers, struggling to regulate employees’ work-related social media postings, recently suffered a string of defeats in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases challenging their social media and related communications policies. The six cases, decided in the past two months, which resulted in five losses1 and only one victory for employers,2 demonstrate that the NLRB continues to use social media and other common communications policies as a vehicle to aggressively inject itself into the non-union workplace as the number of unionized workers continues to diminish. These cases also highlight the need for all employers to scrutinize their social media policies in an effort to determine whether employees reasonably would read them to prohibit discussion about the terms and conditions of employment for the mutual aid and benefit of the workforce, the applicable standard under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or “the Act”) for protected concerted activity.

Big Win for Religious, Closely-Held Corporations Under Obamacare

Brody and Associates, LLC • July 24, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court released one of its biggest decisions since it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act one year ago, captioned Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 189 L. Ed. 2d 675 (U.S. 2014). In the first decision of its kind, the Court held closely-held corporations can exercise religion, are afforded religious freedom under the law, and are therefore not required to pay for employees’ birth control in the face of religious objections. To understand this, we need to turn back over 200 years.

Board Aggressively Seeking Injunctions Against Employers

Brody and Associates, LLC • July 23, 2014
Not surprisingly, the top attorney for the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) appointed last November, Richard Griffin, recently declared the Board’s commitment to making it easier to take employers into federal court and temporarily stop alleged unfair labor practices.

Defense Appropriations "Wage Theft" Amendment May Bar Employers with FLSA Violations from Defense Contracts

Franczek Radelet P.C • July 23, 2014
Late last month, the Senate referred the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations Act to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration. The House of Representatives passed its version (H.R. 4870) on June 20 with substantial bipartisan support, 340-73, after considering 80 different amendments. Since this is a wage and hour blog, you can safely assume that I am not telling you about this just so I can link to the cool beta version of the bill tracker at Congress.gov. Of course, you also read the headline, so you know the House version of the bill currently contains a scary provision for many federal contractors.

How NOT to Produce Facebook Evidence

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP • July 23, 2014
Electronic discovery, the collection and production of electronic documents in litigation, is a scary thing to many lawyers. Some are so scared by it, in fact, that they just deny that it exists and continue to produce only hard-copy documents. Of course, that is a terrible idea. And not at all in compliance with the rules of procedure. But, alas, it is what it is.

Executive Order Protects Federal Contractor LGBT Workers

Fisher & Phillips LLP • July 23, 2014
Yesterday President Obama issued an Executive Order extending antidiscrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as including these categories in affirmative action requirements. Regarding the federal contractor obligations, the Secretary of Labor will prepare regulations within 90 days, which will apply to contracts entered into on or after the effective date of the rules. Federal contractors or subcontractors holding contracts of $10,000 or more are subject to this Executive Order, a lower threshold than the $50,000 contract requirement for full affirmative action obligations. The additional antidiscrimination requirements are effective immediately for federal employees.

Obama’s LGBT Executive Order raises more questions than it answers

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • July 23, 2014
ROBIN’S NOTE: Thanks very much to Cara Crotty, head of our Affirmative Action practice group, who allowed me to share her insights about the President’s Executive Order here on the blog. This will also be going out today via email as a Constangy Affirmative Action Alert.