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

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memorandum Providing Justification for Employer Rule Decisions

Ogletree Deakins • March 30, 2015
Over the past several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has aggressively redefined the landscape for employer rules contained in employee handbooks, employee policies, and/or employment agreements. Even though these decisions purportedly follow the standards established in the Board’s 2004 decision in Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia, 343 NLRB 646 (2004), the application of those standards, first by former General Counsel Lafe Solomon and now under General Counsel Richard Griffin, have led to long-established, commonplace employer rules being found unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In apparent recognition of this recent sea change by the Board, General Counsel Griffin recently issued a memorandum “to offer guidance on [his] views of this evolving area of labor law.”

Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still Available

Fisher & Phillips LLP • March 30, 2015
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service Advisors employed by automobile dealerships do not qualify for the Section 13(b)(10)(A) overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It is the first court to have held this way

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds U.S. DOL's "Administrator Interpretations"

Shaw Valenza LLP • March 30, 2015
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor began issuing "Administrator Interpretations." These are analyses of regulations that are broader and more comprehensive than the traditional opinion letters that DOL used to issue. The opinion letters generally were targeted to respond to requests made by individual stakeholders, often employers. The Administrator Interpretations contain the DOL's view on how its regulations apply generally, not in response to a particular set of facts.

Updates and Studies: Top OSHA-Related News for the Week

Goldberg Segalla LLP • March 30, 2015
The following are highlights of the OSHA-related news for the week

Switch in safety handbooks without collective bargaining could violate CBA.

Ogletree Deakins • March 30, 2015
An arbitrator’s finding that an employer could not unilaterally switch safety handbooks without bargaining for that switch was upheld by a federal district court. Firstenergy Generation Corp. v. IBEW, WDPA, No. 14-560, March 16, 2015.

"Vote-a-Rama" for Senate Budget Resolution included Employment Amendments

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 30, 2015
In the early morning of March 27, the Senate passed its version of a budget resolution by a vote of 52-46 after a marathon session of votes on numerous amendments. The so-called "Vote-a-Rama" included votes on measures that likely have no chance of advancing, but serve as political talking points in the months ahead and for the 2016 congressional and presidential elections. The Senate budget resolution process provides Senators an opportunity to secure votes on their amendments with very limited debate so long as the amendment somehow relates to the budget. The marathon voting session can be used to force lawmakers to publically take a position on many touchy issues. The official voting record often becomes a sword or shield come campaign season.

Employers may not like NLRB General Counsel report on handbook rules

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP • March 27, 2015
As we have previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board in recent years has put employee handbooks and policy manuals under a magnifying glass, searching for any provision that might, in its view, violate the NationalDavid-Phippen.jpeg Labor Relations Act.

Proposed FLSA Exemption Changes Still In Limbo

Fisher & Phillips LLP • March 27, 2015
Employers await with bated breath the release of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. Apparently, they will just have to keep waiting – for how long, the U.S. Labor Department will not say.

Captain Obvious Issues Most Obvious FLSA Decision of 2015 (So Far...)

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 27, 2015
It happens every year: I read a decision from a federal judge about the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and shake my head that it actually took litigation to resolve such an obvious question. It is only March, but 2015 already is no different. A recent decision by a federal district judge in New York compelled me to bring back our periodic Captain Obvious posting.

Texas Court Puts a Halt on DOL Enforcement of the New FMLA Rule Extending Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 27, 2015
A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction on Thursday that (for the time being) has stopped enforcement of the DOL’s final rule regarding the definition of spouse.