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

Complying With ‘Reasonable Accommodation' Requests

Fisher & Phillips LLP • April 16, 2014
Employers must understand their accommodation obligations. Denying an accommodation request because the employee is not disabled is a risky proposition.

Tax Alert: Attention Employers Using Pre-Approved Retirement Plans – It’s Amendment Time Again!

Nexsen Pruet • April 16, 2014
Do you sponsor a tax-qualified retirement plan that was pre-approved by the IRS? If so, pre-approved documents take one of two forms.

USDOL Guidance Released On "Adult Foster Care", "Shared Living Arrangements"

Fisher & Phillips LLP • April 16, 2014
We reported earlier that the U.S. Labor Department has issued a Final Rule re-stating the requirements for and limitations upon the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(15) "companionship exemption". The changes are effective in January 2015. As has been widely discussed, this exemption will then no longer be available to third-party employers under the new regulations.

Drug/alcohol testing clearinghouse for truck drivers speeds toward adoption

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • April 16, 2014
Motor carriers have always taken drug abuse seriously, but they have even more reason to do so now. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released proposed regulations that would create a drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse for interstate truck and bus drivers.

Meet Illinois’ Newest Power Couple: NLRB Region 13 and Illinois DOL Enter Into Formal Cooperation Agreement; NLRB Softens Strict Default Judgment Language, Gives Regions More Discretion

Franczek Radelet P.C • April 16, 2014
The past few weeks have brought potentially important developments for employers at both the local and national level. First, in Chicago, the Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Sung Ohr, and the Director of the Illinois Department of Labor (DOL), Joseph Costigan, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies. Under the MOU, the agencies have agreed to refer charges to each other if they receive information while processing a case that may be within the jurisdiction of the other agency, if the individual consents to the referral. The MOU also provides for cross-training between the two agencies and procedures for sharing information “where appropriate.”

Adjuncts and Athletes: Unions and the Academy

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. • April 15, 2014
College administrators, coaches, and many of the rest of us were surprised to learn that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act and thus may vote on representation by the College Athletes Players Association, affiliated with the United Steelworkers. The final chapter on this decision—currently applicable to private institutions and scholarship athletes—won’t be written until the appeals have been exhausted and similar claims have been litigated.

Looking into My Crystal Ball at the Future of FLSA Regulations

Franczek Radelet P.C • April 15, 2014
Last month, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Since then, DOL Secretary Perez has spoken publicly about the possible scope of the changes.

Can We Define "Full Time" to Mean Something Less Than 40 Hours Per Week?

Franczek Radelet P.C • April 15, 2014
Q. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), do we have to define “full time” to mean 40 hours per week, or is that left to employers’ discretion? Can we maintain a 40-hour standard for wage and hour purposes, but have a lower threshold for certain benefits, like paid time off accrual or supplementary health care coverage?

Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Companies

Nexsen Pruet • April 15, 2014
David Dubberly was recently featured in Midlandsbiz for his article on Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Companies.

A New Fad – Raising the Minimum Wage

Fisher & Phillips LLP • April 14, 2014
A centerpiece of President Obama’s current legislative agenda is raising the federal minimum wage. While many doubt a bill raising the federal minimum wage will be passed by Congress, President Obama’s call for such legislation has spurred many states and municipalities to act. In Pennsylvania, two state senators, Daylin Leach and Mike Stack, just introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $12.00 and prohibit businesses from paying workers who receive tips an amount less than the state mandated minimum wage. Likewise, Connecticut recently joined this arena when Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill that incrementally raises the state’s minimum wage over the next three years. Under the legislation passed in Connecticut, the minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2015 from $8.70 to $9.15 and thereafter incrementally go up until 2017 when it will be set at $10.10. If no other state acts between now and 2017, Connecticut will surpass Washington as the state with the highest minimum wage (the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is set to increase in 2016 to $11.50). However, Maryland and Hawaii are both considering similar pieces of legislation meaning Connecticut likely will not be the last state to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 or higher.