Total Articles: 95
Ogletree Deakins • January 12, 2020
On January 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued three opinion letters, two of which concerned the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (The other dealt with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.) These opinion letters are the first of the new year and a new decade. Below is a synopsis of the two FLSA-related opinion letters.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 09, 2020
Getting the new year off to a quick start, the United States Department of Labor issued three Opinion Letters on January 7, 2020. These letters concern the salary basis test and overtime calculations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and government agency eligibility determinations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While the FLSA overtime and FMLA eligibility letters provide straightforward answers to more technical questions, employers would be wise to temper the broad sweep of the FLSA salary basis letter with a caveat or two.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 22, 2019
Employers frustrated with the cumbersome rules and added expenses for furnishing plan documents, summary plan descriptions, notices, and certain other communications may soon get some added relief, at least with respect to their retirement plans. In response to President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order 13487, Strengthening Retirement Security in America, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule to allow online retirement plan disclosures.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 24, 2019
This morning the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to approve Eugene Scalia’s nomination as Secretary of Labor. The vote came five days after his confirmation hearing before the HELP Committee on September 19, 2019. This vote advances his nomination to the full Senate where it is expected to be approved. It is anticipated that the full Senate could vote by the end of the week.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 12, 2019
In this podcast, Littler’s Michael Lotito and Jim Paretti discuss new and expected developments at the U.S. Department of Labor. Topics include the nomination of Eugene “Gene” Scalia to be Secretary of Labor, current leadership in the Department and its regulatory agenda, and discussion of several significant rulemakings, including proposed DOL regulations regarding “joint employment” under the Fair Labor Standards Act; how to calculate the FLSA “regular rate” for purposes of overtime compensation; and pending changes to overtime regulations, all of which are expected to be published in final form before the end of the year.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 23, 2019
When Alexander Acosta resigned as Secretary of Labor, his deputy, Patrick Pizzella, took over as Acting Secretary. Rather than keeping Pizzella in place, President Donald Trump announced on July 18, 2019, that he intends to nominate Eugene Scalia, the son of late-Justice Antonin Scalia, as the new Secretary.
Fisher Phillips • July 22, 2019
The news that President Trump selected Eugene Scalia to take over as Labor Secretary late last week caught some employers by surprise; after all, it was just a week ago that we were analyzing the track record of the soon-to-be-acting Secretary who many expected to helm the Department of Labor for an extended period of time. But now that it appears we have a likely successor in place to take over for Alexander Acosta, all employers are turning their attention to the same issue: what does this transition mean for the business community?
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 21, 2019
After the recent resignation of Alex Acosta, President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Eugene Scalia—son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia—as Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL). The announcement was made via social media on July 18, 2019.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 25, 2019
On June 24, 2019, the Department of Labor made public its long-awaited proposed rule establishing a process for DOL to advance the development of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). On the same day, DOL announced that it was awarding over $183 million in grants for developing and expanding apprenticeship programs to educational institutions partnering with businesses that match funding, and an additional $100 million to expand apprenticeships and help close the “skills gap.” The Department is expected to issue further details on IRAP requirements, and an application for entities seeking to be recognized as an accreditor of IRAPs shortly.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 18, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued three new opinion letters on March 14, 2019. The letters clarify diverse issues, including initiation and duration of FMLA leave, compensability of employees’ time spent on volunteer community service for which the employer offers a bonus, and compensation of residential janitors.
Fisher Phillips • December 31, 2018
Despite most of the government being occupied with the "shutdown" dilemma, the unaffected USDOL has remained busy and gifted us with two opinion letters today: an enlightening one regarding certain volunteers and a simple reminder that for FLSA purposes the rate is all about the math.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 07, 2018
In an effort to create a win-win solution for both employers and employees, the Department of Labor has extended its pilot compliance program, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID). The purpose of this program is to help employees get paid for wages they have earned and to help employers correct past payroll mistakes.
Fisher Phillips • November 01, 2018
Earlier this year we shared that the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) was launching its Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. This month the program was extended and the agency wasted no time beginning its efforts to further educate employers and attorneys about the program. As a recent presentation in greater-Atlanta confirmed, the public still is skeptical. Nonetheless, PAID might just have a place.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 18, 2018
Employers will face fewer significant regulations in the coming year, according to the Trump administration's Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions ("regulatory agenda"). Released on October 17, 2018, the fall regulatory agenda outlines each agency's rulemaking efforts at any stage in the process—from requests for information to final regulations—and gives estimated timelines for completion. This regulatory to-do list provides insight into the administration's upcoming priorities.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • September 18, 2018
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it issued six new opinion letters. DOL opinion letters are designed to provide clarity to federal labor laws. The six new DOL opinion letters interpret issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
FordHarrison LLP • September 09, 2018
Executive Summary: Last week, on August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued four Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) opinion letters. In welcome late-summer news to employers, each opinion is employer-friendly. Below is a summary of each.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 06, 2018
Focusing on education to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, on August 28, 2018 Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the creation of the DOL’s new Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). That office has launched two new websites, one to provide employers with resources to assess wage and hour compliance, and the other to provide employees with information regarding their rights and responsibilities under federal wage and hour law. Those websites are named, aptly, employer.gov and worker.gov, respectively.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 29, 2018
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued six new opinion letters addressing various matters under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). According to the DOL, the release of this guidance “demonstrates the agency's continued commitment to providing meaningful compliance assistance to help employees understand their rights and ensure that employers have the information they need to comply with federal labor laws.” The DOL also announced the formation of an Office of Compliance Initiatives to strengthen employer compliance assistance.
Fisher Phillips • July 23, 2018
On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued a Field Assistance Bulletin to its enforcement administrators addressing how to determine if and when a home health caregiver referred to a client by a “home care, nurse, or caregiver registr[y]” has an employer-employee relationship with a registry under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The bulletin explains that “[a] registry is an entity that typically matches people who need caregiving services with caregivers who provide the services, usually nurses, home health aides, personal care attendants, or home care workers with other titles. . . .” The bulletin further clarified that it will apply the “economic reality test” when making such determinations. Although the bulletin itself may have limited application, the factors set forth in the bulletin give insight into how the USDOL under President Trump’s administration may tackle independent contractor determinations moving forward.
Ogletree Deakins • July 20, 2018
A little-known but crucial position at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)—the director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)—was finally filled on July 9, 2018, by Arthur F. Rosenfeld, an experienced former member of the administration of President George W. Bush. The intention to appoint Rosenfeld was first announced over nine months ago.
Fisher Phillips • June 26, 2018
The Trump administration just announced an ambitious plan to overhaul the federal bureaucracy that would include the merging of the Department of Labor (USDOL) with the Department of Education. The 132-page proposal announced on June 21, titled “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century – Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations,” says that the merger would bring greater responsiveness, accountability, and efficiency, and would better meet the needs of American workers and students. But what impact would it have on the day-to-day dealings for employers and educational institutions?
Fisher Phillips • June 21, 2018
We are almost half way through 2018, and this year has been filled with fast and furious changes at USDOL. Proposed tip credit changes (Check, including a reaction from Congress and more tip credit changes on the horizon). Voluntary compliance programs (Check). Supreme Court cases that perhaps change the way we look at all FLSA exemption cases (Check). All of this, in less than six months of time. Well, I think you get the point. We will try to unpack these changes a little, and tell you what you might expect before trading in your 2018 calendar for the new year.
Fisher Phillips • May 10, 2018
The latest regulatory agenda shows four wage-hour items on the U.S. Labor Department's (USDOL) plate. In addition to revisiting the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) white-collar exemptions and tips-related regulations (as we discussed last year and last month, respectively), USDOL intends to publish proposed rules later this year on child labor restrictions and the regular rate.
Ogletree Deakins • April 16, 2018
On April 12, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced three new wage and hour opinion letters. The DOL only recently resumed issuing opinion letters on June 27, 2017, after having abandoned the practice several years prior.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 15, 2018
On April 12, 2018, the United States Department of Labor issued three opinion letters that provide guidance on how employees without “normal working hours” should be compensated for travel time involving an overnight stay, whether rest breaks provided as a reasonable accommodation are compensable, and what forms of lump-sum payments can be garnished for child support. In addition, the DOL issued a fact sheet detailing when teachers, coaches, and other professionals who work at higher education institutions should be paid overtime.
Ogletree Deakins • April 15, 2018
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issues guidance to employers and individuals through Opinion Letters, Ruling Letters, Administrator Interpretations, and Field Assistance Bulletins. An “Opinion Letter” is an official written opinion by WHD of how a particular law that WHD enforces applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee, or other entity requesting the opinion.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 12, 2018
Last month, the DOL announced the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (“PAID”), a self-auditing program designed to encourage employers to uncover and voluntarily report potential minimum wage and overtime violations and avoid the risk of penalties or liquidated damages that would be imposed if the Agency discovered the violations in the first instance. We initially discussed the PAID program here.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 13, 2018
The highly anticipated proposed budget released today by the White House included expected budget cuts for the U.S. Department of Labor. While cutting funds for the DOL, the proposed budget did not resurrect the previously raised possible merger of OFCCP and EEOC.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 03, 2018
Kate O’Scannlain was confirmed as the Solicitor of Labor for the U.S. Department of Labor by the Senate on December 21, 2017. O’Scannlain will serve as the Agency’s top lawyer, helping the Labor Department set the policy and enforcement agenda. Prior to her confirmation, O’Scannlain was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 10, 2017
The DOL’s much anticipated (or maligned depending on the audience) Fiduciary Rule expands the definition of what constitutes investment advice under ERISA and thereby increases the number and types of retirement plan service providers that are considered ERISA fiduciaries (see our prior coverage of the Fiduciary Rule here, here and here). It also imposes stringent compliance and disclosure requirements in order for those service providers to avoid breaching their ERISA fiduciary duties.
Fisher Phillips • June 30, 2017
TLDR: The U.S. Department of Labor will resume the practice of issuing wage-and-hour opinion letters. This is a big development for employers who are seeking authoritative guidance on their pay practices under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal wage-hour laws.
FordHarrison LLP • June 29, 2017
Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will return to the practice of issuing Opinion Letters in response to inquiries from businesses regarding federal wage and hour issues, a practice abandoned under the prior administration. The DOL has also taken affirmative steps to seek additional public comment on the overtime rules proposed last year, the legality of which is currently being challenged in federal court. Both developments should be welcome news to employers, as they signal that the Department will likely provide more guidance to businesses with respect to compliance under the FLSA and that it may be taking steps towards revising the proposed overtime rules.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 28, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced today that it is bringing back the WHD Opinion Letter.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 28, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it will reinstate the Department’s long-standing practice of issuing opinion letters to employers and employees regarding application of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 22, 2017
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued final regulations that change the claims and appeals procedures for disability benefits provided by ERISA plans. The final rules are substantially the same as the proposed rules the DOL had issued in November 2015 (which we covered in a prior alert). The requirements set forth in the final rules essentially mirror the requirements for non-grandfathered welfare plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, unlike the ACA’s enhanced claims procedures, these final rules amend ERISA’s claims regulations for all plans, and therefore apply to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered welfare plans, as well as retirement plans that offer disability benefits. According to the DOL, the rules are aimed at improving “basic procedural protections” for participants, and to foster transparency and accountability. Below is a summary of the major provisions of the final regulations.
Nexsen Pruet • June 14, 2017
The Trump campaign promised regulatory reform, and most experts expected the new administration would target some of the Department of Labor regulations, enforcement actions, and guidances under the Obama administration that impacted the employer and employee relationship. As predicted, under the leadership of new Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, the DOL is reviewing and revising the current regulatory regime.
Ogletree Deakins • June 11, 2017
For most employers, sponsoring a foreign national employee for an employment-based green card requires filing a Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In simple terms, an employer’s successful PERM labor certification demonstrates to the DOL that (1) the employer intends to pay the appropriate prevailing wage for the position in the geographical area, and (2) hiring a foreign national worker to fill the position will not adversely impact the U.S. labor market by displacing U.S. workers. Despite the seemingly intuitive nature of these two goals, the PERM labor certification process is anything but intuitive. In reality, the PERM process involves a set of technical, expensive, and highly time-consuming steps in combination with strict deadlines and complex strategies that extend over a period of typically six to eight months and, once approved, must remain effective well into the future.
Fisher Phillips • June 07, 2017
Administrator Interpretation No. 2016-1, entitled "Joint Employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act", about which we wrote last year, and
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 28, 2017
In some of his first public comments since taking office, Department of Labor Acting Solicitor Nicholas Geale has signaled a shift in policies, telling attendees at a Georgetown University Law Center event that his department will “listen to the regulated community a little more” from a position of a “little bit more humility.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 28, 2017
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will vote on whether to confirm R. Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary on March 30, 2017.
Fisher Phillips • March 27, 2017
U.S. Labor Secretary candidate Alexander Acosta's March 22 appearance before the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee produced some interesting interchanges having to do with matters relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal wage-hour provisions.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 23, 2017
The Senate Health, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on March 22, 2017, held confirmation hearings on the nomination of R. Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor.
Ogletree Deakins • March 23, 2017
On March 22, 2017, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee conducted Secretary of Labor nominee Alex Acosta’s confirmation hearing. Acosta was nominated on February 16 after President Trump’s first choice for Secretary of Labor—former restaurant CEO Andy Puzder—withdrew his nomination. If confirmed, Acosta will be the first Hispanic cabinet-level member of the new administration.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 17, 2017
In response to a February 3, 2017 memorandum by the President to the Secretary of Labor, on March 2, 2017, the DOL proposed to extend for 60 days the applicability date for final rules on the Best Interest Contract Exemption (the “BIC Exemption”), the Principal Transactions Exemption, certain other prohibited transaction exemptions, and the definition of who is a “fiduciary” under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.
Fisher Phillips • March 14, 2017
We wrote last December about our ongoing efforts to secure a copy of an undisclosed "policy" that various U.S. Department of Labor officials have referred to in insisting that an employer pay at least some amount in liquidated damages as a condition of resolving alleged federal Fair Labor Standards Act violations at the investigative level.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 09, 2017
The confirmation hearing for President Trump’s second Secretary of Labor nominee, Alex Acosta, has been set for March 15.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 01, 2017
In response to recent presidential directives, the U.S. Department of Labor is taking steps to delay the applicability and effective dates of two rules. First, the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has proposed to extend by 60 days the applicability date of the rule defining who is a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). EBSA is also soliciting comments on the issues raised in President Trump's February 3, 2017 memorandum on the fiduciary duty rule, which called for the agency to update its economic and legal analysis regarding the rule's impact. Second, the DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to push back the effective date of its rule regulating occupational exposure to beryllium.
Ogletree Deakins • February 16, 2017
Within less than 24 hours following the withdrawal of Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s first choice to fill the position of Secretary of Labor, the president announced at a press conference on Thursday, February 16 that his new choice for U.S. Secretary of Labor is Alexander Acosta of Miami, Florida.
Franczek Radelet P.C • February 16, 2017
Yesterday, President Trump’s then nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andy Puzder, withdrew his nomination ahead of his confirmation hearing given the increasing opposition to his nomination by both parties. Less than 24 hours later, President Trump announced Alexander Acosta as his new choice for Secretary of Labor. Mr. Acosta is currently the dean of Florida International University College of Law but has experience in both the public and private sector. Some of Mr. Acosta’s prior positions include being appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, his appointment to the role of Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and a high profile role as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. If confirmed, Mr. Acosta will be the first Hispanic member of President Trump’s cabinet.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 10, 2017
The confirmation hearing for Secretary of Labor-nominee Andrew Puzder before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee will take place on February 16, according to Politico.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 06, 2017
Scholarship football players in Division I FBS private sector colleges and universities are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin has concluded. Accordingly, he explained, the players have all of the rights and protections available to employees under the Act.
Fisher Phillips • February 03, 2017
The on-demand economy has certainly changed the way people provide and receive services. It may also be changing the way the government focuses its enforcement priorities.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 26, 2017
The confirmation hearing for Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has been rescheduled from February 2 to February 7. No reason has been announced.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 23, 2017
According to an announcement on the Department of Labor’s website, Edward Hugler is Acting Secretary of Labor.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump’s choice to head the Department of Labor, may ask that his nomination be withdrawn, according to reports in New York magazine and Politico, quoting a Republican source close to the Trump transition team. Puzder has disputed the story, tweeting on Monday “I am looking forward to my hearing,” which will take place on February 2. Puzder’s nomination has been roundly criticized by Democrats and labor unions.
Franczek Radelet P.C • January 10, 2017
Last week, outgoing Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez released a farewell “Memorandum to the American People.” It mostly reads as a recap of the DOL’s news releases over the past several years, touting various DOL initiatives and advocating for further changes, like increasing the minimum wage and mandating paid family leave. The memo must strike a bittersweet note for proponents of the current DOL’s direction. One can pretty safely infer that most of the progressive proposals discussed in the memo – other than perhaps some form of paid maternity leave – are going precisely nowhere under the incoming Trump administration. To the contrary, most observers expect the DOL to roll back many Obama-era changes under the leadership of Trump’s pick for labor secretary, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. If, that is, Congressional Republicans don’t beat them to the punch.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 05, 2017
The confirmation hearing for Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, has been postponed from January 12 to the week of January 16, according to a report in Politico. The hearing will take place before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The Committee is chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 30, 2016
According to a report in Politico, an aide to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R. Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, has revealed that the confirmation hearing for Andrew Puzder, President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Labor, will be held on January 12. Puzder is Chief Executive Officer of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 23, 2016
United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has announced that the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee, which he chairs, will hold a hearing on Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder’s nomination in January when the 115th Congress convenes.
Fisher Phillips • December 21, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has finalized a rule expanding nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements in apprenticeship programs registered with the USDOL or state apprenticeship agencies. Program sponsors face staggered implementation of the rule’s provisions beginning in just a few short weeks – on January 18, 2017 – so the time to come into compliance is now.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 13, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate Andrew Puzder, Chief Executive Officer of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, to head the U.S. Department of Labor.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 12, 2016
President-elect Trump has announced many Cabinet appointments and last week announced Andy Puzder, head of fast food brands Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., for Secretary of Labor. Several names were circulated in recent weeks as possible successors to outgoing Secretary Thomas Perez, including Vicki Lipnic, a current EEOC Commissioner. However, in recent days it became clearer that Puzder was the top choice.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 09, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has formally named Andy Puzder as his choice to be the next Secretary of Labor. Currently the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company to several fast-food chains, Puzder is a long-time advocate for job creation.
Ogletree Deakins • December 09, 2016
Today, President-elect Donald Trump announced Andrew Franklin (Andy) Puzder, 66, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, as his choice for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Fisher Phillips • December 09, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has announced that he would nominate Andrew Puzder to be the next Secretary of Labor. This Cabinet-level position heads the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), one of the federal agencies that has the widest and deepest impact on employers across the country. Assuming that Puzder’s selection is confirmed by the Senate, what should employers know about him in order to predict what life will be like under his tenure as part of the Trump administration?
Fisher Phillips • July 07, 2016
While most employers were preparing for the long holiday weekend, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced a series of civil penalty increases that will impact the nation’s employers in the very near future. On June 30, the USDOL announced that the vast majority of penalties associated with wage and hour, safety, and benefits compliance matters will soon increase, as will certain penalties associated with immigration matters.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 28, 2016
The changing nature of employment, including the move to more online-based commerce, has increased the number of on-demand or "gig" workers. Estimates vary as to the number of workers in the so-called gig economy, but most place this number in the millions. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Labor now seeks an official government record of these on-demand workers. This week, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced that the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in conjunction with the Census Bureau, will revive the Contingent Worker Supplement to the Current Population Survey in an attempt to capture a more accurate picture of the workforce.
Fisher Phillips • January 08, 2016
Apprenticeship programs will soon face expanded antidiscrimination obligations and additional affirmative action requirements under a proposed rule recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). If you sponsor such a program, the time is now to prepare for the inevitable changes to come your way in 2016.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 21, 2015
With the DOL's persuader rule nearing final publication, 90 trade associations representing millions of employers sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Friday asking that the rulemaking be returned to the DOL and consolidated with a separate proposal.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 14, 2015
Last week, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) forwarded long-delayed revisions to its “persuader rules” to the Office of Management and Budget – a key final step before the new rule takes effect. The DOL hopes to have the revisions finalized by March 2016. Employers, management-side consultants, and attorneys should prepare for significant changes when facing a union organizing campaign.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 09, 2015
After years in regulatory limbo, the Department of Labor’s final revisions to the so-called “persuader” rule have moved one step closer to publication. On December 7, the DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) submitted the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is the final step before the rule can be published in the Federal Register. Although the DOL’s regulatory agenda had estimated this rule would be published in March 2016, given the OMB’s traditional review timetable, the measure could be released even earlier in 2016. If the final rule resembles the proposal issued in 2011, it will have a significant impact on employers.
Ogletree Deakins • December 01, 2015
Approximately three months after the comment period closed on the proposal from the Obama administration and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to revise the Part 541 overtime regulations, the DOL issued its Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda that includes a statement on the timing for a final overtime rule. According to the regulatory agenda, the DOL expects to publish the final rule in July of 2016.
Ogletree Deakins • December 01, 2015
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) just-released Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda and Plan Statement contains several surprises for federal labor and employment rulemaking. Although the timetables are often aspirational and not met, the announced agency goals for regulatory actions nevertheless provide a clear indication of the priorities of the DOL and of other federal agencies.
Ogletree Deakins • September 24, 2015
In an interesting turn of events and what I’m sure will be gratifying for some employers, the Department of Labor has agreed to pay Gate Guard Services $1.5 million to settle claims involving the DOL’s overly aggressive and bad faith tactics in investigating whether Gate Guard’s gate attendants were improperly classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Fisher Phillips • August 03, 2015
Comments on the U.S. Labor Department's proposed changes in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions are, for the moment, still due on Friday, September 4, 2015.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 26, 2015
Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a variety of the administration's regulatory initiatives.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 02, 2015
The Obama Administration used the occasion of Memorial Day weekend to release its required Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The Agenda, which is not binding on the DOL, lists a number of items including two specifically related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One of them is the “white collar” overtime exemption rules that we have been telling you about recently. As we noted, these rules are expected in proposed form sometime in June. The other item is new to the Agenda: employee use of smartphones and other electronic devices after regular work hours.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 29, 2015
We’ve reached almost the end of April, and the long delayed, new FLSA regulations are still percolating somewhere in deep inside the DOL. So what has the agency been up to instead? Last month, as part of the annual “Sunshine Week” spotlighting the importance of open government, freedom of information, and the public’s right to know, the DOL took a rather odd view of government transparency: spotlighting enforcement against businesses.
Fisher Phillips • October 30, 2014
During a recent gathering of business executives, a representative from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division warned Texas employers that some of the state’s most active industries may be under increased scrutiny in 2015. The representative went on to say that during the DOL’s 2015 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the oil and gas services industry, such as those providing fracking services, as well as the construction and hospitality sectors will receive considerable attention.
Ogletree Deakins • October 10, 2014
On October 2, 2014, the Alabama Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or agreement to share information regarding independent contractor misclassification. In signing this MOU, Alabama joined several other states that have already entered into similar MOUs with the DOL, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Utah, and Washington.
Ogletree Deakins • July 01, 2014
When the White House goes from a Democratic president to a Republican president, or vice versa, there are often changes in various federal agencies’ directives to reflect the priorities of the current administration. These changes are often implemented by a federal agency using its power to interpret its own regulations. Regulations become more stringent in some areas and relaxed in others.
Ogletree Deakins • June 04, 2014
On Friday, May 23, 2014, the White House, through its executive branch and other federal agencies, issued the Spring 2014 edition of the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. Published twice a year, the agencies’ regulatory agendas provide an outlook on regulatory activity. They show the status of proposed rules and highlight which proposed and final rules are imminent. These regulatory plans also offer additional details about the most significant actions the agencies intend to take in the coming year and identify agency priorities.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 23, 2014
Although unlikely to be passed in its current form, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request to Congress allocates an additional $2 million of the Department of Labor’s requested $1.8 billion budget so that the Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) can hire additional personnel primarily to deal with a massive backlog of cases.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 10, 2014
As we have been reporting, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been considering new regulations that would significantly narrow the DOL’s interpretation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that has been in force since 1962. Dubbed the “persuader rules,” the regulations address Section 203 of the LMRDA, which, among other things, requires employers to file reports with the DOL when they hire consultants or contractors (including attorneys) to persuade employees on the issue of unions. First proposed back in June 2011, the Obama administration originally slipped a November 2013 release date for the final rule onto its Unified Agenda of upcoming regulatory and deregulatory actions.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 22, 2013
The last three days have brought a flurry of important developments for employers. On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit joined the D.C. Circuit (Noel Canning) and Third Circuit (New Vista Nursing) in overturning President Obama’s January 2012 recess appointments of Members Richard Griffin, Terrence Flynn (who has since resigned), and Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board. In NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Company Southeast, the Fourth Circuit largely agreed with its sister courts, concluding that “the term ‘the Recess,’ as used in the Recess Appointments Clause, refers to the legislative break that the Senate takes between its ‘Session[s].’ In other words, the term ‘the Recess’ means the intersession period of time between an adjournment sine die and the start of the Senate’s next session.” The D.C. Circuit’s Noel Canning decision is currently pending before the Supreme Court.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 30, 2013
In June 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new regulations that would significantly narrow the DOL’s interpretation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that has been in force since 1962. Dubbed the "persuader rules," the regulations address Section 203 of the LMRDA, which, among other things, requires employers to file reports with the DOL when they hire consultants or contractors (including attorneys) to persuade employees on the issue of unions. As we reported back in January, the latest report from the DOL to the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs stated that the DOL would take final action on the new rules in April. As May approaches, however, the DOL has not updated its target date, moved the publication process forward, or made any public statement about the new rules’ status.
Ogletree Deakins • January 24, 2013
After arriving at the Department of Labor, Hilda Solis famously proclaimed that there was a new sheriff in town. Hilda Solis, new sheriff at the U.S. Labor Department.
Fisher Phillips • August 08, 2012
A recent announcement from the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division highlights the risks that healthcare employers face when they do not properly compensate employees for overtime hours and do not maintain accurate records. In May, DOL announced that Extended Health Care, Inc. of Downey, California had agreed to pay more than $654,000 in back wages to 108 current and former registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses. The settlement culminated a multi-year DOL investigation that began in 2009. The company, which provides skilled nursing care to patients in their homes, also committed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the future.
Fisher Phillips • December 20, 2010
The U.S. Labor Department/American Bar Association lawyer-referral program we wrote about earlier is underway. This so-called "Bridge to Justice" is now described on the U.S. Wage and Hour Division's website.
Nexsen Pruet • September 20, 2010
Following a substantial increase in funding and a mandate to increase its enforcement activities, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is planning to audit hotels, motels, and resorts across the country beginning on October 1, 2010. Many of the hundreds of new DOL investigators will examine hospitality industry employers, which may include businesses located at an establishment and staffing companies that provide workers to the hospitality industry.
Fisher Phillips • June 04, 2010
As we previously reported, the U.S. Wage and Hour Division says that it will no longer provide substantive responses to fact-specific requests for interpretation submitted by employers or other individuals. At the recent DOL "Stakeholder Forum" in which Fisher & Phillips participated in Washington, D.C., officials indicated that this position includes requests that were pending at the time the new policy was announced.
Fisher Phillips • May 25, 2010
Fisher & Phillips participated last week in a Washington, D.C. "Stakeholder Forum" conducted by the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. A recurring theme during this session was the Division's focus upon industry- and sector-wide compliance initiatives under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Fisher Phillips • March 03, 2009
President Obama has selected Hilda L. Solis as his choice for Secretary of Labor. Solis has been a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the past seven years, representing a district just east of Los Angeles, California. While Solis's confirmation was delayed because of questions concerning her husband's business, she is widely expected to be confirmed by the Senate. Labor leaders throughout the country are ecstatic; business leaders, not so much. In this article we'll take a look at some of the more important aspects of her career.
Fisher Phillips • July 02, 2008
In May, the U.S. Labor Department rolled out its FirstStep Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notices elaws Advisor. This Advisor is another attempt by the DOL to help employers comply with some of the major federal labor and employment laws.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2008
After the DOL brought this action against Raceway for alleged FLSA violations, Raceway sought to compel production of statements given by its current and former employees to the DOL during the government’s investigation.