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Federal Agencies Scale Back Their Workplace Regulatory Ambitions

During the prior administration, congressional gridlock prevented many significant labor and employment bills from advancing. Federal agencies picked up the slack, issuing several rules to help carry out much of President Obama's workplace agenda. The latest Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which lists agency regulatory priorities f

OFCCP Reminds Contractors to Display EEO Posters

On July 14, 2017, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) reminded all contractors and employers covered by the agency’s nondiscrimination and EEO laws of their posting obligations. According to the OFCCP’s email and website, contractors must prominently post the “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster on their premises. The notice must be displayed in a location “where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment.” The poster provides information on the nondiscrimination and EEO laws and also covers the procedures for filing complaints of violations with the OFCCP.

11 New Federal Court Appointees Named, Confirmations Critical for Labor and Employment Policy

On July 13, 2017, President Donald Trump announced the nomination of 11 new judicial appointments to federal courts throughout 5 states—Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The nominees include a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins’ Raleigh, North Carolina office, Thomas A. Farr. The judicial appointments should be confirmed quickly by simple majority vote.

An Update on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

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.

Department of Labor Plans to Revive Opinion Letters

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced it plans to return to issuing opinion letters in response to employers' questions, a practice it had stopped in 2010 under the Obama administration. The action allows the DOL's Wage and Hour Division, which administers the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other statutes, to again use opinion letters to provide guidance to covered employers and employees.

"On Second Thought, Maybe I Will Give You My Opinion": USDOL To Reinstate Opinion-Letter Process

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.

Dhillon Nominated to Replace Lipnic as EEOC Chair

On June 28, 2017, the White House announced that President Trump had selected Janet L. Dhillon to be chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Dhillon, who is currently the general counsel of a national retailer, will be nominated to serve a term on the Commission that will expire on July 1, 2022.

DOL's Revival of Opinion Letters and Request for Input on Overtime Rules Welcome News for Employers

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.

eLABORate: Employers Welcome the Return of DOL Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters by its Wage and Hour Division. The announcement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is a welcome development for employers, who had previously relied on these interpretive opinions in deciphering and complying with the oftentimes confusing requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

Opinion Letters Are Back!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced today that it is bringing back the WHD Opinion Letter.