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DOL Issues Three Opinion Letters Regarding Employer Designation of FMLA Leave, Bonuses to Employee Volunteers, and Compensation of Residential Janitors

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.

Beltway Buzz, March 15, 2019

New Shimmer’s a Floor Wax and a Dessert Topping! The Buzz couldn’t help but think of this memorable Saturday Night Live bit this week upon the release of the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal on March 11, 2019.

Beltway Buzz, March 8, 2019

It was a busy week in Washington, D.C., marked by the resuscitation of two major employment policy debates from 2016. Here is your Beltway Buzz.

Is an EEOC Charge Really Required? Supreme Court to Weigh in Soon

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires plaintiffs with claims of employment discrimination to exhaust administrative remedies with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit in federal court. This means a plaintiff has to at least file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and give the EEOC some time to investigate before filing a suit in court. The question now at issue is if this filing is even necessary.

Beltway Buzz, February 22, 2019

The Presidents’ Day holiday (more on this below), a snow day for the federal government, and Congress being out of town resulted in a slow week on the labor and employment policy front. Nonetheless, here are a few things that we’ve been tracking this week.

Beltway Buzz, February 15, 2019

Joint-Employer Comment Docket Closes. As the Buzz mentioned previously, February 11, 2019, was the due date for submission of reply comments on the National Labor Relations Board’s proposed joint-employer rule. The next step will be promulgation of a final rule, perhaps by the fall of this year.

Beltway Buzz, February 8, 2019

Pearce Withdraws. The Buzz has written extensively about the end of former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Mark Gaston Pearce’s term in August 2018, his subsequent renomination just days letter, and the expiration of that renomination upon the adjournment of the 115th Congress. Well, it seems as though this ongoing saga may have finally reached an endpoint, as Bloomberg BNA reported earlier this week that Pearce had withdrawn his name from consideration for another term on the Board.

EEOC Releases Q&A Guidance on Continuing Effects of Government Shutdown

Many agencies are experiencing lingering effects after the longest-ever partial government shutdown, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Recognizing these effects will include delays and potential confusion, the EEOC has released a guidance document to help employers navigate some difficulties.

Beltway Buzz, February 1, 2019

Shutdown Fallout. Shortly after last week’s Buzz was issued, President Trump signed legislation to reopen the federal government after 35 days of a partial government shutdown. The short-term deal restores partial government funding until February 15, 2019 (which will arrive sooner than you may think). Reports are now coming out detailing the economic impacts of the partial government shutdown, but what will be the political ramifications? Bipartisanship was already at a low point prior to the shutdown, so the Buzz will be watching to see what impacts the shutdown will have on

Government Shutdown's Impact on Federal Contractors Far From Over

The record 35-day government shutdown may be over, but the after-effects remain significant for the employees directly impacted by it. While much of the media attention focused on the estimated 800,000 federal workers who were either furloughed or were working without pay, the number of federal contractor and subcontractor employees affected is even greater.