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Workplace Law Discussed During Final Presidential Debate

Workplace law was once again a topic of discussion during last night’s third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While not covered as extensively as during the first debate on September 26, there were several points during the evening where issues were raised that should be of interest to employers.

2017 Social Security Taxable Wage Base Substantially Increased, Benefit COLA and Related Figures Also Up

The Social Security Administration has issued inflation-adjusted figures for 2017, including the Social Security taxable wage base, the earnings tests for retirees who return to work, the quarter of coverage requirement for Social Security benefits, and the cost of living adjustment for Social Security benefits. Employers should update their payroll systems with these new figures for accurate 2017 withholding.

6 Ways HR Can Help Domestic Violence Victims

Unfortunately, we live in a society in which domestic violence allegations surface all too often. Claims against Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp along with incidents involving professional athletes, including Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Jose Reyes, have thrust domestic violence even into the spotlight.

A New Primer on Voting Leave Requirements: Are You Ready for the Elections?

The U.S. general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016. In this election, voters will determine the next president of the United States, and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs. In addition, 12 states will hold elections for governor, 44 states will hold elections for state legislators, and many other state and local municipality races will determine ballot measures and elect officers such as attorneys general and mayors. Voter participation is as yet uncertain, but given the volatility of the election season to date, voter participation in these elections may be higher than expected. If so, employers may receive more requests for voting leave than they have in prior years. The following overview of state voting leave laws will arm employers with a basic knowledge of voting leave rights and prepare them for a potential onslaught of leave requests.

EEOC's New Strategic Enforcement Plan Takes Aim at Gig Economy, Other Emerging Workforce Issues

On October 17, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for fiscal years 2017–2021, setting out its priorities and strategies for the near term.1 The SEP builds on a prior plan issued in December 2012, which guided EEOC activity for the past four years.2 In the new SEP, the EEOC reaffirms its commitment to six overarching substantive priorities, while also focusing on several specific, burgeoning areas of law.

Four Practical Tips For K-12 Title IX Compliance

Administrators at K-12 school districts around the country have enormous responsibilities, with Title IX compliance high up on their list. While all administrators are concerned with doing the right thing by their students, almost without exception they have exceptionally limited resources with which to operate.

Littler’s Marko Mrkonich Testifies at EEOC Meeting on Implications of Big Data in Employment

On October 13, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission empaneled a group of Big Data experts, including Littler Shareholder Marko Mrkonich, to discuss the use of data analytics in hiring, performance management, retention and other employment decisions. All on the panel agreed that Big Data is already being used in employment, and its use and its scope are expected to continue to expand. Much of the discussion between the Commissioners and the panelists centered on how the use of data analytics may interact with equal employment opportunity laws and whether algorithm-based human resources decisions may ultimately improve fairness and efficiency and minimize bias.

For Its 2016-2017 Term, Supreme Court Takes A Cautious Approach, With Few Blockbuster Labor and Employment Cases

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court began its first full term since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the central advocate for the Court’s conservative bloc. Since Justice Scalia’s death this past February, the Court has remained in a sort of an ideological limbo, and the Senate will not consider President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland, before the November presidential elections. With only eight members for the final few months of its prior term, the Court split 4-4 on several major decisions, including two labor and employment decisions.

Restoring Decades-Old Precedent, the DOL Blows the Whistle on Fordham's "Fundamental Error"

On Friday, September 30, 2016, U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued its highly anticipated decision in Palmer v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, ARB No. 16-035 (2016), correcting its much-criticized decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061 (2014). In Fordham, the ARB held that, when analyzing whistleblower claims under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, commonly known as “AIR-21” framework, a fact-finder may not consider an employer’s evidence when determining whether the employee’s alleged protected activity was a contributing factor in the challenged adverse employment action. As predicted when Fordham was issued,1 this was particularly problematic for employers.

New Studies Provide Insight into the On-Demand Economy

Seems you can’t swing a cat without hitting a new study aimed at better understanding the gig economy and gig workers. Just within the past couple of weeks, two important studies were released that provide in-depth data about types of gig workers and what motivates them.
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