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Can Embracing March Madness Improve Employee Engagement?

XpertHR • March 18, 2018
The signs are upon us that spring is coming. The clocks have sprung forward, the trees and flowers are starting to bloom (in some parts of the country at least), and March Madness has arrived! It’s time for the sports frenzy dreaded by many employers, supervisors and HR professionals alike – the NCAA basketball tournaments that take place annually during March. But could employers actually win by embracing the madness and increasing employee engagement?

Recovering Alcoholic’s Claims Dismissed Because He Did Not Show He Was “Disabled”

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 18, 2018
A federal court in New York dismissed all claims asserted by a recovering alcoholic under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act for numerous reasons including that he did not show he was “disabled.” Johnson v. N.Y. State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Servs., No. 16-cv-9769 (S.D.N.Y. March 13, 2018).

Report: New Internal Oversight Division within USCIS to be Established

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 18, 2018
The Washington Post has reported that USCIS is establishing an internal oversight division. The new division’s purpose, in part, would be to monitor more closely officers who are too lenient in assessing applications for permanent residence and citizenship, including overlooking negative factors such as misdemeanors and the receipt of government benefits (e.g., food stamps). Employees of USCIS would be encouraged to report any such observed “misconduct” by other staff to the new office, which would report directly to Director Francis Cissna.

Labor Board Nominee Ring Approved By Senate Committee

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 18, 2018
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has confirmed Republican John Ring to the National Labor Relations Board by a 12-11 vote. The next step is a vote by the full Senate.

DOL to Roll Out Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program

Goldberg Segalla LLP • March 18, 2018
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program. PAID will be rolled out in April 2018 as a six-month pilot program to incentivize employers to address any wage and hour underpayments under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).

More Transparency at the OFCCP: New Protocol to Standardize Use of Predetermination Notices

Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
In a move toward greater transparency, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently issued Directive 2018-01 affecting the use of predetermination notices (PDNs) in discrimination cases. OFCCP uses PDN letters to inform contractors of preliminary findings of employment discrimination. PDNs give “contractors 15 additional calendar days to rebut OFCCP’s proposed findings that sufficient evidence exists of discrimination.”

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: A Pandora’s Box for Higher Education

Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has raised a number of potential issues for institutions of higher education. Due to this significant impact, institutions need to study the Tax Act and plan appropriately.

Beltway Buzz, March 16, 2018

Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
If, like the Buzz, your bracket is already busted, please take a break from the games and spend a few minutes reading about what happened in labor and employment policy in D.C. this week.

USDOL Self-Report PAID Program: Benefits TBD

Fisher Phillips • March 18, 2018
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced its Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) pilot program to mixed reactions. The PAID program is meant to provide a framework for employers to proactively resolve potential federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims. In a nutshell, an employer will be able to self-report potential violations to USDOL and attempt to resolve the issues efficiently and under the agency's "supervision," as outlined on its website.

The Gender Pay Equity Movement Goes International

Fisher Phillips • March 18, 2018
The national and international spotlight on pay equity is getting brighter by the day. By way of illustration, this post explores two laws that took effect on January 1, 2018, one in California and one in Iceland, and a wage equity ordinance in Philadelphia that is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds. These are just examples of the much larger trend at the local and state level in the United States, as demonstrated by the Fisher Phillips Pay Equity Map. This trend can be seen around the world as more countries introduce some form of pay equity measures. Overall, the major question that all companies should be thinking about is: does the salary reflect the job position, not the person who is filling the position?

Bed Time! Uber Announces Mandatory Rest Periods

Fisher Phillips • March 18, 2018
In a move met with near-universal praise, Uber recently announced it will now require drivers take at least six hours of time off for every 12 hours they spend driving. After announcing this decision last month, Uber rolled it out across the United States over the course of two weeks. The company already has mandatory rest times in the United Kingdom where drivers must take a six hour break after 10 hour shifts. Fellow ride-sharing company Lyft currently has a mandatory break period after 14 hours of driving. In fact, several local laws already mandate certain rest periods after a length of time driving in order to combat drowsy driving.

A Uniform Standard of Review in ERISA Benefit Denial Cases: The Fifth Circuit Overrules Itself to Fall in Line with Other Courts

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 18, 2018
With its en banc decision in Ariana v. Humana Health Plan of Texas,1 the Fifth Circuit reconsidered the standard of review in an ERISA denial of benefits case.

Ninth Circuit Creates More Uncertainty in 80/20 Rule for Tipped Workers

FordHarrison LLP • March 18, 2018
Executive Summary: On February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, 869 F.3d 1108, creating a new layer of uncertainty for hospitality employers. The previous decision by a three-judge panel on September 6, 2017, had rejected what is commonly called the “80/20 rule,” which states that hospitality employers may not reduce a tip-earning employee’s hourly pay below the minimum wage when that employee spends more than 20 percent of his or her workweek on non-tip-earning tasks. The case will now be reconsidered by a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit, with oral argument scheduled for the week of March 19, 2018. The grant of en banc review suggests an intention to reconsider the panel’s prior holding or analysis.

A New Push to Organize Graduate Students at Private Colleges and Universities? Four Major Unions Announce a Coalition on Higher Ed Organizing

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 18, 2018
On March 14, 2018, leaders from the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, and UNITE HERE announced a new coalition to organize graduate students at private universities. Each union will contribute money, political connections, and membership to support organizing efforts at private universities.

Washington Becomes 11th State to "Ban the Box" for Private Employers

XpertHR • March 18, 2018
Washington has become the 11th state with a "ban the box" law affecting private employers after Governor Jay Inslee signed the Fair Chance Act. Effective June 6, 2018, Washington employers may not ask about arrests or convictions - or receive information through a criminal background check - before a job applicant is deemed otherwise qualified for a position.

Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Guidance on New Equal Pay Law

Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
On March 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) issued detailed guidance on the amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), which are set to go into effect on July 1, 2018. The amendments, which were enacted in 2016, will overhaul MEPA, a law that has been in effect for over 70 years, and make it one of the strictest pay equity laws in the nation. Structured primarily in a question-and-answer format, the new guidance answers many of the important questions employers have been asking since the enactment of the amendments. This article will highlight some of the most significant issues addressed in the new guidance.

Colorado Supreme Court Attempts to Clarify Statute of Limitations Applicable to State Law Wage Claims

Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
On March 5, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed a longstanding question regarding the statute of limitations applicable to claims brought under the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA) by holding the Act’s statute of limitations reaches back only as far as three years preceding an employee’s termination of employment. The case, Hernandez v. Ray Domenico Farms, No. 17SA77, made its way to the supreme court when U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez sua sponte asked the supreme court to clarify two potentially conflicting sections in the CWCA: one establishing a statute of limitations for unpaid wage claims and another declaring all unpaid wages are due upon termination.
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Fisher Phillips | California | California Supreme Court Embraces Employee-Friendly Formula For Calculating OT Pay (March 05, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | FEHC Proposes Regulations to Implement California’s New “Ban the Box” and “New Parent Leave” Laws (March 04, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Your Comprehensive Guide to 2018 Proposed California Legislation (February 28, 2018)

FordHarrison LLP | California | California Supreme Court's Recent Overtime Ruling Likely to Cause Payroll Problems (March 07, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Court of Appeals Holds Labor Code § 558 Claims Are Indivisible Claims and Not Arbitrable (February 28, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Calculating Overtime Value of Flat-Sum Bonus Must Be Based on Actual Non-Overtime Hours Worked, California High Court Holds (March 11, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Pending California Legislation Alert! Recently Introduced Bill Seeks to Protect Medicinal Marijuana Users from Employment Discrimination in California (February 27, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | The Plot Thickens: Trump Administration Sues California Over New Immigration Laws, Including AB 450 (March 09, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Transportation Industry Waives Goodbye to Enforcement of Federal Arbitration Act Provisions in Employment Contracts (March 07, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | New York | New Guidance for the New York Paid Family Leave Payroll Deduction (March 07, 2018)