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New ACA Guidance Permits Employer-Initiated Measurement Period Changes

Ogletree Deakins • November 26, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidance addressing how to determine full-time status when an employee’s measurement period changes. The guidance, IRS Notice 2014-49, introduces a proposed method for applying the look-back measurement period in two scenarios. The first one involves a transfer of employment within the same applicable large employer (ALE) between two positions with different look-back measurement periods. In the second scenario, the employer changes the applicable look-back measurement period for an entire employee classification group. The final regulations previously released addressed movement from a look-back measurement period method to the monthly measurement method (and vice versa), but did not clarify how to apply the look-back measurement period methodology in either of these two cases.

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst: OSHA Enforcement Looms Over Black Friday

Ogletree Deakins • November 26, 2014
“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving and considered by many to be the start of the holiday shopping season. In recent times, the term “Black Friday” has been associated with the concept that retailers’ shift from operating at a loss (or in the “red”) to operating with a profit (in the “black”). The term, however, originated in the 1960s to describe the increased traffic and crowds caused by the combination of shoppers and football fans descending on Philadelphia to attend the annual Army-Navy football game that was traditionally played on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Court Enforces Five-Year Noncompete Agreement in Connection With Sale of Business

Ogletree Deakins • November 26, 2014
Employers drafting and seeking to enforce noncompete agreements struggle with structuring the temporal and geographic scope of the proposed noncompete covenant. The Texas Supreme Court has wrestled over the last few years to define the boundaries of when noncompete covenants can be enforced against employees. A recent decision by the federal court sitting in San Antonio reminds employers that the law provides more latitude in structuring and enforcing noncompete agreements in the context of the sale of a business.

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part III: Five Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

Ogletree Deakins • November 26, 2014
It’s that time of year once again! Retailers are gearing up for the holidays and hiring seasonal workers in droves. Unfortunately, the flurry of activity and the common misperception that seasonal workers have a different employment status because they are “temporary” workers can often result in employers cutting corners when it comes to onboarding. To ensure that you have a happy holiday season, keep in mind the following important tips on hiring seasonal workers.

EEOC promises guidance on wellness programs in February

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • November 26, 2014
Good news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced in its 2015 regulatory agenda that it will be issuing proposed regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act on wellness programs. The proposed regs are expected in February.

A few workplace-related things we can be thankful for

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • November 26, 2014
From a labor and employment law standpoint, I’m not sure we have a lot to be thankful for this year. But ’tis the season, so here are a paltry few:

Happy Thanksgiving from my Lovable FMLA Abuser, Albuquerque Turkey

Franczek Radelet P.C • November 26, 2014
There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and I continue to be humbled by your support of this crazy, little FMLA blog. I am entirely grateful for your willingness to read and ponder my continued FMLA ramblings.

Australia: What Employers with Australian Operations Should Know about Extension of Australia's Employment Laws Outside its Exclusive Economic Zone

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 26, 2014
At one time or another, many companies with international operations may look to transfer employees between the company’s offices. There are many reasons why companies do so.

Amended Minimum Wage Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Franczek Radelet P.C • November 26, 2014
Last week, the Senate Executive Committee recommended for adoption an amendment to Senate Bill 68, Senator Kimberly Lightford’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in Illinois. The amended bill could receive a vote from the full Senate as early as Tuesday, December 2.

California eAuthority (November 2014)

Ogletree Deakins • November 25, 2014
Who Decides the Issue of Class Arbitration? Ninth Circuit Dismisses Worker’s “‘Sweeping Conclusory Allegations’ of Unequal Treatment”; California Court Overturns Employee’s Jury Verdict in Reverse Discrimination Case; California’s New Sick Leave Landscape—Your Paid Leave Questions Answered; From the Blog: FAAAA Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Requirements.

Legislation That Makes Minimum Manning for Firefighters a Mandatory Subject of Bargaining Awaits Governor’s Signature

Franczek Radelet P.C • November 25, 2014
Last week, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 5485, and the bill now awaits action by Governor Quinn. If signed by Governor Quinn, the bill would immediately go into effect and amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (“Act”) to make minimum manning a mandatory subject of bargaining for fire departments with unionized firefighters. Minimum manning will remain a permissive subject of bargaining for police departments.

Retailers Can Avoid Holiday Headaches in New England by Complying With Holiday Pay Laws

Ogletree Deakins • November 25, 2014
In addition to the restrictions on opening in certain New England states, retailers with stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island should also be aware of their obligation to pay their employees holiday pay (i.e., one-and-one-half of their regular rate) for working on state holidays (as well as on Sundays). These premium pay requirements are some of the last vestiges of the New England “blue laws” that regulate commercial activity on “days of rest.” Although these laws have roots stemming back hundreds of years, they are still vigorously enforced today.
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