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6 Open Enrollment Tips to Get Your Employees Ready

XpertHR • September 23, 2019
It’s that time of year again! As summer fades and fall begins to emerge, many HR and benefits professionals have one thing on their minds: open enrollment season. It can be a confusing and hectic time for both employers and employees.

NLRB Chairman Refuses Lawmakers’ Request for Ethics Documents

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 23, 2019
National Labor Relations Board Chairman John Ring has again informed Democratic leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor that the Agency will not release documents they requested related to NLRB members’ recusals from Board cases.

COBRA Notice Litigation Resulting in Big Dollar Claims

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 23, 2019
Can you imagine something as simple as a COBRA Notice missing a few technical requirements resulting in an employer needing to pay a 6 or 7-digit damages award? That is happening in Florida. Employers in and out of Florida should pay attention to this news, as what doesn’t start in California often starts in Florida.

Grad Students Cannot Unionize Under Proposed NLRB Rule

Fisher Phillips • September 23, 2019
The National Labor Relations Board took the latest step in the long-simmering debate over whether college teaching and research assistants could unionize when it released a proposed rule on Friday that would once again block such efforts. Declaring that university students should not qualify as employees under federal labor law, the Board took the first step to reverse a 2016 ruling by the Obama-era NLRB that opened the door for certain graduate and undergraduate students to form unions. The proposed rule still has a way to go before it is finalized and adopted, but you will want to familiarize yourself with this development to the extent it may soon upend the current state of the law and your campus practices.

The Gig Economy is a Champion of Diversity

Fisher Phillips • September 23, 2019
While the gig economy often gets derided by worker advocates for being unfair to its workers, one aspect of the nature of gig work is often overlooked: it helps boost diversity to an almost unparalleled degree. The nature of the gig business is somewhat ruthless in that it cuts through a lot of bureaucratic red tape and aims directly and specifically to ensure that consumers get exactly what they are looking for: a specific skill to get the job done. Which means that, according to an op-ed in the Stamford Advocate, it creates a “truly level playing field irrespective of location, gender, age, or background.”

Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog Worrying Challenges in Performing Embedded or Plant Shutdown Work.

Fisher Phillips • September 23, 2019
After 35 years of practice, certain issues keep me awake at night. One concern is about contractors working onsite or embedded in a working plant or other facility. Examples include year-round or shutdown work at power plants, pulp and paper mills, refineries, and other complex operations. These types of operations pose difficult issues involving locking out and eliminating a wide variety of hazards, such as evaluating Confined Spaces or Permit Required Confined Spaces (PRCS), and anticipating site-specific industrial hygiene, fall-protection, and electrical hazards. Plant maintenance crews have my respect because it’s amazing that anyone, even with superpowers, could keep track of the miles of piping and electrical cables, and the everchanging physical plant and production processes.

NLRB Issues Proposed Rule to Clarify Status of Private University and College Students Working in Connection with Their Studies

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 23, 2019
On September 20, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) issued a proposed rule that would exclude from the National Labor Relations Act (Act) undergraduate and graduate students at private colleges and universities who perform services in connection with their studies. Under the proposal, these students would no longer be able to join or form a labor union or engage in collective bargaining.

Department of Labor Affirms that FMLA Runs Concurrently with Paid Leave

FordHarrison LLP • September 23, 2019
On September 10, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Opinion Letter, FMLA2019-3-A, reinforcing the DOL’s position set out in an earlier opinion letter that “an employer is prohibited from delaying the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave as FMLA leave.” WHD Opinion Letter FMLA2019-1-A, 2019 WL 1514982 (Mar. 14, 2019). The September letter reiterates that an employer may not delay designating paid leave as FMLA leave, even if the delay complies with a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and the employee prefers that the FMLA designation be delayed.

Like EEO-1 Component 2, California Pay Data Reporting Stalls

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 23, 2019
With the future of the EEOC’s pay data collection efforts unclear, California’s effort to legislate its own race- and sex-based pay data reporting requirements likewise has stalled, for now.

The Fisher Phillips Guide to Pending Employment Bills

Fisher Phillips • September 23, 2019
It’s been a long legislative year. And this being Governor Newsom’s first term in office, many observers have been anxiously awaiting to see what approach he takes when it comes to labor and employment legislation. Now all of the flurry of activity is behind us and hundreds of bills now sit his desk for either a signature or a veto.

Maine Significantly Expands Employment Laws

XpertHR • September 23, 2019
While Maine may be best known for its lobster, coastline and numerous lighthouses, it was a host of employment law changes that placed a spotlight on the state last week.

California AB 5’s Author and the Governor Attempt to Clarify Law’s Scope

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 23, 2019
On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a bill that will dramatically alter whether, and under what circumstances, businesses may classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Two recent developments may help clarify this expansive bill’s application and scope.
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