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OFCCP Looking to Hire for Ombudsperson

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 20, 2019
As OFCCP heads into 2019, with an official Director in place, the Agency is looking towards implement many of its new Directives released in the second half of 2018. Back in September, we discussed OFCCP Directive 2018-09: OFCCP Ombud Service, one of the number of policy changes OFCCP hoped to develop to increase a sense of transparency and impartiality between it and government contractors. On December 21, OFCCP took the first step in following through on this plan by posting an opening for the Ombud position.

Report: Union Representation Numbers Remain Low

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 20, 2019
Once again, the percentage of private sector union-represented workers fell – to 6.4% in 2018, from 6.5% in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

OSHA Penalties Increasing Once the Government Reopens

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 20, 2019
While much of the rest of the government is shutdown, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) is hard at work. OSHA which is an agency within DOL is one of the few agencies that is fully funded and operational. On January 15th, OSHA issued a pre-published version of its Federal Register notice for the increase in civil penalties for violations of OSHA standards and regulations to adjust for inflation.

5 Workplace Diversity Mistakes Your Organization May be Making

XpertHR • January 20, 2019
“You’ve come a long way baby”

Minimum Wage Hike Proposed: How Likely Is A Bump In Pay?

Fisher Phillips • January 20, 2019
Some lawmakers have plans to raise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.55 later this year, then step it up to $15.00 per hour by 2024, and subsequently increase it annually in relation to statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If this sounds familiar, it should, but we expect some more traction this time around.

Beltway Buzz, January 18, 2019

Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2019
“Snurlough.” Today is day 28 of the partial government shutdown. A bigger-than-expected snowstorm that hit the D.C. region this past weekend led to a Monday in which the federal government was both closed and (partially) shut down—a “Snurlough.” As the Buzz has reported in the last few weeks, there is no end in sight for the longest government shutdown in history. Indeed, earlier this week, an effort to reopen the government pursuant to a fast-track legislative process in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to garner the necessary votes.

It’s Official: OIRA Has Received Proposed Part 541 Overtime Regulations

Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) officially sent its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Part 541 regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The OIRA website states that it received the Part 541 NPRM on January 16, 2019, and that the proposal is “economically significant.” At this juncture, it is not known what the Part 541 NPRM contains or how long OIRA will take to review the proposed rule before it can be returned to the DOL for publication in the Federal Register.

Judges Block Trump Administration's Attempt to Limit Contraceptive Coverage

XpertHR • January 20, 2019
A pair of federal judges have blocked the Trump administration's new rules that would have made it easier for employers to refuse to offer birth control coverage for moral or religious reasons.

Labor Board Makes It Harder For Employees To Claim Their Complaints Are Protected

Fisher Phillips • January 20, 2019
In a 3-1 ruling that should be hailed by employers across the country, the National Labor Relations Board just made it harder for employees to successfully claim that their workplace gripes constitute protected concerted activity. The January 11 decision (Alstate Maintenance, LLC) reverses a 2011 Obama-era decision that was widely derided as tilting the playing field too far in favor of employees. Under that precedent, essentially any employee complaint made to management in the presence of coworkers was sufficient to qualify as protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under Alstate Maintenance, however, the NLRB has returned to the more stringent standard whereby only those complaints that seek to initiate group action, or that involve truly “group” complaints, will be considered protected concerted activity.

California Enforces Arbitration Agreement with Staffing Agency in Favor of Worksite Employer

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 20, 2019
An employer successfully compelled arbitration under an arbitration agreement that the plaintiff-workers had with their staffing agency, even though the staffing agency was not a defendant in the lawsuit.

Michigan Governor Furthers LGBT Protections in State Contracts and Bans State Agencies From Asking for Salary History

Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2019
Hitting the ground running, Michigan’s new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has imposed new requirements in the employment arena—but only for executive branch state employees and some contractors and grant and loan recipients. This could be a sign of things to come for employers everywhere in Michigan, or at least a sign of building momentum within the state government.

New York Passes Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression

XpertHR • January 20, 2019
New York's legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and also categorize criminal offenses involving gender identity or expression as hate crimes subject to enhanced penalties.
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