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Blockchain Tokens as Compensation

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2018
Blockchain is a revolutionary technological tool in the way it tracks and stores data, decentralizes information, establishes trust in electronic files, and dispenses of intermediaries. This technology powers virtual currencies, also known as cryptocurrency or virtual tokens. Companies are raising money using “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) and using tokens to compensate and incentivize founders, directors, employees, and consultants. This raises legal questions as to how the tokens will be viewed and regulated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

American Medical Association Adopts Resolution to Promote Pay Equity

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2018
The healthcare industry is following other industries with an increased focus and growing sense of alarm over the gender pay gap.

Latest ICE Aggressive Enforcement Targets Northern Ohio Meat Processing Plants

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2018
On June 19, 2018, unannounced ICE raids resulted in the arrest of more than 140 workers at four meat processing plants in Ohio. ICE calls this its largest workplace raid in recent history.

Opioid Abuse in America: Can Your Employer Health Plan Be Part of the Solution?

Ogletree Deakins • June 21, 2018
There is an opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction crisis in this country, and it impacts many employees and their family members. A substantial percentage—perhaps as high as 40 percent based on recent reports—of opioid addicts are covered by employer group health plans.

Supreme Court Holds SEC ALJs Must Be Appointed by Agency Heads

Ogletree Deakins • June 21, 2018
On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission that the former practice of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of having its staff employees appoint administrative law judges (ALJs) violated the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

World Cup Fever in the Workplace: Leveraging the Event to Boost Employee Morale

Ogletree Deakins • June 21, 2018
The 2018 World Cup is now in full swing, and the frenzy that surrounds this event can create low productivity for businesses, with staff focused on watching games—or perhaps debating the pros and cons of the recently-introduced video assistant referee (VAR)—instead of working. During the 2010 World Cup, a study found that the United States lost $121 million in economic output; however, this is minimal in comparison to the United Kingdom’s (UK) estimated loss of £5.5 billion.

Serenity Now – Looking Back On USDOL's Actions Mid-Year, And A Sneak Peek At What Might Be Coming

Fisher Phillips • June 21, 2018
We are almost half way through 2018, and this year has been filled with fast and furious changes at USDOL. Proposed tip credit changes (Check, including a reaction from Congress and more tip credit changes on the horizon). Voluntary compliance programs (Check). Supreme Court cases that perhaps change the way we look at all FLSA exemption cases (Check). All of this, in less than six months of time. Well, I think you get the point. We will try to unpack these changes a little, and tell you what you might expect before trading in your 2018 calendar for the new year.

New Association Health Plan Rule Will Help Gig Economy Workers

Fisher Phillips • June 21, 2018
It’s a small step, but at least it’s progress. Federal regulators made it easier this week for gig workers to obtain health insurance on a more cost-effective basis, which should help to shore up the ranks of gig workers and make freelance work a more attractive option for a larger pool of talent.

Association Health Plans: How Do You Solve a Problem Like a MEWA?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 21, 2018
On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor issued its highly anticipated final rule expanding the availability of association health plans (“AHPs”). The core purpose of an AHP is to allow small employers to band together and obtain coverage in the large group insurance market, which generally imposes fewer coverage requirements. For example, unlike the small group insurance market, policies issued in the large group insurance market are not required to cover “essential health benefits.”

Dear Littler: How Do Employers Use Big Data, And What Are The Risks?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 21, 2018
Dear Littler: We are revamping our online job application. I asked our HR director if we should eliminate the question asking about an applicant’s hobbies. Not only does she think we should keep the question, but she says we need to gather more “big data” about our candidates. What the heck is “big data?” Are there any risks with relying on “extra” information about candidates?

Vague FTC Order Addressing Data Security Struck Down by Federal Appellate Court

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2018
In a significant ruling that calls into question the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) authority to regulate a private company’s data security program, a federal appellate court of appeals ruled that the agency’s cease and desist order directing implementation of a data security program should be vacated as unenforceable. LabMD, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 16-16270 (11th Cir. June 6, 2018).

EEOC Flexes Its Muscle on Anti-Harassment Litigation

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 21, 2018
In an unusual, coordinated litigation strategy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last week filed seven lawsuits alleging workplace harassment. The lawsuits – which followed a reconvening of an EEOC task force on harassment – suggest that the EEOC is seeking to capitalize on the momentum of the #MeToo movement by emphasizing harassment enforcement actions. The lawsuits also underscore the potential consequences of allowing harassment in the workplace to go unaddressed.

Santa Monica to Implement New Minimum Wage Law

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2018
It’s summertime in the City of Santa Monica and with sunny days and cool ocean breezes also comes an increase in the minimum wage commencing on July 1, 2018. Each year on July 1, Santa Monica employers must comply with the City’s minimum wage law, which was enacted in 2016 and currently runs through 2021. On July 1, 2018, Santa Monica’s new minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees; to $13.25 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and $16.10 per hour for hotel workers.

Nevada Employer Pays $3.5 Million To Settle “100-Percent Healed” Claim

Fisher Phillips • June 21, 2018
Slots chain employer Dotty’s recently agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle litigation alleging its “100-percent-healed” policy discriminates against disabled workers. The June 5 settlement and consent decree entered in the federal court case of EEOC v. Nevada Restaurant Services Inc. is just the most recent victory in the EEOC’s campaign to target employer “maximum-leave” and “100-percent-healed” policies.

Robots, Automation and A.I., Oh My – California Proposes to Establish “Commission on the Future of Work”

Fisher Phillips • June 21, 2018
The “future of work” is the topic du jour these days for pundits, academics, policy makers, employers and unions alike. Numerous conferences, white papers, academic studies, and media investigations have all explored this subject in recent years – the U.S. Department of Labor even held a symposium in 2016 on “the future of work.” Whether these concerns - what all of this technological advancement means for employment - are hype or reality remains to be seen. It appears certain that rapid technological advancements are transforming the workplace and the economy in innumerable ways.

The District of Columbia Eliminates the "Tip Credit"

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 21, 2018
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, residents of the District Columbia voted to approve Initiative 77, which will incrementally phase out the “tip credit” that many employers use as an offset towards their minimum wage obligations to employees who also earn tips in connection with their work. Presently, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $12.50 per hour.1 However, establishments like restaurants, where tipping is common, only have to pay tipped employees $3.33 per hour2—provided that the employees’ direct wages and total tips add up to $12.50 an hour by the end of the week. If the food service worker does not earn enough in tips to reach the $12.50 per hour threshold, then the restaurant owner has to make up the difference. Initiative 77 ends this practice.
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