HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

Department of Labor Refuses to Let the Clock Run Out on the Persuader Rule…How about Overtime?

Posted in Labor Relations, NLRB

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Labor filed a notice of appeal of District Judge Sam R. Cummings’ November order that blocked the Department of Labor’s controversial “persuader rule.” The rule, discussed by HRLegalist when it was announced in March 2016, required employers to disclose their agreements with outside consultants hired to discourage employees from unionizing, was met with staunch opposition from both law firms and businesses. In particular, attorneys decried the perceived infringement on their attorney-client privilege while employers argued that the rule dissuaded them from consulting with counsel. Continue Reading

Now is the Time for Employers to Update Harassment Prevention Procedures and Get in Compliance with New EEOC Guidelines

Posted in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Workplace Policies

On January 10, 2017, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it is seeking public input on proposed “Enforcement Guidance” designed to address harassment in the workplace. The proposed Enforcement Guidance is available here for public comment until February 9, 2017. Continue Reading

The Gig Economy: Employee or Independent Contractor?

Posted in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The gig economy is a domain where companies hire workers for specific projects or “gigs.” Generally these workers retain control over the manner and the means of performing their work and are classified as independent contractors. Currently, the gig economy is booming, as Time Magazine’s recent survey estimated that it includes over 14 million people. Gig economy companies benefit because they need significantly less capital and avoid payments of employee taxes and benefits (e.g. paid sick days, health insurance, and retirement benefits). Gig economy workers benefit in a gig economy due to flexible work schedules, control over the work, and a lack of oversight. Continue Reading

NLRB SETS ASIDE UNION ELECTION ON TECHNICAL VIOLATION OF QUICKIE ELECTION RULE

Posted in NLRB

As our readers may recall, last year HRLegalist previously reported how the National Labor Relation Board’s (“Board”) quickie election rules would impact an employer’s ability to counter a union’s organizing efforts by expediting the election process and effectively limit the employer’s ability to raise pre-election challenges to protect the rights of their employees.  We also pointed out that the new rules imposed technical obligations on employers that could prove to be potential minefields if not strictly followed.  Earlier this month, the Board emphasized that point in confirming that an employer’s “technical” failure to send a copy of a voter list to a union warranted setting aside an election that the union had lost by an overwhelming margin, even though the union had timely received a copy of the same voter list from the Board’s regional office that was conducting the election.  Continue Reading

Department of Justice’s Holiday Treat: A New Final Rule for Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Immigration, IRCA

As the saying goes, “No news is good news,” and HRLegalist is happy to report today that the final rule introduced this week by the Department of Justice, just in time for the holidays, introduces no new requirements for employers, which is about as good a gift as we can expect from the federal government! We report on the final rule simply as a reminder to our readers that now would be a good time to review your I-9 employment authorization policies. Continue Reading

New Year Brings Marginal Increase to Minimum Wage in New Jersey

Posted in Minimum Wage, New Jersey Law

NJOn January 1, 2017, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase from $8.38 to $8.44 per hour.  This six-cent increase is the first rise in minimum wage in New Jersey since January 2015.  This news comes shortly after Governor Chris Christie vetoed a Democratic-backed bill that would have increased the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2021.  As discussed by HR Legalist in August, Governor Christie vetoed the bill following concerns within the business community over increased supply and labor costs, potential price increases or layoffs, and pressure on businesses to leave New Jersey. Continue Reading

Say “So Long” to Salary History Inquiries: Philadelphia Set to Become the First City to Ban Employers from Asking Job Applicants about Prior Earnings

Posted in Uncategorized, Wage & Hour, Wage Equity Ordinance

For over fifty years, federal legislation has prohibited wage discrimination based on gender. Specifically, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires equal pay for equal work performed by men and women working in the same establishment. Despite the federal protections for pay equity, there remains an obvious wage gap between men and women. Although women make up nearly half of the work force, a 2015 study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. Continue Reading

DHS Announces Immigration Benefits Just Weeks Before Trump is Inaugurated

Posted in Immigration

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a final rule related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs.  The rule is set to go into effect on January 17, 2017, just days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as President.  The final rule is intended to conform regulations with long standing DHS practice and the statutory provisions of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, or AC21, which introduced a number of measures intended to better enable U.S. employers to employ and retain high skilled foreign workers who are beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant visa petitions.  It remains to be seen if Mr. Trump will push to eliminate these measures and/or fundamentally change the current employment immigration system that is currently in place. Continue Reading

Season’s Greetings: Three Recent Wage and Hour Developments that Employers can be Thankful For

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates

Overview

With leaves falling, temperatures dropping, and Thanksgiving less than a day away, Americans are rapidly gearing up for the 2016 Holiday Season—the magical time between Black Friday and New Year’s when retailers kick into high gear, homes and storefronts are decorated to the nines, radio playlists take on a different tune, and we all eat with impunity. This year’s holiday season also marks a time for reflection and prediction, as legal commentators (and just about everyone else) contemplate the many changes the incoming presidential administration might bring. Continue Reading