HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

Overtime Update: DOL Signals Changes to the FLSA and White Collar Exemptions may be Coming Soon

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Wage & Hour

For the past few years, HR legalist has been following the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, which would have roughly doubled the salary threshold under which employees are guaranteed overtime pay, and made millions of additional employees eligible for time-and-a-half overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.  Last fall, that rule was blocked by a federal court in Texas just weeks before it was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016.  In the final months of the Obama administration, the DOL filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to reinstate the rule.  During the past few weeks, the DOL, under new Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, revealed that it plans to propose a new rule in the future. Continue Reading

Deadline Looms for Haitians as DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status

Posted in I-9, Immigration

A recent announcement by Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, carries an important message for employers concerned with I-9 Compliance.  On May 24, 2017, Mr. Kelly extended Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for six months, through January 22, 2018.   The deadline for current beneficiaries to re-register for Haiti’s TPS designation is July 24, 2017. If a Haitian TPS beneficiary timely re-registers and properly files an application for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), his or her employment authorization will be automatically extended for an additional period of up to 180 days from the date the current EAD expires, i.e., January 22, 2018.   HR Legalist takes this opportunity to remind employers to stay on top of their I-9 compliance practices and make sure they are re-verifying their workers’ employment eligibility.  While Haitian TPS beneficiaries may be relatively few, over 300,000 foreign nationals from thirteen countries are currently in the United States in TPS, and many of these persons have EADs that must be renewed, and their I-9 forms reverified. Continue Reading

Preparing for New York Paid Family Leave: Fast Facts and Best Practices for Empire State Employers

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act, Paid Sick Leave, Parental Leave


While the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not require paid family and medical leave, New York’s incoming Paid Family Leave Program (“PFL”) will guarantee paid leave for nearly all private sector employees, joining programs in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Continue Reading

Coming Soon to Your State? Laws Banning Inquiries into Applicant Salary History Gaining Steam

Posted in Wage Equity Ordinance

As reported by HRLegalist earlier this year, Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously approved a pay equity bill making Philadelphia the first city in the nation to adopt comprehensive “wage-gap” legislation.  Under the Wage Equity Law, Philadelphia employers and employment agencies are prohibited from making any inquiry into a job applicant’s wage history during any stage of the employment process. The Wage Equity Law seeks to ferret out discrimination and address historic pay disparities among men, women and minorities. Continue Reading

Secretary of Labor Withdraws Previous Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, Wage & Hour

In a Department of Labor news release yesterday, new U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of two Obama-era Administrator Interpretations, effectively rolling back the scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its application to joint employment and independent contractors.  These two interpretations, issued by the former Administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) in July of 2015 and January of 2016, were not legally binding.  However, both publications sent a message to the employer community that the DOL and WHD would take a broad view of the applicability of the FLSA to companies that characterize their workers as independent contractors or share employees with other organizations. Continue Reading

ERISA Religious Exemption Expanded: SCOTUS Says Church Affiliation is Enough

Posted in ERISA


In a sigh of relief for faith-based healthcare providers, on Monday, June 5th, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a decision authored by Justice Elena Kagan, that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s religious exemption provision covers all benefit plans maintained by religious group affiliates, even if the plan is not established by the religious group itself. Continue Reading

Restoring the Power of Persuasion – The DOL Takes Another Step Toward Ending the Persuader Rule

Posted in Labor Relations, NLRB

The Department of Labor (“DOL” or “Department”) has continued its efforts towards eliminating the “Persuader Rule,” a controversial Obama-era regulation which requires employers to report arrangements made with third parties for the purpose of influencing employees in matters of collective bargaining, union organizing, and other union-related activity. The Persuader Rule broadened the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act’s (LMRDA) “advice exemption” requiring employers to disclose “persuader activities” undertaken by third party consultants. Continue Reading

Is Distress Over Your Assigned Gender a Disability?

Posted in LGBTQ Employees, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

District Court Narrowly Construes the ADA to Allow a Transgender Employee to Pursue Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Pennsylvania District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson recently ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (“ADA”) provision excluding “gender identity disorders” from ADA coverage should be construed narrowly, and held that a transgender employee’s disability discrimination and retaliation claims arising from gender dysphoria are actionable under the ADA. Specifically, Judge Leeson ruled that the ADA’s “gender identity disorder” exclusion applies only to the “non-disabling condition” of an inability to identify with an assigned gender, but that certain “disabling conditions” (e.g. gender dysphoria) that may affect individuals with gender identity disorders are disabilities under the ADA. Continue Reading

Freelance Isn’t Free: New York City Reins in Independent Contractors, One Work Provider at a Time

Posted in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, General Labor and Employment News and Updates


New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act (or FIFA, for short) is not just an attention-grabbing name, but game-changing legislation that has imposed unprecedented regulations on the Five Borough “gig economy.” Continue Reading

How Diversity Drives Business Success

Posted in Diversity

Business Team Professional Occupation Workplace Concept

At Obermayer, we understand that a diverse workforce is essential to success in today’s marketplace.  We are pleased to announce an important and timely panel discussion and networking event: How Diversity Drives Business Success. We have an impressive panel of business and thought leaders on the value of diversity for business growth.

Please join us. There is no registration fee but we do ask that you register as space is limited. Click here for more details and to register.