Employers can breathe a sigh of relief. The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) announced this week that it was removing a requirement that EEO-1 reports contain employee pay data. The now-defunct Obama-era requirement announced in 2016 would have required employers to disclose compensation information to the EEOC regarding all employees, including executives – which many employers consider to be highly confidential. The OMB also announced that it extended the EEO-1 reporting deadline from September 30 of this year to March 31, 2018. Continue Reading
Employers know that the salary rule for “white collar” exemptions from President Obama’s Department of Labor (“DOL”) was blocked by a federal court last year (we blogged about that here). (UPDATE: A Texas federal court invalided the rule on August 31, 2017.) That rule would have more than doubled the salary requirement for an overtime exemption. Now, President Trump’s DOL has formally announced that it will not pursue that rule. Instead, it is soliciting comments to draft its own rule.
Employers have an opportunity to weigh in on what, if any, changes should be made to the white collar exemptions. The DOL’s request for information suggests it is seriously considering making at least some changes to the exemptions. Continue Reading
The Washington Supreme Court case Brady v. Autozone recently addressed the standards that apply when a non-exempt employee alleges that an employer did not provide meal breaks. In short: it is now clear that if a lawsuit is brought, employers are likely to bear the burden to show that break laws have not been violated. Continue Reading
An employer who unfairly and inaccurately is slammed by a former employee (or maybe even a current employee!) on a job-posting or employer-rating website will often look to its lawyer for help. Surely the law protects against outrageous false statements that harm the employer’s ability to recruit new talent? Maybe not—and if there is, it isn’t easy. The websites that provide the platform for these posts are immune from liability under the federal Communications Decency Act, and most courts have put up substantial roadblocks to enforcement of a subpoena targeted at getting the names of the anonymous posters. But California now may be leading the way in bringing some sanity to this murky area of the law. Continue Reading
Oregon recently passed amendments to its statewide sick time law, clearing up several areas of uncertainty for employers. The amendments clarify that:
- Employers may cap employees’ annual accrual of sick leave at 40 hours. The pre-amendment version of the sick leave law stated that employees had the right to “earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year,” but also mandated that employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. At the “1 for 30” rate, full-time employees would reach the 40-hour limit well before the end of the year, leading to confusion about whether they were entitled to continue accruing sick time for the remainder of the year (which would, in effect, give them more than 40 hours of annual leave). The amendments, which expressly state that “[e]mployers may limit the number of hours of paid sick time that employees may accrue to 40 hours per year,” make clear that continued accrual beyond 40 hours is not a requirement. Once employees have accrued 40 hours, they are done for the year, even if there are several months left in which they will not accrue any time.
Oregon is poised to become the first state to enact a “secure scheduling” or “fair work week” law that will impose significant new employee scheduling requirements on certain categories of large employers. Senate Bill 828, which will set new scheduling standards for employers with 500 or more employees worldwide in the retail, hospitality, or food services industries, passed the Senate last week and just passed the House. It has now been sent to Governor Kate Brown, who has indicated she will sign the bill following a routine legal review. Continue Reading
Last week, representatives of the business community and employee groups completed negotiations to create a paid family and medical leave insurance program in Washington. Many details need to be worked out, the actual legislation has not yet been drafted, and the Washington Legislature has a number of other issues demanding its attention. Nonetheless, there are substantial prospects that this compromise program will be enacted during this legislative session. If so, the Employment Security Department would begin collecting premiums in 2019, and benefits would become available in 2020. Continue Reading
In light of the current administration’s approach to immigration enforcement, it is important that employers understand their legal rights and responsibilities when faced with potential raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) or local police acting in cooperation with ICE. Understandably, many employers will want to ensure not only that they are complying with the law, but also that they are looking out for their employees. Employers must be careful, however, not to provide too much assistance and cross the line between compassionate and criminal behavior. Continue Reading
“Equal pay for equal work.” Everyone – employees and employers alike – can agree that no workers should be paid less than others simply because of their gender, race, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic. But the reality of the pay gap is more complicated. Employers make salary decisions based on a number of business factors, like experience, education, and merit, as well as prior salary history. The Oregon Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which was unanimously approved by the legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown this week, will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about past salary history. Continue Reading
Although federal contractors were able to breathe a sigh of relief after the current administration put a stop to President Obama’s “Blacklisting” executive order, employers in the state of Washington must now comply with their own “blacklisting” law. On May 8, Washington state signed into law Senate Bill 5301 (“SB 5301”), which bans employers from competing for state and local contracts if they have “willfully” violated select wage statutes in the past three years. Employers with such violations are deemed not to be “responsible bidders” and are disqualified from obtaining public works projects. SB 5301 passed with bi-partisan support. Continue Reading