Two administrative agencies within the federal government have been busy lately publishing new rules that govern important aspects of employers’ relationships with their employees.  Read more below for further updates.

DOL Rolls Out Final Rule Increasing Minimum Salary For Exempt Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has rolled out its long-awaited update to the

Federal contractors and subcontractors must certify the status of their Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) by July 1, 2024.

Who Must Certify?

The certification requirement applies to all federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors (at any tier) that meet jurisdictional thresholds of 50 or more

Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) principles are becoming increasingly prominent tools for managing risk and creating value in the corporate world. ESG-focused decision making can define business priorities that support a company’s financial goals and long-term enterprise sustainability. ESG-focused leaders can help companies identify business risks and opportunities, then implement and maintain responsive, responsible, and measurable forward-looking business practices.

While the “E” and “G” in ESG have received much attention, the “S” factor is also significant for leading sustainable organizations. And employees, current and future, are important elements of the social aspect.

Identifying the business risks and opportunities within the social aspect of ESG includes looking at a company’s treatment of its employees (for example, education, advancement, compensation), its diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and practices, and its discrimination and harassment policies and practices. Businesses that rely on recruiting and retention of a human workforce face the risks of securing a strong team, maintaining it, and creating a pipeline of suitable workers. These same businesses can create opportunities to mitigate those risks with practices and policies that support a healthy workplace and prepare a pipeline of future employees. Continue Reading Employment Law in an ESG World: The Activision Blizzard Story

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Jennifer A. Abruzzo, issued guidance on March 22, 2023, about the NLRB’s McLaren Macomb, 372 NLRB No. 58, decision from February 21, 2023, which reinstated a limit on the confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement clauses that employers may include in severance agreements with most of their lower-level employees.[1]  While not law, the General Counsel’s guidance is intended to address the uncertainty among employers regarding what language is deemed acceptable to include in severance agreements and what language may create liability under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) following McLaren Macomb.[2]

The McLaren Macomb decision specifically held that employers may not condition severance on the employee’s waiver of rights protected by the NLRA and that agreements between employers and employees that restrict employees from engaging in activity protected by the NLRA or from filing unfair labor practice (ULP) charges with the NLRB, helping other employees in doing so, or assisting during the Agency’s investigatory process are unlawful. The NLRB observed that the employer’s offer is itself an attempt to deter employees from exercising their statutory rights, at a time when employees may feel they must give up their rights in order to get the benefits provided in the agreement. It also provided that the conduct of an employer is irrelevant to assessing the lawfulness of a severance agreement, and the plain language of the severance agreement alone can constitute a violation.  While the Maclaren Macomb decision has been described as a return to the standard applied in earlier cases, many speculate that it indicates that the NLRB intends to take a broader view of how severance agreements infringe on employees’ rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.Continue Reading NLRB Returns to Longstanding Position Limiting Use of Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure, and Non-Disparagement Clauses in Employee Severance Agreements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over much of the western United States (including Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho), ruled last week that an employee’s temporary impairment can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Ninth Circuit’s decision resolves an important

As Oregon’s April 2022 snowstorm becomes a distant memory, it’s time for some spring cleaning of employer leave policies. There are two recent changes that may require updates to your employee handbook. 

Oregon Paid Sick Leave—Expanded to Account for Evacuation Orders, Poor Air Quality, and Heat. 

BOLI recently adopted, effective April 1, 2022

Since August 2021, three of the five members of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) have been appointed by Democratic presidents, including two members appointed by President Biden. Earlier this year, the Democratic majority announced in Stericyle, Inc., 371 NLRB No. 48 (Jan. 6, 2022), that it was requesting briefing on whether

Today, the Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers, known as the Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), which we wrote about here.  The Court held that the federal agency that issued the ETS, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), has authority to regulate workplace safety issues, but not to regulate

In a decision released late in the day on Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted a stay against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) rule requiring employers with 100+ employees either to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and