Archives: Employment

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DOL Proposes to Expand Overtime Protection

The Department of Labor has proposed a rule (available here) that would significantly increase the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the FLSA’s so-called “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The finalized rule is expected to take effect in 2016. The current salary threshold, set in 2004, is $455 per week … Continue Reading

Vodafone Announces Progressive Global Maternity Policy, Touching on Two Hot Topics in Employee Benefits

By Helena Milner-Smith, Kamakshi Venkataramanan and Jenna Wallace Vodafone announced recently a new progressive and generous mandatory minimum global maternity policy.  According to the company, under the new policy, to be in effect by the end of this year, female employees of Vodafone in 30 countries will be offered two maternity benefits: (1) at least 16 … Continue Reading

Update on Final Rule for the Family Medical Leave Act

On March 26, 2015—just one day before the Final Rule for the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) was to take effect—a federal court in Texas blocked the Final Rule’s application to the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska, pending a full determination of the issue on the merits in Texas v. United States. The … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Makes New Rule in Analyzing Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Supreme Court held on March 25, 2015 in Young v. UPS that a plaintiff alleging pregnancy discrimination based upon the denial of an accommodation may proceed under the familiar McDonnell Douglas framework generally applied to Title VII discrimination claims. The Court’s decision, which resulted in a remand to the Fourth Circuit, surprised many observers … Continue Reading

SEC Order May Prompt Employers to Review Employee Confidentiality Obligations

By Richard Shea and Barbara Hoffman These days, many employment agreements, severance agreements, releases, plan documents, SPDs, and other compensation and benefits arrangements impose confidentiality requirements on employees, both current and former. Yesterday the SEC issued its first order addressing how employee confidentiality obligations can be phrased consistent with the agency’s regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading

FMLA Protections for Same-Sex Spouses

Under a Final Rule recently adopted by the Department of Labor (“DOL”), legally married same-sex couples will be included in the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and will be eligible to use FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of whether their marriage would be … Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Enforce Noncompete in California Despite Choice of Law Provision

In a recent Delaware Chancery Court case, the court declined to grant a preliminary injunction to enforce a noncompetition covenant against a California resident and former employee, finding the covenant would be unenforceable under California law, despite an explicit choice of law provision in the relevant contract designating Delaware law as the governing law of … Continue Reading

NLRB Continues to Limit Employers’ Actions Governing Employees’ Use of Social Media

We previously noted that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) takes the position that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) protects employees’ use of social media for certain purposes, and these protections apply regardless of whether the employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  Our colleagues at InsidePrivacy recently posted a blog post discussing … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Guidance on Pregnancy Benefits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new enforcement guidance explaining when an employer’s policies affecting pregnant employees might violate federal law.  The new guidance appears in an updated chapter of the EEOC’s enforcement manual, and in a related set of questions and answers.  Among other topics, the new guidance addresses the rights of pregnant … Continue Reading

Permanent Labor Market Shift Signals Job Insecurity and Diminished Wages and Benefits, Economists Warn

Reflecting on the labor market on this Labor Day, we note that many economists are predicting that, unlike prior recessions, employment and wages will not bounce back after the current economic downturn that began in 2008.  Employers will retain significant bargaining power in US and overseas labor markets, likely leading to diminishing job security and … Continue Reading

Individual Arbitration Agreements Held to Preclude Class Actions under FLSA

In two closely watched cases, the Second Circuit has ruled that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does not preclude the waiver of class action claims (known technically as “collective actions” under the FLSA). In decisions issued on August 9th and 12th, the Second Circuit reversed lower court rulings that had refused to enforce individual … Continue Reading

DOL Moves Forward with Disability Hiring Rules for Government Contractors

On July 31st, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) of the Department of Labor submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a final rule revising federal regulations regarding affirmative action for individuals with disabilities by covered federal contractors and subcontractors. If adopted, the regulations would mark the first time the federal … Continue Reading

Social Media and Other Policies Struck Down By NLRB Even for Non-Union Employees

Many employers have been surprised by recent rulings that two common employment policies run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  These rulings apply to policies covering all non-management employees, including employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  Based on a legitimate interest in preserving proprietary business information, confidentiality, and privacy, … Continue Reading
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