How Much Worse Off Must an Employee Be Post-Job Transfer to State a Title VII Claim?

Posted in Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation

In what may be considered a “win” for employees, the United States Supreme Court recently clarified that an employee challenging a job transfer as “discriminatory” need only prove that they sustained “some” harm due to the transfer, not “significant” harm, to assert a Title VII violation. Although the bar may appear to have been lowered, employers who remain agile in assessing the implications of a particular job transfer in advance may keep the employee from clearing this hurdle and getting to the finish line.

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Cool for the Summer: Workplace Safety in the Sizzling Summer Heat

Posted in Workplace Safety & OSHA

Last year was the hottest year on record and 2024 could be even warmer. Employers should be on high alert as we head into the hottest season of the year, summer. With heat already being the leading cause of death among all weather-related phenomena, employers across industries should be familiar with their obligations to keep employees safe from heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death in the workplace.

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Celebrating Working Moms: How Companies Can Support Mothers in the Workplace

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies

With Mother’s Day coming up on May 12, it is a great time for companies to review their workplace policies regarding working moms, and update or supplement them as needed.

Studies consistently show that women in the workplace double the talent pool, improve company performance, and lead to financial gains. However, despite these benefits, research also shows that women are five to eight times more likely than men to have their employment affected by caregiver responsibilities. And those effects are largest for women with children younger than five at home. These statistics highlight the need for continued attention to workplace policies that support working moms in the workplace.

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On the Basis of Sex… Discrimination in Group Health Plans and What Employers Should Know

Posted in Employee Benefits, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation

In just a few days’ time, recently promulgated federal final rules addressing sex-based nondiscrimination in the administration of health care benefits have created a flurry of healthcare industry activity. The angst arises from providers, payers, and certain health plans alike. While the spotlight shines brightest on healthcare providers and health insurers, the focus of this post is on employer group health plans and the evolving definition of sex discrimination.

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DOL Unveils Final Overtime Rule and It’s Even More of a Pain Than Anticipated

Posted in Wage & Hour

The U.S. Department of Labor’s long-awaited final “Overtime Rule” is here, and it brings drastic changes to requirements employers must follow for paying salaried employees exempt from overtime. Under the Final Rule, which takes effect July 1, 2024, earnings thresholds that determine workers’ exemption from federal overtime laws will see two big increases in the next eight months, making millions of workers newly eligible for overtime.

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The Era Of The Non-Compete Agreement Is Ending – Or Is it?

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Non-Compete & Trade Secret Litigation

The wait is over, but the fight is just beginning. Will U.S. employers need to break up with non-compete agreements forever? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted “yes” earlier this week in pushing through a Final Rule that broadly bans nearly all forms of non-compete agreements. But while the move represents the culmination of the Biden administration’s years-long effort to prohibit such agreements, this victory may be short-lived – or at least delayed – as legal challenges are already mounting.

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Curious About Your Newest Employee’s Social Media Presence? Too Bad, Because in New York, It Could Cost You!

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Privacy

In the era of Tiktok influencers and Instagram models, almost everyone has an online side hustle, and that highly qualified referral you just interviewed or bright new hire you just made might just be one of them! The same digital world that created social media celebrities has also made it easier than ever for employers to dig up information on employees and job seekers to find out who they are really hiring. But, before checking social media on current and prospective employees, employers need to be aware of New York’s new Social Media Access Law.

New York State Senate Bill 2518A/Assembly Bill 836 amends the New York Labor Law to add a new Section 201-I, which “prohibits an employer from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose any means for accessing an electronic personal account.”

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Pay Transparency and a Ban on Consideration of Employee Compensation History for Federal Contractors on the 15th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Litigation, Wage & Hour

This January marked the 15th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, providing a good moment for the federal government to propose new rules aimed at increasing gender pay equity in federal contracting and federal government employment. The new rules announced by the White House are expected to require covered government contractors to disclose expected salary or salary ranges in job postings and to prohibit those same contractors from using job applicants’ pay history to set employee compensation, akin to pay transparency legislation recently enacted in states such as Colorado and California.

In light of the President’s announcement, a federal government agency called the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued proposed rules regarding pay transparency and compensation history as part of the White House’s effort to “reduce pay secrecy, help workers negotiate, and reduce pay gaps.” If adopted, the proposed rules would generally apply only to applicants for positions that perform work on or in connection with any federal government contract exceeding $10,000. The public has until April 1, 2024 to comment on the proposed rules before the FAR is expected to announce final rules.

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Update: The DOL’s New Overtime Rule is Officially in the Pipeline

Posted in Wage & Hour

Following up on our previous blog post about the DOL’s Proposed Rule raising minimum salary thresholds for exempt workers, we are now getting closer to game time. The DOL recently submitted a proposed Final Rule through the administrative pipeline, bringing the rule one step closer to publication. In fact, employers can now expect a final version of the rule – and potentially a need to strategize about substantial adjustments to personnel and operations – as early as next month. However, the details of the proposed Final Rule, specifically the exact salary threshold dollar amounts for exempt employees, which is tied to current workforce data, will not be revealed to the public until the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register. And so we wait …(some more)!

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USCIS Launches New Organizational Accounts Platform to Facilitate the H-1B Lottery Registration Process

Posted in Immigration Planning & Compliance

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched its new organizational accounts platform which allows multiple individuals within an organization, as well as their legal representatives, to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations on behalf of qualified candidates for the upcoming H-1B lottery. It’s imperative that employers familiarize themselves with this platform to avoid any setbacks during the short H-1B registration window which opens at noon EST on March 6, 2024, and closes at noon EST on March 22, 2024. 

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