Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act

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Senate Bill 485 and House Bill 1230, identical bills entitled “Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act,” are currently before Congress. The House majority leader has indicated that the House Bill may be considered within the next week.

These bills seek to overturn the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., 557 U.S. 167, 129 S.Ct. 2343 (2009), which held that for plaintiffs to prevail in age discrimination cases,

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NLRB Approves Greater Confidentiality in Workplace Investigations and Email Restrictions

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Excerpted from the National Labor Relations Board website:

Investigations

In a decision issued today, December 17, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board held that work rules requiring confidentiality during the course of workplace investigations are presumptively lawful. The case, Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store, 368 NLRB No. 144 (2019), overturns a 2015 decision— Banner Estrella Medical Center, 362 NLRB 1108 (2015), enf. denied on other grounds 851 F.3d 35 (D.C.

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New Overtime Rule Effective January 1, 2020

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On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor announced its final updates to the “white collar” overtime exemption rules. These new rules go into effect on January 1, 2020. These rules affect, among others, administrative, executive, and professional employees who may be exempt from overtime payments if certain conditions are met. The updates to the exemption conditions include:

  • Raising the standard salary condition from $455 per week to $684 per week ($35,568.00 per year for full time workers);

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Change to Idaho Wage & Hour Law May Increase Worker Claims

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Idaho’s workers will soon have more time to file their wage and hour claims against their employers. House Bill 113 was signed into law by the Governor on March 18, 2019, and goes into effect on July 1, 2019. According to the bill’s statement of purpose, “The Idaho Department of Labor currently has 916 open claims. Approximately 70 percent of these open claims are for partial unpaid wages or additional wages owed. The Department receives an average of six new claims each day.

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Supreme Court to Decide if Title VII Protects LGBTQ Communities

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On Monday, April 22, 2019, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases regarding whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects the LGBTQ communities from discrimination based on sex.

The Act does not specifically mention sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status, but many appellate courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have read the prohibition against “sex” as covering these groups of people. Other appellate courts have insisted that the prohibition does not apply to these groups.

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Background Checks: Update Your FCRA Summary of Consumer Rights

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On May 24, 2018,  President Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act into law.  Among other things, the Act requires credit reporting agencies to provide a free “national security freeze” to consumers to protect from identity theft.

Now, if the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires businesses to issue a Summary of Consumer Rights or a Consumer Identity Theft Rights notice, it must contain language advising the recipient of their security freeze rights. 

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U.S. Department of Labor Updated FMLA Forms (Finally)

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The Department of Labor has now updated its FMLA forms that expired, by their own terms, on May 31, 2018.  Because it was late, the DoL extended the viability of the old forms through June 2018 and then through August 2018.  Apart from the new expiration date on the forms, there does not appear to be any substantive change to the forms, which begs the question:  Why did it take so long?  In any event,

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

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Yesterday, May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court finally resolved a split among the federal circuit courts regarding whether the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) prohibits businesses from requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that waive their right to engage in a class action against their employer.  Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (No. 16–285).

At issue were two federal laws that appear to conflict with one another.

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Federal Court Invalidates DoL’s Proposed Overtime Rule

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In November 2016, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction against the imposition of the Department of Labor’s effort to change the white collar exemptions to overtime rules. The rule would have effectively doubled the salary requirement to maintain an exemption: from $455 per week to $913 per week.

The DoL appealed the injunction, but on August 31, 2017, it lost its appeal on summary judgment. Further, and more importantly,

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New I-9 Form: Deadline September 18, 2017

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has issued a new form I-9 for all employers.  Companies may begin using the new form now, but must begin using the new form by September 18, 2017.  All collection and retention rules for existing I-9 forms remain in effect.  A few changes were made to the list of acceptable documents in List C, and a few form instructions were revised.  

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