While the focus in the Bluegrass state over the past couple of weeks has been on horses and bourbon, a lobbying group for older Americans — the AARP — has asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C. to rule that the EEOC’s new guidelines for employee wellness programs are illogical and arbitrary. According to the AARP, the guidelines allow companies to violate workers’ medical privacy rights. The AARP filed its summary judgment motion on Friday, April 28. The lawsuit was initially filed in October 2016. Wellness programs, of course, include programs where an employer provides incentives for workers to quit smoking, lose weight or undergo preventative health screenings, among other things. Workers who participate in such programs are usually asked by employers to provide certain confidential medical information.
At a job interview, a candidate is often asked: “What’s your current or most recent salary?” Usually, this question is feared. After all, a low figure could limit the candidate’s starting pay, but a high number could make the candidate seem expensive. Now, in a growing number of states and cities, the question is off limits, as employers face legislation that bars them from asking job candidates about their salary history or benefits.
Proponents of the new legislation argue that banning the salary question is necessary to ensure pay equity for women. The argument is that by basing future salaries on previous wages, employers have been perpetuating the earnings divide. In other words, because employers have historically relied heavily on salary history, the gender pay gap has Continue reading
By Glen Krebs
On April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. On April 4, 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced plans to protect U.S. workers from H1B program discrimination by providing greater transparency and oversight. These announcements have caused companies which regularly use H-1B workers to be concerned about their workforce in coming years.
The companies mostly affected by this policy change will be outsourcing firms – companies which hire H-1B workers and then place them at the worksite of other companies. Many of the outsourcing firms are headquartered Continue reading
President Trump released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 earlier this month. The proposal, which is entitled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” purports to “put the needs of its own people first” by prioritizing national security and public safety. To account for increases in these areas, the budget acknowledges that many “Government agencies and departments will …. experience cuts …. to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending[.]”
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) is no exception to President Trump’s proposed cuts. The America First Budget requests a total of $9.6 billion for the DOL, which equates to a 21 percent decrease from fiscal year 2017. In particular, the budget seeks to Continue reading
On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court finally resolved the issue of Lafe Solomon’s role as Acting General Counsel of the NLRB in National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc. In an opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court held that Solomon’s position as Acting General Counsel violated The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (“FVRA”) once he was nominated by then President Obama for the permanent position. Generally, Article II of the U.S. Constitution requires the President to obtain Senate approval to appoint “Officers of the United States,” but the FVRA allows the President to appoint a limited class of individuals to serve as acting officers on a temporary basis until a replacement can be confirmed by the Senate. Pursuant to the FVRA, certain individuals who are nominated for a permanent position may not serve as an acting officer.
In June 2010, a vacancy arose in the general counsel position for the NLRB. Then President Obama appointed Solomon to serve as Acting General Counsel on a temporary basis, and several months later, nominated him to serve as the General Counsel. Solomon’s temporary position did not require Senate confirmation, but the permanent position did. However, the Senate refused to act on Solomon’s nomination, and Obama was forced to Continue reading
Last week, the Sixth Circuit denied a request by several collective bargaining organizations to rehear a challenge to Hardin County, Kentucky’s “right to work” ordinance. The union challengers, including the ALF-CIO, argued that the county ordinance was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). More specifically, they claimed that Hardin County’s ordinance was preempted by the NLRA, which only permits “State or Territorial” laws prohibiting security agreements between employers and unions. The County, on the other hand, took the position that its ordinance was valid because it was a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The lower court found in favor of the union plaintiffs and struck down the ordinance.
Hardin County appealed to the Sixth Circuit, and a three-judge panel reversed the lower court’s ruling, finding that “State or Territorial” laws include ordinances passed by Continue reading
Last Friday, January 6, 2017, Wyatt reported that Kentucky was poised to join 26 other states that have enacted right-to-work laws, as Kentucky’s new GOP House majority passed HB1. Over the weekend, HB1 was approved by the GOP Senate majority, and on Monday, January 9, 2017, Governor Matt Bevin signed HB1 into law. The new right-to-work law, which takes effect immediately, is available here.