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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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17 Aug 2017 Seventh Circuit Says EEOC May Press on With Enforcement Efforts After Right-to-Sue

  In a matter of first impression for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (which covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana), the Court considered whether the EEOC’s authority terminates upon its issuance of a “right to sue” letter or the dismissal of a subsequent lawsuit on the merits. The Court’s decision in EEOC v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., arose out of the EEOC’s efforts to enforce a subpoena in a matter in which a “right to sue” letter had been issued (after the…

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26 May 2017 Second Circuit Takes Second Look at Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

  The issue of whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is in the hot seat once again, this time being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as part of an en banc rehearing granted in Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. d/b/a Skydive Long Island. The grant of the rehearing, to include all active judges and those senior judges involved in the original appeal, comes after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New…

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14 Apr 2017 New Law Opens Door for Public Disclosure of Employer Wage Law Violations

  A new Colorado bill signed into law on April 13 and made effective immediately has opened the door for an employer’s violations of wage laws to be subject to open records requests made to the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Labor and Standards and Statistics. While the department historically has collected and had access to an employer’s premises, books, records and payroll information, the division was unable to release the information if it might reveal a trade secret. The Wage Theft Transparency…

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01 Mar 2017 EEOC Subpoena Rejected by Tenth Circuit

  In its opinion issued in EEOC v. TriCore Reference Labs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit offered hope to employers within that Circuit facing overly broad information requests and/or subpoenas from the EEOC. Specifically, the Tenth Circuit upheld the denial of the EEOC’s effort to enforce such a subpoena, weighing in on the boundaries placed on the EEOC’s administrative subpoena powers.   By way of background: In this matter, as part of its investigation into a single charge of sex/pregnancy discrimination…

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09 Dec 2016 Fifth Circuit Agrees to Expedite Appeal on Overtime Rule Injunction

  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has announced the briefing schedule in the overtime rule appeal being closely watched by both employers and employees alike. In November, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime regulations that would have increased the salary threshold underlying the executive, administrative and professional exemptions. This injunction was issued just days before the Dec. 1 effective…

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28 Oct 2016 Cook County, Illinois, Approves Increased Minimum Wage for Suburban Workers Beginning Next Year

  Employees making minimum wage in suburban Cook County, Illinois, can look forward to a jump in their wage rate in the years ahead, under an ordinance passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners earlier this week.   Under the tiered increase set forth in the ordinance, the minimum wage will increase according to the following schedule:   An initial increase to $10 an hour effective July 1, 2017 $11 an hour in July 2018 $12 an hour in July 2019 $13 an hour…

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16 Sep 2016 Oklahoma and U.S. DOL Agree to Tag-Team Worker Misclassification Initiatives

  As the effort to stamp-out worker misclassification under the Fair Labor Standards Act continues to run strong, Oklahoma is the latest state to join the U.S. Department of Labor’s Misclassification Initiative. Specifically, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission entered into a three-year Common Interest Agreement with the U.S. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, under which the agencies agree to share data, exchange information, and coordinate investigations and other enforcement actions within Oklahoma. As part of this collaboration each agency will be responsible for designating a…

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03 Aug 2016 Massachusetts Mandates Pay Equity

  Earlier this week, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act to Establish Pay Equity,” which will go into effect July 1, 2018, and mandates:   No employer shall discriminate in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wages, or pay any person in its employ a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work; provided, however, that variations in wages shall not be prohibited if based upon:…

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24 Jun 2016 EEOC Provides Additional Guidance on Employer Wellness Program Notice

In a recent press release, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered supplemental resources to assist employers in complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notice requirements associated with their use of employee wellness programs and collection of employee health information as part of the same. Specifically, the EEOC directs employers to its Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs and a Q&A discussion relating to such sample and required notice. These resources address how to comply with the employer’s obligations to inform employees what…

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22 Jun 2016 Washington, D.C., Minimum Wage on the Rise

In recent minimum wage activity, lawmakers in D.C. have approved a plan to hike the hourly minimum wage for workers by 2020. The current hourly minimum wage of $10.50/hour (which is scheduled to rise to $11.50 by July 1, 2016, pursuant to earlier legislation) is slated to jump via a series of annual increases thereafter to $15.00/hour by July 1, 2020. Tipped employees’ minimum wage is proposed to progress from the current hourly rate of $2.77 to $5.00 over the same time frame. The bill,…

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