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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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13 Dec 2016 Ohio Lawmakers Consider Banning Cities From Raising Minimum Wages

  Be it New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or other municipalities, it is fairly common for large cities to have higher minimum wages than the states in which they are located. These cities have a more expensive standard of living than smaller municipalities in their states. They also likely are more politically liberal than less urban areas in their states and are more likely to favor pro-employee policies. But in Ohio, state legislators are considering a bill that would prevent Ohio cities from raising…

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12 Dec 2016 Add Cleveland to The Mix: Cities and States Increasing the Employment Law Battlegrounds – With Video

  Earlier this fall, I reported in this video how the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance.  Cleveland has likewise enacted a minimum wage that exceeds state or federal requirements, the subject of a pending 2017 special election, and there is a bill pending in the Ohio General Assembly to strike down Cleveland’s law. A quick search of BT Currents shows the increasing level of municipal employment law activity. This trend seems likely to only continue, as we enter an era likely…

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12 Dec 2016 Litigation Battle Over Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance

  As explained in an earlier blog, Minneapolis passed a controversial paid sick leave ordinance in the spring. The ordinance affects all private employers with one or more employees working at least 80 hours in a calendar year in Minneapolis – which equates to 1.5 hours per week.   In response, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce commenced litigation in Hennepin County District Court, seeking injunctive relief to halt the ordinance, which is to become effective July 1, 2017. On Dec. 8, the court did not…

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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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08 Dec 2016 OSHA Contemplates Workplace Violence Standard for Healthcare, Social Assistance Workers

  On Dec. 7, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Request for Information (RFI) as to whether a standard should be developed to address workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. The RFI specifically seeks information on issues that might be considered in developing a standard, including its scope and the types of controls that might be required.   In issuing this RFI, OSHA explained that workplace violence in the healthcare and service assistance industries is substantially higher than in all…

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01 Dec 2016 California Approves Strongest Standard for Prevention of Violence Against Health Workers

  On Oct. 21, after close to two years of work, regulators within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) approved a standard that should reduce workplace violence against healthcare workers by requiring hospitals and other employers of health professionals to develop violence prevention protocols in conjunction with the healthcare workers. Workers in healthcare and social assistance were involved in 52 percent of workplace violence incidents in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and rates of workplace violence incidents increased…

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29 Nov 2016 The World According to Trump: Trump’s Potential Impact on OSHA

  As we have noted in a number of different blog posts since the election, there are a variety of ways that the new Trump administration could affect many different areas related to labor and employment law. In this post, we are going to look into our crystal ball to give you our best prediction regarding some of the ways we anticipate President-Elect Trump will change the course of current and pending Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as the administration of…

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23 Nov 2016 EEOC Issues New Guidelines on National Origin Discrimination

  Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidelines on national origin discrimination. These extensive guidelines, which update those issued in 2002, define what constitutes national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and provide more than 30 examples as well as “promising practices” that can help employers avoid such discrimination. Title VII is wide-reaching, applying to employers with 15 or more full- or part-time employees.   The new guidelines offer the following definition of national origin discrimination:…

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22 Nov 2016 December 1 Overtime Rule Blocked Texas Court GRANTS 21-State Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction

  At the eleventh hour, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the East District of Texas ruled in favor of 21 states and issued a nationwide injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and its efforts to radically expand the coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, per the order issued in State of Nevada v. United States Department of Labor on Nov. 22:   “… the [DOL’s] Final Rule described at 81 Fed. Reg. 32,391 is hereby enjoined. Specifically, Defendants are…

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21 Nov 2016 Using an Employee’s Social Media Posts to Prove Laziness? Think Again

  Is it permissible for an employer who is subject to an unpaid overtime claim to request an employee’s social media postings over a three-year period? The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida found such requests to be overly broad, unduly burdensome and unreasonable.   A sales representative sued her employer for uncompensated off-the-clock work. During discovery, the employer, Orange Lake Country Club, requested the following information from the employee:   All online profiles, postings, messages (including, without limitation, tweets, replies, retweets,…

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