On September 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California legislation—Senate Bill (SB) 206—that would permit college student athletes to benefit financially (for example, from endorsement deals) from their names, images, and likenesses while still in school. Governor Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) sponsored, with much fanfare, alongside a high-profile professional basketball player and several former college student athletes. The new law is scheduled to take effect in January 2023.
The Supreme Court of the United States kicked off its 2019-2010 term on October 7, 2019, with several noteworthy cases on its docket. This term, some of the issues before the Court will likely have great historical significance for the LGBTQ community. Among these controversies are whether the prohibition against discrimination because of sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination because of sexual orientation. In addition, the Court is slated to consider Title VII’s protections of transgender individuals, if any. Here’s a rundown of the employment law related cases that Supreme Court watchers can expect this term.
The new overtime rule, which the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on September 24, 2019, was published in the Federal Register on Friday, September 27, 2019.
On August 30, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 778 into law, thereby giving employers more time to comply with the state’s sexual harassment training requirement.
On September 11, 2019, the California Assembly passed a bill codifying last year’s Supreme Court of California decision establishing a new test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.
Currently, certain employers are required under federal law to file annual Employer Information Reports (EEO-1) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These EEO-1s must contain data regarding demographics of the employer’s workforce. Accordingly, employers covered by federal EEO-1 reporting requirements were required to file EEO-1 Component 1 data from 2018 by May 31, 2019, and must still submit Component 2 EEO-1 (pay and hours worked) data for their workforces by September 30, 2019. Not to be outdone, the State of California is poised to impose a similar requirement on employers.
On August 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it issued three new opinion letters. The letters cover issues related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
California is expanding state benefits available to workers who lose wages while taking time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. On June 27, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s 2019-20 state budget, which included an expansion of the state’s family temporary disability insurance program administered through the Employment Development Department (EDD). The benefit program is commonly referred to as “paid family leave” or PFL.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California recently ruled in an employment class action regarding misclassification of trucking industry owner-operators as independent contractors. The ruling is a win for numerous industries.
On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the precondition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requiring employees to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before commencing an action in court is not jurisdictional. Rather, the charge-filing requirement is a “nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule,” Justice Ginsburg wrote in a unanimous opinion. “[A] rule may be mandatory without being jurisdictional, and Title VII’s charge-filing requirement fits that bill,” the Court ruled.
As we previously reported, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect two years of EEO-1 Component 2 pay data including 2018 and pay data from either 2017 or 2019.
On April 29, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a notice that the EEO-1 pay data collection is being reinstated immediately. According to the EEOC’s website, employers covered by EEO-1 reporting requirements must submit 2018 Component 2 EEO-1 (pay and hours worked) data for their workforces by September 30, 2019.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
On April 25, 2019, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled that employers covered by EEO-1 reporting requirements must submit 2018 pay data for their workforces by September 30, 2019.
On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled its new overtime proposal in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which would update the salary thresholds according to which workers are entitled to overtime compensation.
On November 20, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced plans to assist those affected by the California wildfires. The DOL’s actions include relief efforts by a number of agencies.
On November 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) applies to all states and political subdivisions—regardless of their size.
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2:00 a.m., daylight saving time will end. This World War I–era practice of turning back the clock one hour in the fall became a federal law in the United States when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966. The jury is still out on whether “falling back” is beneficial. Claims that it helps to conserve energy are dubious. Most people probably don’t get an extra hour of sleep that night. And, the time change doesn’t actually increase the number of hours of sunlight per day. However, it does present a good opportunity for employers to examine their timekeeping practices with regard to nonexempt employees.
On August 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would be conducting a series of listening sessions in various cities across the United States to solicit feedback on the overtime rule. The DOL, which plans to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s Part 541 white collar exemption regulations, held sessions open to the public in Atlanta, GA; Seattle, WA; Kansas City, MO; Denver, CO; and Providence, RI throughout September. On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) conducted its last public listening session to solicit views and opinions on the Part 541 overtime or white-collar regulations.
On September 11, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it has proposed changes regarding functional affirmative action programs (FAAPs).
As residents and employers on the East Coast are aware, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall shortly. This type of disaster can take a toll on businesses in the affected areas, from property damage to employee safety complications. Employers in the restaurant industry face a unique set of potential issues before, during, and after a disaster like a hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center has stated that Hurricane Florence, which is classified as a Category 4 storm, may hit the East Coast as early as Thursday, September 13. As a result, residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the surrounding areas are preparing for 130 mph winds, floods, and heavy rains (and in some cases, evacuating the affected areas). Businesses with operations or employees in those areas could also be affected by power interruptions, disrupted communications, and transportation difficulties—in addition to concerns over their employees’ safety.
Just two weeks after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released two directives under Acting Director Craig Leen, the agency released three more initiatives. On August 24, 2018, OFCCP announced three directives being rolled out as “part of the Department’s efforts to maximize the effectiveness of compliance assistance outreach.”
The U.S. Department of Labor has confirmed that Ondray Harris will be stepping down as director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)—reportedly as early as by the end of this week. Harris’s appointment followed Thomas M. Dowd’s tenure as acting director and Patricia A. Shiu’s tenure as director.
On July 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of California ruled that the state’s wage and hour rules and regulations have not adopted the Fair Labor Standards Act’s de minimis doctrine and that the de minimis rule does not apply to a wage and hour claim brought under a state wage order.
July 26, 2018, is National Intern Day according to WayUp, the job site for college students and recent graduates. The organization’s campaign to acknowledge the role of interns in the workforce is intended to “encourage employers to celebrate, empower and recognize interns.” WayUp encourages employers to participate in the “holiday” by celebrating their interns (“anything from a mentorship session to a free pizza lunch or anything that feels right for your company”).
On July 9, 2018, President Trump announced his nominee to be the next justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, replacing Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who, on the last day of the October 2017 term, announced that he would retire from the Court.