Legislative Updates

  • 07/29/2021 1:37 PM | Alex Clark

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has rescinded a final rule issued under the Trump administration that narrowed the definition of a joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rescission makes it more likely that an employer will be determined to be a joint employer and thus liable under the FLSA for another employer's actions. This will most significantly impact franchise brands such as McDonalds Corporation. 

  • 07/23/2021 11:04 AM | Alex Clark

    As part of the Omnibus Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Bill, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has approved an amendment relating to pregnancy accommodations and barring reducing compensation for lactation breaks, among other changes. The amendment goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Read more here.

  • 06/30/2021 1:16 PM | Alex Clark

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has extended the deadline for filing the EEO-1 form from July 19 to Aug. 23.

    Businesses with 100 or more employees and some federal contractors with at least 50 employees must submit an annual EEO-1 form, which asks for information from the previous year about the number of employees who worked for the business, sorted by job category, race, ethnicity and gender.

    The EEOC did not collect such data in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis. Covered employers now have until the new deadline to submit both their 2019 and 2020 data.

  • 06/24/2021 3:20 PM | Alex Clark

    On June 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA)—that would make it easier for people to win claims of age discrimination by easing the standards of proof. If also passed by the Senate and signed into law, the measure would undo a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made age-discrimination claims more difficult to prove.

  • 06/17/2021 12:49 PM | Alex Clark

    The United States will soon have a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery.

    The House voted 415-14 on June 16, 2021 to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, the 12th federal holiday. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk, and he is expected to sign it into law.

  • 06/17/2021 12:43 PM | Alex Clark

    The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA’s) individual mandate, holding that Texas and other states did not have a legal right to sue. The ruling leaves the ACA intact.

    As a result, employers should note that the health care law remains fully in effect, including all coverage obligations and reporting requirements.

  • 06/10/2021 12:14 PM | Alex Clark

    OSHA issues new guidance for employers and a specific emergency temporary standard.

  • 06/10/2021 11:07 AM | Alex Clark

    On June 8, Republican senators blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have barred prospective employers from asking about applicants' salary histories during the hiring process. The legislation narrowly passed the House of Representatives in April. 

  • 05/28/2021 3:29 PM | Alex Clark

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance and FAQs on workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies on May 28, stating that employers may request proof of vaccination status and offer incentives to encourage employees to receive the vaccine.

    Requesting proof that employees received a vaccination on their own is not a disability-related inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and therefore an employer may offer an incentive to employees to provide such proof, according to the EEOC. However, employers must consider reasonable accommodations for workers who decline to be vaccinated for religious or disability-related reasons.

    The EEOC also stated that if an employer administers the vaccination to its employees or contracts with a third party to administer the vaccinations, then any incentive the employer offers with the vaccination must not be so substantial as to be coercive.

  • 05/18/2021 1:16 PM | Alex Clark

    On May 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2021-31 which contains much anticipated guidance needed to implement the COBRA subsidy provisions included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The guidance contains 86 questions and answers that address many issues that have arisen with respect to COBRA premium assistance under ARPA.

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