For several years now, union and non-union employers have been stuck between a rock and a hard place because of dissonance between anti-discrimination laws and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Consider the following situation: An employer can discipline its employees based on discriminatory or harassing behavior and then face an unfair labor practice charge if the employees claim that their conduct was protected concerted activity under the NLRA. Alternatively, an employer can choose not to discipline its employees for such conduct and then get caught in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a state agency for violating a federal or state fair employment law. Continue Reading Companies Walk a Fine Line Between Disciplining Staff and Violating NLRA
Last week’s decision in Ward v. Tilly’s Inc. means that California employers with on-call policies are required to pay a minimum of two hours reporting time pay, even if the employee is told there is no need to come in to work that day.
A California Court of Appeal held that a company’s on-call scheduling policy requiring employees to call the employer in advance of a shift to find out if they need to appear for work triggered “reporting time” pay obligations under the California Industrial Welfare Commission’s (IWC) Wage Orders.
Under the Wage Orders, an employee who is required to report for work and does report must be paid for half the employee’s usual or scheduled day’s work, but in no event less than two hours’ pay, nor more than four hours’ pay, at the employee’s regular rate of pay. Continue Reading Reporting for Duty: In California, It’s Compensable, Even When Employees are Told Not to Come to Work
Rather than wait for another case to come before it to address the requirements for joint employer status, the majority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members have opted to take the little-used rulemaking route. The proposed rule, which was released on September 14, 2018, would amend 29 CFR part 103 to add §103.40, defining joint employers. The proposed definition is only two sentences long:
An employer, as defined by Section 2(2) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), may be considered a joint employer of a separate employer’s employees only if the two employers share or codetermine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction. A putative joint employer must possess and actually exercise substantial direct and immediate control over the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment in a manner that is not limited and routine.
As of August 21, 2018, the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 260, has been amended to provide that Illinois employers that are subject to the Act must provide reasonable break time whenever the employee needs to express milk. The break time may (but not “must”) run concurrently with break time already provided. Continue Reading Expanded Protection for Nursing Mothers in Illinois
The California Supreme Court adopted a new test Monday for determining whether workers are employees—rejecting the court’s previous multi-factor test. The decision in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, S222732 (Cal. Apr. 30, 2018), has immediate ramifications for employers in California who hire or utilize independent contractors. In short, the bar for establishing “independent contractor” status has been raised, and California companies will have to assess their practices in order to conform to this new reality. Continue Reading California Supreme Court Raises Bar on Independent Contractor Status
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Monday, on the eve of National Equal Pay Day, that it violates the Equal Pay Act to use pay history to justify wage gaps between male and female employees for the same or substantially similar work. The decision in Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372 (9th Cir. Apr. 9, 2018) has immediate ramifications for employers in the Ninth Circuit in evaluating employee compensation. Continue Reading Consideration of Pay History to Justify Gender Wage Gaps Held Unlawful by Ninth Circuit on Eve of National Equal Pay Day
As we had previously reported, in 2015 the then-Democrat controlled National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the Browning-Ferris case ruled that a joint employer relationship could be found if an entity had mere indirect or potential control over individuals employed by another entity. This decision reversed decades of precedent in which the NLRB held that a joint employer relationship would only be found if one entity had “direct and immediate control” over individuals employed by another entity. Continue Reading Ping-Pong Anyone? NLRB Vacates <em>Hy-Brand</em> and Reinstates – For the Moment – <em>Browning-Ferris</em>
Board Member Philip Miscimarra’s term on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expired last week with a bang rather than a whimper. In the final days of his tenure, the Board reversed four controversial Obama-era decisions addressing joint employers, workplace policies, micro-units, and the duty to bargain. These decisions, summarized below, will impact all employers, not just those with unionized workforces. Although the Board now returns to a 2-2 Republican to Democrat split as a result of Miscimarra’s departure, once his Republican replacement is confirmed employers should expect to see more decisions on the chopping block. Continue Reading NLRB Reverses Four Obama-Era Decisions
Pay Data Requirement for EEO-1 Form Stayed
Earlier this week, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated an immediate stay of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s revamped Employer Information Report, or EEO-1. As discussed here, an expanded EEO-1 was issued in September 2016, and required employers to submit information on employee pay and hours by job category, in addition to demographic information. The new EEO-1 requirement was to take effect beginning with the next EEO-1 date of March 31, 2018 (changed from previous September 30 submission deadlines.) Continue Reading Important EEO-1 and I-9 Updates
In a major victory for the business community, Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a permanent nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new “persuader” rule. National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Perez, et al., Case No. 5:16-cv-00066. The rule attempted to expand disclosure requirements by employers and their consultants (including attorneys) related to union-organizing campaigns. Continue Reading Judge Not Persuaded, Permanently Enjoins DOL’s New Reporting Rule