College Football Players Are Employees, and the Heisman Trophy Becomes the “Employee of the Year” Award…

Making massive waves throughout the collegiate and legal communities, the Chicago Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) determined Wednesday that scholarship – but not walk-on – football players of Northwestern University are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). As a consequence, college football players at the university may, at least for now, vote whether they wish to be represented by a union and collectively bargain over the terms and conditions of their association with Northwestern. The determination that scholarship athletes are actually employees of their schools has potentially far-reaching consequences. Continue reading this entry

President Obama: Overtime Is Good, Let’s Give It Out to More!

In another attempt to stimulate the earning power of middle class Americans, President Obama recently took a bold move and issued a memo to his Secretary of Labor, telling him to tighten the regulations creating exemptions so that more workers will be eligible for overtime premium pay. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, all covered workers are presumed eligible for overtime premium pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any one work week, unless the employer proves they fit into one of several specific exemptions. In his March 13, 2014 Memorandum, the President declared that the regulations, which define the so called “White Collar” exemptions from overtime pay, “have not kept up with our modern economy” and that “because the Regulations are outdated, millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime.” Continue reading this entry

Hit With I-9 Violations? Put Them on ICE

Employers who seek administrative review of enforcement fines sought by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (“ICE”) related to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) Form I-9 violations may petition relief from such ICE allegations before the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In previous years, the amount of published decisions issued by OCAHO has been relatively small, recently, it has ticked upward. The increase in published decisions, as well as the topics covered in those decision, provide insight into increasing Government scrutiny on I-9 compliance issues and the potential risks associated with such heightened scrutiny. Furthermore, as we noted last year, I-9 scrutiny is on the rise, and the increase in published decisions may only be the latest step in that campaign. Continue reading this entry

Are You Compliant with the New OFCCP Regulations?

On August 27, 2013, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published the final rules regarding affirmative action for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

These rules, which are effective today, March 24, 2014, require federal contractors and subcontractors to substantially change their affirmative action programs for veterans and individuals with disabilities.

In addition, the rules require contractors and subcontractors to update various notices, contract clauses, forms, advertising taglines, EEO surveys, and impose several additional data collection and recordkeeping requirements. Because the changes required by the final rules are substantial, federal contractors and subcontractors should be meeting with management, IT personnel, and their legal advisors now to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

In order to keep you compliant with these new regulations, we have created the 2014 Federal Contractor Section 503 and VEVRAA Compliance Toolkit. Continue reading this entry

Daughter Posts Settlement on Facebook – Employer Dislikes – Dad in Hot Water

Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, seems to have become so ingrained in modern existence that while it is potentially laughable, it is nonetheless true that we can seriously live by the tenet “If it’s not on Facebook, it did not happen.” But when it comes to confidential settlement agreements, there is no room for social media oversharing. Before many employers will even think about settling with a current or former employee, they will insist upon the employee maintaining complete confidentiality over the settlement. However, reluctant employers will often wonder whether these confidentiality provisions are even enforceable. A recent decision from a Florida court says, “Yes.” Continue reading this entry