Under a final rule issued by the Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), effective January 19, 2017, federal government contractors must now comply with new privacy training requirements regarding protection of personally identifiable information (PII). The new rule adds Subpart 24.3 (Privacy Training) to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and a new standard contract clause (FAR 52.224-3) implementing the new requirements. These changes reflect that security and privacy are crucial elements of a comprehensive, strategic, and continuous risk-based program in Federal agencies.
As we have frequently reminded our readers, even non-unionized employers need to pay close attention to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rulings and opinions as to employees’ rights under applicable labor law. For example, the NLRB has focused on employee handbook provisions – applicable to both union and non-union employers, which it considers to be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Employers should take note of the position Fox News is in due to the proliferation of recent lawsuits against the network by numerous current and former employees. To be clear and fair, the lawsuits only involve allegations at this time – nothing has been proven at trial, or otherwise. Indeed, Fox News has denied the allegations. However, the common intertwined theme throughout all the lawsuits is that Fox News tolerates harassment, discrimination and retaliation. In short, the lawsuits attack Fox News’ workplace culture.
Back in March we explored the question, “So – Are LGBTQ Rights Protected Under Federal Employment Law or Not?” In that article, which unpacked a recent federal court decision on LGBTQ workplace protections, we concluded that “it depends.” While the issue is far from settled and the answer still remains “it depends,” two additional federal decisions over the past two months indicate what may be a growing wave of courts finding that LGBTQ status is protected under federal employment discrimination law.
Credit information is often one component of a comprehensive employment background check. As we have previously reported, employers utilizing background checks performed by a credit reporting agency are subject to a number of notice, consent, and other requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). A new D.C. law goes even further than the FCRA, prohibiting employers from inquiring about or using any credit information about prospective or current employees. Under the Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act, which went into effect March 17, 2017, D.C. employers may not:
(1) require, request, suggest or cause any employee or applicant to submit any credit information;
(2) use, accept, refer to or inquire about credit information, unless an exemption from the law applies; or
(3) take any discriminatory action against prospective and current employees based on their credit information.