Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Getting PAID – A New Path for Employers to Address Federal Wage and Hour Violations

PAID
It is a dilemma that many employers have faced. You discover that your company violated federal law on minimum wage or overtime payments. You want to fix the problem, but you do not know how to do so without prompting employee demand letters, a Department of Labor audit or, perhaps worst, a class action lawsuit. … Continue reading this entry

Austin Becomes First Texas City to Mandate Paid Sick Leave

In our previous post, we introduced the city of Austin’s proposed sick leave ordinance, which the city council approved at last week’s meeting. Gardere’s Fred Sultan, a member of the labor and employment group in Austin, provides an update: In the early hours of Feb. 16, Austin became the first city in Texas to require … Continue reading this entry

Happy 25th Birthday, FMLA! 25 Years Later – Where Are We Now?

FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the FMLA into law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work a year to care for children or ill family members, or to recover from one’s own serious health … Continue reading this entry

Iceland’s Pay Equity Law: The Start of a New Approach?

Reasonable
Iceland has been touting gender pay equity legislation as a short-term goal since early last year. So it is no surprise that the country’s new law  — which mandates pay equity for males and females – went into effect a few weeks ago.  By enacting specific legislation, Iceland is taking a proactive approach to address actual … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Chief Nominee Confirmation Hearing Adjourned

The Senate committee hearing on the White House’s nominee for the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Scott Mugno, has now been adjourned.  During the hearing, Mr. Mugno fielded various questions from the Senators, including about OSHA’s past policy of issuing press releases after issuing violations in excess of $40,000 … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Chief Nominee Confirmation Hearing Underway

On October 27, 2017, the White House announced its intent to nominate Scott Mugno to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  His and others’ confirmation hearings are currently underway before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.  Gardere will monitor these  proceedings and report back with updates, but you can watch … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Announces Delay of Electronic Filing Deadline; Filing of OSHA 300A Now Required By December 15, 2017

OSHA
The compliance date for employers to file their 2016 OSHA 300A reports on the new electronic website has been delayed an additional two (2) weeks pursuant to a regulation issued on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, and which is expected to be published on November 24.  OSHA explained that the additional two weeks would allow employers … Continue reading this entry

OFCCP Offers Limited Compliance Relief for Federal Contractors in Wake of Recent Hurricanes

Hurricanes
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken two concrete steps to provide federal contractors compliance relief.… Continue reading this entry

Arbitrator Awards $40 Million in Gender and Sexual Orientation Case

Arbitration
Employers face several trade-offs when considering the implementation of mandatory arbitration policies. One of the positive attributes of arbitration, from an employer’s perspective, is the avoidance of a runaway jury award.  However, a recent arbitration decision provides a reminder that arbitration does not necessarily foreclose a huge award.… Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Reminder to Stay Safe during Summer Heat

With summer upon us, employers need to remember to stay proactive in addressing on-the-job heat hazards.  We wrote about this topic last summer on the Work Knowledge Blog.  While OSHA does not regulate heat-related illnesses and injuries specifically, the agency has the ability, and willingness, to cite employers under the General Duty Clause if employers do … Continue reading this entry

Non-Competes Can Cost You More Than A Job

Non-competes
Normally in this space we write about case developments after the case is decided.  This time, though the story involves a mid-case development which led to a company firing an employee it fought hard to keep.… Continue reading this entry

How Weak Are Employee “Nondisclosure Agreements”? The Answer May Make You Gag

Background
We live in a world of “leaking” and threats of dire consequences for the leakers. Does an employer have the legal means to prevent disclosure of information acquired during employment?  Likewise, can an employer seek legal redress for such disclosures?… Continue reading this entry

Employers Must Use Caution When Basing Pay Decisions On Prior Salary History

Employer
Imagine a scenario where an employer hires two individuals – a male and female – to fill two identical jobs (i.e., same job qualifications and same job duties). Both individuals satisfy the educational, skill, and other technical requirements for the job and they have similar employment histories.  However, at their prior places of employment, one … Continue reading this entry

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation – Helpful Hints for All Benefit Plans

Employer
When administering an employee benefits plan, it is critically important to provide clear and specific instructions as to how a participant can designate a beneficiary. A recent federal district court opinion in Florida demonstrates the potential pitfalls that plan administrators may face with respect to disputes over beneficiary status and provides guidance as to how administrators … Continue reading this entry

Employment Authorization Issues Arising From Corporate Restructuring

Authorization
American business experienced a near record number of mergers and acquisitions in 2016, and this trend is likely to continue in 2017. Such corporate transactions raise a number of legal issues, including employment issues.  During its due diligence review, the buyer considers whether the seller’s workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements, what benefits are … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Proposed Delay for New Beryllium Rule Effective Date

On March 1, 2017, the United States Department of Labor proposed another delay to the effective date of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) new beryllium rule.  The proposed delay is again in conjunction with the White House’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review Memorandum (the “Memorandum”).  If implemented, it will make the rule’s new effective date … Continue reading this entry

One of Our Employees Died at Work – Am I Going to Jail?

(OSH) Act
Most know that lawsuits against an employer based on an employee’s workplace injury are barred by the applicable State’s Worker’s Compensation Act. However, did you know that in some circumstances, an employer may be criminally liable for a workplace fatality?  It’s true.  Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), when the cause of … Continue reading this entry

Right-To-Work Laws Continue to Gain Momentum at Federal, State, and Local Levels

EEOC
For nearly fifty years, the debate over “right-to-work” laws had largely been considered settled. The concept was popular in the south, where a number of states have had right-to-work-laws on the books since before the 1960’s, but had gained little traction elsewhere.  Though all states were free to pass laws adopting right-to-work, few states outside … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Reminder Regarding Posting, Retaining, and Submitting Injury and Illness Summaries

It’s that time of year again.  Between February 1 and April 30, employers must post a copy of their completed OSHA Form 300A for each establishment in a conspicuous place or in a place where employee notices are customarily posted.  29 C.F.R. § 1904.32(b)(5).  Form 300A summarizes job-related injuries and illness logged the previous calendar year.  So if you are … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Texas Judge Denies Injunction Against Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions of Final Rule

On November 28, 2016, Judge Sam Lindsay in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied an employer group’s request for a nationwide injunction against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s enforcement of certain anti-retaliation provisions in the new final rule.  As we reported previously on the Work Knowledge Blog, the … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Surge in Enforcement Efforts to Reduce Amputations Hazards in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced that it will have a “heightened focus” on amputation hazards in Region 6, which comprises Arkansas Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.  OSHA reports that 2,600 amputations occurred nationwide in 2015, most of which were in the manufacturing industry.  OSHA’s goal in this initiative will be on increased … Continue reading this entry

What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? Post-Election HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond

Trade Secrets
The long and contentious presidential campaign is over.  So, now what?  What does President-elect Trump’s victory mean for employers? To explore this question, Foley and Lardner LLP’s Labor & Employment Practice group hosted a webinar titled “What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond” on November 10, 2016.  The team … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Reminder

With Election Day rapidly approaching next week, employers should be prepared for a host of issues associated with election year politics in the workplace.  We recently wrote about some of the key issues facing employers in election years on the Work Knowledge Blog.  As a reminder about those issues, here are links to the related posts: … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance on New Reporting and Anti-Retaliation Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued a memorandum to its Regional Administrators and published a new webpage outlining its planned enforcement of the new reporting and anti-retaliation provisions.  The agency’s guidance does little more than restate and expound upon what it has already provided in previous documents, such as in the 2012 … Continue reading this entry