Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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

Finding a Balance Between Cell Phone Access to Work Email and On-Call Pay

Long gone are the days where individuals required computer access in order to connect to the internet. Smartphones are everywhere, and the internet of things (IoT) means that common objects such as cars and phones can now easily connect to the internet to send and receive data. Unsurprisingly, it feels like most people have access … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Delays Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions for Second Time

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced today that it will delay enforcement, for a second time, of the anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule until Dec. 1, 2016.  We previously reported on the Work Knowledge Blog that the first delay in enforcement may have been associated with ongoing litigation over the … Continue reading this entry

The DOL's New Rx for Federal Contractor Employees

We have reported time and time again on the national trend of mandating paid sick leave for workers. As we noted last March, in a 2015 Executive Order, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The DOL issued a final rule … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Issues Final Rule Regarding Retaliation Claims under the Affordable Care Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced yesterday that it has published a final rule regarding how it will handle retaliation claims brought by employees under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  OSHA is generally tasked with investigating whistleblower complaints brought by employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as many other … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Proposed Revisions Intended to Modernize Various OSHA Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced that it is proposing eighteen revisions to its recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction regulations.  With the changes proposed, OSHA intends to modernize certain standards that may be “confusing, outdated or unnecessary.”  These proposed revisions are the fourth part of the Standards Improvements Project, which started … Continue reading this entry

New OSHA Rule May Require Changes to Employer Drug Testing Policies

Does your company have a blanket, post-accident drug testing policy?  Employers with this type of drug testing policy are concerned that they may run afoul of a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration Final Rule, which OSHA is set to begin enforcing on November 1, 2016. The final rule, which went into effect on August 10, 2016, … Continue reading this entry

Decision 2016: A Refresher on Politics in Your Workplace

Employer
Over the next few weeks, millions of Americans will cast their votes, concluding what has been a particularly contentious election cycle. Until then, as Election Day approaches and employees’ political passions continue to rise, employers should be mindful of their rights and obligations when it comes to voting and politics in the workplace.… Continue reading this entry

SCOTUS Sends Auto Workers Back to Circuit Court for Overtime Regulation “Repairs”

You may not even know the technical name for workers at the local car dealership who diagnose what is wrong with your vehicle and tell you how it can be repaired. They are called auto service advisors, and whether they are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been the … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—New Guidance on Settlement Agreements in Whistleblower Cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently issued new guidelines for the approval of settlement agreements between employers and employees during whistleblower cases. These guidelines will replace Chapter 6, paragraphs XII.E.2 and 3, of the OSHA Whistleblower Investigation Manual, the current version of which was published on January 28, 2016.   The new guidelines will … Continue reading this entry

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire for the pair to eat. However, as the cat removes the … Continue reading this entry

Do Not Overlook FLSA Duties in Light of New Salary Requirements

The upcoming change to salary requirements to the so-called “white collar” overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has garnered a lot of attention. However, even with a strong emphasis on the changes to the salary requirement, employers should not lose focus on the duties portion of the test. The white collar exemptions … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Civil Penalty Increases Take Effect After August 1, 2016

After today, August 1, 2016, the civil penalties assessed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will increase by 78%.  This is actually less than the 82% that was originally allowed by Congress, but not by much.  The new maximum penalties will be as follows: (1) Serious, Other-than-Serious, and Posting Requirement Violations—$12,471 per violation; … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Delayed Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions for New Reporting Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has announced that it will delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new workplace injury and illness reporting rule.  Originally, it was scheduled to go into effect on August 10, 2016, but enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions will now begin on November 1, 2016.  OSHA stated that … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Employee Safety during the Summer Heat

For employers with outdoor workspaces (such as in the oil and gas and construction industries), the summer heat necessitates a delicate balance—maintaining a safe workplace and ensuring the work gets done.  Employers must address a two-fold problem in striking this balance: (1) concern for the health and safety of employees; and, (2) implementation of safety … Continue reading this entry