HR Defense

Akerman Insights on the Latest Developments in Labor and Employment Law

“Fair workweek” laws are sweeping the nation, bringing new challenges for employers. Also referred to as “predictable scheduling,” “advanced scheduling,” or “secure scheduling laws,” these laws typically require larger employers in restaurant and retail industries to provide employees with advanced schedules and “predictability pay” if schedules are changed after a certain time period before an employee’s shift. …
For the moment, employers with 100 or more employees should plan to report pay data and hours worked by race, sex, and ethnicity for employees in each of 10 job categories,  as a result of a recent court ruling. That ruling requires that the data for 2017 and 2018 payrolls be reported by September 30, 2019 as part of the revived Component 2 of the annual EEO-1 Report. However, on May 3, 2019 the Department…
Ambiguous language in an arbitration agreement is not a sufficient basis for concluding a party has agreed to class arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week. In Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Verela, the Court held that, under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), courts may not infer from an ambiguous agreement that parties have consented to arbitrate on a classwide, rather than individual, basis. Instead, class arbitration must be expressly authorized in the contract.…
Employers cannot permit employees to use PTO or other paid leave prior to using unpaid FMLA leave for an FMLA qualifying condition, according to a new Department of Labor Opinion Letter.  The Opinion Letter also provides that employers cannot designate more than 12 weeks of leave per year as FMLA (or 26 weeks per year if leave qualifies as FMLA military caregiver leave). …
Job descriptions can be a shield or a sword for employers. In addition to setting clear job expectations, informing candidates of what the job entails, and providing a framework for evaluations, they are often used in litigation arising from workplace claims. Job descriptions can be critical in litigating actions under the Fair Labor Standard Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the FMLA. Most employers know job descriptions are important, but are you doing them…
Employers should be careful about designating Employee Handbooks confidential as, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s advice division, that would be unlawful.  That advice was contained in one of five memoranda issued by the advice division last month. While not binding on the Board and not official Board precedent, advice memoranda provide guidance to the Board’s Regional Offices on how to handle difficult and novel issues that arise. The recent memoranda cover a variety…
A recent ruling by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia calls into question the recently expanded regulations allowing small employers to band together to establish Association Health Plans. This development should be monitored closely by employers and employer organizations currently sponsoring, or considering sponsoring, these plans.…
As of April 1, 2019, U.S. employers requesting a change of status for H-1B hopefuls should request Premium Processing by concurrently filing visa petitions with Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, available here. But don’t expect the Federal Immigration Service to begin working immediately. In a statement released on March 19, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that “Premium Processing” – a 15-day expedited service available in exchange for a…
A second federal appellate circuit has ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the ADEA) does not apply to job applicants’ claims that a policy or practice has a disparate impact on older individuals. In so holding, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, joins the Eleventh Circuit, covering Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. However, while employers in those states may now successfully argue that job applicants’ disparate impact claims cannot…