Labor & Employment Law Perspectives

Latest from Labor & Employment Law Perspectives

On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued several unrelated opinion letters dealing with non-COVID wage and hour issues. Specifically, two of the opinion letters, FLSA2020-6 and FLSA2020-8, deal with the outside sales exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under that exemption, the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements do not apply to employees: (a) whose primary duty is making sales (or obtaining contracts for services or the use…
Many state governments and workers’ rights groups have expressed concern at OSHA’s failure to implement emergency temporary standards (ETS) for employers to address worker safety issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia has taken a lead in developing ETS to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The History Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA has declined to issue ETS for the workplace, stating that the regular workplace safety standards already in…
Last week, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending the issuance of new H-1B, H-2B, J and L visas through December 31, 2020 (description of the types of visas are included below).  The proclamation, which took effect on June 24, also limits the entry of any non-U.S. citizen or national into the U.S. that was outside the U.S. on June 24, did not have a nonimmigrant visa valid on June 24, and didn’t have an official…
On June 19, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-50 (the “Notice”), which provides additional guidance regarding coronavirus distributions and loans from qualified retirement plans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (Click here to read more about the new coronavirus distribution rights and loan rules under the CARES Act.)  The Notice expands the group eligible for the new distribution and preferential loan provisions, clarifies the impact of the retroactive effective date for…
As states begin to reopen, employers and employees alike may be worried about exposure –both to the virus itself and to liability. States have begun to act by introducing certain legislation to protect employers, who are opening in good faith and complying with the law. Most of the legislation remains pending, but the movement that states are making to provide employers with protection may provide peace of mind to many employers who may be worried…
As state and local authorities around the country continue to lift stay-at-home orders, the next challenge for businesses deemed “non-essential” under these orders is clear:  How do we reopen safely during an ongoing pandemic?  On June 17, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set out its view on the question.  The new OSHA guidance recommends a three-phase approach for reopening and lists nine “guiding principles” that employers should address in their reopening plans.  During…
An unfortunate byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is terminations.  Many employers who have the resources provide a cushion in the form of severance pay.  It is prudent to seek a release of claims in exchange for the payment of severance and critical to have the right form of release agreement.  Note that there might be state-specific requirements.  This refresher addresses only federal law. Employees Less Than 40 Years of Age A release of claims in…
To illustrate why an employer violates federal employment law by discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, the United States Supreme Court majority told the stories of Hannah and Bob.  More on Hannah and Bob later. In its sweeping 6-3 decision, the Court today ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity/transgender status, holding that…
Over the course of the past three months, the EEOC and Department of Labor have published a plethora of responses and updates to frequently asked COVID-19 questions. Topics have ranged from paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and permissible actions under the ADA to wage and hour issues stemming from changes in employee work hours and locations and COVID-19 as a recordable illness.  Now the EEOC has once again updated…
Trade associations serve many valuable purposes for employees and businesses alike. They serve as forums for professionals within a particular industry, subject to applicable legal parameters, to share knowledge and best practices, develop lobbying and public relations strategies, and adopt technological standards to ensure safety and operability. They also provide an important networking function by bringing together individuals with common interests and connections to meet each other in a professional setting.  Such trade association activities can be…