Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights

On December 22, 2020, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed into law the CROWN Act (Calendar No. 33,184). The new law prohibits employment discrimination in the City of New Orleans based on hairstyles. The law is modeled after federal legislation introduced in January 2020—the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act)—designed to correct racial and cultural inequities by making hair discrimination illegal in the United States. In the…
On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an updated final rule designed to increase prevailing wages required for certain visa processes. The updated rule, entitled “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” is the DOL’s second attempt in recent months to revise how the existing four-tiered wage structure of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey is calculated for purposes of determining…
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release on January 12, 2021, notifying EEO-1 filers that the EEO-1 filing platform will not open until April 2021. This is of particular interest for employers because the EEOC delayed the 2019 EEO-1 filings, which would normally have been due in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—meaning that both the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings will be due this year. The April 2021 opening…
Within days of the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, employees who were observed as part of the mob entering the Capitol were discharged by their employers. Some of the individuals involved in the events at the Capitol were knowingly filmed as part of the insurrection (and many were seen posing for selfies). A photograph of a rioter wearing clothing with the word “Auschwitz” prominently displayed has been widely disseminated. Other rioters were…
Impeachment. Take Two. On January 13, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump on one count of “incitement of insurrection” by a vote of 232–197 (10 Republicans voted to impeach and 4 did not cast votes). He is the first president to have been impeached twice. Because President Trump has only four full days left in office, what happens next is a bit unclear. First, there is some legal…
On January 12, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision rewriting the rules for obtaining certification in collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Swales v. KLLM Transport Services, L.L.C., No. 19-60847, the Fifth Circuit rejected the lenient approach first articulated a 1987 New Jersey district court opinion. Instead, the Fifth Circuit now requires district courts to conduct a more searching analysis before ordering notice to potential…
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its revamped proposed rules governing employer-sponsored wellness programs. These proposed rules have been a long time coming, with the EEOC’s prior rules on the topic having been invalidated by a court and then partially revoked. In this current proposal, the EEOC has issued two separate sets of regulations: one under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and one under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
A contentious issue during the recent presidential campaign was the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter where one fell along the spectrum of supporters and critics, there was no denying the wide gulf of positions on the topic. That gulf was clearly evident in the months-long dispute over the extent to which the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should involve themselves in implementing COVID-19…
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law Congress’s spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, which included the Additional Coronavirus Response and Relief (ACRR) provisions that modified the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP, a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive to businesses to retain their employees, was enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. PPP borrowers are eligible for…
With daily COVID-19 case counts approaching 4,000 in Ontario, the Ontario provincial government announced on January 12, 2021, a state of emergency and a return to stricter lockdown measures that will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on January 14, 2021. The new restrictions will closely resemble the first-wave measures that were implemented in the spring of 2020, with some additional restrictions and enforcement measures. The government declared a second state of emergency under the Emergency