The revised Regulations issued by the Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), addressing affirmative action obligations applicable to disabled individuals under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (“Section 503”), and to protected veterans pursuant to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (“VEVRAA”), become effective March 24, 2014. Due to the numerous requirements in these new Regulations, contractors should start reviewing and implementing procedures to ensure compliance.
On November 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a proposed rule which would require many employers to submit injury and illness records — such as the OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 — electronically. The proposed rule, along with the commentary, can be accessed here.
Next year, most employers with employees working in New York City will be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. The new requirement is an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law and takes effect on January 30, 2014.
As previously reported, the elimination of barriers in recruitment and hiring was identified as one of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s six priorities in its 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). Accordingly, the EEOC is focusing its enforcement efforts and resources on eradicating both class-based intentional discrimination, as well as facially-neutral recruitment and hiring practices that have a discriminatory effect on particular groups. To this end, the EEOC has been aggressively challenging employers’ use of criminal and credit background checks in recruitment and hiring, alleging that such practices have a disparate impact on certain applicants in protected classes. However, in a significant victory for employers, the EEOC’s efforts were recently thwarted in a decision issued by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
After a brief hiatus prompted by the Federal Government shutdown, employers regained access to and use of the federal E-Verify system on October 17, 2013. E-Verify is an Internet-based employment eligibility verification system administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). The E-Verify system does not serve as a replacement for the I-9 employment verification process, but rather serves as an additional method by which employers may confirm employee I-9 information against certain government databases (e.g., Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration).
On October 16, our firm conducted a webinar, which provided a detailed explanation of the wage deduction regulations promulgated by the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) on October 9. If you wish to view a recording of the webinar in its entirety and print out a copy of the PowerPoint slides from the webinar, you can click here.
New York State has enacted several changes to the laws regarding unemployment insurance. The changes are the result of the insolvency of the State’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the State’s need to repay the federal government $3.5 billion borrowed to cover increased costs incurred during the recession. The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) has issued two fact sheets — one directed toward employers and one directed toward claimants — concerning these changes in the law. Certain of the important revisions affecting employers are identified below.
The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) just published final regulations on its website, governing employee wage deductions under Section 193 of the Labor Law. According to NYSDOL, the final Section 193 regulations are effective today – October 9, 2013 – and will be codified at and replace the existing 12 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 195. As we previously reported, these regulations were published in draft form earlier this year and made available for public comment. The final regulations contain only minimal changes from this earlier draft version.
A recent decision issued by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Matter of Board of Education of Hauppauge Union Free School District v. Hogan, provides a valuable reminder to school districts and other public employers that an arbitrator’s interlocutory ruling in a disciplinary proceeding against an employee may not really be an interlocutory ruling at all, and in some circumstances, may be subject to immediate judicial review. The decision makes clear, at least under the circumstances of that case, that a court has authority to review an “interlocutory award” which dismisses a misconduct charge in a disciplinary proceeding commenced pursuant to Education Law Section 3020-a. In justifying its review, the Court distinguished between an arbitrator’s interlocutory ruling on a procedural matter, which is generally not reviewable, and the dismissal of a misconduct charge, which it deemed to be “a final determination subject to review under CPLR 7511.” Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a final rule which narrows the companionship exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and extends the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections to most direct care workers who provide essential home care assistance for the elderly and individuals with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. The new rule will take effect on January 1, 2015. Continue Reading