Labor and Employment Law Update

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. We cover topics including addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace, developing labor law, navigating through ADA(AA), FMLA and workers’ compensation issues, avoiding wage and hour landmines, key legislative, case law and regulatory changes and much more! Learn more about our firm at www.salawus.com.

In another example of the Department of Labor (DOJ) pursuing criminal anti-trust cases against employers throughout the country, on October 27th, 2022, VDA OC, LLC (formerly Advantage On Call or AOC), a healthcare staffing company, pled guilty to conspiring with a competitor to assign and fix nurses salaries within a specific school district in Nevada, which violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act. We have previously written in more detail regarding the DOJ’s new commitment to criminally prosecute supposed labor market collusion amongst competitors. This guilty plea is essentially the DOJ’s first “win” in its criminal enforcement of labor violations
Continue Reading The DOJ’s Focus on Employer Non-Poaching Agreements Continues

As we discussed in our previous blog post, in 2021 the EEOC issued a technical assistance guidance addressing employers’ obligations under Bostock v. Clayton County, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 landmark decision holding that Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We blogged about the Bostock decision in June 2020.
Continue Reading Texas Judge Blocks EEOC’s Transgender Guidance in Latest Battle in the
Restrooms War

Proposed Amendment 1 to the Illinois Constitution creates many unknowns. However, it’s quite clear that the amendment accomplishes two major goals of labor organizations in Illinois. First, this will prevent Illinois from enacting any law that permits it to adopt “Right-to-Work” on any local or state level. Second, it will prevent lawmakers (in any level of government) from passing any law or local ordinance that attempts to reform, modify, moderate or in any manner address public union benefits and working conditions that are ultimately bargained for and agreed to in the past, current or future.
Continue Reading Illinois’ “Workers’ Rights” Amendment: What is it?

If companies that employ Illinois residents and use any type of equipment to scan fingers, hands, face, or eyes were not yet aware of and concerned by the Illinois’ biometric privacy law, the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA), they should be now. On October 12, 2022, after a week-long trial, a federal jury returned a verdict finding that one of the nation’s largest railway companies, BNSF, had violated BIPA—to the tune of a $228 million judgment.
Continue Reading BIPA Strikes Again: $228 Million Verdict Awarded in First BIPA Jury Trial

On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it is proposing to do away with the existing independent contractor test that the Trump administration slipped into place in January 2021, in favor of a shift back to a “totality of circumstances” analysis.
Continue Reading DOL’s Proposed Rule on Employee vs. Independent Contractor Classification –
Redux

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently held that employers must continue deducting union dues from workers’ paychecks (referred to as “dues checkoff”) as agreed in their collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”), even after those agreements expire.
Continue Reading Why Yes Employer, You Must Continue to Deduct Union Dues From Your
Employee’s Wages Even After Contract Expiration

On August 25, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt the “pay-versus-performance” rule, requiring publicly traded companies (except foreign private issuers, registered investment companies, and Emerging Growth Companies) to provide clear disclosure to shareholders on the relationship between companies’ executive compensation and financial performance. The adoption finally implements Section 14(i) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Continue Reading The SEC Adopts Pay-Versus-Performance Disclosure Requirements for Executive
Compensation—Do They Relate to You?

On August 25, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt the “pay-versus-performance” rule, requiring publicly traded companies (except foreign private issuers, registered investment companies, and Emerging Growth Companies) to provide clear disclosure to shareholders on the relationship between companies’ executive compensation and financial performance. The adoption finally implements Section 14(i) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Continue Reading The SEC Adopts Pay-Versus-Performance Disclosure Requirements for ExecutiveCompensation—Do They Relate to You?

The California State Legislature recently passed a Senate Bill 1162, a pay transparency bill intended to narrow the gender pay gap and differences in pay for Black and Latino employees. If the California Governor signs Senate Bill 1162 into law, California employers with 15 or more employees must include the pay scale for a position on all job postings and provide current employees with the pay scale for their position upon request. Moreover, employers with 100 or more employees must also submit an annual pay data report, including median and mean hourly rates for race, ethnicity and sex within each
Continue Reading The Growing Pay Transparency Trend and How Employers Should Prepare 

Legislation aimed at expanding green energy construction projects is spreading throughout the United States. With it, prevailing wage mandates and project labor agreements tied to such projects are becoming more common. Construction contractors representing various trades and sizes need to be aware of the fine-print when considering bidding on these projects — including simple repair and maintenance.
Continue Reading Bidding On Green Energy Construction Projects?  Watch Out For Prevailing
Wage and PLA Landmines!

Legislation aimed at expanding green energy construction projects is spreading throughout the United States. With it, prevailing wage mandates and project labor agreements tied to such projects are becoming more common. Construction contractors representing various trades and sizes need to be aware of the fine-print when considering bidding on these projects — including simple repair and maintenance.
Continue Reading Bidding On Green Energy Construction Projects?  Watch Out For PrevailingWage and PLA Landmines!

Recently, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision that expanded protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to people with gender dysphoria. While the case at issue was not employment-related, the implications of the decision are significant for all employers because it strengthens support for claims of ADA protection for individuals with gender dysphoria within the scope of employment, public accommodations, and government benefits and services.
Continue Reading Employers Need to Know Gender Dysphoria – Here’s Why

On August 29, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) examined workplace restrictions on the display of union insignia where employers require employees to wear uniforms or designated clothing. In a 3-2 ruling, the NLRB decided that Tesla, Inc. violated labor law by restricting employees from wearing pro-union t-shirts because such restriction implicitly prohibits workers from substituting union attire for required uniforms.
Continue Reading NLRB Rules that Restricting Pro-Union T-Shirts Violates Labor Law