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.

Latest from Labor and Employment Law Update - Page 2

Contributed by Timm W. Schowalter, April 7, 2022

State of Missouri

A recent case provides a refresher step-by-step guide on the  requirements of a lawfully administered disability accommodation policy under the Missouri Human Right Act.  In  Loerch v. City of Union, No. ED. 109707, (Mo. App. E.D. 2022) the Missouri Appellate Court reversed and remanded a summary judgment decision in favor of the city of Union for claims made by a custodian alleging disability discrimination when he was forced to retire after his accommodation request, to limit working outside due to his coronary artery disease, was denied. In doing
Continue Reading A Refresher on Reasonable Accommodations under the Missouri Human Rights Act

Contributed by Sara M. Rose on April 5, 2022

Below are some of the latest state updates and posters –

ILLINOIS

  • As of February 15, 2022, the State of Illinois has withdrawn its adoption of the federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing for public employers with more than 100 employees.

As of February 25, 2022, the Office of the Treasurer issued a notice of adopted amendments to its regulations related to retirement savings programs to conform with recent statutory changes and to add requirements for automatic contribution increases.  Contributions for participants who have
Continue Reading Local and State Employment Law Update: Fair Employment, Paid Leave and Minimum Wage Rates

Contributed by Sara Zorich, March 30, 2022

Immigration Law books with a judges gavel on desk in the library. Law education ,law books concept.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that is it ending the List B identity document flexibilities it had provided employers since May 2020. Starting on May 1, 2022, employers may ONLY accept UNEXPIRED List B documents. That means the List B document must be unexpired on its face when it is presented to the employer during the Form I-9 process.

Further, employers that accepted expired List B documents between May 1, 2020 and April
Continue Reading Form I-9 COVID-19 Document Relaxation Rule Coming to an End

Contributed by guest author Amber L. Bishop, March 23, 2022

32420632 – law gavel on a stack of American money

In the past few years, a law was passed in Illinois that added annual reporting requirements for publicly held companies with their headquarters in Illinois. The requirements of that law included reporting the following on a company’s annual report:

  • If the corporation was publicly held, domestic or foreign, and had its principal office in Illinois;
  • Data on credentials, skills, and experience that the corporation uses to choose its board of directors;
  • What gender the member of the board of

  • Continue Reading Proposed Amendment to Illinois Law Could Impact Corporate Pocketbooks

    Contributed by Larry Tomlin, Jeff Risch, Peter Hansen and Sara Rose, March 21, 2022

    Labor Law Lawyer Legal Business Internet Technology Concept.

    Although labor unions have historically not targeted  banks and credit unions for organizing, desperate times call for desperate measures as union membership continues to fall in the United States with only 6.1% of the private sector workforce belonging to a labor organization. While just over 1% of all financial services employees are unionized, there has been an uptick in unionization hitting the financial industry since 2020; with signs of more aggressive action on the part
    Continue Reading Big Labor is Targeting Banks and Credit Unions??

    Contributed by Sara Zorich, March 17, 2022

    On March 14, 2022, Judge Marcia Crone of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ordered that the Trump administration’s rulemaking regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) Independent Contractor Test (specifically Title 29, Part 795 of the Code of Federal Regulations) be reinstated effective March 8, 2021. The court ruled that the Department of Labor’s delay and subsequent withdrawal of the rule was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  It is unclear whether the Department of Labor will appeal the Texas court’s decision to the Fifth
    Continue Reading Federal Court Reinstates Trump Era Independent Contractor Test Rule

    Contributed by Suzanne Newcomb, March 15, 2022

    employment law books and a gavel on desk in the library

    Retaliation remains a top enforcement priority of the federal government. Last week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new field assistance bulletin entitled “Protecting Workers from Retaliation” and pledged to “use every tool available” to “uphold the rights of workers to identify violations of the law without fear of termination or other threats to their reputation, safety or livelihood.” Making good on its pledge, this week the DOL ordered an Arizona manufacturer to pay nearly $600,000 and reinstate a
    Continue Reading Feds Continue to Prioritize Retaliation Claims – Is Your Organization Protected?

    Contributed by Sara M. Rose on March 11, 2022

    Below are some of the latest state updates and posters –

    NEW JERSEY

    The State of New Jersey has issued a new Wage and Hour Law Abstract in connection with its amendment of the statutory minimum wage rate. Accordingly, employees are not to be paid less than the state minimum wage schedule provided.

    minimum wage schedule provided by nj.gov

    Overtime is payable at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The following employees are exempt from overtime: (i)
    Continue Reading Local and State Employment Law Updates: Wage Posters

    Contributed by Sara M. Rose on March 7, 2022

    Below are some of the latest state updates and posters –

    map of United States

    CALIFORNIA

    The State of California has released various information on Covid-19 related paid sick leave for 2022:

    • According to the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Poster, which became effective on February 19, 2022, covered employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with at least 26 employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of 2022 COVID-19 related paid sick leave from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022. This leave is to


    Continue Reading Local and State Employment Law Updates: A Mass Issuance of New Labor Posters

    Contributed by Timm Schowalter, March 3, 2022

    President Biden, the self-described “most pro-union president,” is faced with the grim reality that despite his administration’s systematic efforts to boost union membership, union membership has, instead, fallen back to historic lows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures that the rate of union membership, or the percentage of wage and salary workers who were part of a union, dropped to 10.3% in 2021, matching the record low in 2019. Among private-sector workers, the numbers were even worse: union members made up just 6.1% of that workforce, compared to 33.9% of the
    Continue Reading Decrease In Union Membership Will Inevitably Result in a Blitzkrieg of Government’s Pro-Union Actions

    Contributed by guest author Christopher Miller, March 1, 2022

    Labor Law sign and gavel

    On December 27, 2021, the NLRB entered a formal Notice and Invitation for briefing from the public to aid in its consideration of: (1) overturning the independent-contractor standard established in SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., 367 NLRB No. 75 (2019); and (2) returning to the standard from FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB 610, 611 (2014) either in its entirety or with modifications.

    The notice and invitation come as part of the Board’s review of a finding that certain makeup artists, wig artists, and hairstylists are employees of
    Continue Reading Re-Classification Coming: NLRB Poised to Change the Test for Misclassification and Ramp Up Enforcement Efforts

    Contributed by Jeffrey A. Risch and John R. Hayes

    16306823 – 3d illustration of scales of justice and gavel on orange background

    Court decisions dealing with and interpreting the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act do not occur with great regularity. So when an interesting decision comes down, we feel it is worth reporting on and should be noted by those businesses that are subject to the Act.

    The case is Rodriguez v. Simplex Grinnell LP and is from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, decided in August 2021. In that case, the court rejected plaintiffs’ (employees of
    Continue Reading Federal Judge Finds Periodic Inspection and Testing of Fire or Security Systems Does Not Fall Under the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act

    Contributed by Sara M. Rose, February 23, 2022

    map of United States of America

    Below are some of the latest state updates –

    CALIFORNIA

    The State of California has updated the following:

    • According to a Notice issued by the Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards on February 1, 2022, the city’s hourly minimum wage will rise from $15.00 to $16.04 as of July 1, 2022.
  • Supplemental paid sick leave is now provided to covered employees under Senate Bill No. 114.  Such employees must be unable to work, in person or remotely, for reasons related to COVID-19.  The paid

  • Continue Reading Local and State Law Updates: From Minimum Wage to Medical Marijuana

    Contributed by Allison P. Sues, February 11, 2022

    black and white gavel

    On February 10, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that prohibits mandatory arbitration for workplace sexual harassment or sexual assault claims. The bill, H.R. 4445, originated in the House, and later passed there on February 7, 2022. The Senate quickly passed the bill by large, bipartisan margins. President Biden has voiced support for the bill and is expected to sign it into law.

    H.R. 4445, named the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, prohibits enforcement of contracts that mandate that workplace disputes
    Continue Reading Senate Passes Law Making Mandatory Arbitration Agreements for Sexual Harassment Claims Voidable by the Claimant

    Contributed by Beverly Alfon, February 10, 2022

    Blue medical face masks isolated on white

    It depends where you stand. Here are some of the latest updates –

    California:  Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill  that restores the expired supplemental paid leave requirements that he signed into law back in March 2021. In a nutshell, beginning February 19 (retroactive to January 1, 2022) and continuing through  September 30, 2022, California employers with more than 25 employees must provide up to two (2) weeks of paid COVID-19 leave to employees who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19
    Continue Reading COVID-19 Employer Updates – Where Do We Stand Now?

    Contributed by Suzanne Newcomb, February 7, 2022

    Employer at desk on white background

    No employer is immune from staffing storages in today’s climate, but December 2021 unemployment data released this week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), confirms what Indiana employers have been feeling for a while: it is harder than ever to recruit and retain talent.

    According to the report, Indiana had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation in December 2021 at just 1.3% (tied with Utah), significantly lower than the national rate of 3.7%. Indiana also took the top two spots
    Continue Reading Staffing Shortages Force Employers In Indiana (and Everywhere) to Get Creative