Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the final overtime rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of its December 1st implementation date.  Today we focus on the rule’s impact on non-profits and educational institutions. 

On Wednesday of this week, the Department of Labor announced its Final Rule, which is aimed at expanding overtime eligibility for millions of American workers.  At its core, the final version of the rule doubled the minimum salary employers must pay “white collar” workers to maintain their exempt status.  See our post here for a summary of the new regulations.

But what does this mean for non-profits, including educational institutions, which may be harder hit by these changes than private sector employers?  In short, generally the same thing it means for any other employer.

Continue Reading Where do the DOL’s New FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations Leave Non-Profits and Educational Institutions?

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Fair Labor Division has joined a multistate effort questioning retail stores’ use of “on call” shifts.  Last week, the Massachusetts AG’s Office teamed up with its counterparts from New York, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Rhode Island to send requests for information regarding “on call” shifts to 15 national retailers with locations in Massachusetts.  The letters (see an example here) cite to concerns over the toll that “on call” shifts can have on employees, including difficulty making reliable child-care arrangements and obstacles to pursuing an education or a second job.

Continue Reading “On Call” Shifts Still In the Hot Seat in Massachusetts

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division weighed in last week on the hot topic of joint employment, issuing an Administrative Interpretation entitled “Joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.”  This new interpretive guidance takes an expansive view of the types of business arrangements that may result in companies being classified as joint employers and discusses the two general scenarios in which joint employment may arise under federal wage and hour laws.

Continue Reading DOL Issues Guidance on Joint Employment

The EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace recently held the third in a series of public meetings, a two-part panel aimed at understanding the different and evolving nature of harassment in the workplace and potentially new methods for addressing harassment.  The Task Force was created early this year by EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang.  The Task Force co-chairs, Commissioners Chai R. Feldblum and Victoria A. Lipnic, anticipate making recommendations to Chairwoman Yang in early 2016.  We quickly revisit the highlights from the Task Force’s December 7 public meeting below.

Continue Reading The Times They Are A-Changing: EEOC Task Force Focuses on Evolving Harassment in the Workplace and New Ways to Combat It

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) voted 3-1 to reconsider its decision in Brown University, 342 NLRB 483 (2004) that graduate teaching and research assistants are not employees under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) and, therefore, not entitled to collective bargaining rights.  Many predict that the current Board will reverse Brown, opening up the door to graduate student unionization among private non-profit institutions.

Continue Reading NLRB to Reconsider Whether Graduate Teaching Assistants at Private Universities Can Unionize

On September 29, the House subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions held a legislative hearing to consider the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, H.R. 3459.  This bill, which is mirrored in the Senate, S. 2015, would require that “two or more employers may be considered joint employers for purposes of this Act only if each shares and exercises control over essential terms and conditions of employment and such control over these matters is actual, direct, and immediate.”

Continue Reading Congress Considers Amending NLRA to Require Direct Control for Joint Employer Findings

The NLRB dropped a major bomb on businesses in subcontracting, franchising, and temporary staffing relationships yesterday, adopting a new—very, very broad—definition of joint employment. In Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., a 3-2 decision, the NLRB decided that workers at a Browning-Ferris recycling facility were not only employees of subcontractor Leadpoint, but also were employees of Browning-Ferris—this even though Browning-Ferris never actually exercised its authority to control the terms and conditions of the workers’ employment. Continue Reading NLRB Adopts New Joint Employer Test: Companies That Kind of, Sort of, Maybe Someday Could Exercise Control Over Employees Can Be Joint Employers

The New York Times reported yesterday that it received a draft executive order marked “pre-decisional and deliberative,” which contemplates granting a minimum of 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.  The impact of such an order, were it to become legally binding, would be significant, affecting hundreds of thousands of workers across the U.S.

Continue Reading More Paid Sick Leave on the Horizon? Draft Executive Order Calls for Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.

The NLRB recently reversed 37 years of precedent in deciding to adopt a new standard for a union’s access to witness statements taken in pre-grievance arbitration employer investigations. For years, under the blanket exemption on mandatory disclosure for witness statements, employers have been able to assure employee witnesses to co-worker misconduct that their statements will be held confidential. With this new standard in place, employers can no longer offer such assurances, and many predict a resulting “chilling effect” on employees’ willingness to “see something, say something.”  Continue Reading NLRB Removes Blanket Exemption on Mandatory Disclosure for Witness Statements. What’s an Employer To Do?