Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hippity, Hoppity, Is the Final White Collar Salary Rule On Its Way?

The highly anticipated final white collar salary exemption rule (“Final Rule”) is one step closer to becoming reality. The proposed rule would raise the minimum weekly salary requirement for the FLSA “white collar” exemption from the current $455 per week amount ($23,660 annually) to $970 per week ($50,440 annually). You can read our earlier post about the proposed rule here.

On Tuesday, March 15, the U.S. Department of Labor sent the Final Rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review, ahead of the expected review and release schedule. The specific provisions of the Final Rule will not be known until the OMB review is completed and the Final Rule is published. The OMB review typically takes between 30 and 60 days. This means that we may see publication of the Final Rule in April or May of this year, with implementation taking place sometime thereafter.

Friday, March 18, 2016

How Might a Judge Garland Appointment to the Supreme Court Shape Labor and Employment Law?

As noted in a previous blog post, Justice Scalia’s sudden passing last month will have a big impact on how key labor and employment cases are decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. On March 16th, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. Judge Garland is currently the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”). The D.C. Circuit is a primary forum for challenges to administrative actions, including actions by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). This means that Judge Garland’s judicial record is of particular importance to employers as we face his potential appointment to the Supreme Court. While Republicans in Congress have vowed to block any appointment prior to the upcoming Presidential election, Judge Garland has been a short-list candidate for the Supreme Court in the past and may be successful in obtaining a seat on the Court.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

EEOC Files Landmark Lawsuits Alleging Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Violates Title VII

This week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made the landmark announcement that it has sued two companies for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. On March 1, 2016, the EEOC filed suit against Scott Medical Health Center in federal district court in Pennsylvania and Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems in federal district court in Maryland.  Both cases allege that the defendant employers discriminated against the plaintiffs based on sexual orientation and, by doing so, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII does not expressly reference “sexual orientation” as a prohibited form of discrimination. The EEOC is, however, pursuing its position that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based on sex stereotyping and, therefore, extends to both sexual orientation and gender identity.