Thursday, March 29, 2018

Employer That Failed to Pay Overtime Also Found Liable Under the National Labor Relations Act for Interfering with Protected Employee Rights

Defending a wage and hour class or collective action is one of the most difficult employment law challenges facing companies today. Penalties are steep, attorneys’ fees are significant, and liability can be hard to avoid. Employers should be mindful, however, that they may also face liability under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if they do not properly respond to collective employee concerns raised in wage and hour lawsuits. A recent case, Village Red Restaurant Corp. d/b/a Waverly Restaurant, 366 NLRB No. 42 (2018), exemplifies the additional liability that employers may have under the NLRA if they ignore protected employee rights. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Transgender Discrimination Is Unlawful Under Title VII

Although the Trump administration has signaled its intention to shift away from the prior administration’s efforts to expand LGBTQ+ equity rights in the workplace, a federal appellate court recently held that discrimination based on an individual’s status as transgender or gender-transitioning is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that discrimination based on an employee’s status as transgender or gender-transitioning is prohibited sex discrimination under Title VII. In addition, the Sixth Circuit rejected the employer’s religious freedom defense. The Sixth Circuit is the third federal appellate court to rule in the last year that Title VII protections extend to LGBTQ+ status, reflecting a growing split of authority among the federal courts. See Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College (7th Cir. April 4, 2017); Zarda v. Altitude Express (2nd Cir. Feb. 27, 2018).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Testing, Testing: The U.S. Department of Labor is Testing a Wage and Hour Self-Reporting Program

On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The PAID program encourages employers to self-report inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the DOL, “the program's primary objectives are to resolve such claims expeditiously and without litigation, to improve employers' compliance with overtime and minimum wage obligations, and to ensure that more employees receive the back wages they are owed—faster.”

The estimated start date for the PAID program is April of 2018. Here is what we currently know about the parameters of this new program: