June 2017: The Top 15 Labor And Employment Law Stories

Author:Fisher & Philips LLP
Profession:Fisher Phillips LLP

It's hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While it always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, the last few months have seen an unprecedented number of changes. June 2017 was no different, with so many significant developments taking place during the month that we were forced to expand our monthly summary beyond the typical "Top 10" list. In order to make sure that you stay on top of the latest changes, here is a quick review of the Top 15 stories from last month that all employers need to know about:

  1. Dawn Of A New Day? Labor Department Withdraws Obama-Era Guidance On Misclassification, Joint Employment

    In a welcome development for employers, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 7 that the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) was immediately withdrawing guidance published during the Obama administration that had hampered businesses when it comes to independent contractor misclassification and joint employment standards. While the guidance letters did not carry the force of law, they were relied upon by USDOL investigators and courts when examining allegations of wrongdoing, and were often cited by plaintiffs' attorneys to support their demands.

    Their withdrawal is one of the first concrete steps taken by the Trump Department of Labor to free up employers to conduct business in a less burdensome regulatory environment. Although employers still need to proceed with caution when developing policies and practices involving classification and joint employment principles, this development might signal the dawn of a new day (read more here).

  2. Supreme Court Partially Revives President's Travel Ban, But Imposes Limitations

    The U.S. Supreme Court announced on June 26 that portions of the controversial Executive Order No. 13780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (known informally as the "travel ban"), should no longer be blocked from taking effect and should instead be enforced by federal authorities. It issued a partial stay of the injunctions issued by the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal that had blocked it from going into effect over the past month, and also announced that it would hear arguments on the case in the October 2017 Supreme Court term (Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project) (read more here). 

  3. Department Of Labor Announces It Will No Longer Defend Obama-Era Overtime Rules

    The U.S. Department of Labor finally filed its Reply Brief supporting its request that the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturn last November's  preliminary injunction that blocked the salary-related changes in the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions (often referred to as the "overtime rules"). Not surprisingly, the agency argued that it has the authority to include a salary requirement in defining who qualifies for the executive, administrative, professional, and derivative exemptions.

    The bigger news, however, was that the agency announced in its brief that it has "decided not to advocate for the specific salary level ($913 per week) set in the final rule at this time," and that it "intends to undertake further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be" (read more here).  

  4. OSHA Proposes Delay Until December 1 For Electronic...

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