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December 9, 2014

Q&A: OFCCP Can Expect Push for Reassurances It Will Keep Pay Data Under Wraps

Federal contractors should realize that compensation data provided to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs may be subjected to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, Marques O. Peterson, an attorney at Vedder Price, tells Bloomberg BNA in an interview.   

December 8, 2014

Immigration Roundup: DAPA Could Lead to Green Cards

Despite administration assurances that beneficiaries under the new deferred action program don't have access to legal status or citizenship, employers may be able to sponsor workers for green cards under a Department of Homeland Security memorandum on advance parole.

December 8, 2014

EEO Roundup: Should More Job Bias Litigants Explore Reinstatement Offers?

Offers of reinstatement may be worth pursuing in job bias cases—although it’s a less practical remedy and the rule of evidence generally bars the admission of settlement discussions at trial.  

December 2, 2014

Q&A: Don’t Quarantine Yourself From Employment Law During an Ebola Outbreak

Employers need to ensure that their efforts to protect their employees and workplaces from Ebola don’t run afoul of relevant employment law considerations.

November 25, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Obama Went Big

By now everyone's heard about President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, but you may not have heard about the parts that are directly tied to the employment-based immigration system.

November 20, 2014

Management Attorney Sends SOS for Wage-Hour Guidance

Linda M. Doyle, partner of McDermott Will & Emery and member of the firm's employment practice, calls for DOL guidance and education to stem worker misclassification.

November 19, 2014

You Heard It Here First ... or at Least Well in Advance

Businesses have finally started giving bigger raises to workers, something Bloomberg BNA’s Wage Trend Indicator™ has predicted for the past year. The latest WTI forecasts that wage growth likely will improve further by the middle of 2015.

November 18, 2014

Q&A: Job-Listing Compliance for Veterans, Pay Audits on Temp Workers Spark Concerns

Federal contractors have a lot on their plates but shouldn’t overlook differences between “posting” and “listing” openings for veterans, or a possible audit on temporary workers or independent contractors, a compliance expert advises.

November 10, 2014

Immigration Roundup: OCAHO Can, and Will, Come Down Hard on Repeat Offenders

Durable Inc. is paying—literally—for its litany of I-9 violations after the Justice Department's chief administrative hearing officer Oct. 23 affirmed a more than $300,000 penalty against the Chicago-area manufacturer.

October 28, 2014

Immigration Roundup: The Big Executive Action Question

President Barack Obama's decision to delay taking executive action on immigration until after the November midterm elections has only given interested parties time to speculate about what that action might look like. But the signs seem to be pointing more toward some kind of affirmative relief for undocumented immigrants, not unlike the deferred action for childhood arrivals program.    

October 27, 2014

EEO Roundup: Can the Amount of Time Spent on a Job Task Dictate Whether It’s Essential?

A pair of Seventh Circuit judges debate whether the amount of time spent on a job function can dictate whether the task is "essential" for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

October 27, 2014

Attorney’s Second Circuit Appeal Refutes Applicability of OT Exemption to Doc Reviewers

Law firms and legal staffing providers no doubt will be watching the outcome of Fair Labor Standards Act litigation that Manhattan firm Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP is pursuing against the legal giant Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc. The plaintiffs’ firm represents contract attorney David Lola and claims the legal industry for years has been exploiting document reviewers who are paid low hourly rates and no overtime compensation for working long hours on short-term projects.

October 16, 2014

Workers May Finally Defeat the Boogeyman of Labor Market Slack

Any day now, American workers should start to break out of a long rut of low wage growth, according to Bloomberg BNA’s Wage Trend Indicator™. By early 2015, annual wage and salary increases in the private sector are expected to consistently exceed 2 percent for the first time since the early part of the recession.

October 14, 2014

EEO Roundup: Novel Transgender Bias Cases Among EEOC’s 60-Plus Year-End Filings

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed at least 60 new cases in September to close its fiscal year, the most noteworthy being a pair of novel lawsuits filed in Michigan and Florida under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alleging discrimination by private sector employers against male-to-female transsexual workers.  

October 1, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: OPM Seeking Input as It Works to Update SES Onboarding Guidance

The Office of Personnel Management is seeking input as it works to update guidance it issued in October 2011 on “onboarding” new members of the Senior Executive Service at federal agencies.

September 29, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Don't Sit on Your Trafficking Claims

A formerly undocumented landscaping worker recently had his human trafficking case dismissed by a federal court in Minnesota on timeliness grounds, in part because he stood up to his employer.

September 17, 2014

Businesses Feeling Pressure to Give Better Pay Raises

Wage and salary increases in the private sector will improve by early 2015, Bloomberg BNA’s Wage Trend Indicator™ forecasts. The rate of  annual wage growth is expected to consistently exceed 2 percent.  

September 5, 2014

EEO Roundup: EEOC ‘Walking a Fine Line’ With First ADA Wellness Plan Lawsuit

The EEOC's first Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit directly challenging a corporate wellness plan raises questions regarding how companies can implement such programs and induce employee participation without running afoul of the ADA and other laws.  

August 27, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: Greeting Card Industry Wishes Speedy Recovery for USPS

Rather than insisting on legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, the USPS should consider backing a less ambitious measure that might have a better chance of being approved by Congress during the current legislative session, Rafe Morrissey, vice president of postal affairs at the Greeting Card Association, told Bloomberg BNA in an interview earlier this summer.

August 22, 2014

Q&A: Academia’s Juggling Act With OFCCP Compliance, SCOTUS’s Affirmative Action Rulings

Representatives from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity discuss academic institutions as OFCCP-regulated federal contractors, as well as an affirmative action case that may make a second trip to the Supreme Court. (AAAED was formerly the American Association for Affirmative Action.)

August 21, 2014

Pay Gains Predicted to Exceed 2 Percent by Year’s End

Annual wage and salary increases in the private sector will improve by the end of 2014, Bloomberg BNA’s Wage Trend Indicator™ forecasts. The overall rate of wage growth is expected to consistently exceed 2 percent.

August 18, 2014

Roundup Immigration: Why Not Showing Off on the Job Can Mean No Green Card

A Massachusetts pizza parlor and an immigrant worker recently found out the hard way that saying a pizza maker has to demonstrate "showmanship" like tossing pizza dough—and then giving conflicting accounts of whether the worker actually could do that—means no employment-based green card.

August 5, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Back at It Again With the H-2B Wage Rule

While everyone was watching the House getting ready to vote, and then not voting, and then actually voting on immigration bills, a couple of court decisions flew under the radar that might finally put to rest the long, drawn-out H-2B wage rule saga. Or not.

August 4, 2014

EEO Roundup: How Specific Does an Accommodation Request Need to Be?

An intellectually impaired employee’s request for a job accommodation to help manage his condition must specify the particular work rule violation or other problem for which it’s sought in order to trigger the Americans with Disabilities Act’s interactive process.

July 21, 2014

EEO Roundup: Pregnancy Bias--Two Under-the-Radar Rulings You Might Have Missed

The Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in a pregnancy accommodation case and the EEOC's new enforcement guidance on pregnancy bias grab the spotlight, but two district court rulings involving expectant and new mothers also deserve attention.

July 17, 2014

Q&A: Contractors Have No Scapegoat in Third-Party Providers

More federal contractors will start paying closer attention to the services of third-party vendors that assist them with recruitment efforts because of the new hiring requirements established by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for veterans and people with disabilities, Rathin Sinha, president of America's Job Exchange Inc., told Bloomberg BNA.

July 17, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: Civil Service System Needs Overhaul, House Panel Told

House lawmakers, administration witnesses and a former director of the Office of Personnel Management agreed during a recent hearing that the General Schedule pay system for federal employees is broken, but they disagreed on what needs to be fixed.

July 16, 2014

Long-Awaited, Bigger Pay Raises Are Coming for Most Workers

Workers will see bigger pay raises this year, Bloomberg BNA’s Wage Trend Indicator™ predicts, but the large number of unemployed job-seekers eases the pressure on businesses to boost wages to keep and attract employees.

July 7, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Much Ado About Nothing?

Although quite a bit seemed to happen in the immigration world over the past few weeks, no overhaul bill came to the House floor for a vote, or even a single related measure.

June 20, 2014

Q&A: Statistical Proof of Discrimination Isn't Static

W. Carter Younger of McGuireWoods LLP tells Bloomberg BNA why a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on statistical significance may signal a shift in how the courts interpret statistical proof of employment discrimination.

June 16, 2014

EEO Roundup: Are Intellectual Disabilities the Next Big Issue Under the ADAAA?

Bloomberg BNA looks back at the first five years under the 2008 law, and gets the views of several civil rights enforcement officials and employment law practitioners regarding emerging issues

June 11, 2014

Q&A: Self-Audits of Compensation Require Team With the Right Stuff

Before initiating a self-audit on compensation practices and systems, federal contractors should first pull together a pay analysis team, Valerie Hoffman, a partner with Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, told Bloomberg BNA during this Q&A.

June 9, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Back in Business

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Administrative Appeals Office is back in business after eliminating a nagging case backlog that had persisted for years. Now the office is focusing on issuing more precedent decisions—something it hasn't done for the past two years.

June 4, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: Report Says State and Local Outsourcing Costs Communities as Contractors Cut Pay and Benefits

State and local governments need to consider the full cost of outsourcing public sector jobs--including the expense of providing government assistance to a larger number of citizens--when contractors offer lower wages and reduced benefits to their employees, according to a new report.

May 28, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Will They or Won’t They?

With nearly a year elapsing since the Democratic-led Senate passed its comprehensive immigration overhaul bill (S. 744) in June 2013, the focus remains on the Republican-led House and whether it will act on any immigration legislation at all. The clock is ticking.

May 13, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Tick-Tock Tick-Tock

Employers using the H-2A and H-2B guestworker programs may see some relief from government-caused delays following a recent decision from a federal district court in North Carolina holding that the Labor Department has to follow the statutory and regulatory time frames for issuing notices and certifications.

May 7, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: OMB Asked to Forgo `Back Retirement Taxes' From New Federal Workers Due to Software Delay

The president of the American Federation of Government Employees asks the Office of Management and Budget not to collect “back retirement taxes” from new federal employees, to avoid placing a large financial burden on them.

April 28, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Knock Knock! Who's There? USCIS!

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be conducting site visits at the workplaces of L-1 intracompany transferee visa beneficiaries, starting with L-1A executive or manager visas where the employer is seeking an extension of the worker's stay.

April 23, 2014

EEO Roundup: To Graze or Not to Graze, and a Hair Case With a Twist

In the past few weeks, federal district courts addressed new or rare situations or arguments in lawsuits involving employee hairstyles, disabilities, sexual preferences and marital relations.

April 14, 2014

Immigration Roundup: A Time for Renewal

It's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since the Obama administration first instituted the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program. But here we are, gearing up for the process of renewing the more than 125,000 two-year deferred action statuses and work permits granted in 2012.

April 10, 2014

Q&A: The Talk Federal Contractors Need to Initiate

The disability self-identification form issued by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs comes with a steep learning curve for federal contractors, says employment law attorney Mark P.A. Hudson of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll. "We have been taught in human resources to never ask the question about disability to job applicants and employees. We now are asking the question three times," Hudson said during this Q&A.

April 4, 2014

EEO Roundup: Are Federal Lawsuits That Claim Workplace Bias on the Wane?

The number of new federal court filings claiming employment discrimination dipped below 1,000 for the first two months of the year for the first time since 2006. Is this an indication of a true trend?

March 31, 2014

Immigration Roundup: It's That Time Again!

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the days are getting longer. We all know what season has arrived. That's right: H-1B filing season.

March 26, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: More Private Sector Than Public Sector Workers Represented by Unions, Report Says

More private sector than public sector employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements in 2013, a reversal from four years earlier, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.  

March 21, 2014

EEO Roundup: Worker Background Check Issue Heats Up Again as Sixth Circuit Hears Oral Argument

Oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit March 20 and other recent developments show that the use of criminal and other employee background checks is still much on the minds of EEOC representatives and employer advocates.

March 17, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Barred From the Florida Bar

Jose Godinez-Samperio learned the hard way March 6 that Florida isn't California. Unlike in California, where undocumented immigrant Sergio Garcia was admitted to the state's bar in January, in Florida the state high court ruled that undocumented immigrants can't get law licenses in the state.

March 6, 2014

Q&A: All Eyes on EEOC’s Lawsuit Challenging Severance Agreement

A recent lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against CVS Pharmacy Inc. over provisions in a severance agreement has probably garnered the attention of employers who normally don't  pay close attention to EEOC litigation, says Philip K. Miles of McQuaide Blasko Law Offices.

March 3, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Enforcing Enforcement

The same week a House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the president's apparent failure to enforce immigration laws, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General issued a report calling into question one of the administration's key immigration enforcement initiatives—Immigration and Customs Enforcement's work-site enforcement program. The report found discrepancies in the issuance of warnings versus fines, substantial reduction in fines ultimately imposed, and failure to keep accurate and up-to-date information on enforcement actions and outcomes.

February 26, 2014

Labor Stats and Facts: In Labor v. the South, the Numbers Are on the South's Side

In the wake of its Volkswagen loss, union leaders have vowed to organize workers in Southern states. But statistically speaking, the South is the least union-friendly spot on the U.S. map.

February 25, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: EEOC Seeks Comment on Draft Proposal to Revise Federal Sector Complaint Process

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a draft copy issued Feb. 24 is seeking public comment on what it called "significant revisions" to EEOC Management Directive 110 - guidance on the federal sector complaint process that first became effective in November 1999.  

February 21, 2014

EEO Roundup: Is Friendship a Basis for a Title VII Retaliation Claim?

Is an employee’s friendship with a co-worker who allegedly was subjected to discrimination or harassment and who complained to their employer, grounds for a retaliation claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

February 19, 2014

Q&A: Rethinking Veterans’ Employment for OFCCP Compliance

Understanding how military skills can transfer over to the civilian workplace may help federal contractors meet new hiring benchmarks in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, says Lisa Rosser, chief executive officer and founder of Value of a Veteran, a human resources consulting firm. 

February 7, 2014

EEO Roundup: Federal Bill on Unemployment Status Bias Headlines Spate of Legislative Activity

Legislatures at the federal, state and local levels in the past few weeks enacted or proposed new laws aimed at further protecting employees from workplace discrimination

February 6, 2014

Q&A: Plaintiffs’ Counsel Muses on Employment Class Action Trends, Strategies

Attorney Andrew Melzer of Sanford Heisler LLP in New York discusses plaintiff-side tactics emerging in employment class action litigation, and explains why the plaintiffs' class action bar is still confident in the class certification process when pursuing discrimination cases.

February 3, 2014

Immigration Roundup: One Small Step for Boehner, One Giant Leap for Congress?

After much anticipation, House Republican leaders have finally released their "Standards for Immigration Reform," calling for a revamped electronic employment eligibility verification system, a new visa system based on employers' needs, and legal status for undocumented immigrants. Although reviews of the principles have been varied, most observers said the release is a signal that the House is committed to passing immigration overhaul legislation this year.

January 26, 2014

EEO Roundup: Enforcement Agencies Signal Aspects of Their Agendas

Officials from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recently offered some insights into the federal government’s EEO enforcement plans for 2014.

January 21, 2014

Immigration Roundup: A Special Pathway to Compromise

House Republicans' chief objection to the provisions of the Senate's comprehensive immigration overhaul bill (S. 744) that address the undocumented population has been the creation of a "special" pathway to citizenship. But Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, recently authored a report comparing the consequences of S. 744's legalization provisions to those of the “two-stage approach” mentioned by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), potentially opening the door to a compromise.

January 15, 2014

Public Sector Roundup: OPM Proposes Changing Career Tenure Rule to Eliminate Mandate for Continuous Service

The Office of Personnel Management is proposing to change its current regulations on creditable service for career tenure for federal employees, the OPM said in a recent Federal Register notice outlining the proposed rule.  

January 7, 2014

Q&A: The EEOC Mediator Said What?

Colorado-based attorney Merrily Archer explains why she launched a national survey asking employers whether mediators in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs made certain comments and statements during the mediation process.

January 6, 2014

Immigration Roundup: Undocumented, but Not Barred From the Bar

Concluding a process that's taken nearly two years, the California Supreme Court Jan. 2 held that Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, should be admitted to the California Bar. This makes California the first state in the country to take such an action. The court found that California's recently passed A.B. 1024 is enough to get around a federal law banning states from granting public benefits to undocumented immigrants, and said Garcia's unauthorized presence and lack of federal work authorization don't justify withholding of a law license.

January 2, 2014

EEO Roundup: Might EEOC Conciliation Issue Be Headed to Supreme Court?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent big win regarding the agency's presuit conciliation requirements may mean the issue is ticketed for eventual U.S. Supreme Court review.

December 23, 2013

Q&A: Year-End Thoughts on EEOC Enforcement, Social Media Trends

Daniel A. Schwartz, an attorney at Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford, Conn., recaps his 2013 noteworthy moments in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement, and discusses how new and not-so-new mobile apps and social media sites are redefining the employment law landscape.

December 18, 2013

Labor Stats and Facts: September Is for Steelworkers, and Other Observations for 2014

2014 is shaping up to be a lively negotiating year, but some unions will be busier than others. Here’s a preview of who will be brushing up on their bargaining skills for each month.

December 13, 2013

EEO Roundup: Better 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' at Least When Swatting Flies in the Workplace

Is an employer justified in firing an employee for swatting a fly too enthusiastically?  That's just one of the questions potentially posed by an unusual case involving a Texas apartment leasing manager that recently made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

December 9, 2013

Immigration Roundup: The H-2B Wage Rule Saga Continues

The Department of Labor has again been dealt a setback in its quest to develop a workable methodology for determining prevailing wages under the H-2B low-skilled, nonagricultural guestworker program. Although the agency's current methodology—derived from an April interim final rule—remains intact, the en banc Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals has ruled that the DOL can't use its new methodology to issue new prevailing wage determinations to employers that have already had their H-2B labor certification applications approved.

December 9, 2013

Q&A: A Quick Reality Check on HIV Employment Discrimination

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, the legal director of the Center for HIV Law & Policy (CHLP), tells Bloomberg BNA that the Americans with Disabilities Act plays a major role in protecting the rights of people with HIV because "employment discrimination against them is a continuing problem."

December 4, 2013

Public Sector Roundup: Sequestration Will Be Worse in FY 2014, Center for American Progress Report Says

Sequestration, if it is allowed to continue through fiscal year 2014, will be even more damaging than it was in FY 2013, according to a recent report from the Center for American Progress.

November 25, 2013

Immigration Roundup: Is the DOL Changing Notice Requirements--Without Notice?

An issue is brewing over at the Department of Labor about the steps employers must take before they can hire foreign workers under the permanent labor certification program. In a case set to be heard Dec. 3 before the en banc Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals, several advocacy groups have argued in amicus briefs that the DOL suddenly, and without warning, is denying labor certification based on a finding that the employer's efforts to notify and consider recently laid off American workers for the open positions didn't meet the regulatory requirements.

November 25, 2013

Labor Stats and Facts: Unionization Is Up in 2013, For One Very Big Reason

At first glance, it looks as if 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for unions. More workers have been organized through NLRB-sanctioned elections in the first half of the year than over the entire course of 2012. But there’s more to this than meets the eye, because there's one single, gigantic outlier involved.

November 21, 2013

Q&A: Do Tougher Pleading Standards Affect Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Results?

Professor Jonah B. Gelbach of the University of Pennsylvania Law School talks about research that shows the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal have had little effect on plaintiffs' win rates in summary judgment motions in employment discrimination cases.

November 19, 2013

Public Sector Roundup: Federal Workers in D.C. Can Participate in Certain Political Activities, OPM Says

Federal employees living in the District of Columbia will be able to participate in certain types of local political activities under a recently issued final rule from the Office of Personnel Management.  

November 15, 2013

EEO Roundup: Background Checks Still Front Page News

The issue of employee background screening took center stage again earlier this month when the state of Texas sued in federal court, seeking to invalidate and bar the enforcement of 2012 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on employers' review of arrest and conviction records.

November 12, 2013

Immigration Roundup: The $34 Million Question

The Department of Justice and Infosys Technologies Limited Inc., an international information technology company with headquarters in Bangalore, India, have settled allegations that the company was misusing B-1 business visitor visas in order to skirt the requirements of the H-1B highly skilled guestworker program. The $34 million the company has agreed to pay the federal government is the largest amount ever paid in an immigration case.

November 6, 2013

Public Sector Roundup: OMB Beginning 120-Day Review of Federal Clearance Process

The Office of Management and Budget is heading a 120-day review of the federal government's security clearance process, including the fitness of federal contractors for conducting such clearances.

November 1, 2013

EEO Roundup: But for “But-For”--The Impact of a Causation Standard

It is fair to say that the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, which established that workers alleging retaliation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act are subject to a heightened "but-for" standard of proof, agitated the plaintiffs’ bar.  It may also be fair to say that their agitation was justified.