Category Archives: HR Law

New Guidance Issued by DOL Regarding Mental Health and the FMLA

At a time when more people appear to be struggling with mental health concerns, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has taken steps to clarify applicable laws that would enable employees to take time off work to address either their own or a family member’s mental health conditions. Near the end of last month (May 2022) —Mental Health Awareness Month— the DOL-WHD issued Fact Sheet #28O and a related Frequently Asked Questions. The documentsRead the rest

The CROWN Act

On March 18, 2022, in a vote of 235-189, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with bipartisan support H.R. 2116, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act of 2022. This bill prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. Specifically, the bill prohibits discrimination against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment. Read the rest

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Ensuring Access for Immigrant Workers to NLRB Processes

Earlier this month, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo released a new protocol to advance immigrant worker protections to freely exercise rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and safely participate in NLRB investigations. In a memo issued to all field offices, the NLRB’s Division of Operations Management advised Regions to distribute information (available in English and Spanish) to all witnesses, advising them that immigration status is not relevant to whether there has been Read the rest

EEOC Warns Against Caregiving Discrimination

During the pandemic, employees who are caregivers have adjusted to quarantine requirements, abrupt closures, or schedule changes at schools, care facilities, childcare centers, or businesses. Charlotte A. Burrows, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commented, “As the pandemic evolves, and the country moves to a new normal, we cannot assume caregiving obligations have ended.”

To ensure that caregivers know their rights and employers understand their responsibilities, the EEOC released (March 2022) a technical assistance document, “The Read the rest

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements No Longer Enforceable in Sexual Harassment or Assault Cases

Last week (March 3, 2022), President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, making it illegal to compel an employee to arbitrate a claim of sexual assault or sexual harassment. This article explains that “the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 amends the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) by banning mandatory arbitration of sexual assault or harassment cases, and claims of retaliation resulting from Read the rest

US Department of Labor to Hire 100 New Investigators, Signaling Increased Focus on Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) seeks to add 100 investigators to its team to support its enforcement efforts. The WHD oversees the enforcement of many critical federal employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, the division is responsible for conducting investigations to determine if employers are paying workers accurately and affording them their rights as the law requires, Read the rest

Vaccine Mandate Update

The Biden Administration’s various vaccine and testing mandates for employers with over 100 employees, certain healthcare providers, and federal contractors continue to face significant legal challenges. 

On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402). The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” Read the rest

Court Temporarily Halts Vaccine Mandate

As employers work feverishly to get into compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would require employers to set a mandate for employee vaccination, on Saturday, November 6, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay. Two days earlier (on November 4), the OSHA released details for how the government expects employers with 100 or more employees to comply with its vaccination mandate. These employers must ensure their workers Read the rest

Steps Taken to Require Coronavirus Vaccination

On September 9th, President Biden announced that the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week. In addition, the temporary rule will require covered employers to provide paid time off for the time it takes workers to get vaccinated or recover from post-vaccination side effects. In a White House statement, … Read the rest

EEOC Launches Resource Hub on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has launched a resource page on sexual orientation and gender identity. The page includes the EEOC’s position on what kinds of acts in the workplace can constitute employment discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also links to the EEOC’s more detailed technical guidance document on this issue, provides a fact sheet on notable litigation the EEOC is following and includes litigation and enforcement statistics.Read the rest