Employment Law Update – Legal-mail no. 2017-12
Posted on Sep. 21, 2017

This is Legal-mail no. 2017-12 prepared for many interested HR professionals as well as Salt Lake SHRM, the Human Resources Association of Central Utah (HRACU), the Northern Utah Human Resources Association (NUHRA), the Color Country Human Resources Association (CCHRA), the Bridgerland Society for Human Resource Management and Utah at-large members of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

CONTENTS:

 

-  DOL OT SALARY INCREASE RULES OFFICIALLY DEAD

-  EEOC SUES STAFFING AGENCY OVER PRE-OFFER MEDICAL INQUIRIES

-  EEOC TO USE PRIOR VERSION OF EEO-1 FOR 2017

-  CONGRESS LOOKS TO REQUIRE THAT ALL EMPLOYERS USE E-VERIFY

-  SOME BIG SETTLEMENTS IN EMPLOYMENT CASES

DOL OT SALARY INCREASE RULES OFFICIALLY DEAD: New rules on overtime exemption salary thresholds that were set to take effect last December have been officially struck down by a federal court in Texas. The current salary threshold for white collar exemptions from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is $455/week, or $23,660/year. Last year, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued new regulations that doubled these minimum salaries, but the court ruling has killed those new regulations. DOL apparently still is considering issuing new regulations that will increase the minimum salary an employer must pay to an employee in order for that employee to be exempt from overtime pay under FLSA. New DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta has suggested that, due to the increase in the cost of living, the salary amount should be increased to somewhere around $33,000/year (which is about $635/week). Stay tuned for developments.

 

EEOC SUES STAFFING AGENCY OVER PRE-OFFER MEDICAL INQUIRIES: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued an Arizona staffing agency for disability discrimination. The lawsuit alleges that the staffing agency required applicants to answer questionnaires seeking detailed medical information, such as use of medications, history of illnesses and previous/current injuries. The EEOC also has alleged that the agency made staffing decisions based on such information. The agency’s behavior, if true as alleged, would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which carefully limits the sort of health information an employer may obtain and when it may obtain it.

 

EEOC TO USE PRIOR VERSION OF EEO-1 FOR 2017: Speaking of the EEOC, it announced in late August that for the year 2017, employers should use the same EEO-1 report format used in previous years. The Trump administration Office of Management and Budget (OMB) currently is reviewing the revised EEO-1 form that would have required employers to report compensation information. The 2017 reporting deadline is March 31, 2018.

 

CONGRESS LOOKS TO REQUIRE THAT ALL EMPLOYERS USE E-VERIFY: Legislation that recently was introduced into the United States House of Representatives would require that all employers use the E-Verify system to check the work authorization of new employees. Currently, only federal contractors and employers in certain states are required to use the system. SHRM supports this legislation, in part because it will provide a consistent national standard for employers rather than a state-by-state approach.

 

SOME BIG SETTLEMENTS IN EMPLOYMENT CASES: Recent news reports indicate that some employers continue to pay big bucks to resolve employment disputes. An auto manufacturer has paid over id="mce_marker"0 million to settle race and sex bias allegations. The charging parties in those cases asserted they were subjected to racial and sex harassment at a facility in the Chicago area. In addition to paying compensation, the involved employer must conduct extensive training over the next five years. In another case, a parcel delivery service company has agreed to pay almost two million dollars to resolve an EEOC charge that the company had a blanket rule of discharging employees who could not return to work after medical leave of one year. The employer now must analyze each such case on its own merits, in terms of accommodations and hardships, before allowing discharge.

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Author

mikeAttorney Michael
Patrick O'Brien

Mike O’Brien is an experienced and accomplished employment attorney, media lawyer and courtroom litigator.  He is active in SHRM and has received the highest possible reviews from rating services like Martindale - Hubbell (AV rating), Chambers USA, Utah Business Legal Elite, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal USA, and SuperLawyers.  HR Executive Online has named him as one of America’s most powerful 100 employment lawyers, but keep in mind, this does not mean he is good at moving heavy furniture.

Awards and Recognition

OBrienAV

OBrien Best

Chambers 2011 Attorney

Super Lawyers
Michael Patrick O'Brien
 

Best Lawyers In America, “Salt Lake City Best Lawyers Employment Law Lawyer Of The Year,” 2011-2012

Best Lawyers In America, First Amendment Law, Labor And Employment Law, 2005-2012

Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, 2003-2011

Employment Lawyer Of The Year, Utah State Bar, 2001

Human Resources Executive, Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers In America, 2010

Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2007-2012

Utah Business Magazine, Legal Elite, Labor And Employment, 2006-2012