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On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final independent contractor rule in the Federal Registrar in an attempt to provide greater clarity and consistency on how to classify a worker as an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

For decades, federal courts have analyzed the question using a multifactor, totality-of-the-circumstances economic reality test, with no factor or factors being dispositive. However, a rule that was published on January 7, 2021, known as the 2021 IC Rule, set forth “core factors” where some factors should be given additional weight over others. The 2021 IC Rule was criticized for not being supported by the DOL’s historical position and not fully aligned with the FLSA’s text.Continue Reading Navigating the labor landscape: Department of Labor announces final rule on independent contractors

On August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulatory rule that would raise the minimum salary threshold for employees who are classified as “exempt” under the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by nearly 55 percent. The proposed rule would also create a new mechanism for subsequent

On August 8, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that will change the prevailing wage rate landscape for employers on construction projects backed by federal funds (the Rule). The Rule updates regulations to the Davis-Bacon Act and related acts (the Acts) to change the way that prevailing wage rates are

In our original post, we reviewed the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) approval of proposed new regulations by Governor Tom Wolf’s administration concerning tipped employees.

Since then, the Pennsylvania Attorney General completed its review and approved the regulation. The regulation will go into effect on August 5, 2022. Below is a review of

In November 2021, Governor Tom Wolf’s administration proposed a new regulation that will require tipped employees to earn at least $135 a month in tips before an employer is permitted to pay the $2.83 per hour tipped rate, rather than state’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Currently, in Pennsylvania, employers can pay tipped employees

On March 3, President Joe Biden signed into law one of the most significant modifications ever made to federal arbitration law. Known as the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021” (the Act), the new law essentially restricts employers from forcing workplace sexual harassment or assault claims to be resolved

On February 7, 2022, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 4445, which would modify the Federal Arbitration Act by carving out an exception for cases involving sexual harassment and assault. The bill titled, “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021” – which was passed by the Senate on

Pennsylvania House of Representatives members have proposed House Bill 2318, which proposes that employers must provide a “natural immunity” exemption to employees under any employer COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy. The bill defines “natural immunity” as possessing immunity to the COVID-19 virus as a result of previous infection caused by the virus. Thus, if the proposed

For more than a year, many American workers have been working from home. Now, as restrictions are lifting across the country, employers are beginning to call employees back to the office. Employers may see an uptick in requests to work remotely, particularly given the popularity of working from home. In responding to such requests, employers must be mindful of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws.

Large portions of the American workforce report that they enjoy working from home, and the pandemic has shown telework is possible.

A recent study conducted by Harvard Business School Online reveals that some employees are not interested in returning to the office. The survey showed that 81 percent of respondents either don’t want to go back to the office, or would prefer a hybrid schedule (allowing them to work from home 2-3 days a week) going forward. One in three employees report that they felt that their overall performance and quality of their work had improved in the remote work environment, and the same percentage indicated that they are able to focus more at home than they are in the office.Continue Reading Navigating post-pandemic telework requests

Imagine you are a human resources professional or in-house employment counsel and you learn that an employee in your organization is seeking a job transfer or other accommodation because with a body weight of almost 600 pounds, he is too overweight to do his present job. What do you do?

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit highlights how courts across the country have interpreted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in workplace situations involving obesity. If a workplace challenge relating to obesity hasn’t happened in your organization yet, it is increasingly likely to happen soon. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that rates of American adults with obesity have continued to increase over the past decade according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their findings comport with a trend line dating back to the 1980s. With that trend in mind, let’s examine Richardson v. Chicago Transit Authority, 926 F.3d 881 (7th Cir. 2019).

Mark Richardson worked as a bus driver for 13 years. In September of 2010, weighing nearly 600 pounds, Richardson’s employer required that he undergo a safety assessment following a medical leave. During the assessment, he was unable to perform several safety driving functions (for example, hand-over-hand steering) because of his obesity. Richardson argued under the ADA and related agency regulations and guidance that severe obesity should automatically qualify as an ADA impairment, without having to show any other underlying physiological cause.Continue Reading Is extreme obesity a physical characteristic or a disability?