1. Welcome to Employment Law This Week®! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    1. OSHA Proposes Rolling Back Reporting Rule

    Our top story: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) plans to roll back a controversial reporting rule initiated at the end of the Obama administration. OSHA has proposed rescinding parts of a 2017 rule that requires companies with 250 or more employees to submit detailed reports on workplace injuries. OSHA says this move would protect employee privacy and reduce the burden for employers. Three organizations have filed suit over the proposed changes, saying that the data from the detailed reports helps improve workplace safety procedures. Corey Argust, from Epstein Becker Green, has more:

    “On July 25, 2018, Public Citizen, which is a progressive consumer rights advocacy organization, which was originally founded by Ralph Nader, was joined by two other public health organizations and sued OSHA to try and seek to actually enforce the electronic reporting rule requirements. OSHA had announced that it was suspending the deadline of July 1, 2018, for submitting the required forms and had actually stopped accepting these forms. So, OSHA is now being sued by Public Citizen, who's arguing they violated the law by suspending the deadline and is now seeking to enforce the requirement that employers actually submit these forms to OSHA.”

    2. California Clarifies Salary History Ban

    Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law that gives employers new clarity on California's salary history ban, which went into effect in January of this year. The new legislation defines such terms as “pay scale,” “applicant," and “reasonable request.” The law also clarifies that employers are allowed to ask applicants about salary expectations.

    3. NYC Employers Required to Grant Temporary Schedule Changes

    New York City employers are now required to accommodate some employee schedule changes. As of July 18, employees in New York City can request temporary schedule changes, or permission to take unpaid time off for personal events like a caregiving emergency. Employees may request up to two separate schedule changes of up to one business day each, or one schedule change for up to two business days each year. However, employees must be on the job for a minimum of 120 days to be eligible. A new poster has also been issued by the City.

    For more, click here: https://bit.ly/2vcmd4b

    4. Model FMLA Forms Have Expired

    Employers take note—the current Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) forms have gotten a short reprieve. The Department of Labor’s model FMLA notices and medical certification forms were set to expire July 31, but that date was pushed back to the end of August. Once the Federal Office of Management and Budget approves new model FMLA forms, they will be valid through 2021.

    For more, click here: https://bit.ly/2vvWrY1

    5. Tip of the Week

    Christopher Bona, a Partner at Finn Partners, is here with some advice on issue management programs:

    “Issues management is a communications leadership function within a company that allows a company to spot emerging trends that can crystallize over time into issues . . . issues that may compel the company to communicate to a variety of its key audiences. How can organizations be prepared and have some sort of a framework for identifying and responding to issues that might affect the business? The first thing that they should do is identify all of the issues that could possibly happen that would come up in the business, that would compel the business to communicate in some fashion. Analyze those issues and prioritize them. Then, take that list and create responses that are ready to go or can be adapted so that when the issue emerges and occurs, the organization is ready to respond. And then lastly, make sure to evaluate the impact of the execution of those responses to the issue.”

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The “Tip of the Week” offers one perspective on possible human resource ideas or business practices. It presents the perspective of an individual not affiliated with Epstein Becker Green and should not be considered legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  2. Welcome to Employment Law This Week®! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 28. July 26, 2018, marked the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. The ADA was landmark legislation that changed the workplace radically for those with disabilities, and their colleagues, and created new obligations for businesses open to the public.

    That concept of accommodations ushered in a new regulatory regime for employers, one that is still evolving today. Here is Ted Kennedy, Jr., on the issue:

    “When Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, they left it to the agencies to try to interpret just what was, and what was not, disability discrimination. So, for example, the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, all had to issue regulations about how to interpret the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

    Over time, those regulations and the federal government’s approach to implementing the ADA have been scrutinized and refined by the courts, to the extent that we’re now seeing a shift. Here is Josh Stein with more:

    “I think the biggest challenge facing companies when it comes to the ADA in 2018 is the lack of federal guidance we're seeing from this administration. When, in the past, the Department of Justice or Congress would provide regulations, code provisions, and other things that would allow employers to have very clear senses of where they needed to go for ADA compliance, we're seeing an administration that doesn't do that. So, instead of having one national unified path to compliance, what we're now seeing is a lot of piecemeal, state-dependent, litigation-dependent decisions, which creates a much harder compliance field for an employer to navigate.”

    Even though we’ve seen a reduction in funding at the federal level for ADA enforcement, many states have fortified their disability discrimination efforts, so companies need to be extra vigilant to make sure they’re complying with state law relating to disability discrimination. Josh Stein elaborated on this:

    “The biggest change since the ADA's inception when it comes to public accommodations is definitely the shift in focus from covering traditional ‘brick and mortar’ retail-type stores (hotels, museums, academic institutions) to moving on to cover technology (websites, touchscreen technology, and such). The ADA, traditionally ... operated in this context of somewhat of a building code, with very specific regulations. But now, as we move out of a traditional place of public accommodation into more cyberspace and technology, we're operating under a much broader civil rights spectrum.”

    The regulatory regime that the ADA ushered in 28 years ago has certainly created some challenges for employers. But it also has presented companies with a generational opportunity to strengthen their workforce with a pool of talented employees who had been previously excluded from the workplace. Dr. Mark Boxer is Cigna’s Executive Vice President & Global Chief Information Officer. He spoke about how ADA compliance has evolved into a cultural imperative for the global health services company:

    “So, the question is, ‘How do we as employers break down the barriers and make real progress in employing those with disabilities, and in the process promote the employment of highly talented, highly productive individuals?’ First, it starts with culture. By building and sharing best practices to break down barriers. Building that culture includes creating a policy and reviewing it on an ongoing basis. The next step involves reviewing job descriptions and hiring practices, focusing on a diverse slate of candidates. It's also important to train managers to recognize requests for an accommodation and work closely with the HR team to implement each of these steps. Finally, we must continue to follow up, to drive sustained change and recognize progress being made.”

    Twenty-eight years after the ADA, disability law remains one of the most dynamic areas of the employment practice. Stay tuned to Employment Law This Week for new developments as state and local regulations are litigated in the courts.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The “Tip of the Week” offers one perspective on possible human resource ideas or business practices. It presents the perspective of an individual not affiliated with Epstein Becker Green and should not be considered legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  3. President Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. President Trump named his pick last week for the seat that will be vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Senate hearings are likely to be contentious with such a slim GOP majority, so the administration is touting Judge Kavanaugh’s “anti-regulation” record and business-friendly rulings in order to smooth the path to confirmation. Although Judge Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Kennedy, many see Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy as more similar to that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Jim Flynn, from Epstein Becker, Green has more.

    This is an extended interview from Employment Law This Week® (Episode 124: Week of July 16, 2018), an online series by Epstein Becker Green. youtu.be/gkOCmFKWn-g

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  4. Welcome to Employment Law This Week®! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    1. President Trump Taps Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court

    Our top story: President Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. President Trump named his pick last week for the seat that will be vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Senate hearings are likely to be contentious with such a slim GOP majority, so the administration is touting Judge Kavanaugh’s “anti-regulation” record and business-friendly rulings in order to smooth the path to confirmation. Although Judge Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Kennedy, many see Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy as more similar to that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Jim Flynn, from Epstein Becker, Green has more:

    “Management and employers will, I think, have a friend in Judge Kavanaugh on the bench. It's reflected in several of his opinions while he was on the Court of Appeals. You can see that in cases like Adeyemi, where he said that courts shouldn't be super personnel departments. You see it in that same case where he says they shouldn't micromanage what employers do. You see it in many other cases where he says businesses need to do what businesses do, and we need to just make sure they stay within the law. Employees will actually be pleasantly surprised by Judge Kavanaugh, as well. He's shown, in several of his decisions, a real fire to suppress discrimination. It can be seen in the Ayissi-Etoh case, where he said that one single use of the N-word in and of itself could establish a hostile work environment. He went out of his way to describe the history of the offensiveness of that word. Similarly, in the Ortiz-Diaz case, he himself actually prompted the DC Circuit to reverse itself and find that lateral transfers, if racially motivated, could violate Title VII.”

    Click here for more: https://bit.ly/2KOVd4N

    2. Pending NJ Employment Legislation

    New Jersey tees up employment legislation. Several bills pending in New Jersey would, if passed, significantly impact employers. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, sworn in on January 16, has already signed a pay equity law and legislation mandating paid sick leave. Now, the New Jersey Senate has approved bills that ban salary history questions, limit access to employee credit reports, and prohibit nondisclosure agreements relating to discrimination or harassment claims. These bills await further action by the New Jersey General Assembly and the governor.

    3. California Court: Hospital’s Policy of Rounding Hours Is Legal

    A California appeals court has found that a Los Angeles hospital’s policy of rounding employees’ hours does not violate the state’s wage and hour laws. The hospital’s system automatically rounds workers' hours up or down to the nearest quarter-hour. The court found that the policy is legal because there was no evidence that it had resulted in the systematic loss of wages.

    4. States Move Ahead of Stalled Federal Policies

    And still more states are taking action in the face of stalled federal employment policies. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has proposed regulations that would increase the overtime salary threshold significantly. The changes would bring Pennsylvania law in line with the 2016 proposed Fair Labor Standards Act regulations, which were blocked before they took effect. Massachusetts recently enacted the "Grand Bargain," compromise legislation that increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour, creates a sales tax holiday, phases out Sunday and holiday premium pay requirements, and introduces new paid family and medical leave provisions.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The “Tip of the Week” offers one perspective on possible human resource ideas or business practices. It presents the perspective of an individual not affiliated with Epstein Becker Green and should not be considered legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  5. Is the U.S. Department of Labor ready for a merger? The Trump administration is continuing its lean government agenda with a proposal for a new cabinet agency that would combine the Departments of Labor and Education. The proposed merger is intended to improve “federal efforts to train the American workforce.” The new “Department of Education and the Workforce” would be a single blended cabinet agency, to be made up of four subagencies, including one dedicated to K-12 education and one for enforcement. Eric Moran, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    This is an extended interview from Employment Law This Week® (Episode 123: Week of July 2, 2018), an online series by Epstein Becker Green.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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Employment Law This Week® tracks the top developments in employment and labor law and workforce management in a matter of minutes every #WorkforceWednesday. Presented by law firm Epstein Becker Green. Learn more at ebglaw.com/employment-law-this-week/

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