When work went fully remote, employers worried about how they could ensure that employees were clocking their required hours. Meeting deadlines and producing work were evidence that employees were on task, but what about jobs that were less quantifiable, and longer-term projects that did not yield immediate results? What about bosses who just wanted to know “butts” remained in “seats”?

Continue Reading A Game of Cat and Mouse: Are Your Remote Workers Really Productive?

On July 3, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) “Non-Compete Rule.” As we discussed in our April 24, 2024 E-Lert, on April 23, 2024, the FTC issued the Non-Compete Rule, banning nearly all non-compete provisions between employers and employees. Two of the five FTC Commissioners voted against issuing the Non-Compete Rule and offered dissenting views as to why the Commission should not have issued the Rule. Almost immediately, litigation was commenced by private parties to block the Non-Compete Rule from coming into effect on September 5, 2024.

Continue Reading Another Day, Another Limited Preliminary Injunction – This Time on the FTC’s Non-Compete Ban

Just days before it was scheduled to take effect, a Texas federal court issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) revised overtime exemption rule from taking effect as scheduled on July 1, 2024, but only as to the State of Texas as an employer. As for all other employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the rule is taking effect as scheduled today, on July 1, 2024. The DOL’s rule seeks to significantly raise the salary level required for overtime-exempt workers and institute an automatic increase every three years.

Continue Reading DOL Overtime Rule Enjoined from Taking Effect on July 1 – But Only as to the State of Texas Government

On June 28, 2024, the Supreme Court overruled its 1984 Chevron decision, which required federal courts to defer to administrative agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous statutes. Under the new rule, announced in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, courts reviewing an agency action must independently decide whether an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute is correct. However, when a statute delegates discretionary authority to an agency, courts must respect that delegation, while making sure that the agency acts within its delegated authority. The Loper Bright decision is a big win for businesses and other organizations who believe that federal agencies – including workplace agencies like the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – have too much power.

Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Undermines Federal Agency Authority, With Impact on the Workplace

For those of us labor attorneys who represent management in labor relations, there was a bit of schadenfreude (i.e. pleasure in another’s misfortune) with the news that employees engaged in a strike due to unfair labor practices allegedly committed by their employer – who happens to be both a union and unionized!  Oh, the irony….

Continue Reading So, A Union’s Own Unionized Workers Go On Strike…

In Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney, the Supreme Court held that a more stringent test applied to lawsuits filed by the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) that seek injunctions to halt serious labor violations.  While the decision directs district courts to adopt the tightened standard, several circuits, including the Fourth Circuit, have already been consistently applying the higher standard.   

Continue Reading NLRB Injunctions Are Now More Difficult to Obtain, At Least in Some Jurisdictions

As most employers (hopefully) know, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule that will significantly increase the salary threshold for the exemptions from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements, as discussed in our April 24, 2024 E-lert. Consistent with the now-standard practice in response to pretty much any regulation issued by any federal workforce agency, three lawsuits have been filed to enjoin the rule from taking effect on the scheduled date of July 1, 2024. In Texas, of course. Because those Texas federal courts have been notoriously unfriendly to federal agency actions. But those three lawsuits are pending before three different judges…

Continue Reading Three Overtime Rule Lawsuits, Three Judges – What Now?

Many companies treat the annual EEO-1 filing requirement with, let’s say, some lack of urgency and, historically, there has been little to no consequence for failing to file the EEO-1 form. But a recent press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes clear that those days may be over, as the agency announced that it has filed suit against fifteen companies across a wide range of industries for failing to file those mandatory reports in 2021 and 2022!

Continue Reading Wait – the EEOC Is Really Serious About the EEO-1 Filing Requirement!

On April 8, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued GC Memo 24-04, providing yet another memorandum broadening remedies for employees that have been wrongfully discharged for engaging in union or other protected concerted activity.  In this memo, GC Abruzzo encouraged Regions to pursue make-whole remedies for all employees, including those not identified in an unfair labor practice investigation, allegedly harmed by the unlawful rules or contract terms. 

Continue Reading General Counsel Abruzzo’s Latest Memorandum Encourages a Further Expansion of Remedies for Employees

On May 16, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor issued principles for employers (and developers) on the use of AI in the workplace. And unsurprisingly, given the Biden Administration’s pro-worker approach to employment issues, the “North Star” of these principles is the involvement of workers and their representatives in the implementation of AI in the workplace.

Continue Reading The DOL’s AI Principles for Employers – An Emphasis on Worker Rights