Posts from June 2017.

On June 27, 2017, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it is reinstating the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division opinion letter process, which was in existence for more than 70 years prior to a change in procedure in 2010.

DOL opinion letters allow employers (and employees) to submit questions to the DOL regarding whether particular employment practices comply with the laws the DOL enforces. The DOL then has the discretion to respond, publicly, with appropriate guidance. Opinion letter guidance can be presented to courts and investigators—by the employer that ...

This morning OSHA issued a press release announcing that it would be delaying the compliance date for its rule requiring most employers to electronically submit their injury and illness data to OSHA. The press release proposes pushing the compliance date back four months, from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017. We previously reported on the rule, its requirements, and its significant impact last year.

In the press release, OSHA echoes the Trump administration’s earlier promise to review and reconsider any recently enacted administrative rules and ...

On July 1, 2017, Chicago’s Minimum Wage increases to $11.00 per hour for non-tipped employees and $6.10 for tipped employees (Chicago Municipal Code §1-24). Cook County’s new minimum wage is $10.00 per hour for non-tipped and $4.95 for tipped employees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REQUIREMENTS: All employers that maintain a business facility within the geographic boundaries of  Chicago AND/OR are subject to one or more of the license requirements in Title 4 of the Municipal Code of Chicago are covered by Chicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance and MUST do the following starting July 1st:

    Imagine that in order to increase time and attendance record accuracy and efficiency, you have invested in a new biometric time clock system. This makes good business sense and overall, it is a straightforward issue…until HR tells you that an employee has refused to use the time clock for religious reasons.

    In U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Consol Energy, Inc., (4th Cir. June 12, 2017), a coal mine worker who was a practicing evangelical Christian, refused to use a hand scanner time clock because he believed that it would “mark” him with the sign of the ...

    Summer is unofficially here.  Kids are out of school.  Many employees are checking their vacation balances to see how much time they can take off work.

    For HR, vacation balances can be incredibly time-consuming. You have to worry about different accrual rates for different employees and set up tracking systems to account for those different rates. You have to make sure time off is being properly requested, approved and accounted for. After all, vacation not properly accounted for can lead to over-stated liabilities on company financials. For most companies, payroll is already the ...

    As previously reported on March 29th, the fight against the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education continues. On June 6, 2017, Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who is required to pay agency fees to AFSCME Council 31 pursuant to the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a seventh circuit decision that affirmed the dismissal of his complaint. The petition poses the following question to the Supreme Court:  should Abood be overruled and public sector agency fee arrangements ...

    The proposed budget released by the White House in May includes a plan to provide new parents with up to six weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child. Obviously the plan is far from becoming law; implementing such a plan would require congressional approval and that process has yet to start. Still, the plan is interesting for its shear breadth and its mode of funding. The plan calls for funding through each state’s unemployment insurance programs. So far at least, there are very few details.

    Though many employers choose to provide some amount of paid leave to new parents, only 3 states ...

    With the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance’s July 1, 2017 effective date around the corner, the Cook County Commission on Human Relations (“CCCHR”) approved its administrative rules on May 25, 2017.

    While we previously discussed the Ordinance, one of the most significant aspects of the rules is the new requirement that employers provide covered employees with a notice of their rights under the ordinance at least once per calendar year.

    The CCCHR also published a model poster, which must be posted in each place of business where any covered employee works within ...

    On May 15, 2017, the seventh circuit ruled that unless the language in a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) explicitly states that the employee must resolve his statutory and contractual rights through the grievance procedures in the contract, an employee is free to file suit in court to resolve his statutory claims.

    After being terminated from employment, Luis Vega, a seasonal employee at Forest Home Cemetery, attempted to collect unpaid wages by resorting to the grievance procedures of his CBA.  When these efforts proved futile, Vega filed a Fair Labor Standards Act ...

    Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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