Latest from Employment Lawscene Blog

The administrative agencies are having a busy week! In addition to the DOL issuing an updated rule on the salary basis to be overtime exempt, on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 on its long-awaited non-compete ban, which was initially issued as a proposed rule in January 2023. The FTC estimates that this rule will affect 2,301,874 employees in Wisconsin and increase wages of each of those employees by $524 annually.

Under the FTC’s
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: FTC Bans Employee Non-Competes, but Legal Challenges Expected

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. In order to be considered exempt, an employee must be paid a salary in excess of a certain amount and must perform certain job duties, generally of a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional. Currently, the salary basis is $35,568 per year ($684 per week), which was most recently
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule with Significant Salary Threshold Increase

On March 11, 2024, President Biden released the Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2025. Although this proposed budget is only a proposal and unlikely to pass either the House or the Senate as currently drafted, it does provide insight into the Biden Administration’s priorities and contains a number of important labor and employment components.

First, the proposed budget contains a 2.3% increase to the Department of Labor’s discretionary budget and a 7% increase to the National
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: Biden Proposed Budget Has Labor and Employment Signals

Because the incumbent President appoints members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB’s decisions often reflect the policy choices of that President’s political party. Generally, when a Democrat holds office, the NLRB’s decisions are more employee and union-friendly, and when a Republican holds office, the NLRB’s decisions are more management-friendly. An issue that the NLRB has consistently gone back and forth on, depending on the incumbent President, is the standard for evaluating employee handbooks and establishing what
Continue Reading Dust Off Those Handbooks: The NLRB Has Changed Its Rules (Again)

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) into law. Both expand the protections for pregnant, postpartum, and nursing employees, who may also have protections under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the FMLA.

The PUMP Act expands the 2010 amendment to the FLSA that required employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast
Continue Reading Pregnant and Nursing Employees Have Newly Expanded Rights

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has made major employment law headlines with its Bostock  decision (holding sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under Title VII) and Epic Systems decision (holding class-action waivers are enforceable against employees), among others. It looks like 2023 will be no different. In addition to taking up the rights of employers to sue unions for damages incurred during strikes and asking the Solicitor General to weigh in on what actions can
Continue Reading Religious Accommodation in Employment Will Have Its Day at the High Court

Tuesday, November 8, 2022, is Election Day. Although early voting is underway, many people will want to vote in-person on Election Day. All Wisconsin employers, regardless of size, are required to provide employees who are eligible to vote up to three consecutive hours of unpaid leave to vote while the polls are open (from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.). Employees must request the time off prior to Election Day. Employers cannot deny voting leave on the basis that employees
Continue Reading Vote! And Remember That Your Employees are Entitled to Time Off to Vote!

On August 16, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P. (found here), holding that Wal-Mart did not discriminate against pregnant employees by reserving temporary light duty positions only for those employees injured on the job. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commenced its action against Wal-Mart in 2018 by claiming that Wal-Mart’s denial of temporary light duty work to pregnant women violated Title VII of
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds That Employer Did Not Discriminate Against Pregnant Employees

Recently, it seems like the stars have aligned in favor of unions. When President Biden was elected in 2020, a part of his workplace initiatives included the promotion of collective bargaining and the protection of employees’ rights to join and form unions. Then, a global pandemic struck, which made many employees reconsider and question their relationships with their workplaces and employers. In February 2022, the White House Task Force on Worker Organization and Empowerment released a report promoting the
Continue Reading Union Organization Is On the Rise

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a split decision (found here) staying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Vaccination-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would require employers with 100 or more employees to either impose a mandatory vaccination policy or, alternatively, mandate that unvaccinated workers wear a face covering while at work and be subject to a COVID-19 test every seven days. The decision was issued per curiam by the Court
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Stay of OSHA’s Vaccination-or-Test Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a decision blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard that would require employers with 100 or more employees to impose either a mandatory vaccination policy or, alternatively, mandate that unvaccinated workers be required to wear a face covering while at work and be subject to a COVID-19 test every seven days.  The Court’s three liberal Justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor all dissented. This is a breaking story
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Halts OSHA’s Vaccination-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order (found here) that it would hold a special session to hear arguments on OSHA’s vaccine-or-test rule that mandates employers with 100 or more employees require its employees to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or be subject to weekly tests. The Court issued its order in response to emergency applications for an administrative stay in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s 2-1 decision
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Special Session on January 7, 2022 to Review Federal Vaccine Mandates

On Friday, December 17, 2021, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace or, alternatively, requiring unvaccinated employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The stay was originally issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on November 5, 2021, when the Fifth Circuit held that OSHA had exceeded its statutory and constitutional authorities when it
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay of OSHA’s Vaccination Mandate–OSHA Follows by Announcing Enforcement Policy

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation held a lottery-style drawing to select which of the 12 federal circuit court of appeals where petitions for review are currently pending as to which circuit will hear the challenges to OSHA’s emergency temporary standard mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. Through that lottery process, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected. As a result, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: Sixth Circuit Selected to Hear Challenges to OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

On Friday, November 12, 2021, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a 22-page decision (linked here) continuing its November 6th order that stayed the implementation and enforcement of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. In a strong rebuke of the Biden’s Administration’s desire to vaccinate as many Americans as possible through use of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard provision (29 U.S.C. § 655(c)) found in the Occupational Safety and Health
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Issues Strong Rebuke of OSHA’s Authority to Mandate Vaccinations in the Workplace

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released the Emergency Temporary Standard regarding COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing, which has commonly been referred to as the Vaccine Mandate. It will officially be published on November 5, 2021. Announced by President Biden in September, the Vaccine Mandate requires all employers with more than 100 employees to either require that employees be fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 tests, both of which
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: OSHA Issues Details of Vaccine Mandate