Blog & Legal Updates


07

Jan 2016

Oil Export Ban Lifted; Implications for Eagle Ford

January 7, 2016 On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R.2029.ENR) which lifts a long-standing ban on the export of crude oil from the United States, effective immediately. The repealed ban will affect energy markets in the United States, Mexico, and other international regions. For example, a study by Rice University, published in March 2015, indicates the repeal of...

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23

Dec 2015

Department of Labor Changes Date on “Final Rule” for Salary Exemptions

December 23, 2016 We’ve been advising about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) much-anticipated proposed rule changes that revise the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Section 13(a)(1) salary exemptions for supervisors and managers and apply increased salary requirements for overtime exemptions applied to those employees. Here is the latest. The DOL initially anticipated that the “Final Rule” on salary exemptions would be...

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14

Sep 2015

Executive Order Requires Federal Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave

September 9, 2015 On September 7, 2015, President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The executive order guarantees both full-time and part-time federal contract workers an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, for a total of up to seven days in a year. The leave includes...

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14

Sep 2015

NLRB Issues Key Decision Affecting Temporary, Franchise, Contract, and Other Employees

September 1, 2015 In a significant 3-2 decision involving Browning-Ferris Industries of California, the National Labor Relations Board “refined” (changed) its standard for determining joint-employer status for purposes of representation by a union. The NLRB’s “revised and restated” position on this issue  is that two or entities are “joint employers of a single workforce if (1) they are both employers within the meaning of the...

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15

Jun 2015

Department of Labor Releases New Family Medical Leave Act FMLA Forms

June 5, 2015 The U.S. Department of Labor has posted the new mo Family Medical Leave Act notices and medical certification forms. One notable change is the reference to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that states the following instruction: “Do not provide information about genetic tests, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(f), genetic services, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(e), or the...

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27

Apr 2015

EEOC Issues Proposed ADA Regulations Regarding Employee Wellness Programs

Late last week, the EEOC issued new proposed rules for U.S. employers seeking to implement wellness programs with incentives for their employees. View the EEOC’s proposed regulations. These new proposed rules seek to reconcile two conflicting provisions in the law. The EEOC is seeking public comment on the proposed rules until June 19th. Wellness programs have been around for a long time. These programs are...

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24

Nov 2014

Beware of the Background Check “Police”

In the past, we have discussed the increased dangers of conducting background checks on employees and potential employees, although background checks are important to any business seeking to hire quality applicants. In the last few weeks, two large class action lawsuits have been settled for many millions of dollars, based on alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as it relates to background...

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07

Aug 2014

5th Executive Order of 2014 Applies to Federal Contractor Employers

For the fifth time in seven months, President Obama issued a new Executive Order that applies to federal contractor employers with new federal procurement contracts valued at than $500,000. The Executive Order, entitled “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces,” is expected to be implemented on new contracts, in stages, and on a prioritized basis, sometime during 2016. The Department of Labor estimates that there are...

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28

Jul 2014

EEOC Says Accommodations Required for Pregnant Employees

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued its first new guidance on pregnancy discrimination since 1983. On July 14, 2014, the EEOC added provisions explaining when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) might require reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related “disabilities” or work restrictions, such as, for example, morning sickness or high blood pressure. No Federal Court...

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28

Jul 2014

New Executive Order Requires Federal Contractors to Protect LGBT Workers

President Barack Obama has signed an Executive Order prohibiting workplace discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) community. Federal contractors are now prohibited from discriminating against workers and job applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity, under an Executive Order that President Barack Obama signed July 21, 2014. The order will bring new requirements for federal contractor employers to follow...

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