United States: Beware The Landmines: New And Coming Labor and Employment Explosions

Last Updated: November 25 2015
Article by Tony B. Griffin

During 2014-16, there has been an explosion of labor & employment "laws" through Executive Orders, new regulations and proposed regulations. Some of the requirements apply to all employers, while those issued by Presidential Executive Order and related regulations apply to federal government contractors and subcontractors. In this article, we are going to give you an update on the status of the 2014-16 laws and regulations, while in future publications we will continue to go into more detail on one or two areas at a time as developments justify.

  1. Minimum wage for federal government contractors and subcontractors: Executive Order 13658 was effective January 1, 2015, and raised the hourly minimum wage to $10.10 for workers on federal construction and service contracts, with a COLA procedure put in place for future years. It has already been announced that the new minimum wage for January 1, 2016, will be $10.15.
  2. Non-retaliation for pay disclosure: Executive Order 13665 was one of the proposals by President Obama to break the "glass ceiling" based on race and gender. Employees, applicants, and supervisors (broader than existing law under the National Labor Relations Act) are protected to talk about their pay and benefits with each other, unless dealing with pay and benefits is one of the "essential job functions" of the employee, such as a payroll department employee.
  3. Summary "Equal Pay" reports on employee compensation: Regulations were proposed in 2014 with comments taken through January 5, 2015, but no regulations have been issued at this time. Federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to submit an annual "Equal Pay Report" to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) generally based on the race, ethnicity and gender provisions under the EEO-1 report. This is the second "glass ceiling" initiative by Presidential order.
  4. Sexual orientation and gender identity is now protected: Under Executive Order 13672 effective April 8, 2015, government contractors and subcontractors are now subject to non-discrimination based on an applicant's or employee's sexual orientation and gender identity. Government contractors should already have new wording in their nondiscrimination policy language. Similar enforcement positions are being taken generally against all employers as publicly stated by the OFCCP and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Considerable litigation is expected by employers who are not government contractors since the position taken by the federal agencies conflicts with legislative history when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress.
  5. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: For government contractors another new rule prohibits discrimination against disabled employees and notably establishes a nationwide 7 percent utilization goal for qualified individuals with disabilities. Detailed reports and remedial action plans are required if a contractor fails to meet the goal.
  6. The veterans employment annual report: This new report became effective as a final rule in 2014, creating a new federal veterans employment report (VET-4212) to provide the government with more information about contractors' employment of veterans beginning with annual reports filed in 2015. The rule uses a "benchmark" rather than "utilization goals" as under the Section 503 regulations, but does require additional data collection and record keeping. Applicants must be invited to self-identify as veterans, but the rule does not establish required actions for contractors who fail to meet the benchmark.
  7. The Labor Day surprise gift: On Labor Day 2015, the President signed an Executive Order requiring federal government contractors and subcontractors to begin providing their workers paid sick leave beginning January 1, 2017. At least one paid hour of sick leave will be required for every 30 hours worked or approximately 70 annual hours of paid sick leave for a 40-hour-a-week employee. The paid time may be used to care for the employee's self, family member or "another loved one." The sick leave mandate also covers absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Note, the new paid sick leave requirements will be in addition to Davis Bacon or Service Contract Act paid leave benefit provisions.
  8. Salaried exempt employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): As most of you know, the controversial proposed regulations were issued by the Department of Labor in a rather broad, open-ended form during 2015. A new record may have been set on the number of millions of comments that were received by the government on this broad law of general application which may increase the salary (over $50,000) and duties test (possibly 51 percent of all work time on executive, professional or high-level administrative duties) for an employee to be exempt from overtime pay. The best educated guess based on Dept. of Labor statements, the number of comments, timing during an election year, and the President's stated intent to leave his mark on this law is that the final regulations will likely be issued in the second or third quarter of 2016. We have written several blogs and articles on the proposed changes.

You are always welcome to go to the firm's website, www.babc.com, and use an easy keyword search to find any of our past blogs, newsletter articles, or other publications. We are certain there will be more to report on as we enter the election year. Please do not hesitate to let us know of your questions as that provides guidance to us on what to cover in future publications.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.