Legal-Ease: Your Lawyer As Your Business Consultant – A Labor & Employment Perspective

Littler Mendelson


With more than 1,800 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow
After the pandemic, multiple businesses are employing remote workers. This can be challenging when the remote workers live in different jurisdictions throughout the country or even the world.
United States Employment and HR
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A Labor & Employment Perspective

After the pandemic, multiple businesses are employing remote workers. This can be challenging when the remote workers live in different jurisdictions throughout the country or even the world. For U.S. workers, paid sick leave laws can differ on the state, county and city level. Additionally, pay equity and pay transparency laws differ between jurisdictions. Businesses should be sure to look at the legal requirements of the states and cities where their employees are located, and make sure employees are informing them if they are changing locations.

Did You Know

The use of AI tools in the workplace can provide a lot of benefits for businesses, but also some risks. According to The Littler Annual Employer Survey Report, Littler's clients are using AI tools for talent acquisition, creating HR-related materials, as self-service chatbots for questions, for job candidate interaction, for employee development and for performance management. Businesses should explore how AI can help them in HR functions, but also be mindful of potential risks and developing laws, including data protection compliance requirements.

Recent Changes in the Law Affecting Labor & Employment

This year, federal agencies have been busy and have issued new rules that impact employers. The FTC recently issued a final rule banning the use of non-compete agreements by employers nationwide. Under this rule, employers are required to provide "clear and conspicuous notice" to all workers with existing non-compete clauses that the non-compete clauses will not be and cannot be legally enforced against the worker. We also anticipate employers to have uncertainty as to what restrictive covenants may qualify as a non-compete under the rule. Multiple legal challenges have been filed, including a request for a stay, so businesses who use restrictive covenants should monitor this issue closely.

The EEOC recently published its final rule regarding the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The PWFA requires reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. The PWFA also prohibits employers from requiring an employee to take a leave when other accommodations are available. One key difference from the Americans with Disabilities Act is that employers may need to temporarily eliminate essential functions.

The Department of Labor recently issued its final rule updating the salary level for overtime eligibility. The previous salary threshold was $35,568 per year. The new threshold in the final rule will be $43,888 on July 1, 2024, rising to $58,656 on January 1, 2025, with continuing increases moving forward. Employers should review the employees they classify as exempt and ensure they are compliant with the salary level. This could be a good opportunity for employers to audit their exemption classifications for various positions. This final rule is also being challenged in court.

The NLRB has continued to be active issuing memoranda that impact employers, including in the areas of settlement agreements, restrictive covenants and employer policies. It is important for employers to keep up to date on the NLRB's guidance as this impacts both union and non-union workplaces.

Originally published in InBusiness Phoenix

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.

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