On April 9, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) signed the Pregnant Workers Act, SB 18, which requires employers who have at least 15 employees in Kentucky to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The law becomes effective on June 27, 2019.

On March 7th, the Department of Labor revealed its proposal to revise the overtime requirements for workers across the country. The salary threshold at which employees can be eligible for overtime pay was last increased in 2004 during the George W. Bush Administration and set at the current level of $24,000 per year. In May of 2016, the Department of Labor under the Barack Obama Administration issued its own revisions to the overtime requirement, raising the salary threshold to $47,476 per year. These revisions were set to go into effect December 1, 2016, but Court challenges ...

A common provision in employment agreements may no longer be enforceable, at least for employers in Kentucky.

Earlier today the Supreme Court announced its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, holding in a 5-4 split that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings must be enforced. Arbitration provisions in employment contracts are quite common and often include language specifically limiting employees to individualized arbitration proceedings as opposed to class action proceedings or joint-arbitration.

Auto service advisors are overtime-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro clarified the scope of a 2011 regulation issued by the Department of Labor that excluded service advisors from the definition of “salesman” under 29 U.S.C. §213(b)(10)(A).

What a difference a presidency makes. Under President Trump, the National Labor Relations Board is continuing to take steps to distance itself from some of the more controversial decisions it issued during the administration of President Barack Obama.  This latest action came on January 26, 2018, when the Board announced it was extending the deadline for filing responses to the Board's Request for Information, regarding the Board’s Representation Election Regulations.

NLRB axes Lutheran Heritage Standard

In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB overruled its prior decision regarding how it analyzes whether a facially neutral workplace rule, policy or employee handbook provision interferes with the exercise of rights protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

Recently, many health care employers and other large corporations have implemented programs requiring their employees to get a flu vaccination. Some legal experts have suggested that these mandates may be problematic for employers.  Specifically, employers may face religious based objections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or disability based objections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it has filed lawsuits in recent years against employers under Title VII where employees were fired for objecting to a vaccination for sincere religious beliefs.  The EEOC has also stated that a company would likely violate the ADA, if it were to take adverse action against an employee who refused to get a flu vaccination for a disability related reason, such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

The new term of the Supreme Court began last Monday, October 2, and the first case up has the potential to affect millions of employers and employees across the country. The case, Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis (which was consolidated with two other cases, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA) examines whether employment agreements requiring employers and employees to resolve employment-related disputes through individual arbitration and waive class and collective proceedings are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), notwithstanding the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

In a memo issued last Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice will no longer take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.  This reverses the position of the DOJ that was announced by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in 2014 under the Obama Administration. 

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