By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr.
On October 10th the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed to extend by 90 days the applicability date for the Final DOL Claims Procedure Regulations (Rule) from January 1, 2018 to April 1, 2018.
At the beginning of this year, the Final Rule went into effect on January 1, 2017. However, the applicability was set for January 1, 2018 in order to give enough time to plan sponsors and claims administrators to update their claim procedure processes caused by the Rule. Please see the Benesch Law Client Bulletin explaining the changes contained within the Rule here. Continue reading
Employers can breathe a sigh of relief. On August 29, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Acting Chair announced that the Office of Budget Management (OBM), per its authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PDA), had immediately stayed the EEOC’s pay data collection components of its EEO-1 Report, also known as the “Employer Information Report,” that was to otherwise become effective on the next filing deadline of March 31, 2018. Continue reading
A federal judge in Texas has invalidated a Department of Labor rule that would have made more than 4 million “white collar” workers eligible for overtime pay, holding that the agency overstepped its authority by adopting a salary-based test that supplants the actual duties of workers. Continue reading
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has sided with the National Labor Relations Board in affirming the union-friendly practice of “micro-unit” organizing. The D.C. Circuit’s opinion issued in Rhino v. NLRB is unwelcome news for employers who were hoping the federal appellate court would reject the organizing practice made possible in 2011 when the Board issued its controversial Specialty Healthcare decision. Continue reading
On July 1, 2017, OregonSaves Retirement Program (“OregonSaves”) went into effect. OregonsSaves is sponsored by the State of Oregon, and is a state-run automatic Roth Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) for private-sector employees.
OregonSaves will operate such that employers who do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan will be required to automatically enroll employees into the OregonSaves program, and employees will be required to contribute 5% of their compensation to a Roth IRA account. However, employees will be able to opt-out, or choose a different savings rate. After the employer completes the initial employee registration to set up its employees’ Roth IRA accounts, its ongoing obligations are limited to providing OregonSaves update information to its employees, and to make ongoing payroll deductions. Employers are not required to make contributions under OregonSaves. Continue reading
In Revenue Procedure 2017-41, the IRS makes significant changes to the procedures that it will use in reviewing and approving “pre-approved” retirement plans. The revenue procedure applies to almost all types qualified retirement plan, including 401(k) plans, ESOPs, profit sharing plans, pension and cash balance plans. Although this revenue procedure does not apply to tax-sheltered annuity [Section 403(b)] plans, the IRS, in Revenue Procedure 2013-22 separately established a pre-approval program for Section 403(b) plans. By liberalizing the types of plans and the design options that will it will consider as pre-approved, the IRS is encouraging adopters of individually designed plans to consider the adoption of a pre-approved plan in the future. Continue reading
By: Shannon Byrne and Pete Kirsanow
In a decision that is the first of its kind, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reversed the dismissal of a state law disability discrimination claim arising from an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation in the form of a waiver of the employer’s drug policy. (Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Mktg., LLC, Mass. No. SJC-12226, 2017 Mass LEXIS 504 (July 17, 2017)). This decision is the first time a court has held that state medical marijuana laws protect employees who use medical marijuana as a treatment for a disability, despite the requested accommodation being illegal under federal law. Here, the complaint alleged that the employee’s Crohn’s disease resulted in her inability to maintain a healthy weight without the use of medical marijuana. The employee was terminated for failing a drug test even though she told the employer of her medical marijuana use. In response to the resulting lawsuit, the employer moved to dismiss by arguing the employee failed to state a claim of handicap discrimination for two reasons: (1) she could not be a “qualified handicapped person” because the accommodation she sought, use of medical marijuana, must be per se unreasonable because it is illegal under federal law; and (2) even if she could be a “qualified handicapped person,” she was terminated for failing a drug test that all employees must pass, not because she was disabled. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) plans to revise its pending overtime rule, which would have more than doubled the minimum annual salary for workers in “white collar” executive, administrative and professional positions to be “exempt” from eligibility for overtime wages. Continue reading
Representing the latest in a series of significant labor law developments in an already busy month of June, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the Fifth Circuit’s controversial, pro-union decision in Macy’s v. NLRB this Monday. The high court’s decision not to weigh in on the closely-watched case stands as a decidedly unwelcome development for employers, as Supreme Court review would have presented an opportunity to overturn the National Labor Relation Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) now-infamous 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, which approved union organizing of so-called “micro-units.” Continue reading
The U.S. Justice Department has abruptly reversed course in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning an employment agreement that restricts employees from participating in class and collective lawsuits, arguing that a mandatory arbitration clause in the agreement does not deprive employees of federally protected rights. Continue reading