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On August 31, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an Order invalidating the Final Rule of the Department of Labor (DOL) finding that it exceeded the DOL’s authority by failing to implement Congress’s intent under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Many employers offer wellness programs with varying degrees of incentives in order to have as many employees participate as possible. There has been an inherent tension between the laudable goals underlying wellness programs and two statutes that protect certain rights that employees have under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

On July 6, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest circuit to weigh in on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The court had previously issued a ruling in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hosp, et. al., which held that Title VII did not protect employees from sexual orientation discrimination. The plaintiff petitioned the court for a rehearing; her petition was denied on July 6. Denying the request for a rehearing renders the earlier decision binding, so the Eleventh Circuit interprets Title VII to not protect employees from sexual orientation discrimination. The denial for a rehearing also inches the issue closer to Supreme Court review.

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently reinstated the Wage and Hour Division opinion letter process, which ended about seven years ago. DOL opinion letters allow either employers or employees to ask the DOL whether specific practices comply with laws under its jurisdiction.

On June 7, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued the following press release that withdrew previously issued “informal guidance” regarding independent contractors and joint employment:

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit court handed down an en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech College, South Bend, making it the first federal appellate court in the United States to decide that the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to workers on the basis of sexual orientation.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from job ...

What is “Prevailing Wage Law”?

Kentucky’s prevailing wage law currently requires that contractors on public works projects estimated to cost more than $250,000 pay wages equal to or greater than the wages of similar workers in the locality where the project is being built. Effectively, the law forces contractors, union and non-union alike, to pay wages at the local union scale.

After a nearly two year legal battle, on Oct. 20, 2016, Brent R. Baughman and his team from the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group obtained a 6-1 ruling from the Kentucky Supreme Court, holding Louisville Metro’s minimum wage ordinance “invalid and unenforceable.” The Court determined that despite Louisville Metro’s claim to expansive “Home Rule” powers, it ...

A federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas granted an injunction that prohibits new Department of Labor (DOL) rules on overtime from taking effect nationwide. These rules, set to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016, would have raised the salary threshold for exempting executive, administrative, and professional employees from overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act ...

Employers (and everyone else) are guessing what it means for them after the Trump Administration takes office in January. It is safe to predict that there will be many changes coming in new legislation (with Republicans maintaining control of both the Senate and House), regulations and Executive Orders in the near future. As always, we will keep you apprised of further developments ...

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