Federal News & Analysis

  • What employers can expect from new DOL Secretary Eugene Scalia

    Eugene Scalia, who was George W. Bush's solicitor of labor and the son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was sworn in as secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on September 30, 2019, after being confirmed by the Senate 53-44 on September 27.

  • Supreme Court to decide on series of employment disputes this term

    The U.S. Supreme Court began its 2019-20 term on October 7, 2019. The Court will again hear cases that have significant implications for U.S. employers. Let's take a closer look at a couple of those cases.

  • Unelected legislators, unenacted laws: New EOs trim federal 'guidances'

    As our society has grown more complex, as our statutes have become more complicated and ambiguous, as the regulatory process has developed terminal sclerosis, facing years of review followed by years of litigation, the administrative bureaucracy has sought a way to advise the regulated community in a timely and targeted fashion. Thus, the guidance was born.

  • Update on collection of EEO-1 Component 2 data

    On October 8, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to deem its collection of Component 2 data complete under the April 25 order issued by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. In her order, Judge Chutkan directed the agency to "immediately take all steps necessary to complete the EEO-1 Component 2 data collection for calendar years 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019." The EEOC's motion explained:

  • America's solution to sexual harassment after #MeToo

    The #MeToo movement of 2017 increased awareness of discriminatory and harassing behavior in the workplace and the urgent need to combat that behavior. The two-year anniversary of the movement is a great opportunity to examine some of the practical solutions to this international issue offered by different states and cities.

  • Reading the tea leaves of EEOC's FY 2019 enforcement activity

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) fiscal year came to a close at the end of September, and consistent with past practices, the agency ended its fiscal year with a significant surge in filings. In September alone, the EEOC filed 52 lawsuits, which accounted for more than a third of its year-end total of 149 new cases. A review of the agency's activity during the past year provides important information about the continuation of certain trends and focuses and potentially provides insight into what we can expect from the EEOC moving forward.

  • FY 2019 monetary recovery largest in OFCCP's history

    David Cohen, co-chair of The Institute for Workplace Equality and founder of DCI Consulting, Inc., stated in his annual update on Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforcement that the OFCCP had announced $46.6 million in settlements and judgments in 2019, including the $6.6 million judgment in its case against Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which is on appeal. For the first time, the agency recovered as much from its compensation settlements as from its hiring settlements.

  • As summer winds down, NLRB shifts into high gear

    Many people think Washington falls into a summer stupor and members of Congress head back to their districts during the August recess. But it appears informed the ), which is in the midst of a burst of activity not seen in years. The general theme of the Board's actions is to the state of before the days of the Obamasel Richard Griffi refocusing labor law on the union-management nexus and withdrawing the reach of NLRB rules from nonunion businesses. The result is a limitation on union organizing opportunities, including access to businesses, a restriction on the definition of "concerted activity," a reduction in the number of "employees" who can be organized, and an expansion of management rights.

  • DOL issues long-anticipated update to overtime rule

    On Tuesday, September 24, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced a final rule updating the overtime eligibility requirements for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule bumps up the minimum salary threshold required for workers to be considered exempt under the FLSA's "white-collar" exemptions—that is, the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. The new threshold of $35,568 is a significant increase from the previous threshold of $23,660, an amount that had not been revised since 2004. However, the new threshold falls far short of the $47,476 level proposed in a scuttled Obama-era rule in 2016.

  • EEOC chair assures lawmakers that agency is chipping away at case backlog

    Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services on September 19, 2019, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Janet Dhillon announced the agency had formed an "internal task force to take a look at vulnerable workers." Dhillon told subcommittee members that she is committed to the EEOC's mission "to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace."