North Dakota News & Analysis

  • What passed and what failed? 2019 ND legislative session's highlights

    From January to April 2019, the North Dakota Legislature convened for its 66th Legislative Assembly. Both the house and the senate introduced several employment-related bills, which were met with varying degrees of success. Read on to find out more about the most notable employment bills from this year's session and whether they passed or failed.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.

  • Why employee engagement must be a priority, not an option

    When it comes to your workplace, do you know how many members of your team are truly engaged? On average, U.S. companies have an engagement level of 32%. Basically, one out of three of your team members is engaged. Studies suggest that disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy between $400 billion and $600 billion a year!

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reveals rulemaking plans. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May announced its rulemaking priorities, which include proceeding with its rulemaking on a standard for joint employment. The Board's agenda also includes plans for rulemaking in the following areas: representation-case procedures; standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and the formation of bargaining relationships in the construction industry; the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies should be considered employees; and standards for access to an employer's private property.

  • Workplace Trends

    Think you've made a hire? Maybe not. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows that more than a quarter of workers (28%) have backed out of a job offer after accepting the position. Why would a jobseeker do that? The survey says 44% of those changing their minds backed out after receiving a better offer from another company. For 27%, a counteroffer from their current employer led to the change of heart. In 19% of the cases, the jobseeker reported hearing bad things about the company after receiving the offer. The cities where jobseekers are more likely to renege are San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and Miami.

  • Top 3 management missteps to address in the workplace this summer

    North Dakota summers can bring a much-welcomed period of sunshine, good spirits, and vacation, but summer is no time to let good management practices take a vacation as well. Lawsuits are typically more difficult to defend than they are to prevent, and ensuring proper prevention generally falls on management's shoulders—whether that be an entity's owner, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, director, HR, or supervisor. Avoiding the following three missteps this summer may save employers significant money and headaches when the leaves fall from the trees and the snow sets in once again.

  • Surprise! Employee's sworn statements can keep discrimination charge alive

    It's tempting for employers to shrug off the allegations contained in a discrimination charge or similar agency filing—viewing them as unfounded, unsupported, and self-serving. Or worse, they may attack the charging party's self-serving allegations with their own self-serving response. But as a recent federal appeals court ruling demonstrates, statements made in, or in response to, a discrimination charge may impede your ability to avoid a trial or succeed in the ensuing litigation.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the long-unresolved question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has been percolating in the lower courts for quite a while. As it frequently does, the Court declined to consider the question until there was a conflict between several appellate courts. Let's take a look at the history of the Court's decisions, the arguments on both sides of the issue, and what we can expect next.

  • September 30 deadline looms for newly required EEO-1 data

    Employers required to submit EEO-1 reports to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are venturing into uncharted territory as they work to collect newly required information due by September 30. While they may be accustomed to submitting traditional EEO-1 information—data on employees' race/ethnicity and gender, or what's being called Component 1 data—this year they also must compile data on compensation and hours worked, or what's being called Component 2 data.