In our last round-up of articles we focused on the continuing changes in the labor and employment law landscape. In this series, see a new law in action, learn the latest on the EFCA, read about unintended ADA violations, find out how much money the Obama Administration wants for the Department of Labor, and more. Click the links below.
Eternity in Purgatory or Payment for Past Sins: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 in Action: As most employers know, the newly-enacted Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (Fair Pay Act) increases the potential liability for employers for past wage discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional. Two recent cases illustrate how far back an employer's potential liability may reach.
Coffers to Overflow at DOL, EEOC, OSHA, OFCCP and NLRB in 2010: For fiscal year 2010, the Obama Administration has requested increased funding for virtually every federal labor and employment regulatory agency: $104.5 billion for the Department of Labor; $367 million for the EEOC; $563.5 million for OSHA; more than $109 million for the OFCCP; and a $32 million increase in funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which currently receives approximately $251 million in funding.
EFCA Update: The intense lobbying over this extremely controversial piece of legislation continues unimpeded, and the National Association of Manufacturers and the United States Chamber of Commerce are spending millions of dollars waging a nonstop battle to kill it. As currently drafted, the most contentious parts of the bill would amend the National Labor Relations Act to allow a union to become the bargaining agent, certified by the National Labor Relations Board, for an appropriate group of employees upon a majority of those employees signing authorization for the union on cards or a petition.
Up Next: The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009: Legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress that would all but eliminate an employer's right to enter into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with its employees. Under the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009, pre-dispute agreements requiring the arbitration of an employment dispute or any dispute arising under any statute intended to protect civil rights would be invalid and unenforceable. The act would also prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements addressing consumer or franchise disputes. The legislation would not affect arbitration agreements entered prior to the statute's enactment.
EEOC Suggests That Health Risk Assessments Required by Employers for Health Insurance Eligibility Violate the ADA: Employers who require their employees to participate in a health risk assessment in order to be eligible for health insurance coverage may be unknowingly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an opinion letter that health risk assessments that include disability-related inquiries and medical examinations are not job-related or consistent with business necessity.
Deadline Extended for Mandatory MMSEA reporting: Two years ago Congress passed the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA), adding new and significant mandatory reporting requirements which affect employers (and their insurers) who settle claims with Medicare beneficiaries. With this three-month extension, the new deadline for implementation of the Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Medicare is September 30, 2009. This is especially important to those who are unaware of the reporting requirements.