Yikes. I hope I haven’t missed anybody. Wild week!
We hope that the immigrant strikes are about over by now, but they may continue into today, and a women’s strike is reportedly set for March 8. Do employers have any recourse when their employees go out on strike? It depends. If the strike is “protected concerted activity” (and it may be), then employers will need to tread carefully and consult with their labor counsel. Mark Flora of our Austin Office has a great concise summary of the issues, and Leigh Tyson of our Atlanta Office (star of ConstangyTV’s Close-Up on Workplace Law) has a handy Q and A for employers that goes into more depth.
Appellate Spotlight is back with the first in a two-part series on discrimination cases. Kim Seten of our Kansas City Office discusses the “cat’s paw” decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance. (Beware: the facts of the case are NSFW!)
And the Winter 2017 edition of Preventive Medicine is out, featuring some ways that healthcare employers can take their own pulse on HR and employment law issues. By – who else? – the prolific Susan Bassford Wilson. We also have the latest charge-filing statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and links to other items of interest to healthcare employers.
If you’re a workplace safety buff, you may remember that in 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided that employees in non-union workplaces could designate outside “representatives” to accompany OSHA inspectors on “walkarounds.” Well, earlier this month, a federal judge gave employers a partial victory, saying that OSHA had the right to make that rule but didn’t have the right to do it without following the notice-and-comment procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act. Although National Federation of Independent Business v. Dorothy Dougherty is scheduled to go to trial on the APA issue, the Trump Administration is likely to kill off the interpretation for good by returning to the previous interpretation, which was more protective of employer rights. Our OSHA Practice Group has the details in this OSHA Update.
Where do things stand on President Obama’s “fiduciary rule”? Week before last, President Trump signed an Executive Order, followed by a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to review the Obama Administration fiduciary rule to determine whether it might adversely affect access to financial advice and to information regarding retirement. Dana Thrasher, chair of our Employee Benefits Practice Group, has an update while we wait for the Department of Labor to (in all likelihood) delay implementation of the rule.