U.S. Department of Labor

Alert for Federal Contractors – OFCCP Contractor Portal Will Open for AAP Certification on April 1 and Agency Released Updated Annual Veteran Hiring Benchmark

March 29, 2024

By Christa Richer Cook

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that its Contractor Portal will open to receive Affirmative Action Program (AAP) certification submissions on April 1, 2024. The deadline for contractors to certify that they are in compliance with their AAP obligations for each establishment and/or functional unit is set for July 1, 2024.

Read More >> Alert for Federal Contractors – OFCCP Contractor Portal Will Open for AAP Certification on April 1 and Agency Released Updated Annual Veteran Hiring Benchmark

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final “Independent Contractor” Rule

January 11, 2024

By Adam P. Mastroleo and Samuel M. Brewster

As we previously reported here, on Oct. 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would revise the analysis for determining independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act).  On Jan. 9, 2024, the DOL announced its final rule.

Read More >> U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final “Independent Contractor” Rule

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Increase the Salary Level to Qualify for the White Collar Exemptions

September 6, 2023

By Subhash Viswanathan

On Aug. 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued a proposed rule to increase the minimum weekly salary to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act white collar exemptions from $684 per week (the annual equivalent of $35,568) to $1,059 per week (the annual equivalent of $55,068). This new proposed salary level is based on the 35th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region. When the exempt salary level was last raised to $684 effective Jan. 1, 2020, the USDOL set it at the 20th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region.

Read More >> U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Increase the Salary Level to Qualify for the White Collar Exemptions

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Electronic Monitoring, Artificial Intelligence and Employee’s Section 7 Rights

November 10, 2022

With the proliferation of remote work options in today’s post-pandemic world, employers’ electronic monitoring of their employees’ daily activities has become more routine. On October 31, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) general counsel (GC) released a new memo cautioning against the potential violations of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (Act) that use of such electronic monitoring may raise by “significantly impairing or negating employees’ ability to engage in protected activity and keep that activity confidential from their employer[.]” The GC announced intent to urge the Board to “zealously enforc[e]” existing Board precedent in this context and protect employees rights “to the greatest extent possible.”

Read More >> NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Electronic Monitoring, Artificial Intelligence and Employee’s Section 7 Rights

DOL Proposes New Rule For Independent Contractor Classification

October 20, 2022

By Adam P. Mastroleo and Rebecca J. LaPoint

On Oct. 11, 2022, the U.S. DOL of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would revise the analysis for determining independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed standard would rescind the current rule that has been in effect since March 8, 2021.

Read More >> DOL Proposes New Rule For Independent Contractor Classification

New Guidance from U.S. DOL on FMLA Leave for Mental Health Conditions

June 6, 2022

In connection with Mental Health Awareness Month, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has sought to assist employers in better understanding how to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as it relates to mental health conditions. Accordingly, on May 25, 2022, the USDOL issued new guidance (Guidance) and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on providing FMLA leave to employees to address their own mental health conditions or to care for a covered family member with a mental health condition.

Read More >> New Guidance from U.S. DOL on FMLA Leave for Mental Health Conditions

OFCCP’s Pay Equity Directive Takes Aim at Federal Contractors 

April 22, 2022

By Monica C. Barrett and Christa Richer Cook

On March 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a new directive addressing pay equity audits. The new Directive 2022-01 sets forth what OFCCP views as its apparent authority to obtain access to and review federal contractors’ pay equity audits that are conducted in connection with contractors’ compliance mandates. 

 

Read More >> OFCCP’s Pay Equity Directive Takes Aim at Federal Contractors 

USDOL’S Wage and Hour Division Announces Priority of Protecting Workers from Retaliation

March 16, 2022

By Subhash Viswanathan

On March 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (which enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other federal wage and hour laws) announced that one of its top enforcement priorities is to protect workers from retaliation for exercising their rights. The USDOL launched an anti-retaliation page on its web site and published a Field Assistance Bulletin on the subject of retaliation.

Read More >> USDOL’S Wage and Hour Division Announces Priority of Protecting Workers from Retaliation

Employers Take Notice: The NLRB, the DOL and the EEOC Are Working Together to Combat Employer Retaliation

March 4, 2022

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), three federal agencies that enforce major federal labor and employment laws, are joining forces to combat employer retaliation. Employers must be aware that these federal agencies are moving forward with concrete steps to jointly coordinate efforts to take action and litigate against workplace violations and are incentivizing workers to come forward with their concerns.

Read More >> Employers Take Notice: The NLRB, the DOL and the EEOC Are Working Together to Combat Employer Retaliation

Task Force Issues Federal Contractor COVID-19 Safety Protocol Guidance

October 5, 2021

By Stephanie H. Fedorka

On Sept. 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published guidance related to President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 “Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.” 

Executive Order 14042 (the Order) generally requires federal agencies and executive departments to ensure that covered contracts and contract-like instruments include a clause that requires covered contractors (and subcontractors) to comply with COVID-19 safety protocol guidance published by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, including as it may be updated in the future. 

Read More >> Task Force Issues Federal Contractor COVID-19 Safety Protocol Guidance

DOL Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance for Plan Sponsors, Plan Fiduciaries, Record-Keepers and Plan Participants

June 21, 2021

By Lawrence J. Finnell

On April 14. 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued much needed guidance concerning best practices for plan sponsors, fiduciaries, record-keepers, participants and beneficiaries pertaining to cybersecurity for retirements plans. The DOL’s guidance focuses on three specific topics: hiring service providers; managing cybersecurity risks; and online security tips for participants to avoid risk of fraud and loss. Although the guidance was couched as “best practices,” it is reasonable to interpret it as creating minimum cybersecurity standards and practices for retirement plans. The guidance specifies the duty of plan fiduciaries to protect plan data against cybersecurity breaches and attacks, and potentially signifies a precursor for the DOL to assess liability for damages stemming from plan data breaches in the future. Although the guidance did not address health and welfare plans, those plans may also wish to consider implementing these measures. 

Read More >> DOL Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance for Plan Sponsors, Plan Fiduciaries, Record-Keepers and Plan Participants