On August 22, 2017, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ordered the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) to reconsider its rules regarding Employer Wellness Program incentives as they relate to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has decided to initiate a review and stay of the revision to the EEO-1 that was previously approved for implementation. The revision would have required employers with 100 or more employees to add wages and hours, along with race/ethnicity and gender, to the EEO-1 report. The 2017 report was to be filed by March 31, 2018.
Last week the White House released its proposed budget for the 2018 Fiscal Year which included a proposal to combine the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Groups representing employee rights and those representing employer interests are opposed to the merge. The groups agree that though both agencies are focused on protecting employees from discrimination, their purpose is different. OFCCP’s mission is to work with federal contractors to proactively promote equal employment opportunities while the EEOC’s mission is more reactive, investigating individual claims of discrimination.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Andrew Puzder, the nominee for Secretary of the United States Department of Labor announced that he was withdrawing his nomination. The next day President Trump announced he was nominating Alexander Acosta to the position.
Andrew Puzder, the fast-food executive and owner of Hardees and Carl’s Jr, was unlikely to receive the 51 senatorial votes necessary to be confirmed for the appointment to the Department of Labor. Puzder was subject to opposition from Democrats, and trade and advocacy organizations from the start, who were critical of his treatment of workers at his fast food restaurants. As information that he had employed an undocumented housekeeper and allegations of spousal abuse surfaced, his support from several Republicans appeared to erode and Puzder withdrew from consideration.
Beginning January 22, 2107, employers started using a revised I-9 form to verify new hires’ eligibility to work in the United States. The new form is dated November 14, 2016. The previous form dated March 8, 2013, is no longer acceptable. For more information and a copy of the new form go to www.uscis.gov/i-9-central.
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published guidance to alert Human Resources professionals of the risks of entering into agreements with competitors about employment terms and to provide guidance for safeguarding against the violations. According to the guidance, when competing employers establish “no poaching” agreements for each other’s employees, it may be a violation of U.S. anti-trust laws.
Executive Order 13658 requires that employers with certain federal construction and service contracts pay employees performing “work on or associated with the contracts” at least the Federal Minimum Wage for Contractors. Effective January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for employees working on federal contracts increases from $10.10 per hour to $10.20 per hour.