In this podcast episode, we discuss the recent US Supreme Court ruling in the Students for Fair Admissions Inc.’s lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, which challenged the constitutionality of their race conscious admission policies. We’ll consider the potential implications across multiple settings, from university admissions policies, to workplace and other DEI programs.… Continue Reading
The Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina (collectively SFFA), in a 6-3 majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, held that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC) violate federal law.… Continue Reading
Last week, amid its headline-generating decisions on affirmative action, religious accommodations in the workplace, and LGBTQ rights, the Supreme Court of the United States also issued its decision in Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 600 U.S. _____ (2023) (slip op.), a decision which has the potential to expand a state’s jurisdiction over out-of-state corporations registered to do business there. … Continue Reading
On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Alito, in Groff v. DeJoy, Postmaster General, 600 U.S. ___ (2023), in which it “clarified” decades-old precedent regarding an employer’s obligation to accommodate the religious beliefs of its employees. The unanimous Court held that, under Title VII, an employer is required to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless doing so would result in substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.… Continue Reading
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) issued a decision changing the legal standard it will use to determine whether workers are “employees” covered by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), or independent contractors who are not.
Prior to 2019, the Board’s test for determining whether a worker was a statutory employee or independent contractor weighed a variety of factors, including those outlined in the Restatement (Second) of Agency:
(a) the extent of control which, by the agreement, the employer may exercise over the details of the work;
(b) whether or not the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business;
(c) the kind of occupation, with reference to whether, in the locality, the work is usually done under the direction of the employer or by a specialist without supervision;
d) the skill required in the particular occupation;
e) whether the employer or the worker supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place of work for the person doing the work;
(f) the length of time for which the person is employed;
(g) the method of payment, whether by the time or by the job;
(h) whether or not the work is a part of the regular business of the employer;
(i) whether or not the parties believe they are creating the relation of employer and employee; and
(j) whether the principal is or is not in business.… Continue Reading
On May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration announced the end of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees, contractors, CMS-certified facilities, and others, because, “we are now in a different phase of our [COVID-19] response when these measures are no longer necessary.” The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023.… Continue Reading
Since March 2020, the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has permitted employers the flexibility to engage in remote review of certain new employees’ proof of their identity and authorization to work in the United States. At the end of July 2023, those flexibility rules will sunset – although businesses will have until the end of August to fully comply. … Continue Reading
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (found here) providing guidance to field staff regarding the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act). We previously summarized the requirements of the PUMP Act in our alert here.
The Field Assistance Bulletin provides detailed guidance on the PUMP Act and includes information and examples as to what employers must do to comply with the new law.… Continue Reading
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated its technical assistance bulletin and comprehensive COVID-19 resource, titled What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws (available here), calling the additions its “capstone” to the bulletin in light of the recent end to the COVID-19 public health emergency.… Continue Reading
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed into law three bills that create new obligations for Minnesota employers.
First, on May 24, 2023, Governor Walz signed a labor appropriations bill prohibiting the use of covenants not to compete against Minnesota employees and employers, with very limited exceptions involving the sale or dissolution of a business.… Continue Reading