Government policies and proposals

Legislative Update for the Week of September 9, 2013

California Legislature Approves Minimum Wage Increase

The bill to increase California's minimum wage (AB 10) in two steps to $10 an hour by January 1, 2016 was passed overwhelmingly yesterday afternoon on straight party-line votes by the California state senate and assembly. Read the full post here. (September 13)


Report on AFL-CIO Convention - Day 4

The AFL-CIO convention ended yesterday, but not before some fireworks over the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Certain aspects of the healthcare law - particularly ACA's impact on multi-employer healthcare plans - have caused a great deal of consternation for unions. The concern over the law's effect on unionized employees appears to have come to a head during the final day of the convention, where after three days of closed-door meetings, delegates adopted a resolution outlining their apprehension about the healthcare law and making suggestions for change. Resolution 54 was submitted by the Building and Construction Trades Department, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the American Federation of Teachers.  The Resolution states that "federal agencies administering the ACA have interpreted the Act in ways that are threatening the ability of workers to keep health care coverage through some collectively bargained, non-profit health care funds." Read the full report here. (September 12)


David Weil Nominated to Head DOL's Wage and Hour Division

President Obama has announced his choice to serve as Administrator of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  The position has remained vacant for a number of years. The WHD is the DOL sub-agency that will implement many key regulatory and policy proposals in the coming year, including the imminent final companionship exemption rule that will apply the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to domestic service workers, and various worker misclassification initiatives. Read the full post here. (September 12)

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Legislative Update for the Week of August 19, 2013

New OSHA Safety Standards to Apply to Airline Cabin Crew Members
Pursuant to a directive included in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FAA Act), the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final policy allowing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to apply and enforce certain safety standards for aircraft cabin crewmembers. Under the final policy, OSHA standards on hazardous chemicals, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and hearing conservation programs, as well as rules on record-keeping, access to employee exposure and medical records, and the agency's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) anti-discrimination provision, will now apply to aircraft cabin members. Read the full post here. (August 23)

Michael Hayes New OLMS Director
Former professor and union-side lawyer Michael Hayes is the new director of the Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS). Hayes comes to the OLMS from the University of Baltimore, where he has served as a professor since 1998. According to the biographical information posted on his faculty webpage, Hayes has taught courses on labor law, collective bargaining, employment law, employment discrimination, torts, negotiation and other lawyering skills. Before teaching, Hayes practiced labor and employment law with a private union-side law firm in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, Hayes worked for one year as a staff counsel to the National Labor Relations Board. Read the full post here. (August 23)

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Nueva Ley Contra la Corrupción de Brasil: Todo lo que un Empleador Multinacional Debe Saber

El 01 de agosto de 2013, Brasil promulgó la Ley 12.846, una nueva ley contra la corrupción que establece un sistema integral de responsabilidad corporativa e individual por actos de corrupción contra funcionarios públicos brasileños y extranjeros u organismos gubernamentales. La nueva ley contra la corrupción entra en vigencia el 28 de enero de 2014. Las empresas que realizan actividades directas o indirectas en Brasil - ya sea a través de un empleado o contratista independiente, una filial, o como parte de una cadena de suministro - deben prestar especial atención a los contornos de esta ley, las severas sanciones por violaciones y los pasos que recomendamos para asegurar su pleno cumplimiento. Para más información sobre las disposiciones claves de esta nueva ley, continúe leyendo la nota de Actualidad Laboral de Littler, Nueva Ley Contra la Corrupción de Brasil: Todo lo que un Empleador Multinacional Debe Saber, escrito por Juan Carlos Varela, Geida D. Sanlate y Daniela Sedes.

Brazil's New Anti-Corruption Law: What Every Multinational Employer Should Know

On August 1, 2013, Brazil enacted Law 12.846, a new anti-corruption law that establishes a comprehensive system of corporate and individual liability for acts of corruption against Brazilian and foreign public officials or governmental bodies. The new anti-bribery law becomes effective on January 28, 2014. Companies conducting direct or indirect activities in Brazil - whether through an employee, independent contractor, subsidiary, or as part of a supply chain - should pay special attention to the contours of this law, the severe penalties for violations, and recommended steps to ensure full compliance. For more information on the key provisions of this new law, please see Littler's ASAP, Brazil's New Anti-Corruption Law: What Every Multinational Employer Should Know, by Juan Carlos Varela, Geida D. Sanlate, and Daniela Sedes.

En Conformidad Con Criterios a la Ley Federal del Trabajo, Los Patrones Deben Implementar Programas de Capacitación, Adiestramiento y Productividad para los Empleados o, de lo Contrario, Correr el Riesgo de Ser Multados

El 14 de junio de 2013, la secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social de México ("STPS") publicó los criterios que describen la obligación de los empleadores a desarrollar e implementar programas de capacitación y adiestramiento que fomenten la productividad en los centros de trabajo. Los patrones tendrán un plazo de tres meses, el cual vencerá el 15 de septiembre de 2013, para cumplir con las disposiciones antes mencionadas, de lo contrario se harán acreedores a una multa. Derivado de las multas por incumplimiento, los patrones deberán inmediatamente implementar los cambios que en los criterios de capacitación, adiestramiento y productividad se establecen, para cumplir con la legislación laboral. Para más información sobre las disposiciones claves de los criterios, continúe leyendo aquí.

Tags: Training

Employers Must Implement Training Programs for Employees or Risk Steep Fines

On June 14, 2013, Mexico's Department of Labor and Social Welfare ("STPS") published final rules outlining an employer's obligation to develop and implement detailed employee training programs that will foster productivity. Pursuant to these rules, covered employers have a three-month window, until September 15, 2013, to come into full compliance with the law. Given the penalties for noncompliance, employers should immediately implement changes to their practices to comply fully with the law. For information on the final rules concerning the required employee training programs, continue reading here.

Tags: Training

Alerta a los Empleadores Venezolanos: Nuevo Reglamento Establece Requisitos Adicionales a la Jornada Laboral y Días de Descanso

Los empleadores venezolanos deberán cumplir la nueva legislación laboral y el reglamento que entran en vigor a partir de mayo de 2013. La Ley Orgánica del Trabajo, Las Trabajadoras y los Trabajadores y el nuevo reglamento establecen restricciones adicionales sobre la jornada laboral así como los días de descanso. Debido a estas nuevas restricciones, los empleadores deben implementar de forma inmediata cambios en sus políticas a los fines de cumplir plenamente con la nueva regulación laboral. Para más información sobre las disposiciones claves de la legislación laboral, continúe leyendo aquí (For the English version, continue reading here).

Venezuela Employers Beware: New Regulations Establish Additional Wage and Hour Requirements

Employers in Venezuela must comply with the new wage and hour law and regulations that became effective in May 2013. The Organic Law of Labor and Workers and the new regulations establish additional restrictions for work hours and days of rest. Given these new restrictions, employers should immediately implement changes to their practices to comply fully with the wage and hour law. For information on the key provisions of the new wage and hour law, continue reading here (Para la versión en español, prosiga a leer aquí).

Legislative Update for the Week of May 13, 2013

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Bills Would Expand Pregnancy, Nursing Workplace Rights
This week members of the House and Senate introduced legislation designed to improve protections for pregnant and nursing employees. On Tuesday lawmakers reintroduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1975, S. 942), a bill that would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees and job applicants as well as those with limitations related to childbirth. Read the full post here. (May 17)

EEOC Updates Disability Guidance Documents
Pursuant to the agency's Strategic Plan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has revised and updated four disability guidance documents. Among other goals outlined in the Strategic Plan is to ensure the EEOC "provides up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws." To that end, the agency has made available revised question and answer documents on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. Read the full post here. (May 17)

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Legislative Update for the Week of May 6, 2013

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D.C. Circuit Invalidates NLRB's Posting Rule
The U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently struck down the National Labor Relations Board's August 2011 Notice Posting Rule, which would have required employers to conspicuously display a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. In National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. NLRB, the court invalidated the rule because it found all three of the rule's enforcement mechanisms unlawful. A majority of the court also found that the rule exceeded the Board's rulemaking authority as delegated by Congress. Read the full post here. (May 8)

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