President Obama recently issued an executive order requiring seven days of paid sick leave be provided to government contractors.  The sick leave can be used not just when the employee is sick, but also to care for a relative, or someone as close as a relative.


As many human resources professionals and business owners have been discussing, the federal Department of Labor is in the process of revising its overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Broadly, the new regulations will increase the minimum salary for employees exempt from overtime to above $50,000 and expand the duties requirements for the exemptions. 


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued another Decision which will make it easier to form or increase the size and numbers of unions.  The NLRB’s Decision concerned the so-called joint-employer standard and found that exercising direct, immediate control over workers is not required to be deemed a joint-employer. 


A recent jury verdict in a federal lawsuit serves as a good reminder to employers that when an employee is facing harassment from a customer or outside party, the employer must take steps to protect that employee.  The employer’s responsibility to its employee does not cease simply because the harasser is not a fellow employee. 


The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new regulation, effective April 2015 and shortening the time between the filing of Petitions proposing a vote to form a union and the actual vote (ambush elections), survived the most recent challenge from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in the District of Columbia Federal Court last week.  The challenge, largely on procedural grounds, failed as the Court found that the NLRB had followed the law in instituting the new regulations without violating the U.S. Constitution.


As all employers know, the Department of Labor has finally released information on the proposed new overtime pay regulations.  We discussed some of the changes in our last blog, however, that is not the only news from the DOL.


The Department of Labor finally unveiled information on its website last week relating to its upcoming proposed rules that will expand overtime pay regulations to cover an additional 5 million people and raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act White Collar Exemptions to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year. The DOL is also proposing an automatic update to its salary threshold.  The rules have yet to be published in the Federal Register, but once they are there will be a 60-day public comment period.


For employers with over 50 employees, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can present human resources professionals, managers/executives and employment attorneys with difficult implementation issues.  It is crucial, therefore, to identify the most common aspects of the FMLA that create these issues.  For example, last week's Supreme Court decision finding that same sex couples have a fundamental right to marry under the federal Constitution means that same sex spouses must also be recognized under the FMLA. 


In March, we blogged about a case pending before the Supreme Court, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., and the potential ramifications for employers should the Court find in favor of the EEOC. 


New York State has long had a law requiring employers to provide a private space for employees to express breast milk.  NYS Labor Law Section 206-c prohibits discrimination against women who nurse their children or pump breast milk at work, and guarantees breastfeeding mothers the right to pump milk at work for three years after giving birth.