Posts by Paul Ross

DOL issues final rule on paid sick leave for federal contractors

On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13706, an order that requires federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rule setting forth the details of that obligation. The rule will apply to all contracts issued on or after January…

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OSHA prohibition on post-accident testing requires immediate action by employers

One of the most common matters that we assist our clients in understanding is the set of legal parameters under which an employer can conduct employee drug and alcohol testing. For a variety of reasons, we encourage employers to conduct testing, including pre-employment testing, for-cause testing, post-accident testing and others. While there may be moral…

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DOL proposes dramatic changes to FLSA overtime rules

In March of 2014, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the secretary of labor to “update” and “modernize” the regulations under which the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) manages the Fair Labor Standards Act. Particularly, the president called for updating the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (known to us as the “white collar” exemptions), because, according…

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NLRB rules employee’s vulgar, unprofessional social media post is protected concerted activity

Over the past few years, we’ve warned our employer clients that discipline of employees for social media activity has become risky business. The National Labor Relations Board has taken the position that employee commentary on social media is very often “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act even when the language used is…

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Despite settlement, EEOC continues and expands discrimination investigation

At this point, employers have become all too familiar with the new, aggressive enforcement agenda of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency’s systemic initiative to root out alleged discriminatory employment practices has been well-publicized, and there are no signs that those efforts will be eased anytime soon. But the increase in such investigations has…

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Sixth Circuit decision bucks trend on same‑sex marriage

The last several weeks and months have seen an unmistakable trend in federal court decisions paving the way for same-sex marriage in a majority of states. But just when it appeared that same-sex marriage might have gained unstoppable momentum, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals made its long-awaited decision regarding same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

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A tiger by the tail

Back in school, I recall reading the short story The Lady or the Tiger? It’s about a woman made to choose between two fates for her would-be husband, neither of which was particularly pleasant. What she would choose is left for the reader to decide. Employers face a similar decision when considering criminal background checks.

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