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Legal update Legal update Document Transcript

  • 11/18/2013 VICTOR CARDWELL & TOM WINN W W W. W O O D S R O G E R S . C O M LEGAL UPDATE “But For” Retaliation Standard University of Texas Southwestern Medical  Center v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517 (2013)  1
  • 11/18/2013 Supervisor Must Be Empowered to Take Tangible Employment Actions Vance v. Ball State Univ., 133 S.Ct. 2434  (2013) Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreement Must Be Decided By Arbitrator, Not Court Nitro‐Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v.  Howard, 133 S.Ct. 500 (2012) Private Contractor Whistleblower Protections Lawson v. FMR, LLC,  No. 12‐3,  cert. granted, 133 S.Ct. 2387  (2013) 2
  • 11/18/2013 Labor Management Relations Act – Neutrality Agreement Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall, No. 12‐99, cert. granted, 133 S.Ct.  2849 (2013) “Donning and Doffing” Sandifer v. U. S. Steel Corp., cert.  granted 133 S.Ct. 1240 (2013) Recess Board Appointments NLRB v. Noel Canning, No. 12‐ 1281, cert. granted, 133 S.Ct. 2861  (2013)  3
  • 11/18/2013 Sleepless Lawyer May Not Recover Anderson v. Discovery  Communications, LLC, 2013 WL  1364345 (4th Cir. April 5, 2013) NLRB’s Workers’ Rights Notice Invalid Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB,  2013 WL 2678592 (4th Cir. June 14,  2013) Individual Liability for Wrongful Discharge Tort Claims Under Virginia Law VanBuren v. Grubb, 284 Va. 584,  733 S.E.2d 919 (Va. S.Ct. 2012) 4
  • 11/18/2013 NLRB, DOL, AND EEOC Agency Update DOL Developments U.S. v. Windsor • Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer • Same‐sex couple married in Ontario, residing  in NY • Spyer died in 2009, leaving entire estate to  Windsor.  • Windsor sought federal estate tax exemption  for surviving spouses • IRS denied exemption due to DOMA and  compelled her to pay $363,053 in estate taxes 5
  • 11/18/2013 U.S. v. Windsor • Windsor filed suit against U.S. in S.D.N.Y. – claimed DOMA unconstitutional • District Court and 2nd Circuit agreed with  Windsor U.S. v. Windsor U.S. S.Ct. • Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional under 5th Amendment by restricting federal  interpretation of "marriage" and "spouse" to  apply only to heterosexual unions • Requires federal gov’t to recognize same sex  marriages if lawful under state law Where Are Same-Sex Marriages Lawful? • • • • • • • D.C. Cal.  Conn. Del. Iowa Mass. N.H. • • • • • • • • Maine Md. Minn. N.Y. R.I. Vt. Wash. N.J. (Oct. 21, 2013) 6
  • 11/18/2013 U.S. v. Windsor U.S. S.Ct. • Impact on ERISA‐covered benefit plans? • Impact on FMLA? DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “Guidance to Employee Benefit Plans on the Definition  of ‘Spouse’ and ‘Marriage’ under ERISA and the  Supreme Court's Decision in U.S. v. Windsor” “[S]pouse" and "marriage" … in … ERISA and in related  department regulations should be read to include  same‐sex couples legally married in any state…,  regardless of where they currently live." DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “In general, . . . the term ‘spouse’ will be read to refer  to any individuals who are lawfully married under any  state law, including individuals married to a person of  the same sex who were legally married in a state that  recognizes such marriages, but who are domiciled in a  state that does not recognize such marriages. Similarly,  the term ‘marriage’ will be read to include a same‐sex  marriage that is legally recognized as a marriage under  any state law.” 7
  • 11/18/2013 DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “[T]he term ‘state’ means any state of the U.S.,  the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin  Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island,  the Northern Mariana Islands, any other  territory or possession of the United States, and  any foreign jurisdiction having the legal  authority to sanction marriages.” DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “The terms ‘spouse’ and ‘marriage’ . . . do not include individuals  in a formal relationship recognized by a state that is not  denominated a marriage under state law, such as a domestic  partnership or a civil union, regardless of whether the individuals  who are in these relationships have the same rights and  responsibilities as those individuals who are married under state  law. The foregoing sentence applies to individuals who are in  these relationships with an individual of the opposite sex or  same sex.” DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “A rule that recognizes marriages that are valid  in the state in which they were celebrated,  regardless of the married couple's state of  domicile, provides a uniform rule of recognition  that can be applied with certainty by  stakeholders, including employers, plan  administrators, participants, and beneficiaries.” 8
  • 11/18/2013 DOL Technical Release No. 2013-04 September 18th, 2013 “A rule for employee benefit plans based on state of  domicile would raise significant challenges for  employers that operate or have employees (or former  employees) in more than one state or whose  employees move to another state while entitled to  benefits.” Windsor/DOMA/DOL Guidance & FMLA • What about the FMLA? State of domicile or celebration? • DOL’s guidance speaks to ERISA and benefit  plans. • Does not speak to FMLA leave to care for  “spouses” Windsor/DOMA FMLA Regs (29 C.F.R. 825-122) “Spouse means a husband or wife as  defined or recognized under state law for  purposes of marriage in the state where  the employee resides, including common  law marriage in states where it is  recognized.” 9
  • 11/18/2013 Pre-Windsor FMLA Leave for Same-Sex Spouses • Prior to Windsor, FMLA also controlled by  DOMA. • Therefore, even in states that recognized  same‐sex marriage, employers could deny  employees FMLA leave to care for their same‐ sex spouse Fact Sheet #28F: Qualifying Reasons for Leave Under FMLA Updated Guidance – August 9th, 2013 • Clarifies that employee who resides in state that  allows same‐sex marriage is entitled to take FMLA leave to care for same‐sex spouse • Note ‐ law of state of residence applies, not the law  of the state where the employee works or where  marriage celebrated. (29 C.F.R. § 825.102).   • This could mean that employer could have  employees in same company location where one  employee could be eligible for FMLA and the other  not eligible based on state of residence.  • And, separate issue as to ERISA benefits eligibility Windsor Leads to Green Card October 10th, 2013 In response to Windsor, visa  petitions filed on behalf of same‐sex spouses reviewed in  same manner as those filed on  behalf of opposite sex spouses • • • • • Virginia woman and British woman Couple for 16 years Lived together in England for 10 years Married in April in Maryland Lawful permanent resident status  approved by U.S. Citizenship and  Immigration Services on October 10th 10
  • 11/18/2013 Direct Care Workers (New Directive 9/17/13) • Minimum wage, overtime extended to direct  care workers • workers who provide essential home care  assistance to elderly people and people with  illnesses, injuries or disabilities  • nearly two million workers — i.e., home  health and personal care aides, CNAs Misclassified Workers are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5x their regular rate What can you do? • Consider the FWW (Fluctuating workweek”) (When the exempt status is unclear) • All Job Descriptions should acknowledge the  job’s flexible scheduling extended business hours to meet special needs salary covers all hours worked the regular rate of pay will vary from week to week Misclassification of Workers • Misclassification Initiative o IRS and DOL are teaming up on misclassification  issue. o Kicked off in 2011 o Focus on interns/independent contractors and  employees. • Focus for Virginia (2012‐present) o Construction Industry  o Overtime / use of Independent contractors 11
  • 11/18/2013 20 Factor Test IRS has 20 Factor Test for Independent  Contractor (a few highlights): • Does company provide instructions on how to  do the work, when it should be performed and  where it should be performed? • Training provided by Company? • Clerical/admin support provided by Company? • Exclusive arrangement? • Tools and equipment provided by Company? 6 Factor Test for “Interns” • Is the internship similar to training which would  be given in an educ. environment? • Is internship for benefit of Intern? • Does intern displace regular employees? • Employer derives no immediate advantage from  the intern activities and on occasion operations  may be impeded. • Intern is not necessarily entitle to a job at end.  • Employer and intern understand that no wages  are to be paid for internship.  EEOC Developments 12
  • 11/18/2013 New Criminal Background Check Guidance • • • • • Nature of crime Date of offense Duties of position Case‐by‐case NC and VA Statutes on Expungement Title VII Protection? • Sexual orientation, transsexualism,  gender identity not expressly  prohibited.  • Same sex harassment Laws & Administrative Policies to Protect Gay/Transgender Employees • At least 32 states, including D.C.,  have implemented protections. • To date, not VA 13
  • 11/18/2013 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) • Transgender‐inclusive versions of ENDA  introduced in U.S. Congress for many years • Proposed legislation prohibits private  employers with more than 15 employees from  discriminating on the basis of sexual  orientation or gender identity  EEOC Decision Macy v Holder Employer who discriminates against  transgender employee or applicant on  basis of gender identity, change of sex,  and/or transgender status violates Title  VII’s gender discrimination prohibition.  Lessons from Macy • Be aware of expanding definition of “sex  discrimination” in workplace • Be mindful of new legal protections (both  state and federal) afforded to transgender  employees and applicants 14
  • 11/18/2013 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 “GINA” • Applies to all employers with at least 15  employees • Became effective November 21, 2009 • EEOC responsible for enforcement EEOC Settles 1st-Ever Genetic Bias Lawsuit • EEOC on 5/17/13 filed and settled its first  complaint alleging genetic discrimination • Suit accused Fabricut Inc. of unlawfully asking  job applicant for family medical history in  post‐job offer medical examination Religious Discrimination & Harassment • Title VII prohibits religious discrimination and  harassment • Employers required to “reasonably  accommodate” religious practices of  employees if no “undue hardship” to  employer 15
  • 11/18/2013 Reasonable Accommodations May include: • • • • Schedule changes Voluntary shift swaps Lateral transfers Other workplace policy/practice  modifications NLRB Developments • Employee Rights Notice • Protected Concerted Activities • Social Media Issues 16
  • 11/18/2013 Employee Rights Notice • • • • • First proposed in December 2010 Board received 7,000 comments Final rule published on August 30, 2011 Initial effective date was Nov. 14, 2011 Postponed to January 31, 2012 • D.C. Circuit struck down as violating 1st Amendment May 2013 • 4th Circuit struck down the notice in June 2013 • "There is no general grant of power to the NLRB outside the  roles of addressing [unfair labor practice] charges and  conducting representation elections…” Judge Allyson Duncan Conclusions • Aggressive administrative enforcement • Expanding legal protections • Imperative to: o Ensure HR is up to date o Review, revise and update policies and procedures o Train supervisors VICTOR CARDWELL & TOM WINN W W W. W O O D S R O G E R S . C O M 17