In another example of the Department of Labor (DOJ) pursuing criminal anti-trust cases against employers throughout the country, on October 27th, 2022, VDA OC, LLC (formerly Advantage On Call or AOC), a healthcare staffing company, pled guilty to conspiring with a competitor to assign and fix nurses salaries within a specific school district in Nevada, which violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act. We have previously written in more detail regarding the DOJ’s new commitment to criminally prosecute supposed labor market collusion amongst competitors. This guilty plea is essentially the DOJ’s first “win” in its criminal enforcement of labor violations under the federal antitrust laws, after incurring two prior losses.  If employers are not attuned to this area of the law already, this serves as yet another wake up call.

As we discussed in our previous blog post, in 2021 the EEOC issued a technical assistance guidance addressing employers’ obligations under Bostock v. Clayton County, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 landmark decision holding that Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We blogged about the Bostock decision in June 2020.

Proposed Amendment 1 to the Illinois Constitution creates many unknowns. However, it’s quite clear that the amendment accomplishes two major goals of labor organizations in Illinois. First, this will prevent Illinois from enacting any law that permits it to adopt “Right-to-Work” on any local or state level. Second, it will prevent lawmakers (in any level of government) from passing any law or local ordinance that attempts to reform, modify, moderate or in any manner address public union benefits and working conditions that are ultimately bargained for and agreed to in the past, current or future.

If companies that employ Illinois residents and use any type of equipment to scan fingers, hands, face, or eyes were not yet aware of and concerned by the Illinois’ biometric privacy law, the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA), they should be now. On October 12, 2022, after a week-long trial, a federal jury returned a verdict finding that one of the nation’s largest railway companies, BNSF, had violated BIPA—to the tune of a $228 million judgment.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law a number of new bills impacting employers operating in California, who must remain vigilant with these developments as they are quickly going forward.  

On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it is proposing to do away with the existing independent contractor test that the Trump administration slipped into place in January 2021, in favor of a shift back to a “totality of circumstances” analysis.

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently held that employers must continue deducting union dues from workers’ paychecks (referred to as “dues checkoff”) as agreed in their collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”), even after those agreements expire.

Employers across all industries are concerned about employee retention in the continuing wake of the “Great Resignation” or the “Big Quit.” According to one of the largest global workforce surveys, 1 in 5 employees plan to quit in 2022.

On August 25, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt the “pay-versus-performance” rule, requiring publicly traded companies (except foreign private issuers, registered investment companies, and Emerging Growth Companies) to provide clear disclosure to shareholders on the relationship between companies’ executive compensation and financial performance. The adoption finally implements Section 14(i) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

The California State Legislature recently passed a Senate Bill 1162, a pay transparency bill intended to narrow the gender pay gap and differences in pay for Black and Latino employees. If the California Governor signs Senate Bill 1162 into law, California employers with 15 or more employees must include the pay scale for a position on all job postings and provide current employees with the pay scale for their position upon request. Moreover, employers with 100 or more employees must also submit an annual pay data report, including median and mean hourly rates for race, ethnicity and sex within each job category, to the Department of Fair Housing and Employment. Under this new law, employees and applicants would be able to access this pay information because the reports would be publicly accessible. The law includes civil pay penalties for employers in violation of these requirements.

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from Amundsen Davis blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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