First Quarter Employment Legal Matters U.S. 2017
In the world of staffing it is imperative to keep up with current laws and changes to any laws that affect terms for new consultants, and temporary or permanent placement employees. The Staffing Industry Analysis website provides a summary of 2017’s Q1 legal matters for North America which have been making headlines. In this summary topics that relate to employment in the Unites States are annotated. Below is a reflection of the first quarter employment legal matters U.S. 2017.
The headlines included in their summary that pertain to employment are listed here for reference. The following categories relate to employment in the U.S.; the Affordable Care Act, collective bargaining, contract liability, misclassification, paid leave, and wage & hour.
To date, the Affordable Care Act has yet to be repealed. That being said, the Trump administration has still made it clear that it plans to continue efforts to dismantle parts of the ACA.
Two topics were mentioned in regard to collective bargaining. First, the article mentions how the DC Circuit Court overturned the NLRB ruling on union representation. Secondly, a decision on the appeal of Browning-Ferris on joint employment is still being awaited.
In the U.S. it has been determined that in the category of contract liability an employer will not be liable for a temporary workers’ accident on their way home.
The category of misclassification discusses the EEOC and Uber independent contractor cases. In Q1, the EEOC prioritized misclassification of workers in its agenda. Florida courts rule that Uber drivers in the state are independent contractors and not employees. The courts contended that Uber drivers were classified properly as independent contractors and as such are not entitled to benefits under the Florida unemployment insurance statue. Uber also won the independent contractor case in California.
Paid leave laws have been passed in both Washington State and Washington, D.C. The recently passed law will impose a new tax on D.C. employers while establishing new rules allowing workers to take paid family leave. In Washington state the new sick leave rate will be 1 hour for every 40 hours worked.
Finally, the summary also states that in the topic of wage & hour laws, that an extension of time to file a reply brief in regard to the overtime ruling that was blocked last November was granted. Puerto Rico also passed the Equal Pay Act. This act requires that employers cannot pay sexes unequally in jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions. This act also makes it illegal for employers to prohibit employees from discussing salaries amongst themselves or new applicants. This act also prohibits employers from looking into or asking job applicants about their past salary or pay history. Should employers be found guilty of violating the new act’s terms, employers can be forced to pay employees back pay, and increase of the employees pay to the equal amount. However, the law does provide certain circumstances in which pay equality terms of this act do not apply including seniority systems, and merit-based systems.
The first quarter has proven to be full of legal headlines in the U.S. in regard to employment issues. Changes to laws that affect relations of employer and employee will continue to be in the forefront as 2017 continues.