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Obamacare Defenders Ask Supreme Court to Hear Case

On January 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives and a number of Democrat-led states asked the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately take up the recent court of appeals decision in Texas v. United States of America that had invalidated the law’s individual mandate and threatened to invalidate other parts of the law, if not Obamacare in its entirety. On December 18th, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had decided that Obamacare’s individual mandate was unconstitutional because it was no…

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New Rule on Salary for White-Collar Exemptions Takes Effect Today

Today, January 1st, 2020, the Department of Labor’s new rule on the salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions takes effect. Under the new rule, in order for an employee to be covered by those exemptions he or she must be paid a salary of $684 a week, or 35,568 a year, in addition to meeting the existing duties tests for those regulations. For more on this, please see my Blog Post of September 27, 2019. Happy New Year!

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Judge Blocks City of San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

The City of San Antonio’s revisions to its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance did not save it from being blocked on November 22nd by state district judge Peter Sakai.  Judge Sakai had held a hearing on the ordinance, now dubbed the “Sick and Safe Leave Benefits” ordinance, on November 7th.  The revised ordinance was to have gone into effect on December 1st. On the 22nd, the judge notified the lawyers in the case that he was granting a temporary injunction sought…

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Cases on LGBT Rights

On October 8th, just the second day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 Term, the nine justices of the Court listened to oral arguments in three cases on LGBT rights, the Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, and Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. The Zarda and Bostock cases involve the issue of whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation can be “sex” discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Harris Funeral…

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City Passes Revised Sick Leave Ordinance, But Faces Injunction Hearing Soon

On October 3rd, the San Antonio City Council passed a revised sick leave ordinance, now called the “Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance.”  The vote was 8-3, with Council members Clayton Perry, Manny Pelaez, and Rebecca Viagran voting “no.” The City Council accepted all the changes that had been recommended by a sick leave commission, and on the motion of Council member Ana Sandoval added a new one, the inclusion of paid interns into the definition of “employee.”  The Council rejected…

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Labor Department Issues Final Rule on Salary for White-Collar Exemptions

In a long-awaited development, this week the Department of Labor has issued a final rule updating the salary threshold for the white-collar exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees.  The Department expects the change to affect about 1.3 million workers, who will be reclassified as non-exempt or receive salary increases up to the new threshold, and to result in additional pay of $298.8 million a year. The salary an exempt white-collar employee must be paid to qualify for the exemption…

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Younger Scalia Confirmed as Labor Secretary

Eugene Scalia was yesterday confirmed to be the new Secretary of Labor by a 53-44 vote.  He is a son of late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, but in his own right he practiced labor law for years with a large firm and participated in many high-profile cases.  He replaces the acting secretary of labor, Patrick Pizzella, who in turn replaced Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta. With Eugene Scalia’s background as a prominent labor lawyer, look for an interesting ride…

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Paid Sick Leave Commission Completes Rewrite of Ordinance

On September 5th, the City of San Antonio’s Paid Sick Leave Commission approved the draft of a revised ordinance for the City Council to consider.   The revised ordinance is set to be voted on by the City Council on October 3rd and to go into effect on December 1st, with enforcement is to start April 1, 2020. The revised ordinance is designed in part to meet objections to the original ordinance raised in a lawsuit filed by business groups in…

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Business Group Issues Statement on Purpose of a Corporation, including Investing in Employees

In August, the Business Roundtable issued a “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” which lauded the free-market system and stated that Americans “deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.”  The statement went on to talk about the vital roles played by businesses in the economy. In the heart of the statement, it states that “While each of our individual companies serves its own…

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Court Enjoins EEOC From Treating Guidance on Use of Criminal Records as Binding

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans granted an order enjoining the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from treating its guidance on the use of criminal records as binding.  The State of Texas had sued the EEOC over the guidance, claiming that the guidance was substantive rule and that the EEOC did not have the authority to issue substantive rules.  Texas sought a declaratory judgment as well as the injunction. The EEOC issued the guidance in 2012…

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