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Business Groups Sue to Stop San Antonio Sick Leave Ordinance

Today business groups led by the Associated Builders & Contractors of South Texas filed a lawsuit in state court to stop the “Earned Paid Sick Time” ordinance passed by the City Council of San Antonio on August 16, 2018.  The groups asked for a temporary injunction to halt the implementation of the ordinance on August 1st, and, according to the news articles, a hearing on the request for an injunction is set for July 24th. The City of Dallas followed San…

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Labor Department Proposes New Salary for Overtime Exemptions

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a notice of a proposed rule increasing the salary threshold for the white-collar exemptions from the overtime requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act from the current minimum of $23,660 to $35,308 a year, a significant increase but less than the $47,476 proposed by the Obama Administration in 2016. The current salary minimum has been in effect since 2004, and the Obama Administration rule increasing it to $47,476 was barred by a federal…

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Supreme Court Punts Pay Equity Case, But Issue of Use of Prior Salary Remains Open

The United States Supreme Court recently sent back an important case on pay equity, Rizo v. Yovino, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit because the judge who wrote the court’s opinion and supplied the deciding vote died before the ruling was announced. The Supreme Court explained that federal judges “serve for life, not for eternity,” and sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit. The issue in Rizo v. Yovino, whether an employer that has been…

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Government Shutdown Ends, E-Verify Back Up

The partial shutdown of the Federal Government has ended after 35 days, and about 800,000 federal employees are going back to work with backpay (or in some cases staying at work and getting paid for the the time they worked without pay). One of the many government programs now back up and running is E-Verify, the program under which employers may check out an employee’s ability to work legally in the United States.  The program’s website, e-verify.gov, warned that there…

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Supreme Court Refuses to Order Trucker to Arbitration

In an unusual development, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a worker in an arbitration case, ending a string of wins for employers in arbitration cases before the Court. In the case, New Prime, Inc. v. Olveira, a truck driver classified by a company as an independent contractor sued for wage and hour violations, and the company asked the court to order him to submit his claims to arbitration instead.  The driver claimed he did not have…

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San Antonio Sick Leave Ordinance Takes Effect, But….

On January 1, 2019, San Antonio’s mandatory sick leave ordinance went into effect, except for Section 2 of the law, which contains the heart of the law, including the requirement that employers of various sizes to start providing paid sick leave to employees as early as August 1, 2019. San Antonio passed its sick leave ordinance in August 2018, months after Austin passed a similar ordinance.  Austin’s ordinance has been challenged by organizations like the Texas Association of Business as…

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E-Verify System Down During Government Shutdown

One of the casualties of the current shutdown of much of the Federal Government is the E-Verify system, which enables employers to check the eligibility of employees to work in the United States.  Use of E-Verify is optional for most employers, but those who have been using it cannot now do so while the shutdown is in effect. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S.C.I.S. has relaxed some requirements for employers during the shutdown, but employers must still complete Form I-9’s for all…

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Justice Kavanaugh Takes Seat on Supreme Court

After a historically bruising confirmation battle, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in and has taken his seat as Justice Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court.  This week he took part in his first oral arguments, asking questions of both sides. Justice Kavanaugh’s years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been extensively analyzed by commentators, and his history of opinions on various areas of the law dissected.  Writing for the influential SCOTUSblog, Charlotte Garden summarized…

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EEOC Touts Sexual Harassment Efforts

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just released preliminary data on sexual harassment lawsuits and charges for Fiscal Year 2018, “highlighting its significant work this past year to address the pervasive problem of workplace harassment.” Expressing pride in the EEOC staff who “stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement, the Commission announced it had filed 41 sexual harassment lawsuits, 50% more than in the previous fiscal year, and accepted 12% more sexual harassment charges than in the…

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After a Good Term for Employers, U.S. Supreme Court Starts New Term

The U.S. Supreme Court started a new term on Monday, October 1st, with only eight justices, following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and the delayed confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  The Court will have to make do with eight for the moment, but it has a lot of experience with that, having operated for months with eight justices after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. The previous term, covering October 2017 to June 2018, was a good…

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