On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed new rules to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires certain federal contractors to provide qualifying employees with at least seven days of paid sick leave each year, including paid leave for family care. The Department of Labor intends to publish a final version of these rules by September 30, 2016, and employers who contract with the federal government should begin preparing for their implementation now. Noncompliance could result in suspension of federal payments or even termination of a federal contract.
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An Indiana Federal Court Judge recently ruled that NCAA student-athletes are not employees and thus do not have a claim for minimum wage payments. In Anderson et al. v. NCAA et al., three former track athletes claimed that, as student-athletes, they really should be treated as student interns and that under the Department of

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney David Thornton offers guidance on the recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and how public and private sector employers are struggling with its legal and financial implications. As David explains, “‘[t]hey’re worried that if they keep the same-sex partner benefits, there’s a pretty good argument that opposite-sex

Home healthcare agencies and other third party employers of home care workers recently lost a key fight to prevent the Department of Labor (“DOL”) from eliminating Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exemptions for employees who provide companionship services and live-in care within a home. On August 21, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision invalidating the regulations, meaning that employers in at least 27 states (where state law has not afforded the home care workers with minimum wage or overtime protections) should now modify their pay practices to conform with the new regulations.
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A Maryland-based construction company required to pay “prevailing wages” under a Federal government contract recently settled for $400,000 claims that it had violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) by failing to properly supervise lower-level contractors in the payment of prevailing wages to their workers. The case serves as a reminder that government contractors who fail to ensure compliance with wage requirements – whether under the Davis-Bacon Act (“DBA”), Service Contract Act (“SCA”), or Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act (“PCA”) – can face significant liability. It also highlights the ongoing expansion of the federal government’s battle against procurement fraud.
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Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett commented on the Supreme Court decision, Young vs. UPS, questioning whether an employer must provide equal accommodations regarding limited duty to employees who have pregnancy-related limitations and those whose limitations are not pregnancy-related. The Supreme Court referred the case back to the 4th Circuit for review. In

As of March 27, “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will include same-sex spouses for any legally recognized marriages based on the laws of the state of celebration. On February 25, as expected, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rules on the definition of spouse under the FMLA in light of the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision. Based on this final rule, the definition of spouse will be based upon the law of the jurisdiction where the marriage was entered into (place of celebration) rather than based on the law of the state of the employee’s residence (or work) “to ensure that all legally married couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, will have consistent federal family leave rights regardless of where they live.”
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Voters in Massachusetts have approved a statewide law mandating employers with at least 11 employees provide those employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.  This mandate makes Massachusetts the third state requiring paid sick days, behind Connecticut and California.  Under the new law, effective July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employees can

The Labor Department announced today its plans to propose new regulations on the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA.  The new definition of “spouse” will include a legally married same-sex spouse, regardless of the employee’s state of residence.  This rule, though not unexpected, is a change from an August 2013 “Fact Sheet” issued by the

The White House and the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would raise the minimum wage for employees under federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, a 39% increase.  The proposed rule implements Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, which was signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014.  That order applies to new and renegotiated contracts starting January 1, 2015.
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