News Briefs

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All employers, even non-union, take note : T he National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a new ruling regarding employees ’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity . In Home Depot USA, Inc. , the NLRB determined that employees who wore Black Lives Matter insignia on their work uniforms were exercising protected rights , and their non-union employer failed to prove special circumstances to prohibit this expression . Section 7 of the National L abor Relations Act (NLRA) safeguards employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activities , irrespective ...
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On February 1, 2024 , the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) opened its online portal for employers to submit their 2023 pay data report. P rivate employers with 100 or more employees and/or 100 or more workers hired through labor contractors are required to annually report pay, demographic, and other workforce data to the CRD . The CRD updated some of its resources since last year, including providing new versions of the templates for inputting and submitting data . The new templates add a column specifically asking for the number of remote employees located within California and the ...
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On February 22, 2024, Cal/OSHA announced its 2024 civil penalty increases for certain workplace safety violations. The 3.24% increase from last year is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on the October Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) . For citations issued on or after January 1, 2024: The maximum penalty for g eneral and r egulatory violations, including p osting and r ecordkeeping violations , is $15,873. The maximum penalty for w illful and r epeat violations is $158,727. The minimum penalty for w illful violations is $11,337. ...
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Employers Council has prepared this Economic Perspective summary to assist the decision-makers of member organizations. The economic data in these charts summarize the most commonly watched economic and compensation indicators. The data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can be used in conjunction with Employers Council’s compensation and personnel practices surveys to provide a more complete picture. Refer to Employers Council’s various surveys for information on average pay increase projections, turnover rates, cost of benefits, average salaries for close to 3,500 jobs, and insured and paid-time-off benefits .  ...
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A United States District Court of Texas judge has delayed the effective date of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) joint - employer liability rule until March 11, 2024. The rule, which has already been subject to delay, was scheduled to take effect on February 26, 2024. The Court issued a two-week stay on the matter to provide additiona l time to draft an order address ing the legal complexities at hand. The NLRB’s new rule, which was originally issued on October 26, 2023, expands the legal test for  determining  whether two organizations jointly employ the same workers. The new standard changed from direct, exercised ...
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The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) issue s guidance in the form of Interpretive Notice and Formal Opinions (INFOs) t o inform employe r s and employe e s about its interpretation of Colorado ’ s labor and employment laws under its authority . On February 15, 2024, the CDLE issued three new INFOs providing comprehensive insights into employee rights regarding protection from retaliation or interference when engaging in protected activity under the laws it administers . B elow are summaries of the three new INFOs, along with links to each publication: What I s Considered ...
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Utah lawmakers are about a month into their 2024 legislative session , and one of the bills introduced so far that could impact employers is H ous e Bill 55 . If it passes, HB 55 will limit the enforceability of employers having nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses related to sexual assault and sexual harassment in the hopes of having fewer instances of sexual assault or harassment claims . This probably sounds familiar to most employers, and that’s because in 2022 Congress passed the federal Speak Out Act , which prohibits employers from entering into agreements ...
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After much anticipation, New Mexico Senate Bill 3 , otherwise known as the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, was officially rejected by the state House on a 34-36 vote . The Act was set to provide New Mexico employees with up to 12 weeks of paid time off for qualifying reasons. These qualifying reasons would have include d welcoming a new child, caring for a family member with a serious health concern, a nd managing one ’ s own serious medical condition. T he New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions would have administer ed a Paid Family and Medical Leave Trust ...
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T he U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on February 8, 2024, strengthening a whistleblower ’ s path in seeking to invoke the protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Ac t (SOX). The protection s prohibit covered employers from retaliating against employees because of protected whistleblowing activities. The Court made the unanimous ruling in the case of Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC (22-660). In the case, Trevor Murray was employed as a research strategist at securities firm UBS and claimed he was improperly pressured by superiors to skew his reports to be more ...
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Assembly Bill 1076 became effective January 1, 2024 , and adds new Business and Professions Code §16600.1 . The new California law makes it unlawful for an employer to include a noncompete clause in an employment contract or to require an employee to enter a noncompete agreement, absent an applicable narrow exception. Prior to this law, non-compete agreements and provisions were void and unenforceable rather than unlawful. The new law also places an affirmative obligation on employers to provide specific notice to certain employees by Valentine’s Day. No later than February 14, 2024, employers must deliver written notice ...
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January was the first sitting month in 2024 for most of the legislatures in the mountain region. At Employers Council, w e monitor the thousands of introduced bills for those pertaining to employment law that might affect our members. The following is a summary recap of what was introduced or acted on in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico during January. Colorado Colorado’s legislature convened January 10 , and a few employment bills have been introduced . Two bills would increase the state’s posting requirements. HB24-1015 would require posting and education in the ...
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On January 29, 2024, the Biden administration announced plans to implement Executive Order 14035 aimed at advancing pay equity for employees of federal contractors . The plans stem from the a dministration ’s attempt to position the United States g overnment as a national leader in pay equity efforts . Accordingly , the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council has put forth proposed rules designed to address key aspects of pay equity for federal contractors and subcontractors . The propos ed rules include the following : P rohibit ing federal contractors ...
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Employers Council has prepared this Economic Perspective summary to assist the decision-makers of member organizations. The economic data in these charts summarize the most commonly watched economic and compensation indicators. The data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can be used in conjunction with Employers Council’s compensation and personnel practices surveys to provide a more complete picture. Refer to Employers Council’s various surveys for information on average pay increase projections, turnover rates, cost of benefits, average salaries for close to 3,500 jobs, and insured and paid-time-off benefits .  ...
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For the first time in 30 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ) has published a major revision to its Process Safety Management (PSM) guidance . Th ese regulations apply to all businesses or facilities that store or handle certain chemicals and may impact manufactur ers , agricultural businesses, janitorial services, food processor s , warehouses , refineries, and many others. The revision , which is in the form of questions and answers derived from previous letter rulings, redefines which chemicals and equivalents are subject to monitoring and ...
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D oes the N inth C ircuit’s permanent injunction barring enforcement of C alifornia’s arbitration agreement law actually put this issue to rest? Maybe not! Outright wins for employers in California are rare, to say the least . S o, the recent permanent injunction against enforcing A ssembly B ill 51, California’s ban on mandatory arbitration agreements , gives employers hope. This is not an outright win for employers , but we can call it a win with a caveat . Background On January 1, 2020, the California l egislature added Section 432.6 to the California Labor Code, ...
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It is that time of year again! The state legislatures are beginning to convene for 2024 , and Employers Council will monitor employment-related bill s, as we have for many years. We primarily concentrate on the general assemblies in our mountain region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah , and Wyoming. It is a careful dance to stay on top of potential change s while refraining from prognostication that ...
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On January 9, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rul e on determining independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will take effect on March 10, 2024. The new rule replaces the i ndependent c ontractor r ule published on March 8, 2021. Under the new rule, the DOL will consider the totality of circumstances in each case to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. These factors include , but are not limited to , the following : The worker’s opportunities for profit or loss based on managerial skills ...
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On January 9, 2024 , the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its COVID-19 Isolation Guidance . Th e guidance applies to the general public , including most workplace settings. Employees working in certain health care settings, such as general acute care hospital s ​​, acute p sychiatric hospital s , and skilled nursing facilities , must continue to follow isolation and return - to - work guidance set forth in AFL 21-08.9 . The updated guidance focus es on clinical symptoms to determine when to end isolation and moves away from the five - ...
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On December 18, 2023, officials from the Biden Administration announced a final rule implementing President Biden’ s Executive Order 14063 , which requir es the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for most large-scale f ederal construction projects. Th e rule purports to help ensure that large f ederal construction projects are completed efficiently and on time, while also supporting high - quality jobs. The rule requires the use of PLAs—a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement unique to the construction industry —for large f ederal construction projects, where the total estimated cost to the ...
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On December 14, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) anno unced the mileage reimbursement rate s for 2024. Beginning on Jan uary 1, the 2024 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical , or moving purposes will be the following : 67 cents per mile driven for business use, up 1.5 cents from 2023 21 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, a decrease of 1 cent from 2023 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; ...
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