On November 21, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which sought to expand the obligations of employers to pay overtime by, among other things, doubling the minimum salary threshold for the “white-collar” exemption under the FLSA. The decision brings relief to employers who were bracing themselves for the rule’s December 1, 2016 effective date. Continue Reading Federal Judge Blocks DOL Overtime Rule
Marc Furman is Chair of the Labor & Employment Group at Cohen Seglias, as well as a Shareholder and a member of the Board of Directors. For more than 30 years, Marc has limited his practice to providing representation and counsel to both union and non-union employers throughout the United States in all aspects of labor and employment law.
In a recent U.S. Supreme Court case about pregnancy discrimination, Justice Breyer asked: “Why, when the employer accommodated so many, could it not accommodate pregnant women as well?” As an employer, that is a question you should now be asking when preparing, reviewing, or updating your company’s accommodation policies.
Many employers have policies and practices to ensure accommodation of disabled workers or those with temporary injuries or disabilities. However, employers may be overlooking their legal obligations to accommodate another group of workers: pregnant women who have pregnancy-related work limitations. Continue Reading Does your Employee Handbook stand up to the Supreme Court’s latest decision about accommodations for pregnant workers?
By Mark J. Leavy and Marc Furman
On July 5, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Public Works Employment Verification Act. The law will take effect January 1, 2013.
The law requires contractors and subcontractors on “public work” construction projects, i.e., those subject to the prevailing wage rate laws, to use the federal government’s E-Verify website to confirm that their employees are authorized to work in the United States. This law adds yet another level of administrative compliance for contractors performing public work.
The penalty for failure to utilize the E-Verify system as required under the law is severe. A contractor or subcontractor can be debarred for between 30 days to 3 years depending upon whether the offense is found to be “willful” and if there is a prior history of offenses.
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services shall enforce this law, and is charged with investigating “any credible complaint” of a violation of this law. The Department of General Services is also empowered to conduct random audits to ensure compliance with the law.
By: Mark Leavy and Marc Furman
On November 29, 2011, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed Executive Order No. 15-11: “Public Works Project Labor Agreements”. The Order strongly recommends – but does not strictly require – the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on public building projects.
Under the Executive Order, a project is “appropriate” for a PLA if it includes any of “the following characteristics”: a) high construction costs, b) multiple crafts or trades, c) “complex labor requirements” that “conflict with existing collective bargaining agreements”, d) completion without delay, and e) the project furthers “urgent City goals.”
All City Agencies are to issue a “Project Review” to the Mayor’s office regarding these “criteria” on building projects with estimated construction costs of $5 million or more. However, the Executive Order declares that projects with lower costs may also be “appropriate” for PLAs and “encourages” City Agencies to review those projects, too.
The Executive Order “does not require” the use of a PLA on any particular Project. However, it does grant the Mayor’s office the authority to “determine that a [PLA] is appropriate” and enter into negotiations with labor organizations “in consultation with the City Agency”.
Such PLAs must have: a) “guarantees” against strikes or lockouts, b) “binding procedures” for jurisdictional disputes between unions, and c) “diversity goals” for labor organizations and contractors. The Mayor’s Office can also require a third-party “Monitor” on the project to review the opportunities provided for “qualified City Residents, minorities, and women.”
This Executive Order has been the subject of both praise and scorn. Either way, both union and non-union contractors alike that are vying for work on public projects must be aware of this development and understand the implication of entering into a PLA.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Executive Order and its potential impact, please contact Marc Furman or Mark J. Leavy at 215.564.1700 or at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc Furman is the chair and Mark Leavy is an associate in the Labor & Employment Group of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC.