OMB Mulling Reversion of EEO-1 Pay Data Rule

A petition by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to review and possibly reverse the EEO-1 pay data mandate by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which takes effect on March 31, 2018, is under consideration by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with no certain outlook. Meanwhile, acting EEOC chair Victoria Lipnic seems mostly against the new rule.

The pay data rule requires companies with 100 or more employees to report summary pay data categorized by employees’ gender, race and ethnicity on the EEO-1 form required yearly.

The Chamber of Commerce and 27 trade associations in February asked the Office of Management and Budget to reconsider its 2016 approval of the revised EEO-1 form under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Lipnic, a Republican, voted against the new pay data requirement, and speaking March 30 at the American Bar Association’s National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law, she expressed doubts that the rule’s results will outweigh its costs.

“To say I’m dubious of the time estimates [of preparing the data] would be an understatement,” Lipnic said, suggesting the cost of complying might be too great.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Texas Roadhouse Hit with Whopping $12 Million Settlement for Age Discrimination

Texas Roadhouse, a national, Kentucky-based restaurant chain, will pay $12 million and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimin­ation lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. The EEOC had filed suit seeking relief for a class of applicants the EEOC charged had been denied front-of-the-house positions, such as servers, hosts, server assistants and bartenders, because of their age, 40 years and older.  As part of the settlement, Texas Roadhouse will change its hiring and recruiting practices.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-11732-DJC, filed in September 2011 in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleged that Texas Roadhouse violated federal law by engaging in a nationwide pattern or practice of age discrimination in hiring hourly front-of-the-house employees.  The case, which was scheduled for a retrial on May 15, 2017, had resulted in a hung jury after nearly a four-week trial earlier this year.

“I am pleased to see this matter come to a mutually agreed-upon resolution,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) this year, it is as important as ever to recognize the very real consequences of age discrimination and the need for job opportunities for older workers.”

The consent decree resolving the case, which was approved by Judge Denise Casper today, sets up a claims process that will identify and compensate those affected individuals age 40 and older who applied to Texas Roadhouse for a front-of-the-house position between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2014.

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree, which will be in force for three and a half years, includes an injunction preventing Texas Roadhouse from discriminating on the basis of age in the future. It also requires the company to establish a diversity director and pay for a decree compliance monitor, who is charged with ensuring that the company complies with the decree’s terms. These terms require Texas Roadhouse to comply with the ADEA and to increase its recruitment and hiring of employees age 40 and older for front-of-the-house positions.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EEOC to Host Meeting on the ‘Future of Work’

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, April 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington D.C. The meeting, entitled “The State of the Workforce and the Future of Work,” will be open to public observation.

The meeting will consist of a discussion with the following panelists who are confirmed to participate:

  • Dr. Aparna Mathur, Resident Scholar in Economic Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute
  • Michael D’Ambrose, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Kenneth E. Rigmaiden, President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • Dr. Nicole Smith, Research Professor and Chief Economist/Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
  • Mason Bishop, Principal, WorkED Consulting, LLC
  • Montez King, Executive Director, National Institute for Metalworking Skills

Seating is limited. We encourage visitors to arrive 30 minutes before the meeting to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. Visitors should bring a government-issued photo identification card to facilitate entry into the building.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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MSHA Proposes Delay in Rule on Examinations of Working Places

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a delay in the effective date of the final rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines from May 23, 2017, to July 24, 2017.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is proposing to delay the effective date to assure that mine operators and miners affected by the final rule have the training and compliance assistance they need.

The proposed delay is also consistent with the Jan. 20, 2017, White House memorandum, titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.”

MSHA published the final rule on Jan. 23, 2017. The agency is soliciting comments on the limited issue of whether to extend the effective date to July 24, 2017, and whether this extension offers an appropriate length of time for compliance.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Proposed Fiduciary Rule Delay Sent to OMB for Approval

The Department of Labor (DOL), after closing a 15-day commentary period, has sent for approval the proposed 60-day delay in its Fiduciary Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which would push its implementation date from April 9 to June 10 at the earliest.

Observers now believe there may be several delays as the DOL pursues an executive order from President Trump that requested a full review of the Fiduciary Rule and its impact on consumers.

The Fiduciary Rule imposes on agents marketing retirement accounts to put their clients’ best interests first and foremost, rather than leading them to the most-lucrative-to-them retirement plans.

The DOL received more than 1,000 comments on the proposed delay, both pro and con on the rule itself and on its delay. Once OMB approves the proposed delay, the DOL will publish it in the Federal Register.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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HHS Secretary Pledges to Uphold Obamacare

Testifying before Congress today, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price pledged to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) so long as it is “the law of the land,” including the individual and employer mandates.

“So long as the law is on the books, we at the department are obliged to uphold the law,” he said.

According to reports, however, Dr. Price skipped around questions about funding, which Republicans in Congress could cut or his department could play games with.

This came amid reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives are conferring on ways to revive the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was withdrawn from a vote this past Friday and which would “repeal and replace” the ACA if passed.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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‘More Resolved Than Ever’ to Repeal Obamacare, House Leaders Say

Only four days after the humiliation of not being able to unite their party to vote for a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), House Republican leaders said “we’re closer today to repealing Obamacare than we ever were before,” and in the words of Majority Whip Steve Scalise, “more resolved than ever to repeal this law.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to put a timeline on the repeal-and-replace effort, but noted: “We want to get it right. We’ll keep talking to each other until we get it right.”

“In the meantime,” he added, “we’re going to do all the other work that we came here to do.”


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Trump Signs Joint Resolutions Killing Four Obama-era Regulations

On Monday, March 27, President Trump signed four separate Joint Resolutions of Congress to kill regulations issued under President Obama, the most notable of which being the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule.

The nullifications came about through the mechanism of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives Congress 60 session days after a regulation is issued to overturn it by majority votes in both houses, with no filibuster allowed in the Senate. The president can then sign or veto the resolutions.

From the whitehouse.gov site, here are the overturned regulations:

  • H.J.Res. 37, which nullifies the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National
    Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Federal Acquisition Regulation:  Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces;
  • H.J.Res. 44, which nullifies the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management’s final rule relating to resource management planning;
  • H.J.Res. 57, which nullifies the Department of Education’s rule relating to State accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act; and
  • H.J.Res. 58, which nullifies the Department of Education’s rule relating to assessing the quality of teacher preparation programs.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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OSHA Launches ‘Safe and Sound’ Campaign

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its “Safe and Sound Campaign” recently, calling on employers to review their safety and health programs to protect workers, and reduce workplace injuries and deaths.

“With just a phone call, companies can contact OSHA for assitance in achieving safety compliance. Working together with businesses, unions, and employees, we can reduce these sobering statistics and implement and sustain workplace safety and health programs that can help employees avoid preventable injuries and deaths,” Kim Stille, OSHA’s Regional Administrator in Kansas City, said.

Employers have proven that safety and health programs reduce the numbers of injuries and illnesses, and improve their bottom line. While there are different approaches to ensuring worker safety and health, all effective programs share three core elements:

  • Management leadership. Top management commits to establishing, maintaining and improving the program continually, and provides any necessary resources.
  • Worker participation. Employers invite workers to identify solutions. Improved worker engagement can lead to better productivity, higher job satisfaction and worker retention – lowering turnover and recruitment costs.
  • A systematic “find and fix” approach. Employers and workers examine their workplaces, proactively and routinely, to identify and address hazards before they can cause injury or illness.

Employers seeking to create a safety and health program should know that the process doesn’t have to be complicated or demand outside consultants be employed; there are some simple, do-it-yourself steps to get started. OSHA’s “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs” page offers practical advice on how any organization can integrate safety and health programs.

OSHA also offers compliance assistance, tips, consultation for small- and medium-sized businesses, educational materials, training and other information to employers and workers on common workplace safety hazards and how to prevent illness and injury – all at no charge.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Repeal and Replace Gets Trumped

President Trump has pulled Ryancare from the agenda at the House of Representatives and no vote will be held.

“We just pulled it,” Trump told Robert Costa, a reporter for The Washington Post, in a phone call. The vote was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT.

In a tweet, the president then invited Democrats to work with him on fixing Obamacare.

The Paul Ryan bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), was rushed to the floor without building consensus and could never meet the hurdle of getting enough Republicans on board. Republicans split between those who view any health care spending as a needless entitlement and those who fretted over the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that the bill would cost 20-plus million Americans their health insurance.

Democrats to the person opposed it.

Trump said the AHCA would be laid to rest for now. The president also said he did not blame Speaker of the House Ryan for the bill’s failure.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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