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Posts by James F. Hermon

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Photo of Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog James F. Hermon
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Showing 31 posts by James F. Hermon.

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Pride Month History by Holding That Title VII Bars Job Discrimination Against LGBT+ Workers

Unexpectedly siding with the liberal wing of the Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch penned a 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, holding that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination also covers sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The Court’s decision dealt a historic victory for proponents of expanding gay and trans protections for workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is clear that this decision will have wide reaching implications for employers. Read More ›

Ironing out the Details: The Department of Labor Updates and Adds to Its FFCRA Guidance Faqs

As employers try to comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements, the Department of Labor has thrown them a curveball by quietly changing the answers to some of its Guidance about the FFCRA as well as adding 19 more FAQs to its prior compendium. These changes and additions focus on a) how an employer’s existing PTO policy may interact with the FFCRA, b) the definition of first responder, and c) the treatment of employees currently on non-FFCRA leaves of absence. Here are some highlights: Read More ›

Michigan Governor Issues Executive Order Creating Protected Class of COVID-19 Positive Employees

In an apparent attempt to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, on Friday, April 3, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36, which provides protection to all employees who stay home when they are at “particular risk” of infecting others with COVID-19. While this latest Order is well-intentioned, as implemented it may create significant impediments for employers who are attempting to staff positions in critical industries, and particularly for private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees who are required to provide benefits under the recent federal paid leave laws. Read More ›

In the Nick of Time: Department of Labor Issues Temporary Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, the DOL provided employers with further clarity on the FFCRA by publishing temporary regulations. These regulations will be effective from April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020—the same effective period of the FFCRA. Also relevant to employers, the IRS issued guidance regarding the FFCRA tax credit. As with our other alerts on the FFCRA, the following highlights key aspects of the new regulations: Read More ›

As Employers Work Towards Compliance, The Department of Labor Provides Third Guidance Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

It seems the DOL has stopped sleeping these days, but that means more guidance for employers. In its Qs&As 38-59 interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), the DOL shed light on the small business exemption, employees who can be exempted for the FFCRA leave provisions, and the interplay of the FFCRA and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FFCRA takes effect on April 1, 2020, so this guidance is, in a word, timely. Here are some highlights. (Dykema summarized Qs&As 1-14 on March 26, 2020, and Qs&As 15-37 on March 27, 2020.) Read More ›

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law, Imposing Paid Leave Requirements On Small And Medium Employers Beginning April 2, 2020

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) a few hours after the Senate approved the bill. Among other things, the new law, with which all employers must comply by April 2, 2020, requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ paid leave to employees who need to take time off because of an actual or potential illness related to COVID-19, to care for family members who are home ill or quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure or to care for children who are home because of school or care provider closures linked to the ongoing global pandemic. The new law also requires employers to provide employees up to 12 weeks' leave, with 10 weeks paid, for employees who have to take time off to care for children who are home because of school or daycare closure. Notably, in a substantial change from the bill passed by the House of Representatives on March 14, 2020 (discussed here), the law does NOT require paid leave for a longer period for employees home sick or self-quarantining because of potential COVID-19 exposure. Read More ›

House of Representatives Passes Far-Ranging Paid Sick and Family Leave Legislation for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). While the bill has not yet been passed by the Senate, the White House has indicated that it supports and intends to sign the bill into law once the Senate has an opportunity to address its provisions, which will likely be sometime early this week. Read More ›

Department of Labor Announces Final Rule Changing Salary Level Tests

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its Final Rule increasing the minimum salary level employees need to be paid in order to be deemed an exempt white collar employee, provided the employees otherwise meet the applicable duties and salary basis tests. The rule has been long-awaited since the predecessor Obama administration-era rule was enjoined by a Texas federal court in 2016. The appeal of that case has been on hold, allowing the Department time to consider a new rule that would more likely survive a legal challenge. It took nearly three years for this to happen, but the time has come. The new rule will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Read More ›

Sixth Circuit Provides Important Employer Guidance in Combating FMLA Abuse

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently provided employers addressing potential FMLA abuse with important guidance on how such matters should be addressed. It turns out that playing golf while on an FMLA leave can actually get you fired. Read More ›

Michigan Legislature Amends State Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Acts

On December 4, 2018, the Michigan Legislature pared back the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws it passed last September in an effort to preclude those issues from being on the November ballot. Had the Legislature not adopted the language of the ballot initiatives legislation, the measures would have been on the November ballot and it would have needed a vote of three-fourths of each house to amend the law if adopted by the voters. By enacting the proposals directly, it only needed a simple majority to amend those laws. The strategy of using a lame-duck legislative session to amend the laws by a simple majority it passed just two months earlier has been viewed as controversial, but the outcome is welcomed by many in the business community. Read More ›