Washington Amends Law to Protect Off-Duty Marijuana Use in 2024
On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Governor Inslee signed into law Senate Bill No. 5123, which will protect prospective employees from discrimination in hiring due to their lawful, off-duty use of marijuana. With this law, Washington will join the growing list of states offering some workplace protections to workers who engage in “off-duty” marijuana use. The new law is not a “go-ahead” for all Washington employees to engage in recreational marijuana use without employment consequences, however. Governor Inslee has emphasized the law does not protect all such use and does not prevent employers from establishing policies regarding a drug-free workplace. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Learn More
Employers Have 30 Days to Reach Compliance after I-9 COVID Flexibilities End on July 31, 2023
On May 4, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced that employers have 30 days to reach I-9 compliance after COVID-19 flexibilities end on July 31, 2023. Under this announcement, all employees onboarded using remote verification must have in-person physical verification of their identity and employment eligibility documentation used for their Form I-9 by August 30. Learn More
DOL Issues Guidance on the PUMP Act and Updates the Minimum Wage Poster
On May 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2023-2 (FAB) to provide guidance to its field staff on the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) and its enforcement. The PUMP Act expands the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide additional workplace protections for lactating employees by requiring employers to provide all employees who are nursing with reasonable time and private space, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk. While the FAB reiterates information the DOL previously made available about the PUMP Act on its website, it also adds information about how the DOL views the law and how the agency may enforce it. Learn More
Sixth Circuit Establishes Stricter Standard for Granting Notice of FLSA Collective Action
The Sixth Circuit has become the second federal appeals court to toughen the standard for plaintiffs seeking court-authorized notice to potential claimants in a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On May 19, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in Brooke Clark v. A&L Homecare and Training Center, LLC that a plaintiff must demonstrate a “strong likelihood” that members of the notice group are similarly situated to the plaintiff for a district court to authorize giving notice of the lawsuit to those individuals. Learn More
NLRB General Counsel Files Complaint Demanding College Reclassify its Student-Athletes as Employees
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel (GC) Jennifer Abruzzo filed a long-anticipated complaint on May 18, 2023 against the University of Southern California (USC), the Pac-12 Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), alleging that their failure to use the term “employee” to refer to student-athletes in the university’s student athlete handbook and related social media policies intentionally discourages student athletes from exercising their alleged Section 7 rights as employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Learn More
U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue Dear Colleague Letter Regarding Digital Accessibility in Higher Education
In a joint “Dear Colleague” letter released May 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights teamed up with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to make the public aware of both Departments’ efforts to address barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating in online services, programs, and activities sponsored by colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions. The letter also summarizes the Departments’ enforcement activities, guidance they have posted, and it discusses upcoming proposed regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Learn More
Lisas Smith, SPHR, SCP
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