July 12, 2013
By: Felicity S. Hanks, Esq. (email@example.com
For several months employers of all shapes and sizes have been sweating the arrival of January 1, 2014, the date on which the employer-provided healthcare provision of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) became effective. This most daunting ACA provision requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health benefits to at least 95% of those full-time workers. Failure to do so would result in a penalty of $2,000 per employee (without counting the first 30 employees) per year. On July 2nd the Treasury Department announced that the administration will be extending the deadline for employers to provide healthcare coverage, thus giving employers additional time to wade through the complexities and logistics of the healthcare mandate. Official guidance is expected from the Treasury Department shortly.
July 12, 2013
On June 14, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court struck down the National Labor Relations Board’s rule that would have required six million private employers to hang posters about workers’ right to unionize or to face penalties for anti-union bias for refusing. The court noted that even the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, a worker-advocacy group, admitted that very few workers learn about their rights through postings. The NLRB has rarely engaged in rulemaking in its seventy-seven years of existence, but the Fourth Circuit’s ruling makes clear that when it does, it may be acting outside of its legal authority. The Court explained that the part of the National Labor Relations Act that gives the Board power to issue rules, Section 6, does not allow the issuance of this type of rule because the NLRB is supposed to be a reactive agency. Accordingly, the court found that the posting rule is outside of the bounds of the law.
Stakes Run High In The Arbitration Arena As Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That “Convincing A Court Of An Arbitrator’s Error – Even His Grave Error – Is Not Enough”
July 12, 2013
On June 10, 2013, the United States Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter, exhibiting a cautionary warning to employers and the particular terms they may want to include in the arbitration clauses of their employment agreements.
This case involved a situation where parties bargained for broad contractual language, stating specifically that any disputes were to be “submitted to final and binding arbitration.” The contract was silent concerning class arbitration. Sutter brought a class action claim against Oxford Health Plans. The parties agreed that the arbitrator would decide whether this broad contractual language would be inclusive of class arbitrations. The arbitrator ultimately found that since the language included the phrase “all such disputes,” class arbitrations were permitted.
June 28, 2013
On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its decision in University of Tex. Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar through which it confirmed the causation standards to be used in Title VII retaliation cases. The Court held that retaliation claims under Title VII must be proved according to “traditional principals of but-for causation, not the lessened causation test stated in §2000e-2(m). This ruling relieves the confusion for attorneys and litigants and gives employers a reason to let out a sigh of relief.
June 18, 2013
As long as an internship doesn’t consist of coffee-runs, internships usually provide valuable opportunities for developing skills, experience, and networking for young professionals. Still, there is a debate about whether this value can replace a paycheck — the latest story in this discussion being a Manhattan federal court ruling this week that a business which relies heavily on unpaid interns is obligated to pay them.