With Opening Day of baseball season nearly upon us, it’s time again to bring back a “Quick Hits” segment to recap a few noteworthy (but not completely post-worthy) employment law items you might have missed recently.
- The U.S. Department of Labor released the final version of new “persuader” rules which will become effective April 25, 2016. The new rules revise the “advice” exemption and will require a larger universe of consultants, lawfirms, and employers to report their labor relations advice and services. You can find many recaps of the new rule (here and here, for example). For Connecticut employers, if you haven’t had to worry about “persuader” reporting before (and don’t know what it is), it’s not likely to change things much, though for law firms and consultants, it may have a more significant impact.
- Not every U.S. Supreme Court case is a big one. The latest example of that is the Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo et al. case that was issued last week. In that case, the court ruled that employees could use representative evidence to establish liability and damages for class certification purposes in a donning and doffing case. As another blog post stated sufficiently, this decision allowed employees to rely on a “time study conducted on a sample of class members to calculate an average donning/doffing time, which is then extrapolated to each member of the class — even if the actual time spent on the activity in question varies dramatically among employees and even if some of the class members failed to prove damages at all based on that time study.” For most employers, however, the decision will have limited utility. Donning and doffing cases are, for example, fairly rare.
- An interesting case up for oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court today looks at the limited circumstances in which an employer can recover attorneys’ fees as a “prevailing party” in a Title VII suit. The SCOTUSBlog has more on this case here.
- Tax season has renewed fears regarding the privacy of W-2 forms. A spear-phising e-mail scheme has been making the rounds of late, as this post reminds us.