The EEOC Final Rule on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect

Starting today, June 18, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will enforce new regulations under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). With this in mind, employers should familiarize themselves with the EEOC’s final rule and interpretive guidance to better understand their obligations under the PWFA and how the EEOC will interpret and enforce the law in the future.

The PWFA, which became effective on June 27, 2023, was enacted to fill gaps left by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by mandating reasonable accommodations for employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PWFA specifically requires private and public employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants with “known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business” regardless of whether the accommodations are provided to similarly situated employees.

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Beat the Heat!

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In case you missed it, May 31 was Heat Awareness Day and June 2 was Global Heat Action Day. Who knew? This national and global awareness of heat is a function of more frequent extreme heat which can be a health hazard to those who are not careful. To assist the public, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention recently launched a new heat tracking tool called the Heat and Health Index which will help the public learn more about local heat exposure, health related consequences of heat exposure and how people can protect themselves during extreme heat events. For people who work outside, extreme heat can be a real health hazard. So as we approach summer, it’s important to be mindful of employee working conditions for those who work outside or around machinery which emits heat. Heat related illnesses and fatalities are preventable, and the law requires employers to provide safe working environments. Here’s a quick overview:

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Prepping for Hurricane Season!

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With apologies to T.S. Eliot, June is the cruelest month in Florida. It is time to start thinking about hurricanes again. Even if we are blessed with a storm-free six months, no doubt there will be a few near misses that will ramp us all up into prep mode. Here are some reminders on how to prepare your business for the new hurricane season.

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FTC Rule Banning Non-Compete Clauses Effective on September 4, 2024

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On April 25, we posted a blog on the Federal Trade Commission’s new rule that will retroactively ban most non-compete agreements and prohibit such agreements going forward, with limited exceptions. At the time we posted, the date the new rule would go into effect was not clear as the FTC needed to file the rule in the Federal Register-the U.S. government’s daily gazette that publishes new rules from federal agencies, among other items. The FTC said that once it made this filing,  the rule would take effect 120 days later.  Last Tuesday, May 7, the FTC filed the rule in the Federal Register. And so, the 120 days began to run from that date and will be effective on September 4, 2024.

See Non-Compete Clause Rule here. However, there are currently multiple federal lawsuits filed seeking to block the final rule from becoming effective, including one brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, it is unclear if the rule will take effect on September 4 or if it will be invalidated by the courts. As soon as we hear something, we will provide an update.

Two New Rules Could Have Profound Impact on U.S. Businesses

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Assuming they survive certain legal challenges, new rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) could dramatically impact the relationship between employers and employees in the United States. The FTC has passed a rule banning non-compete agreements and prohibiting enforcement of non-compete agreements against most workers. The DOL rule significantly increases the salary threshold to qualify for an overtime exemption as an executive, administrative, or professional employee.

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Employers Beware – Involuntary Job Transfers Can Support Discrimination Suits

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A recent U.S. Supreme Court case examined the question of whether an involuntary job transfer can be discriminatory even if the employee’s pay and job title remain the same. The answer? Yes. Historically, most courts, including the Eleventh Circuit, required an employee to have suffered a “significant” employment disadvantage from any involuntary transfer for an employee’s discrimination suit to survive. Under this standard, if an employee’s pay and title remained the same, a discrimination lawsuit would typically not survive.

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REGISTER NOW! 2024 Tampa Labor & Employment Law Seminar

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We are excited to host our Tampa Labor & Employment Law Seminar this year. Our annual seminars draw hundreds of human resource professionals, in-house counsel and senior executives from Florida’s top businesses. And for good reason! No one does events quite like we do – our seminars are not just lectures, they are learning experiences. This year will not disappoint.

Find out more and register below. We are also planning our Annual Miami Labor & Employment Law Seminar for the fall, so stay tuned for details!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2024

Aloft Tampa Midtown | 3550 Midtown Drive, Tampa, FL 33607

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | Registration & Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Presentations

12:00 p.m. | Lunch

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Florida Child Labor – An Update

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On February 27, we posted a blog on proposed legislation to modify the law regulating child labor in Florida. The bill that the Florida Legislature passed is somewhat different from the bill we blogged about on February 27. We updated our chart detailing the differences between current Florida law and the changes HB 49 makes to child labor restrictions. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

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More Work Opportunities for Florida Kids?

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The Florida Legislature is proposing to change the state’s law regulating the employment of minors ages 14 to 17. Below is a summary of the current limitations on child labor in Florida and how the rules will change once the current bill, HB 49, becomes law.

HB 49 passed favorably out of Senate Rules earlier today, having already passed through the House. We will continue to monitor the status of HB 49.

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Independent Contractor or Employee? It’s Complicated

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Worker classification just got as complicated as Ross and Rachel’s relationship status on ‘Friends’! Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule on how to classify employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Moving forward, the DOL will use a multifactor, “totality-of-the-circumstances” test to determine whether a worker classifies as an employee or independent contractor. Under the new rule, employers must weigh the following six factors, without giving greater weight to any individual factor:

  1. the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill;
  2. investments by the worker and the potential employer;
  3. the degree of permanence of the work relationship;
  4. the nature and degree of control;
  5. the extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the potential employer’s business; and
  6. the worker’s skill and initiative.

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