The U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final Rule to Increase Minimum Wage for Certain Federal Contractors

On November 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a rule to increase the hourly minimum wage for employees of certain federal contractors beginning January 30, 2022. The final rule implements Executive Order 14026, which President Joe Biden signed earlier this year.

The final rule requires certain federal contractors to pay workers on government contracts at least $15 per hour beginning January 30, 2022. After 2022, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually for inflation at a rate set by the Secretary of Labor.

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DOL Extends FLSA Final Joint Employment Rule Effective Date

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at least minimum wage plus overtime compensation. If an employee is unpaid or underpaid — due to a calculation error or an employee’s unreported time worked, including remote work arrangements during the pandemic — the employee may recover back pay, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. If two or more employers have a relationship with an employee — for example, if an employee works for a staffing agency and is assigned to work at the agency’s customer or an employee performs work for two with common ownership or management — the law may deem the employers to be joint employers with joint and several liability, depending on the facts. If one joint employer fails to comply with the FLSA, both joint employers may be held liable. Different laws use different tests for joint employment.

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President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan Mandates Vaccines for Many Employees

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his six-pronged COVID-19 Action Plan, which will have a significant impact on employers across the country by mandating vaccinations for many employees. Many key details — including what exemptions may apply to mandatory vaccinations — remain unknown until additional federal guidance is provided in the upcoming weeks.”

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DOL Mulls Return to Obama-Era “Persuader” Reporting Rule

In late April 2021, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) signaled its intent to revisit the “Persuader Rule” — an Obama-era regulation that imposes strict reporting requirements on employers facing organization. Although the Persuader Rule has not yet been reinstated, and will almost certainly face significant opposition, employers should be aware of the possible ramifications of the regulation.

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U.S. Immigration Updates: H-1B Cap, Prevailing Wage Rule and International Travel Updates

Immigration updates from the end of the Trump administration include USCIS’s final rule modifying the H-1B cap selection process, DOL’s final rule on computation of prevailing wage levels, and executive orders extending immigration restrictions and terminating some travel restrictions — all of which may be changed by litigation or the Biden administration. It is also time to start planning for the FY2022 H-1B cap season.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Civil Rights Organizations File Lawsuit Seeking to Halt President Trump’s Executive Order Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

The controversy surrounding President Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” continues to snowball. After the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 150-plus business organizations sent a letter to the president contesting the Order and requesting that it be withdrawn, NAACP attorneys took contractor objections a step further, launching a class action lawsuit on behalf of the National Urban League, the National Fair Housing Alliance and others similarly situated. Filed on October 29, 2020, the suit called the Order “an extraordinary and unprecedented act by the Trump Administration to undermine efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace” and further challenged the federal directive on constitutional grounds.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.