Employment Law Legislative Update First Quarter 2014

February 19, 2014

In her first quarterly legislative update of 2014 for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Sarah Lamar gives an overview of recent changes in employment law:

Legislation: Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors (E.O. ______)
Introduced: 1/28/14
Status: Not Yet Signed
Purpose: President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he will sign an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10/hr and urged Congress to increase the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10/hr.
Comment: Any bill to increase the minimum wage (currently $7.25/hr) will likely not get passed due to opposition by the Republican majority in the House.
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Legislation: Fair Minimum Wage Act (S. 1737)
Introduced: 11/19/13
Status: Not Yet Referred to Committee
Purpose: To increase minimum wage to (1) $8.20 an hour beginning on the first day of the sixth month after the enactment of the bill, (2) $9.15 an hour beginning one year after the date of such initial increase, (3) $10.10 an hour beginning two years after such date, and (4) the amount determined by the Secretary of Labor (based on increases in the Consumer Price Index) beginning three years after such date and annually thereafter.
The bill would also increase the federal minimum wage for tipped employees to $3.00 an hour for one year beginning on the first day of the sixth month after enactment of the bill. It further provides a formula for subsequent annual adjustments of the minimum wage for tipped employees until it equals 70% of the wage in effect under FLSA for other employees.
Comment: The bill could be considered by the Senate in early March, but faces an unclear future in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
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Regulatory Requirements: NLRB Rescinds Poster Requirement and Quickie Election Rules
Effective Date: 1/6/14 and 1/22/14
Purpose: Given the successful legal challenges to the NLRB’s poster requirement and “quickie” election rules, the NLRB has rescinded its regulations requiring employers to post a notice of NLRA rights to form a union and to change the election rules to limit objections and speed up the election time frames. According to the Board, rescission of the recent election rules “restores the relevant language in the CFR to that which existed before the Board issued the December 22, 2011 final rule.”
Comment: We haven’t seen the last of the NLRB’s efforts to enforce these requirements, especially now that the NLRB is at full force with 5 properly approved members.
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