OFCCP Releases New Initiatives Providing Guidance on Affirmative Action Plan Compliance for Academic Institutions

September 27, 2019 10:07 am

This blog post was contributed by Suzanne Keys and Lynn Clements of Berkshire Associates. Just in time for back-to-school, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released three new affirmative action plan (AAP)-related initiatives related to higher education institutions. Multi-Building Establishments The first initiative is a set of FAQs for organizations that have... View Article

CUPA-HR Submits Comments in Response to NASA Harassment Reporting Requirement

September 11, 2019 9:04 am

On August 16, CUPA-HR and six other higher education associations submitted comments in response to a Federal Register notice titled “Reporting Requirements Regarding Findings of Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment or Sexual Assault.”  The notice, which was published on July 17, 2019, proposes the “implementation of new reporting requirements … to help ensure research environments to... View Article

OFCCP Issues New FAQs on Student Workers

August 20, 2019 9:00 am

This blog post was contributed by Michiko Clark and Lynn Clements of Berkshire Associates. In a recent series of FAQs, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) explains whether academic institutions should include student workers in their affirmative action plans (AAPs) and provides guidance regarding who is considered a student worker. In the FAQs,... View Article

HR and the Courts

August 16, 2019 11:03 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Courts Move in Different Directions in Enforcing Agreements to Arbitrate The courts continue to move in different directions when it comes to enforcing... View Article

HR and the Courts

July 11, 2019 4:08 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Three Separate Title VII Cases Have Three Different Outcomes One case was dismissed by a federal district court judge, one was reinstated by... View Article

HR and the Courts

June 17, 2019 3:49 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: New Supreme Court Decision Will Make It More Difficult for Employers to Dismiss Title VII Court Cases Where Plaintiff Does Not File a... View Article

Many Higher Ed Staff Will See Larger Paychecks in Coming Years as State-Level Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect

June 12, 2019 9:00 am

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation raising the minimum wage to a specific amount over the next several years, and many workers at the staff level in higher education institutions in those states will be impacted. According to just-released findings from CUPA-HR’s Staff in Higher Education Survey, around one in four... View Article

Fight to Repeal the Cadillac Tax Continues

June 11, 2019 1:55 pm

Congress has acted twice to delay the 40 percent excise tax on high-value employer-provided healthcare coverage, known as the “Cadillac tax,” yet the latest effective date of 2022 looms. The Cadillac tax was signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and was originally scheduled to take effect in 2018, but was... View Article

NLRB Plans to Revisit Student Organizing

May 30, 2019 9:00 am

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) indicated in the federal government’s May 22 spring regulatory agenda that it plans to issue a proposed rule by September addressing the extent to which students who perform services for private higher education institutions are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under the NLRA, employees working in the private... View Article

House Passes Equality Act

May 28, 2019 9:00 am

On May 17, 2019, the House passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, by a vote of 236 to 173. Eight Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill that would make employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful. The bill would amend existing civil rights law — including... View Article

HR and the Courts

May 14, 2019 9:00 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: U.S. Court of Appeals Reverses Dismissal of ERISA Class-Action Lawsuit Against University of Pennsylvania and Orders the Case to Be Reinstated In a... View Article

HR and the Courts

April 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Federal Court Rules Professor’s Claims That Title IX Investigation Was Flawed and Gender-Biased Should Proceed to Discovery and Possible Trial, and His Defamation... View Article

CUPA-HR Goes to Washington

April 1, 2019 3:30 pm

Looking for some good news coming out of Washington, D.C.? CUPA-HR had two opportunities recently to connect with members of Congress and the EEOC to help them understand our higher ed HR challenges. A Day on the Hill Last Thursday, CUPA-HR’s government relations team led a group of higher ed HR leaders from several states... View Article

Equality Act Reintroduced

March 25, 2019 8:40 am

On March 13, Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation which would make employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful. The Equality Act of 2019 would amend existing civil rights law — including the Civil Rights Act of... View Article

HR and the Courts

March 14, 2019 9:44 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Wife of Former Sheriff Loses First Amendment Right-to-Intimate-Association Lawsuit Following Discharge From the Sheriff’s Department After Her Husband Resigned Because of Allegations of... View Article

Paycheck Fairness Act Passed Out of Committee

March 1, 2019 9:00 am

On February 26, the House Education and Labor Committee held a markup on the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) (HR 7). The bill, which was first introduced in Congress in 1997 and most recently on January 30, aims to close the gender pay gap by amending the Equal Pay Act. Specifically, the PFA would ban inquiries into job... View Article

Creative Partnerships: The Path to an Inclusive Campus

February 19, 2019 11:41 am

At the University of Kansas, many students and university employees climb hundreds of steps up a 400-foot incline, dubbed “The Hill,” to get to class or work. For those with mobility issues, however, this incline presents a challenging navigational puzzle. When Catherine E. Johnson joined the university as the director of the ADA Resource Center... View Article

HR and the Courts

February 15, 2019 9:00 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Court Decision Suggests That Continued Attempts to Accommodate a Disabled Employee, Even After an ADA Lawsuit Is Filed, Might Reduce or Eliminate an... View Article

CUPA-HR Submits Comments on Proposed Rule Amending Title IX Regulations

February 4, 2019 1:03 pm

On January 30, CUPA-HR submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule aimed at changing how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive federal... View Article

5 Public Policy Issues That Could Impact Higher Ed This Year

January 29, 2019 2:44 pm

During the recent Quarterly Washington Update webinar, CUPA-HR’s government relations team provided an overview of the current federal legislative and regulatory landscape, as well as details on the issues that may impact your campus and higher ed institutions across the country. Here are some of the top issues: 1) Pro-Union Legislation Democrats renamed the Education... View Article

HR and the Courts – Recent Rulings and Legislation

January 22, 2019 2:11 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Georgetown Becomes Fifth University to Prevail in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Allegations Concerning Pension Plan Administration Georgetown University recently prevailed in a... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

December 11, 2018 2:45 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Education Industry Consulting Firm Blackboard Inc. Hit With Gender Pay Discrimination Collective Action Lawsuit Brought by Former Employees Education industry consulting firm Blackboard... View Article

HR and the Courts

November 13, 2018 11:16 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Trump Administration Justice Department and EEOC Take Different Positions on Whether Transgender Employees Are Covered by the Title VII Anti-Sex-Discrimination Statute The Trump... View Article

National Science Foundation Issues New Harassment Reporting Requirement

October 31, 2018 9:00 am

On October 22, the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s new harassment reporting requirement for awardees took effect. NSF published the final version of the requirement for NSF grants in the Federal Register on September 21. NSF said it made the changes to “ensure the research and learning environments it supports are free from harassment.” Under the new... View Article

Let’s Talk About the Emotional Support Squirrel in the Room

October 26, 2018 2:12 pm

Several major news outlets covered the recent kerfuffle of a Frontier Airlines passenger attempting to fly out of Orlando, Florida, with her emotional support squirrel seated with her. The passenger indicated at the time of her reservation that she would be traveling with an emotional support animal but failed to disclose it was a squirrel... View Article

HR’s Role in Balancing Free Speech and Inclusivity

October 9, 2018 3:34 pm

Results of a recent survey of college and university presidents conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE) show that half of all presidents surveyed rely on their chief HR officer to weigh in when setting institutional policy related to campus inclusion and free speech. And 30 percent of presidents said they rely on HR... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

October 1, 2018 11:40 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: University Softball Coach Granted Federal Jury Trial on Some of Her Sex Discrimination Claims, Others Dismissed A female women’s softball coach at Alabama... View Article

4 Ways to Mitigate Risk Related to Sexual Misconduct and Harassment on Campus

September 27, 2018 11:33 am

When it comes to creating a safe, inclusive, equitable campus, culture is the bottom line. But changing the culture and transforming the mindset of an enterprise as large and complex and multifaceted as a higher education institution certainly doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a slow and steady journey. While helping their colleges and universities navigate... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

September 5, 2018 12:13 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: University Argues ERISA Claims Not Subject to Jury Trial MIT is one of a dozen or so prominent universities to be sued in... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

August 6, 2018 2:06 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: NYU Prevails in ERISA Class Action Case NYU received a complete victory in the first of more than approximately a dozen ERISA class... View Article

House Holds Paid Leave Hearing

July 26, 2018 1:17 pm

On July 24, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to create Qualified Flexible Work Arrangement (QFWA) plans under which employers could offer paid time off and flexible work... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

July 10, 2018 4:11 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: State Prosecutors Beginning to Bring Criminal Charges Against Employers That Violate Wage and Hour Laws Minimum wage and overtime violations have for decades,... View Article

NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance on Employee Handbook Rules

July 2, 2018 9:00 am

On June 6, Peter B. Robb, general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued guidance to regional directors on how to evaluate workplace rules and handbooks in light of the Board’s decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017). The guidance applies to handbooks in both union and nonunion workplaces at... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

June 12, 2018 11:50 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Supreme Court Rules 5-4 That Employers Can Bar Class-Action Lawsuits and Require Mandatory Arbitration The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in a 5-4... View Article

Trump Administration Releases Spring 2018 Regulatory Agenda

May 29, 2018 2:53 pm

On May 9, the Trump Administration released its Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan, providing the regulated public with a detailed glimpse into the regulatory policies and priorities under consideration by 59 federal departments, agencies and commissions. Agendas are released twice a year, generally in the spring and fall, and are designed to provide the... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings That Could Impact the Higher Ed Workplace

May 16, 2018 9:00 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Court Finds Plaintiff’s Failure to Follow Supervisor’s Direction Not Protected by the First Amendment The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh... View Article

USCIS Updates E-Verify

April 27, 2018 8:57 am

On April 23, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a new modernized version of E-Verify, the web-based program that allow employers to check an employee’s work authorization.  According to USCIS, the improvements to the system will help users enter correct information, increase the speed and accuracy of the employment eligibility verification process, decrease... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recents Rulings and Legislation

April 16, 2018 4:31 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: University Prevails in Gender-Based Pay and Discriminatory Discharge Allegations, Court Cites Faculty Vote Not to Renew Appointment and Rejects Evidence of Department Chair’s... View Article

OFCCP Issues Directive Requiring Use of Predetermination Notices to Encourage More Transparency

March 22, 2018 9:00 am

This blog post was contributed by Lynn Clements, director of regulatory affairs, Berkshire Associates Inc.   The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced it would be standardizing its predetermination notices (PDNs) under Directive 2018-01. This is the first directive issued by new OFCCP Director Ondray T. Harris. The PDN is a letter... View Article

HR and the Courts

March 20, 2018 2:20 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Fired Employee Gets Jury Trial on FMLA Discriminatory Discharge Claim Resulting From Request for Intermittent FMLA Leave for Lyme Disease A federal district... View Article

DOL Announces Pilot Program to Test Voluntary Reporting of Wage Violations

March 12, 2018 9:00 am

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced on March 6 that it was preparing to unveil a new pilot program aimed at encouraging employers to voluntarily report and resolve “inadvertent” violations of minimum-wage and overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new program — known as Payroll Audit Independent... View Article

Second Circuit Court Rules That Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation Claims

March 8, 2018 1:25 pm

On February 26, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, overruling its own precedent,  ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees based on sexual orientation, deepening a circuit court split on the issue which will eventually have to be decided by the... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

February 21, 2018 9:30 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Female Hockey Coach’s Sex Discrimination Claim Moves to Trial, Sexual Orientation Claims Dismissed as Court Holds Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual Orientation... View Article

Two New Excise Taxes That Could Impact Higher Ed

February 13, 2018 10:00 am

This is the second in a series of blog posts contributed by John Graham, vice president and regional director of compliance research at Sibson Consulting. Since the new tax bill was passed, we’ve received a number of questions as to how the legislation affects higher education and its employees. To help answer these questions, we’ve... View Article

How Institutions Are Leveraging Partnerships and Education to Address Sexual Harassment and Assault on Campus

February 7, 2018 4:30 pm

The “Me Too” movement has prompted a heightened awareness of and national conversation around unequal treatment and inappropriate or criminal sexual conduct in the workplace, and many colleges and universities have strengthened their resolve to eliminate these unacceptable behaviors on their campuses. To create an environment where harassment, incivility, inequality and bias are neither welcome... View Article

Cadillac Tax Delayed Two Additional Years as Senate Agrees to a Vote on a DACA Fix With Next Government Funding Bill

January 26, 2018 9:00 am

On January 22, after a three-day shutdown of the federal government, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government until February 8. Included in the CR was a two-year delay to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s 40 percent excise tax on high-value healthcare plans, known as... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

January 23, 2018 9:00 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: States Consider Sexual Harassment Remedies and Prevention Reforms to Supplement Title VII With the advent of the “me too” movement, many state legislatures... View Article

Strategies for Eliminating Sexual Harassment in Higher Ed (and It’s Not Simply More Training)

January 19, 2018 5:01 pm

“Philosopher Accused of Sexual Misconduct” “Former Sports Doctor Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault” “Title IX Complaints Filed Against Creative-Writing Professor” “Fifteen Students and Post Docs Issue Statement That Three Professors Created a Hostile Academic Environment in Which Sexual Harassment Is Normalized” “Reports of Sexism in a University Academic Department” “Tenured Professor Sexually Harassed Graduate Student... View Article

WHD Starts to Move on Guidance and Rules

January 17, 2018 5:57 pm

On January 5, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) re-issued 17 opinion letters. As WHD states, “an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division of how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee or other entity requesting the opinion.” These... View Article

12 Great Reads of 2017

January 10, 2018 8:33 pm

It’s hard to believe another year is in the books, and a new one is already underway! As you jump back into your work in this new year, we hope you’ll take some time to read about some of the great work your HR colleagues are doing at colleges and universities around the country. CUPA-HR’s... View Article

New Republican-Majority NLRB Decisions Impacting Higher Ed

January 2, 2018 3:54 pm

On December 15, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an important ruling for higher education in PCC Structurals Inc. abandoning the Obama Board’s 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, which allowed employees to organize in “micro units.” The PCC Structurals decision reinstated the previous standard that employees have to share an “overwhelming community of interests” to be an appropriate bargaining... View Article

NLRB General Counsel Provides Glimpse Into New Policy Priorities

December 13, 2017 6:06 pm

On December 1, Peter Robb, the newly-appointed general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued his Mandatory Submissions to Advice, a customary practice for all new general counsels, setting forth the types of unfair labor practice charges and issues that the NLRB’s regional offices should send to the NLRB’s Division of Advice in... View Article

HR’s Role in Managing Bullying and Harassment at Work

December 13, 2017 4:50 pm

This blog post was contributed by Maureen J. Gleason, president of American Behavioral It seems that everywhere you look these days, cases of bullying and sexual harassment are making headlines. From school teachers to celebrities to distinguished politicians, example after example of bad behavior are coming to light. The #MeToo movement is a reflection of... View Article

Senate Passes Historic Tax Bill

December 5, 2017 2:50 pm

On December 2, the Senate passed its U.S. tax code rewrite legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by a vote of 51-49. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) joined all Senate Democrats in voting against the bill. The House passed its own version of tax reform, by a vote of 227-205 with 13 Republicans voting with... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation

November 29, 2017 9:00 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Court of Appeals Rules Requests for Indefinite Leaves of Absence Do Not Constitute a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA The Eleventh Circuit Court... View Article