DOL Issues Opinion Letter on Wellness Activities

September 17, 2018 9:00 am

On August 28, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued six new opinion letters to address compliance issues under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As WHD states, “an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by WHD on how a particular law... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings and Legislation on Salary History Inquiries, National Origin Discrimination, ERISA Class Action Litigation, Pregnancy-Related Reasonable Accommodation and More

October 31, 2017 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: Appeals Court to Reconsider Whether Worker’s Salary History Is a Lawful Basis Upon Which to Set an Employee’s Starting Salary The Ninth Circuit... View Article

IRS Increases Maximum Contributions to Retirement Funds

October 23, 2017 1:36 pm

It’s that time of year again — open enrollment is just around the corner. As employees are reviewing benefit options for 2018, one thing to consider is the IRS’s increased limits to defined contribution plans. In Notice 2017-64, released on October 19, the IRS provided adjusted limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans... View Article

3 Myths About Faculty and Staff Discipline

October 16, 2017 1:00 am

We’ve all worked with a bad apple at one time or another. Maybe you still do. You know the one … the faculty member who seems to get away with everything, the staff member who says whatever they want whenever they want, the coworker who is abrasive and uncooperative. As an HR professional, you want... View Article

DACA: Where Things Stand

October 13, 2017 12:58 pm

The Trump administration added a major item to Congress’ to-do list with a September 5 announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the administration would phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The program, which was created by the Obama administration, has allowed an estimated 790,000 undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” to live,... View Article

Congress Looks to Tackle Tax Reform

October 9, 2017 9:30 am

The White House and congressional Republicans began the year with an aggressive agenda that included two planned budget reconciliation votes — one involving reform of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the other involving reform of the tax code. With ACA reform efforts stalled for now, Congress has pivoted its focus to tax reform. Tax... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings on Class-Action Pension Litigation, First Amendment Free Speech, Anxiety as a Disability Under the ADA and More

October 3, 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: University of Pennsylvania Wins ERISA Class-Action Lawsuit The University of Pennsylvania received a complete victory in a class-action ERISA lawsuit when a federal... View Article

HR and the Courts: Recent Rulings on Free Speech, Class Action Pension Litigation, Disability and Religious Discrimination

September 5, 2017 11:02 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: Class Action Pension Litigation Partially Dismissed in NYU Case To date, 16 prominent universities have been sued separately in federal districts throughout the... View Article

CUPA-HR Joins Higher Ed Groups to Support the Dream Act of 2017

August 21, 2017 9:37 am

On July 25, CUPA-HR joined the American Council on Education and more than 30 higher ed groups in a letter of support for the Dream Act of 2017. The bill, which was introduced on July 20 by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), would allow undocumented immigrants — often referred to as Dreamers... View Article

Marvin Kaplan Sworn in as NLRB Member

August 14, 2017 10:23 am

On August 10, Marvin E. Kaplan was sworn in as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a term ending on August 27, 2020. Kaplan, who was serving as counsel to the commissioner of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, previously served as counsel to the U.S. House Oversight and Government... View Article

HR and the Courts: ADA Prescription Marijuana Precedent, Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation and More

August 8, 2017 10:17 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: Prescription Medical Marijuana User States Valid Disability Discrimination Claim Under State ADA Law, Sets Precedent A qualified medical marijuana user in Massachusetts, who... View Article

DOL’s Request for Information on the Overtime Rule to Be Published July 26

July 25, 2017 10:51 am

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will publish in the July 26 Federal Register the much anticipated Request for Information (RFI) on the currently enjoined Obama administration’s overtime rule (an unofficial copy of the RFI can be accessed here). The RFI invites the public to comment on a multitude of questions, including “whether the standard salary... View Article

DOL Plans to Revise the Overtime Rule

July 6, 2017 2:04 pm

On June 30, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed its reply brief in the Fifth Circuit in relation to its appeal from the November 2016 federal district court decision granting a preliminary injunction to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule. In the brief, DOL asks the court to affirm that the agency can set... View Article

DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

June 28, 2017 9:01 am

On June 26, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters to employers and employees regarding application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other statutes. As stated in DOL’s release, “an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division of how a... View Article

3 Tips for Training Employees on Title IX

June 27, 2017 5:12 pm

The challenges associated with Title IX in higher education are complex, and sexual assault on campus and institutional responses continue to make headlines across the nation. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, over the past six years the government has conducted 399 investigations of colleges and universities for possibly mishandling reports of sexual violence.... View Article

DOL to Issue Request for Information on the Overtime Rule

June 12, 2017 10:54 am

On June 7, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta noted during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed Department of Labor (DOL) budget that the agency is planning to issue a request for information (RFI) on the currently enjoined Obama administration’s overtime rule. While Acosta did not indicate the exact timing of the RFI, he did say... View Article

Senate Confirms Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

April 27, 2017 7:31 pm

On April 27, the U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as the 27th labor secretary. Acosta, who most recently served as dean of Florida International University College of Law, previously held positions in the federal government as a U.S. attorney, head of the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, for a short time, as a... View Article

President Trump Signs Executive Order to Change H-1B Visa Rules

April 19, 2017 1:40 pm

On April 18, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled Buy American and Hire American which instructs federal agencies through the use of federal financial assistance awards and federal procurements to “maximize” the use of American goods and products (buy American) and to “rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the U.S.”... View Article

USCIS H-1B Processing Changes

April 6, 2017 9:00 am

On April 3, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for a period of up to six months. This temporary suspension was announced in early March. The agency claims the change will help reduce overall processing times, as USCIS will be able to “process long-pending petitions … and prioritize adjudication... View Article

Trump Signs “Blacklisting” Resolution of Disapproval

March 29, 2017 9:28 am

On March 27, President Trump signed into law a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule (the blacklisting rules) which permanently blocks implementation of the rule and any similar regulations in the future. The CRA measure was introduced by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia... View Article

How to Conduct a Thorough Title IX Investigation

March 6, 2017 9:00 am

At CUPA-HR’s annual conference last fall, two Title IX coordinators from Rosemont College — Jane Federowicz and Matthew Baker — shared their outline for training Title IX investigators on campus (you can read about that in this blog post). Here, they continue the conversation and share the steps they take when investigating Title IX claims... View Article

CUPA-HR CEO Andy Brantley Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Overtime Rule

February 20, 2017 9:56 am

On February 16, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing entitled “Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the Twenty-First Century Economy” to examine the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the dramatically transformed workplace since the law’s enactment in 1938. CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley was one of... View Article

DOJ Issues New Rule on Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices

February 8, 2017 9:00 am

On December 19, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices (OSC) issued a final rule revising Section 274B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as it concerns unfair immigration-related employment practices. CUPA-HR and other trade associations submitted comments on the proposed rule in October 2016 expressing concerns that the changes... View Article

Asked and Answered: Questions on Immigration Reform, the ACA, Paid Leave and More Under the New Administration

February 3, 2017 9:47 am

On January 25, CUPA-HR’s government relations team presented the webinar “A New Administration and a New Congress: What to Expect in 2017 and Beyond” (now available for on-demand viewing) outlining the current and emerging top-line issues for higher ed HR. With over 1,000 HR professionals in attendance and a jam-packed agenda, it wasn’t possible to address... View Article

2016 Comes to a Close

December 20, 2016 10:05 am

After an exciting and, for many, surprising November election, Congress returned to the Capitol to finish up their business for the 114th Congress. The major piece of business that had to get done before Congress could go on recess was finding a way to fund the government. On the night of December 9, the Senate... View Article

FLSA Injunction–Changes Made, Changes Stopped and Changes Reversed

December 14, 2016 8:41 am

Following months of preparation for the December 1 FLSA changes, the injunction issued on November 22 temporarily stopped implementation, requiring quick action by higher ed HR and other campus leaders. Thanks to quick responses from chief HR officers from across the country, CUPA-HR is pleased to provide a comprehensive summary of the actions taken by... View Article

DOL’s Persuader Rule Permanently Blocked

November 29, 2016 6:34 pm

On November 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a nationwide, permanent injunction in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Perez. The decision made permanent a June 27 preliminary injunction and prevents the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recent changes to the persuader rule, which was scheduled to go into... View Article

CUPA-HR Submits Comments on Proposed Regulation on Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices

November 14, 2016 9:00 am

On October 14, CUPA-HR and five other trade associations submitted comments to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices (OSC) on a proposed rule revising Section 274B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as it pertains to unfair immigration-related employment practices. This action follows on the heels... View Article

Blacklisting Regulation Enjoined

November 10, 2016 2:51 pm

On October 24, hours before the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule (the blacklisting rule) was set to take effect, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction to halt most of the provisions of the rule from going into effect. The Associated Builders and Contractors Southeast Texas Chapter and... View Article

Administration Issues Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals

November 8, 2016 4:20 pm

On October 20, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance to human resources professionals and others involved in hiring decisions about potential violations of antitrust laws. The guidance focuses on hiring and compensation matters and should be read carefully by HR professionals, as DOJ and FTC consider... View Article

The Countdown Is On – New Overtime Rule Goes Into Effect December 1

November 1, 2016 9:30 am

Update: On November 22, a U.S. District Court judge from Texas issued a preliminary injunction postponing the effective date of the overtime rule, meaning the rule will not go into effect on December 1.  With less than 30 days left until the rule raising the Fair Labor Standards Act’s exempt salary threshold to $47,476 takes... View Article

NLRB General Counsel Advises Northwestern Against Unlawful Rules

October 21, 2016 9:00 am

On September 22, an associate general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Barry Kearney, responding in an advice memorandum to regional director Peter Ohr, declared that rules in Northwestern University’s Football Handbook, which restricted players’ social media use and media appearances and prohibited discussion of the athletes’ health, were “unlawful.” However, Kearney also... View Article

DOL Issues Final Rule on Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

October 7, 2016 11:42 am

On September 30, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations implementing Executive Order 13706 (EO) requiring federal contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with covered contracts to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. Although DOL has made some minor revisions to the proposed rule, the... View Article

Traits and Training for Title IX Investigators

October 5, 2016 9:00 am

Two Title IX coordinators from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania — Jane Federowicz, assistant vice president for human resources and Title IX coordinator, and Matthew Baker, training officer and deputy Title IX coordinator — shared in a CUPA-HR annual conference session their outline for training Title IX investigators and conducting investigations on campus. The pair shared some essential... View Article

Overheard at the FLSA and Legal Updates at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference

October 3, 2016 3:26 pm

At the CUPA-HR Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. last week, I sat in on the FLSA overtime and legal update Super Sessions and “overheard” a lot of online conversation from attendees. First, attendees joined an FLSA overtime discussion panel that included Andy Brantley, president and chief executive officer of CUPA-HR; Lynn Bynum, chief human resources officer at... View Article

What to Expect From Congress During This (Short) Session

September 13, 2016 2:16 pm

On September 6, Congress returned from a seven-week recess with a long list of possible legislative actions — and a very small window of time to complete them. There are only a handful of scheduled legislative days left until Congress returns home again for the final campaign push ahead of the November elections, yet important... View Article

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Retaliatory Discharge

August 4, 2016 8:58 am

Are you an HR legal expert? Here’s a real court case to help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: FLSA Retaliatory Discharge – Rosenfield v. Global Trans Enterprises The Facts: Fair Labor Standards Act General... View Article

Biannual Regulatory Agenda Released — Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, Blacklisting Regulations Likely to be Addressed

August 1, 2016 10:34 am

On May 18, the Obama Administration released its Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan, providing the 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. They are designed to provide the public... View Article

DOL’s New Persuader Rule Unenforceable Due to Court Ruling

July 12, 2016 9:00 am

On June 27, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction in National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), et al. v. Perez (see decision here). The injunction prevents the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recent changes to the persuader rule, which was scheduled to go into effect July 1. The final “persuader” regulations... View Article

3 Things You Need to Know About OFCCP’s New Sex Discrimination Guidelines

July 5, 2016 5:02 pm

This blog post was contributed by Lynn A. Clements, director of regulatory affairs at Berkshire Associates, Inc. In conjunction with the White House Council on Women and Girls’ first United States of Women Summit on June 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued regulations on sex discrimination... View Article

OFCCP Publishes Final Rule Updating Sex Discrimination Guidelines

June 29, 2016 10:41 am

On June 14, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a final rule updating its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors for the first time in 40 years. The rule seeks to generally align with existing law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as... View Article

House Committee Holds Hearing on Final Overtime Rule

June 15, 2016 7:22 am

On June 9, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing to examine the consequences of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Overtime Rule on workers, students, nonprofits and small businesses. The hearing provided an opportunity and a platform for universities and nonprofits to voice concerns about the negative consequences of DOL’s rule,... View Article

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: First Amendment

June 14, 2016 7:11 am

Are you an HR legal expert? Here’s a real court case to help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: First Amendment – Epstein v. Suffolk Community College (E.D.N.Y. 2:14-CV-00937) The Facts: Supreme Court Rule –... View Article

EEOC Finalizes Regulations on Wellness Plans

May 27, 2016 9:04 am

On May 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published final rules meant to provide employers with new guidance on how to implement wellness plans in their healthcare programs without violating either Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The rules also address... View Article

All Things FLSA Overtime

May 24, 2016 9:00 am

Updated July 6, 2016 On May 18, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule on overtime eligibility, raising the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. Employers must be in compliance by December 1 of this year, which leaves very little time for what’s sure to be a lot of work. If you’re... View Article

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Electronic Recordkeeping

May 17, 2016 12:48 pm

On May 12, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule — “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” — requiring employers to electronically submit injury and illness recordkeeping information to OSHA on an annual basis. OSHA will post the data submitted by employers on a publicly accessible website, but according to... View Article

Proposed OT Rule Could End Up Hurting Those It Intends to Help

April 29, 2016 1:09 pm

As efforts to influence changes to the proposed FLSA overtime regulations continue, the grassroots organization Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (of which CUPA-HR is a member) has released a video featuring the voices of higher education (including CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley), nonprofits, small businesses and employees who would be adversely affected by the proposed... View Article

CUPA-HR Leads Meeting With White House Officials on Overtime Proposal

April 20, 2016 10:11 am

On April 19, representatives from CUPA-HR and other higher education associations met with government officials to discuss higher ed’s concerns with the Department of Labor (DOL)’s overtime proposal as the rule enters its last stage of internal review by federal agencies. Our 16-person group met with officials from the White House Office of Management and... View Article

DOL Issues Final “Persuader” Rule

April 14, 2016 9:35 pm

On March 23, the Department of Labor issued its final “persuader” regulations revising the interpretation of “advice” as it pertains to the employer and labor relations consultant persuader reporting requirements of Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). The final rule expands reporting requirements for employers facing union organizing campaigns on almost... View Article

Overtime Takes Center Stage at Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Field Hearing

March 31, 2016 1:34 pm

On March 29, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Tim Walberg (R-MI) hosted a field hearing — “The 21st Century Workforce: How Current Rules and Regulations Affect Innovation and Flexibility in Michigan’s Workplaces” — to discuss how current government regulations impact workers and job creators in Michigan. Rep. Walberg was joined by his colleague,... View Article

FLSA Overtime Final Rule Submitted to OMB

March 15, 2016 4:46 pm

On March 14, the Department of Labor submitted the final rule for “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees” to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA, part of the president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is required to review all draft and final standards as well... View Article

Your Efforts on Overtime Regulations Make an Impact in Washington

March 9, 2016 10:15 am

On February 25, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) where the Acting Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr., answered committee members’ questions about the Department of Education’s role implementing the law. During the hearing, Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) asked for the Secretary’s... View Article

FLSA Overtime Regulations – What Are the Top Concerns for Higher Ed?

February 24, 2016 8:47 am

The February 16 webinar, “FLSA Overtime: How, When and Why to Prepare,” was the largest in CUPA-HR history. With 1,884 sites logged in and 2,500+ participating, the topic is obviously top of mind for all of us in higher ed HR. Presenters provided background information regarding the proposed changes to the overtime regulations and specific... View Article

CUPA-HR Meets With Treasury to Discuss Treatment of Student Workers Under ACA’s Employer Mandate

February 22, 2016 11:09 am

On February 17, CUPA-HR and the American Council on Education, along with other higher ed associations, met with the U.S. Department of Treasury to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate as it relates to student workers in colleges and universities. February’s meeting was a follow-up to a January 2015 conversation... View Article

CUPA-HR Files Comments on EEOC’s GINA Wellness Plan Proposed Rule

February 10, 2016 1:14 pm

On December 29, CUPA-HR, along with other employer groups, filed comments on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s wellness plan proposed rule under Title II of the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The proposed rule, issued in the Federal Register in October, clarifies that employers that offer wellness programs as part of group health... View Article

CUPA-HR Participates in Chamber of Commerce Symposium on Impact of Proposed FLSA Overtime Regulations

February 8, 2016 2:07 pm

On February 1, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a symposium to highlight the impact the proposed FLSA overtime regulations will have on vulnerable employers (think small businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions and state and local governments). As part of the event, CUPA-HR chief government relations officer Josh Ulman and Barbara Carroll, chief HR officer at... View Article

Best Practices in Training and Compliance Around Title IX

February 5, 2016 2:43 pm

Increasing reports of sexual violence on college campuses across the nation have brought the subject out of the shadows and into the light. Whether it’s that sexual assaults are increasing in frequency or just that more people are coming forward to report such incidents, it’s an issue that must be addressed. So what actions can... View Article

FLSA Overtime: How, When and Why to Prepare

January 26, 2016 3:25 pm

In preparation for the pending FLSA overtime announcement, CUPA-HR will be hosting a 90-minute webinar on February 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Developed in partnership with Sibson Consulting and several higher ed HR practitioners from across the country, the webinar will focus on the dynamic challenges higher ed institutions face in responding to the proposed... View Article

NLRB’S Joint Employer Ruling Appealed

January 25, 2016 4:45 pm

Browning-Ferris Industries has appealed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s August 27 ruling (known as the BFI case) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In BFI, the Board greatly expanded the decades old “joint employer” standard under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This new standard creates additional liabilities for private-sector... View Article

DHS Proposes New H-1B Visa Rule to Help High-Skilled Foreign Workers

January 6, 2016 1:11 pm

On December 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a new rule to help resolve a large visa backlog by allowing high-skilled, foreign workers to remain in the country and switch jobs more easily while waiting to become lawful permanent residents. The agency has stated that the rules are aimed at those individuals who... View Article