IRS Increases Maximum Contributions to Retirement Funds

October 23, 2017 1:36 pm

For the first time since 2015, the maximum employee contribution to defined contribution plans — such as 401(k)s 403(b)s — will increase by $500, to $18,500 for 2018, with the combined employer and employee maximum (referred to as “all sources”) increasing by $1,000, to $55,000.

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. Making matters even more difficult was the release on October 8 of President Trump’s letter to House and Senate leaders that included reforms the president would like to see included as part of any legislation addressing the status of DACA recipients.

Congress Looks to Tackle Tax Reform

October 9, 2017 9:30 am

President Trump initially shared with reporters a high-level overview of his tax plan this past April. From there, representatives from the White House, Republican congressional leadership and tax committee chairs began working together to hash out a tax reform plan.

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

August 21, 2017 9:37 am

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 — who grew up in the United States the ability to earn lawful permanent residence and provide a pathway to citizenship.

Marvin Kaplan Sworn in as NLRB Member

August 14, 2017 10:23 am

Kaplan's appointment brings the NLRB to a four-of-five-member complement, split 2-2 along party lines. The president's other nominee, William Emanuel, will face a confirmation vote this fall. If he is confirmed, the Board would shift to a Republican majority for the first time since December 2007.

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

July 25, 2017 10:51 am

The RFI invites the public to comment on a multitude of questions, including “whether the standard salary level set in that rule effectively identifies employees who may be exempt, whether a different salary level would more appropriately identify such employees, the basis for setting a different salary level, and why a different salary level would be more appropriate or effective.”

DOL Plans to Revise the Overtime Rule

July 6, 2017 2:04 pm

On June 30, 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 a salary threshold, while declining to defend the Obama era rule — stating that it will revise the rule through further rulemaking if the Fifth Circuit confirms DOL’s ability to set a salary threshold.

DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

June 28, 2017 9:01 am

The opinion letter process, which had been a longstanding practice of DOL, was eliminated during the Obama administration. "Reinstating opinion letters will benefit employees and employers as they provide a means by which both can develop a clearer understanding of the FLSA and other statutes," said Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

3 Tips for Training Employees on Title IX

June 27, 2017 5:12 pm

Most Title IX experts agree that training and communication are key to not only helping prevent sexual violence on campus, but also to helping an institution appropriately respond to a complaint of sexual assault and/or to maneuver through a Title IX investigation. To learn more about effective training practices, we spoke with Mary Anne Koleny, HR director and Title IX liaison for the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, who as part of her recent master’s work studied Title IX training for higher ed employees. Here, she offers three tips on how to provide comprehensive training and resources for Title IX reporting on your campus.

DOL to Issue Request for Information on the Overtime Rule

June 12, 2017 10:54 am

RFIs are a first step in the regulatory process, and Acosta's comments on the matter suggest DOL is reconsidering the last administration’s approach to updating the overtime regulations. While Acosta did not indicate the exact timing of the RFI, he did say that the agency will publish the request “in the next two to three weeks.”

Senate Confirms Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

April 27, 2017 7:31 pm

Now that Acosta has been confirmed, it is likely that we will begin to see clarity as to the future policy of DOL and more immediately whether DOL will continue to defend the overtime rule in court. We expect Acosta will make decisions on how to proceed with the overtime rule rather quickly.

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 and to “rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the U.S.” Additionally, the EO focuses specifically on reforming the H-1B program so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

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 of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.”

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.

How to Conduct a Thorough Title IX Investigation

March 6, 2017 9:00 am

Two Title IX coordinators from Rosemont College share the steps they take when investigating Title IX claims on campus, from assessing a report to notifying the individual(s) involved to conducting interviews and more.

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

February 20, 2017 9:56 am

During his remarks, Brantley relayed higher education’s concerns with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s recent overtime rule and the complicated process institutions underwent in order to comply by the rule's effective date, while also expressing the importance of a salary update and providing suggestions for moving forward.

DOJ Issues New Rule on Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices

February 8, 2017 9:00 am

Under the rule, employers can be found liable for immigration-related employment discrimination if they take actions, even those that are not adverse, during any step of the hiring process that differentiate between employees based on national origin or citizenship status regardless of the reason for doing so.

2016 Comes to a Close

December 20, 2016 10:05 am

When the new year is ushered in, congressional Republicans and President Trump will have a huge amount of work to do in order to be successful delivering on campaign promises. The Trump administration has been very vocal that they want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), make changes to corporate tax reform — which will include small business — and individual tax reform, and make significant changes to our immigration laws.

FLSA Injunction–Changes Made, Changes Stopped and Changes Reversed

December 14, 2016 8:41 am

flsa_injunction_infog_2Following 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. See what actions institutions have taken in response to the injunction.

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 from implementing and enforcing its recent changes to the persuader rule, which was scheduled to go into effect July 1.

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

November 14, 2016 9:00 am

The comments express our concerns that the proposed rule grants the Department of Justice investigative powers that go “far beyond the boundaries of [the Immigration and Nationality Act] in a way that ignores the statutory context, runs contrary to Congress’s intent, and is not necessary to the effective administration of the immigration-related unfair employment practices provisions of the INA.”

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 one provision that the court left in place was the pay transparency requirement, which will go into effect January 1, 2017.

Administration Issues Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals

November 8, 2016 4:20 pm

The guidance is based on previous enforcement actions the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have taken against employers who have “agreed not to compete for employees” and sets forth basic principles that HR professionals can follow in order to avoid running afoul of antitrust laws.

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, responding in an advice memorandum to NLRB 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.”

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 final rule remains largely unchanged and will impose significant obligations on many employers.

Traits and Training for Title IX Investigators

October 5, 2016 9:00 am

Two Title IX coordinators from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania share their outline for training Title IX investigators and conducting investigations on campus. Read on for some successful practices you can use on your campus.

What to Expect From Congress During This (Short) Session

September 13, 2016 2:16 pm

Given that all eyes are on November 8, it is likely that any controversial legislation will not be considered until the lame-duck session following the elections. Instead, Congress is expected to focus on eking out an agreement on a spending deal to prevent a government shutdown on September 30.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Retaliatory Discharge

August 4, 2016 8:58 am

gavel on law bookAre 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.

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. Of particular note to higher ed, action is expected on determining the impact of the use of electronic devices by nonexempt employees, paid sick leave for contractors, and the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act.

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 issued an injunction preventing DOL from implementing and enforcing its recent changes to the persuader rule, which was scheduled to go into effect July 1.

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 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. In the words of Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), “The department ignored the voices of those who must implement this rule in their workplaces, on their campuses, and as they serve the needs of people in their communities.”

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: First Amendment

June 14, 2016 7:11 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre 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)

8 Common Higher Ed Positions and Their (Likely) FLSA Status Under the New Overtime Rule

June 8, 2016 2:58 pm

The most common questions we’ve fielded here at CUPA-HR headquarters in response to the new FLSA overtime rule are those related to the exempt/non-exempt status of positions like post docs, resident directors, interns, coaches and partial-year employees. With often odd hours, the nature of the work performed and the difficulty in tracking hours, these positions are giving higher ed a headache. In a recent webinar, Alex Passantino, former acting administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and partner at Seyfarth Shaw, shed some light on some of these higher ed-specific positions.

EEOC Finalizes Regulations on Wellness Plans

May 27, 2016 9:04 am

On May 17, the EEOC published final rules meant to provide employers with new guidance on how to implement wellness plans in their healthcare programs without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The final rules will be effective on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.

All Things FLSA Overtime

May 24, 2016 9:00 am

OT-clockEmployers must be in compliance with DOL's new FLSA overtime rule by December 1 of this year, which leaves very little time for what's sure to be a lot of work. To help make your work a little easier, we've compiled several resources (including a white paper that provides guidance on classifying and compensating coaches and athletic trainers under the new rule) and are working on several different types of programming to help you with your FLSA challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

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.

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, nonprofits, small businesses and employees who would be adversely affected by the proposed rule change.

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 in D.C. 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 Budget, DOL and the president’s Domestic Policy Council.

DOL Issues Final “Persuader” Rule

April 14, 2016 9:35 pm

The rule expands reporting requirements for employers facing union organizing campaigns on almost any communication with employees about unions if a consultant or attorney has assisted the employer. Under the rule, employers and consultants or attorneys will need to file extensive forms detailing their agreements, salaries paid and any other clients if they participated in "persuader activity." Failure to comply with the filing requirements could result in criminal sanctions.

Overtime Takes Center Stage at Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Field Hearing

March 31, 2016 1:34 pm

At a recent hearing to discuss how current government regulations impact workers and job creators in Michigan, CUPA-HR board member and associate vice president for HR at University of Michigan Laurita Thomas provided a clear snapshot of the impact the DOL's overtime proposal will have on higher ed as she explained that the rule will impact 3,100 UMich employees, with implementation costs as high as $34 million.

FLSA Overtime Final Rule Submitted to OMB

March 15, 2016 4:46 pm

On March 14, DOL submitted the final rule for “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is required to review all draft and final standards as well as all regulatory actions before implementation. This is the final step before the overtime rule is published — which could be as early as May.

Your Efforts on Overtime Regulations Make an Impact in Washington

March 9, 2016 10:15 am

During a recent congressional committee hearing, U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop raised the issue of the DOL’s proposed change in overtime rules. Citing information he had received from a number of small colleges in Michigan, as well as statistics from several other states, Bishop shared several concerns specific to higher education (he cited the same cost figures that CUPA-HR supplied to DOL in our comments on the rule as well as a letter CUPA-HR championed on behalf of public-sector employers).

HR and General Counsel – Working Together to Navigate Complex Legal Issues on Campus

March 1, 2016 3:45 pm

ADA, FLSA, FMLA, Title IX, Title VII, whistleblower protections, EEO, antidiscrimination … the list goes on (and on and on!) of regulations and legislation that have implications for the workplace and workforce. And a large part of HR’s job is to manage that risk and ensure compliance with those laws. Rather than going it alone, wouldn’t it be nice to have an ally in that work? If your HR department doesn’t have a partnership with your institution’s legal counsel, both offices are missing out on a mutually beneficial working relationship.

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 most-attended webinar in CUPA-HR history, reinforcing that the topic is obviously top of mind for all of us in higher ed HR. During the webinar, we polled participants to help us more fully understand the challenges the changes would create. So what are our top concerns?

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, the American Council on Education and 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 on campus. The meeting was a follow-up to a January 2015 conversation wherein we provided input to the Treasury and the IRS on how institutions could calculate hours for resident assistants, undergraduate and graduate research assistants and other student workers whose hours are problematic to track.

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

February 10, 2016 1:14 pm

Our comments address our concerns with the proposal’s failure to adopt incentive limits and reasonable design requirements consistent with those established under the ACA and regulations issued under HIPAA. The comments also oppose any requirement that incentives be available to those who do not participate in employer wellness programs but rather “medically certify” that any issues are under treatment. We also urge the Commission to refrain from any rulemaking regarding electronic storage of records and emphasize the need for a significant amount of time for employers to come into compliance with any new requirements.

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 Vanderbilt University and chair of the CUPA-HR board of directors, represented the association and its members in a panel discussion with other representatives from public-sector academic institutions.

Best Practices in Training and Compliance Around Title IX

February 5, 2016 2:43 pm

light bulbs-300Increasing reports of sexual violence on college campuses across the nation have brought the subject out of the shadows and into the light. What actions can colleges and universities take to curb sexual violence on campus and help create a safe, respectful, collegiate learning and teaching environment?

FLSA Overtime: How, When and Why to Prepare

January 26, 2016 3:25 pm

overtime_blogStressed about the pending changes to the FLSA's overtime regulations? You're not alone! Higher ed institutions across the country are taking proactive steps to prepare for the coming changes to the "white collar" exemption. Read on to find out how you can begin to build your compliance strategy now.

NLRB’S Joint Employer Ruling Appealed

January 25, 2016 4:45 pm

Browning-Ferris Industries has appealed the NLRB’s 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. This new standard creates additional liabilities for private-sector employers entering into contracts for services.

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

January 6, 2016 1:11 pm

Visa-applicationThe proposal seeks to provide certainty to U.S. employers seeking to retain high-skilled temporary workers who are sponsored for lawful permanent residence by allowing H-1B nonimmigrant workers to extend their nonimmigrant status, beyond the initial six-year limit of the H-1B program, in three-year intervals.

DOL’s Persuader Rule Nears Fruition

December 15, 2015 4:29 pm

unionAfter years of delay, DOL's “persuader” rule is inching closer to publication. On December 7, DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, taking the final step before a rule can be published, sent a proposed final rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The rule would increase reporting requirements for employers facing union organizing campaigns on almost any communication with employees about unions if a consultant or attorney has assisted the employer. Previously scheduled to be finalized in December 2015, the rule is now slated for finalization early next year.

Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda Released

November 30, 2015 9:28 am

capitolhillThe agenda provides the public with a detailed glimpse into the regulatory policies and priorities under consideration by 59 federal departments, agencies and commissions, sets target dates for each agency and sub-agency’s regulatory actions, and provides insight into which issues will be a short-term focus. Included in the agenda are several issues CUPA-HR has been keeping an eye on, including the revisions to the FLSA's overtime regulations, the persuader rule, electronic reporting of injury and illness reports , the Fair pay and Safe Workplaces executive order and more.

A Call to Action Regarding Proposed Changes to the FLSA Overtime Rule

November 13, 2015 9:00 am

CUPA-HR’s government relations team is fielding questions every day from members, higher education associations and government affairs departments at institutions across the country about the DOL’s proposed overtime rule — when the rule might be released, guidance on how to prepare for it and whether or not there is anything they can do to convince DOL to reconsider the proposal. To this last question, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here's how.

OSHA Takes Steps to Finalize Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

October 29, 2015 12:30 pm

work injuryThe rule would require most employers to electronically report injury and illness recordkeeping data to OSHA on a quarterly basis and would create a searchable website where OSHA would make employers' data publicly available.

D.C. Council Introduces Paid Family Leave Plan

October 22, 2015 11:30 am

Paid-Family-Leave-blogAs paid family leave becomes an increasingly important topic on the national stage and a major issue in the presidential election, with Democrat and Republican contenders alike advocating for family leave policies, the Washington D.C. Council recently introduced legislation that would provide D.C. workers and residents with up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave every two years.

2015 Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update for Higher Ed

October 20, 2015 10:29 am

Ulman_2015UpdateIn his Washington update at the 2015 CUPA-HR Annual Conference, CUPA-HR Chief Government Relations Officer Josh Ulman focused on three looming compliance issues. Read the overview here, and be sure to watch the full session recording (available to CUPA-HR members only).

Efforts to Repeal the “Cadillac” Tax Ramp Up

October 7, 2015 9:21 am

money signOver the last month we have seen a significant uptick in congressional activity related to the repeal of the “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The tax, which is part of President Obama’s healthcare law, would impose a 40 percent levy on healthcare plans for any coverage cost above certain thresholds.

4 Tips for Successfully Completing the Form I-9 and E-Verify Process

September 29, 2015 4:00 pm

Higher ed HR professionals are challenged with completing the I-9 and E-Verify process for all institutional employees, from faculty to staff and everyone in between. Although the process seems routine, simple errors can lead to government fines of up to $1,100 per employee. At the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2015, presenters Dan Schropp, director of university payroll operations for the University of Iowa; Helga Yunker, office manager of HR and payroll for George Mason University; Amy Peck, shareholder for Jackson Lewis, P.C.; and Chad Whittenberg, senior director of product management for Equifax Workforce Solutions shared some tips for successfully (and compliantly!) completing the Form I-9 and E-Verify process.

DOL Publishes Final Rule on Pay Transparency for Federal Contractors

September 22, 2015 11:29 am

money and question markOn September 11, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its final rule implementing President Obama’s April 8, 2014 Executive Order 13665 – Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information. The “pay transparency” rule, as it is known, prohibits federal contractors from discriminating or retaliating against employees and potential employees who share information about their compensation and goes into effect on January 11, 2016.

NLRB Expands Joint-Employer Standard Impacting Contractor/Subcontractor Relationships

September 15, 2015 9:10 am

unionOn August 27, the NLRB issued its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, vastly expanding the standard for determining when two separate entities are considered “joint employers” of a group of employees under the National Labor Relations Act. The 3-2 decision ruled that the waste recycling company Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) is a “joint employer” with the staffing firm it hired, Leadpoint Business Services, to run one of its recycling plants, and required BFI to negotiate with the Teamsters union at that facility.

President Signs Executive Order on Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

September 10, 2015 11:51 am

sick leave calendarOn September 7, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring federal contractors to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The EO will apply to new federal contracts beginning in 2017 and will allow employees working on federal contracts to earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Workers will be able to use their accrued leave for a variety of personal health-related reasons, to care for family members, and for necessary absences due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Trending Topics From the Knowledge Center – September 2015

September 4, 2015 1:26 pm

higher-education-hr-newsKnowledge Center content manager Patti Couger regularly seeks out news briefs and timely resources to share on the Knowledge Center home page. Topics highlighted this quarter include paid time off, unpaid interns, diversity, equity and inclusion, and changes to the FLSA's overtime regulations.

Update on CUPA-HR Comments and Activities on DOL’s Overtime Proposal

September 1, 2015 3:11 pm

Dol_sealOn Friday, September 4, CUPA-HR will file comments on the DOL's proposed changes to the regulations governing overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In our comments, we plan to ask DOL to lower the proposed salary threshold and to abandon the proposed automatic annual updates in favor of a 5-9 year reconsideration of the threshold made through notice and comment rulemaking that complies with the Administrative Procedure Act. We will also request that DOL provide the public with notice of the new level at least one year prior to implementation and will argue for a phase-in of the new salary level.

CUPA-HR Submits Comments on “Blacklisting” Regulations

August 27, 2015 1:56 pm

capitolhillOn August 26, CUPA-HR submitted joint comments with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in response to the government's proposed “blacklisting” rule for federal government contractors, which was published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2015. The proposal would require federal contractors and those bidding on contracts to disclose, on a biannual basis, any actions where a state or federal agency alleges or a court or administrative agency finds the contractor or bidder or one of their subcontractors violated federal or state labor and employment laws within the last three years.

NLRB Issues Long-Awaited Decision on Northwestern University Football Players

August 19, 2015 2:50 pm

nlrbOn August 17, the National Labor Relations Board issued a unanimous decision dismissing a representation petition filed by a group of Northwestern University football players seeking to unionize — a landmark decision in a case which had the potential to significantly alter the makeup of college athletics.

ENDA Replaced by Broader Equality Act

August 4, 2015 9:40 am

equalflagThe Equality Act seeks to build upon the momentum gathered in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic decision affirming the legality of same-sex marriage by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally-protected classes. The bill would expand the scope of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Service Act to make discrimination against LGBT individuals unlawful under federal law.

House Committee Holds Hearing on DOL’s Overtime Proposal

July 28, 2015 10:31 am

overtimeOn July 23, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on the impact of the DOL’s proposed changes to the rules governing federal overtime regulations under the FLSA. Witnesses testified on the possible impact of the proposal on workplace opportunity and flexibility for workers and budgets and operations for nonprofits, businesses and other employers.

DOL Issues New Guidance on Misclassification of Independent Contractors

July 23, 2015 9:40 am

capitol-building-featuredOn July 15, the DOL issued new guidance in the form of an Administrator’s Interpretation on employee and independent contractor classification under the FLSA. The guidance attempts to clarify FLSA's definitions of "employee" and "employment" while also shedding additional light on its process for determining whether an independent contractor has been misclassified.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: First Amendment

July 22, 2015 9:23 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRWhether "HR legal expert" is already on your list of mastered HR competencies or you're working to get it there, here’s a real court case that will test your HR legal knowledge and risk management acumen on the First Amendment. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: Campus Cop Love Triangle — Goff v. Kutztown University & Its Police Chief (E.D. Pa., 10/22/14)

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Age Discrimination

July 1, 2015 9:07 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre you looking to add "HR legal expert" to your resume? Here’s a real court case that will 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: "New Blood" Age Discrimination — Allain v. University of Louisiana System (W.D. La., 1/22/15)

5 Ways to Prepare for the NLRB’s New Election Process

June 17, 2015 11:00 am

people in the shape of a handshake. Given new procedures and the speed with which an election can take place, private-sector colleges and universities need to not only understand the new rules, but also have a plan for adhering to the new requirements and timelines. In a CUPA-HR webinar, Jonathan C. Fritts, a partner at Morgan Lewis, covered the key changes in detail and shared these five takeaways.

CUPA-HR Testifies Before Joint Committee on ACA Issues

June 3, 2015 3:13 pm

Carroll_060315_300x189 Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s employer mandate does not specifically exclude most student workers, it poses a dilemma for colleges and universities. This issue was highlighted in CUPA-HR’s testimony on June 3 before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee regarding the impact of the ACA on colleges and universities.

Tips for Creating a Social Media Policy

May 6, 2015 1:22 pm

social_mediaWith new social media channels popping up almost daily and the many campus constituencies using social media, developing a comprehensive social media policy is an imperative for higher ed institutions. But what should that policy include, and how should it be framed in order to withstand scrutiny from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)?

How to Ensure Compliance With INA’s Antidiscriminatory Provisions

May 4, 2015 4:51 pm

iStock_000019769417_300pxThe Department of Justice has been increasing steadily its enforcement of the antidiscrimination provisions under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). By understanding the regulations and enforcement trends and putting in place clear policies and procedures, employers can ensure compliance.

NLRB Issues Guidance on Employee Handbook Language

March 25, 2015 9:40 am

employee-handbookThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s general counsel issued a report last week that offers specific examples of lawful and unlawful language used in employee handbooks in several key categories, including rules on confidentiality and employee conduct.

CUPA-HR Testifies Before House Subcommittee on E-Verify Legislation

February 5, 2015 4:45 pm

e-verify-blogOn February 4, CUPA-HR had the opportunity to testify in support of the Legal Workforce Act before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Jill Blitstein, international employment manager at North Carolina State University, testified on behalf of CUPA-HR. In her testimony, Blitstein shared her experiences with e-verify and CUPA-HR’s support for the bill. She also offered several suggestions CUPA-HR has for improving the Legal Workforce Act, which are intended to make it easier for colleges and universities to complete the verification process and maintain compliance.

CUPA-HR Meets With Treasury and IRS on Treatment of Student Workers Under ACA’s Employer Mandate

January 21, 2015 11:16 am

Dept-of-Treasury-300As questions continue to swirl around the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, especially as it relates to student workers in colleges and universities, CUPA-HR met with the Treasury Department and the IRS to discuss challenges and possible solutions. At the January 15 meeting, CUPA-HR chief government relations officer Josh Ulman and Barbara Carroll, CUPA-HR chair-elect and head of human resources at North Carolina State University, offered the higher ed employer perspective on the issue, discussing with Treasury and IRS officials the difficulty in tracking student workers’ hours and the significant costs associated with offering those students that are already offered coverage through student health plans enrollment in an employer-sponsored plan.

Regulatory Agenda Released – Fall 2014

December 2, 2014 4:10 pm

Capitol_Building_Full_View-300 On Friday, November 21, the federal administration released its biannual unified regulatory agenda. Agendas are released twice a year, generally in April and November. They are designed to provide the public with information on regulations the federal government is currently considering and to prioritize action items for the coming year. The agenda released Friday sets target dates for each agency and sub-agency's regulatory actions, from the beginning to the end of the regulatory process, and provides insight into which issues will be a short-term focus for the agency. It also includes long-term action items to allow relevant parties to begin considering the impact these regulations may have.

Changes to Clery Act Require More Reporting, Increased Training Around Sexual Violence on Campus

November 11, 2014 10:04 am

Stop CrimeOn October 20, the U.S. Department of Education published the final regulations for the Violence Against Women Act amendments to the Clery Act. The regulations, which go into effect on July 1, 2015, expand the rights afforded to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Institutions should be preparing now for the new reporting and training requirements mandated by the law.

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update for Higher Ed

October 16, 2014 12:55 pm

IMG_5431 (800x533) How did Chief Government Affairs Officer Josh Ulman start off his Washington Update session at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference last month? With politics. There’s no getting around it. Elections, including several competitive congressional races, are right around the corner; and the outcomes of those races are bound to have an impact on both legislation and regulation in the months ahead. Ulman also covered issues concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), labor-management relations and several executive orders.

Student Workers and the ACA’s Employer Mandate

September 22, 2014 10:27 am

iStock_000011272712-300x200As the date draws near for the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate to take effect, questions and uncertainty still abound — especially for higher ed, where the definition of “full-time employee” isn’t as clear cut as it is in many sectors. Since the employer mandate was announced, CUPA-HR has been seeking clarification and guidance on several of the questions surrounding it as they relate to the unique environment of higher ed – How should student workers and adjunct hours be calculated? What constitutes student employment? Are student workers exempt from the mandate?

Higher Ed Associations Submit Comments on Campus Accountability and Safety Act

September 10, 2014 10:19 am

legislationIn the letter to the Senate HELP Committee, we made recommendations around several provisions in the proposed bill, including the role and responsibilities of confidential advisors, the purpose and use of climate surveys, the scope of required memoranda of understanding with local law enforcement agencies, Title IX and Clery Act training and reporting requirements and others.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Race Discrimination

August 28, 2014 3:09 pm

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre 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: College Tennis Coach Race Discrimination Claim — Minnis v. Bd of Supervisors of Louisiana State University (MD La.,No 3:13-CV-00005, 12/4/13)

4 Essential I-9 Resources for Higher Ed

July 24, 2014 12:36 pm

I-9 The devil is in the detail, and nowhere is that more apparent than with Form I-9 compliance. Civil enforcement of I-9 requirements often focuses on form over substance, which means paperwork errors can result in fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars even without evidence of the employment of unlawful immigrants.

Throw in the mergers that have taken place in higher education over the past few years, and the volume of paperwork (and potential for error) can increase substantially. Carolyn Knight-Cole, associate vice president of human resources operations at Rutgers University, recently found herself with thousands of I-9s to review and, in some cases, reverify after her institution merged with another.