Washington, DC Lawyers ChapterFriday, September 15, 12:00 PMTony Cheng's Restaurant 619 H Street, N.W. (Gallery Place Metro) Washington, DC 20007
Join us on September 15th for the Washington, DC Lawyers Chapter Luncheon featuring Hon. R. Alexander Acosta, who serves as United States Secretary of the Department of Labor. The cost is $15 for members of the Society and $20 for non-members.
On Wednesday, the Department of Labor published a Request for Information seeking comments from the public on the Obama Administration’s 2016 changes to the overtime exemption regulations which would have required payment of overtime to any employee earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annualized). That regulation was enjoined by the Eastern District of Texas just days before it was to go into effect. Tammy McCutchen, who was Wage and Hour Division Administrator in 2004 when DOL last changed the rules and is a member of the legal team challenging the 2016 regulations, will discuss the RFI, the litigation and the interplay between them.
Tammy D. McCutchen , Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, PC
July 26th will mark the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination of the disabled and provide disability access to public accommodations nationwide, it has also been used throughout the years as the basis for thousands of lawsuits across the country. These lawsuits can sometimes result in financial windfalls for trial attorneys with little to no impact on improving access for the disabled community. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich discussed the strategies his office has employed to ensure this important law is used properly.
On March 24, 2016 the DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) issued the so-called “persuader rule” that would greatly inhibit the ability of businesses to rely on labor experts and the ability of employers to obtain legal advice in responding to union organizing campaigns. For nearly 50 years the DOL has recognized that advice, including legal advice, is excluded from reporting under federal labor law. The new persuader rule would have forced lawyers and law firms that counsel a business on most labor relations matters to disclose not only their work with that client, but also all fees and arrangements for all clients for all labor-relations services. Several lawsuits were filed challenging this rule on statutory and First Amendment grounds. On June 27, 2016, a district court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction enjoining DOL from implementing the new rule. The district court then made that preliminary injunction permanent in November 2016, and DOL has appealed to the Fifth Circuit. While DOL’s appeal is pending, on June 12 DOL issued a proposal to rescind the rule.
Christopher C. Murray, a shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, represents some of the business groups in the Texas litigation who sued to stop the “persuader rule” from taking effect. He provided an update on the current state of play with regard to the litigation and proposed rulemaking.
Christopher C. Murray, Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Moderator: Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center
On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit handed down a divided en banc opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, opening a circuit split on how to interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin[.]" In Hively, the Seventh Circuit became the first Court of Appeals to hold that sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. It held that plaintiff Kimberly Hively could pursue a claim against her former employer, Ivy Tech Community College, for her firing, which she claimed was motivated by her sexual orientation. In doing so, the court opened a split with the Eleventh Circuit, which had held just a few months earlier that employer decisions based on sexual orientation were not discrimination prohibited by Title VII. In addition to paving the way for a potential Supreme Court case to resolve the issue, the Seventh Circuit's decision includes an array of opinions demonstrating different methods of statutory interpretation.
Kenneth A. Klukowski, General Counsel, American Civil Rights Union
Prof. Anthony Michael Kreis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law