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Navigating the New Norms in Labor & Employment Law

Recap of Tucker’s Spring 2024 Labor and Employment Seminar

On May 22, 2024, our Labor and Employment Practice Group held its annual spring seminar for in-house counsel and HR professionals to discuss the evolving standards of workplace law. A key theme of the seminar, moderated by Albert Lee, was exploring how labor and employment law has changed since the “pre-pandemic” days–not through new laws passed by Congress but primarily by aggressive action from Executive Branch agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and National Labor Relations (NLRB). Because of the unique way these regulatory changes are enacted, most of these agencies’ rulemakings are currently the subject of legal challenges that could prevent some or all of the rules from taking effect. Not only that, but with 2024 being an election year, it’s possible that all these changes could be swiftly reversed with a change in President, which could leave employers’ heads spinning for the next 12 months.

               A summary of some of the key issues discussed at the conference is below:

  • The FTC’s Ban on Non-Competes: Jeremy Farrell discussed the FTC’s final rule, which–subject to a few exceptions–prohibits the use and enforcement of non-compete agreements with employees, independent contractors, and other sorts of workers. The rule, currently slated to take effect on September 4, 2024, has been challenged in multiple lawsuits, and the court presiding over the lead case is expected to decide by July 3 whether to stay the rule before its effective date. See this article for more information about the FTC’s proposed rule. 
  • DOL’s New Overtime Rule: Albert Lee and Matt McKinney discussed the DOL’s latest proposed raises to the salary level threshold, which could make more than four million workers eligible for overtime pay. See this article for a summary of the proposed changes and the recently-filed legal challenges.  
  • Expanded Role of the NLRB: Bob McTiernan explored the increased activity of the federal labor board, including enhanced protections for non-unionized workers, expanded remedies for unfair labor practices, and new election rules.
  • EEOC Regulations Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Ashley Puchalski discussed the agency’s lengthy regulations implementing the PWFA that are slated to go into effect on June 18, 2024.  
  • EEOC Guidance on Workplace Harassment: Corey Stanford discussed the agency’s new guidance aimed at preventing workplace harassment. The guidance, released on April 29, 2024, deals with a variety of emerging issues in the field, including virtual work environments and protection of LGBTQ+ workers.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the subjects noted above, please feel free to reach out to any of our panelists or your contact at the firm.

May 31, 2024

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