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Published on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Quick Hits - July 12, 2017

Number of organizations calling for federal paid sick leave: Some 340 organizations across the U.S. penned a letter to members of Congress urging their members to "commit[] to support a strong, responsible national paid family and medical leave policy and reject harmful alternatives." The letter, dated June 28, was signed by organizations such as the ACLU and major unions, but additionally by the American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, League of Women Voters of the United States, NAACP, Oxfam America, and Paralyzed Veterans of America, among others. It stressed that "any plan be affordable, cost-effective and sustainably funded with new revenue, not with cuts to existing programs. Any plan that fails to meet these tests—and especially one that does so in the context of a budget proposal that would do irreparable damage to the health, nutrition, income stability and well-being of millions of people across the country—is unacceptable." With the myriad of federal, state, and local laws on paid sick leave, it makes sense to have a federal law to harmonize and to have consistency in employers’ policies.  Source: CCH 6/30/17

California has updated transgender regulations: On July 1, 2017, new California regulations take effect that specifically address protections for transgender persons, including equal access to use of facilities, such as restrooms. The new regulations specifically state that it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual who is transitioning, has transitioned, or is perceived to be transitioning.  The transitioning process may involve a number of steps: changes in name and pronoun usage; facility usage; participation in employer-sponsored activities such as sports teams, team-building projects, or volunteering; and undergoing hormone therapy, surgeries, or other medical procedures.  An employer cannot base its treatment of a transitioning employee on completion of a particular step in the transition. The new rules specify that employers must honor an employee’s request to be identified by a preferred gender, name, or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns. An employer can use an employee’s gender or legal name as indicated on a government-issued identification document only if necessary to meet a legally-mandated obligation. Also, employers are prohibited from making inquiries that, directly or indirectly, identify an individual on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.  Source: Dykema Gossett PLLC 6/27/17

William Emanuel appointed to remaining NLRB slot: President Donald Trump tapped Littler Mendelson PC shareholder, William Emanuel, to fill the last remaining vacancy on the five-member National Labor Relations Board, creating a Republican majority that sets the stage for the reversal of a slew of controversial Obama-era rulings. Emanuel, who received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1963, would bring with him decades of labor and employment experience. Besides Littler Mendelson, Emanuel has also practiced at Jones Day, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP.   He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s committee on developing labor law and the Federalist Society’s labor and employment practice group executive committee.  Moreover, Emanuel has written extensively on issues concerning the National Labor Relations Act, including as a contributing editor of “The Developing Labor Law,” a leading treatise on the NLRA.  Source: Law360 6/27/17

Janet Dhillon is named to be next EEOC chair:  President Donald Trump has selected Burlington Stores Inc. general counsel, Janet Dhillon, to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and take over as its chair.  Dhillon, who began her legal career by spending 13 years at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, will be nominated to serve a term that expires on July 1, 2022. The five-member commission currently has one vacancy, with a second due to open up shortly when Commissioner Jenny Yang’s term expires next month. Commissioner Victoria Lipnic was named acting chair in January, shortly after Trump’s inauguration.  Prior to her time at Burlington, Dhillon served as executive vice president and general counsel at JC Penney Company Inc., where she oversaw all facets of the company's legal affairs and government relations strategies, according to her LinkedIn page. She exited the company in March 2015.  Dhillon also previously held various in-house counsel roles at U.S. Airways Group Inc. and obtained her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1991.  Source: Law360 6/29/17

Working into retirement:  EBRI’s Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) has consistently found a big gap between workers who expect to work for pay in retirement and the reality that many retirees actually face.  Specifically, the RCS has consistently found that workers are far more likely to expect to work for pay in retirement than retirees are to have actually worked. The percentage of workers planning to work for pay in retirement now stands at 79%, compared with just 29% of retirees who report they have worked for pay in retirement. Almost all retirees who say they worked for pay in retirement in the 2017 RCS give a positive reason for doing so, saying they did so because they wanted to stay active and involved (90%) or enjoyed working (82%). However, they say that financial reasons also played a role in that decision, such as wanting money to buy extras (67%), needing money to make ends meet (42%), a decrease in the value of their savings or investments (23%), or keeping health insurance or other benefits (13%).  With 7,000 baby boomers retiring each day and talent being at a premium, employers may want to consider programs to help their employees work towards and in retirement.  Source: EBRI 7/5/17

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