EverythingPeople This Week!

Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Quick Hits - April 10, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

MPML 'Adopt and Amend' question to be heard by Michigan Supreme Court:  The Supreme Court announced it will hold oral arguments in July on the requests from the House and Senate for an advisory opinion regarding the constitutionality of the adopt and amend strategy used last session on the minimum wage and paid sick time laws (MPML).  House and Senate Republicans sought an advisory opinion from the court after Democratic Sen. Stephanie Chang of Detroit requested an opinion from Attorney General Dana Nessel. Former Attorney General Frank Kelley issued an opinion that adopting and amending in the same session was unconstitutional. Last session, former Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion saying it was constitutional, reversing the earlier opinion.  The court is requesting briefs from members of the House and Senate on whether the court should exercise its discretion in providing an advisory opinion and whether the constitution allows the legislature to adopt an initiative petition and then amend it in the same legislative session. It will hold oral arguments on the issue on July 17, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.  Source:  Gongwer 4/3/19

Update on the fight on Component 2 of the EEO-1 report:  Two amici briefs representing a broad range of the business community was submitted to  the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia describing in detail the impossibility of employers coming into quick compliance with the new EEO-1 form, also known as “Component 2,” of which the U.S. Chamber’s brief specifically requested at least an 18-month delay.  The arguments were essentially that EEOC was not prepared for the filing of Component 2, the business community had relied in good faith on representations by the EEOC that the operative document was the prior EEO-1 form, and that very real practical and operational obstacles made compliance with the new form in the near future virtually impossible.  The court had not yet heard from the business community as to the difficulties in compiling the information necessary to meet this new, exponentially increased, data reporting requirement, and hence this amicus brief was particularly important.  While the EEOC has now indicated that it could be ready to implement the new form by September 30, 2019, its submission was characterized by many caveats, and we argued that the agency itself admitted it could meet that deadline only through retaining an outside contractor in excess of three million dollars, could not guarantee the confidentiality of  the data, and other qualifiers.  As a side note, Annette Tyman, the principal writer of the U.S. Chamber brief will be presenting at ASE's Employment Law Conference later this year on August 15th, and John Fox, the principal writer of the DirectEmployers brief, will be presenting at the AA/EEO & Diversity Conference on December 12th. Source:  Seyfarth Shaw 4/4/19

Business community pushing for quorum at the EEOC:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 29 other business organizations are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to do everything in his power to get Trump administration nominee Janet Dhillon confirmed and restore a quorum at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In their Tuesday letter, the organizations — which included the National Restaurant Association and American Bankers Association — pressed McConnell, R-Ky., to advance Dhillon’s nomination, saying that her confirmation was essential for establishing a quorum at the agency, allowing it to address “critical matters.” “The lack of a quorum threatens to greatly affect our organizations and their members,” the business groups said. “The inability of the commission to act has had grave consequences for employers and other stakeholders.”  In particular, a quorum could stop the current fight over Component 2 of the EEO-1 report.  Source:  Law360 4/5/19

Goldman Sachs is committing to hiring individuals with autism:   Goldman Sachs announced it is launching a new program to hire more people with autism in an effort to boost diversity. In a memo to employees last week, the bank said that it’s launching an eight-week paid internship for individuals with neurological differences, including autism, dyslexia, developmental disorders, mental health conditions, and ADHD. Goldman said it's partnering with leading neurodiversity experts to help them identify candidates and prepare them for the program.  The individuals chosen will receive "on-the-desk" work experience as well as mentoring opportunities and professional development training at the firm. "Applications for the 2019 program will open this summer, and I encourage you to share the initiative with people who identify as neurodiverse and may be interested in learning more. The program will begin in the U.S., with plans to expand to other regions in the future," the company told employees.  Source: Fox Business 4/2/19

Passwords are costly:  A recent research study sponsored by Yubico and conducted by Ponemon Institute, entitled The 2019 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report, surveyed 1,761 IT and IT security practitioners in four countries.  They sought “to understand the beliefs and behaviors surrounding password management and authentication practices for individuals both in the workplace and at home…to understand if these beliefs and behaviors align, and why or why not.”  The conclusion of the report is “that despite the increasing concern regarding privacy and protection online and a greater understanding of the best security practices, individuals and businesses are still falling short. Both parties are in dire need of solutions that will offer both added security and convenience.”  According to the report, respondents spend an average of 12.6 minutes each week or 10.9 hours per year entering and/or resetting passwords. The report states that this results in a productivity and labor loss of $5.2 million annually per company.  Source:  Robinson & Cole LLP 3/28/19

Unpaid intern not eligible for Title VII or ADA protections:  An unpaid hospital intern whose internship was terminated early was unable to establish she was an "employee" protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled (Sacchi v. IHC Health Services, Inc., No. 18-4027 (10th Cir. Mar. 26, 2019)). The intern received no payment or benefits, but argued she was an employee because internship would allow her to satisfy a requirement relating to her professional certification and would help provide her a pathway to employment. The 10th Circuit rejected the intern's claim that she met the "threshold remuneration" test, a standard that can render an unpaid position protected by federal law. Because the claimed benefits were attenuated, not provided directly by the hospital, and did not resemble traditional employment benefits like a pension or insurance, she was not an employee, it concluded.  Source:  HR Dive 4/2/19

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