New Washington, DC Wage Law with Sweeping Changes In Effect This Week

On February 26, 2015, the Amended DC Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “Act”) goes into effect and imposes several new obligations on Washington, DC employers.  The Act makes sweeping changes to notice and recordkeeping requirements and imposes heavy penalties on employers that violate the Act. The following describes several obligations of which DC employers should be aware: Pay Notice Requirements Within 90 days of the Act’s effective date, or May 27, 2015, DC employers must furnish a wage notice to . . . Read More

Holiday Office Party Etiquette: Don’t Dance on the Table

Everyone loves a good holiday party. It is a time to unwind with co-workers and show appreciation for another year of hard work. But if you are the boss, you may have heard about or been a part of a holiday party gone awry and are terrified of the possible legal ramifications. The first issue that usually comes to mind is alcohol and driving. And while you should be concerned about whether your state has a “social host” law that . . . Read More

First Zombies, Now Ebola, then What? Preparing for Communicable Diseases in the Workplace

Oh the good ol’ days, when employees were awaiting a fictional zombie apocalypse and getting them to pay attention to prevention and preparedness was easy thanks to zombie animation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . However, the coming of Ebola has eclipsed not only zombies but common cold and flu preparedness. It is only natural that Ebola seems much more menacing to us than the flu or other common illnesses, but for employers the threats and risks associated with deadly diseases such as Ebola, HIV, and Hepatitis or more . . . Read More

Social Media Strikes Back! The Impact of Off-Hours Communications with Employees on Claims of Discrimination

How many of us have stared at a Facebook friend request from a boss or co-worker and wondered if clicking “accept” was a good decision? I know I’ve wondered if I really want my boss to know how many tattoos my sister has or what festival I spent the day at on Saturday instead of churning out more work. I’m willing to bet you’ve wondered something similar and for good reason. There is a massive amount of information stored on . . . Read More

Potential Blacklisting of Government Contractors Based on Labor Law Violations

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13673 , which will require companies bidding on federal contracts to disclose to agency contracting officers any violations (whether by administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment) of various federal wage and hour, discrimination, safety and health, labor and other laws (such as OSHA and workers’ compensation laws), as well as equivalent state laws during the previous three years. In addition to violations, the Executive Order requires prospective contractors to disclose . . . Read More

SCA H&W Rate Increases to $4.02 per hour Effective July 22, 2014

The prevailing health and welfare (H&W) fringe benefit rate was increased effective July 22, 2014 to $4.02 per hour, with the exception that the benefit rate in Hawaii will be $1.66. The new H&W rate  applies to “all invitation for bids opened, or other service contracts awarded on or after July 22, 2014.” The contracting agency must include a new wage determination reflecting the new H&W rate to trigger the contractor’s obligation to pay the higher H&W rate. The contracting . . . Read More

EEOC Issues New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in a split decision, issued  new guidelines  regarding its enforcement of pregnancy discrimination laws. Although the guidance should be carefully reviewed, among the most notable changes is that the EEOC now interprets the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees who have work restrictions due to pregnancy even if the employee does not qualify as disabled or is not regarded as disabled under the Americans with . . . Read More

Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Against Production of Internal Investigations of Fraud

By Katie Flood If you have been worrying about a potential issue related to an audit or False Claims Act (FCA) complaint, but have been nervous to proceed with an internal investigation in case those results should come back damning and later be disclosed a court case, there is good news from the DC Circuit.  In a petition filed in the case In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., DC Circuit No. 14-5055 (June 27, 2014), the DC Circuit overturned the . . . Read More

Minimum Wage for Contractor Employees on Fast Track to Your Contracts

At some point in the past few months, you may have heard about Executive Order 13658 (EO), issued on February 12, 2014, wherein President Barack Obama establishes a $10.10 per hour minimum wage for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors by January 2015, adjusted annually thereafter by the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. There is a disagreement about the actual impact the EO will have since most federal contractors and subcontractors subject to the provisions . . . Read More

FAR Amended to Clarify Contractor Responsibilities Pursuant to the Defense Base Act

By Nichole DeVries The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA issued a final rule on May 30, 2014, which amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify contractor and subcontractor responsibilities to obtain workers’ compensation coverage, or to qualify as a self-insurer under the terms of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), as extended by the Defense Base Act (DBA). The most significant change to the FAR impacts the employer’s responsibility for carrying out DBA . . . Read More