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Department of Labor
2018 Legislative Proposals

The 2018 legislative session is well underway.This year, lawmakers introduced dozens of bills that could impact many different areas of labor and employment law.  For instance, some of these proposals could revise Hawaii law on the following topics:

  • Notice of Work Schedules
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Hiring Practices
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave
  • Pay Secrecy and Transparency
  • Social Media Privacy
  • Workplace TRO’s
  • Independent Contractors
  • Wage Discrimination
  • Minimum Wage
  • Workers Compensation
  • Temporary Disability Insurance

Many of these measures have been heard and passed out by their assigned committees, whereas others may end up on the cutting room floor this week.  The Hawaii Employers Council (“HEC”) will be closely monitoring these bills during the 2018 legislative session.

You can view a listing of bills that HEC will be monitoring here:  2018 Employment Bills Introduced.   An updated list of bills will be issued following the First Crossover deadline.

 
DOL Withdraws Prior Guidance on Joint-Employers

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Labor withdrew a previous Administrative Interpretation regarding when two or more companies can constitute joint-employers for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  For my thoughts on what this means for employers, you can read a write-up by the Pacific Business News here:  Department of Labor withdrawal of joint employment guidance “good news” for employers.

 
Permanent Injunction Issued Against DOL’s Persuader Rule

Earlier this year, I reported that a federal judge in Texas had issued a preliminary nationwide injunction against the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new Persuader Rule.  The DOL’s new rule was problematic because it would have essentially eliminated what is known as the “advice” exemption under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”), which allows attorneys and consultants to assist employers with union matters where there is no direct contact between the attorney/consultant and the company’s employees, without having to report the nature of the consultation.  Under the DOL’s new Persuader Rule, disclosure of such arrangements would have been required.

On November 16, 2016, the same judge converted the preliminary injunction into a permanent nationwide injunction.

At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see how the DOL responds (i.e. appeals).  With the Trump administration taking office in less than two months, it will be interesting to see whether the DOL scales back on some of the initiatives it pushed for during the Obama administration.