Following the recent wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations, a wake of news stories emerged about how HR departments have failed to conduct proper investigations into such complaints. Women claimed HR failed to write down their complaints or take any action; one woman claimed HR told her “We don’t want to get involved in this.” The stories asserted that HR “is supposed to protect the company’s interests,” not the employee’s.  But as any experienced employment lawyer or HR manager knows, HR cannot protect the company if it conducts a subpar investigation.

Two of the most common harassment investigation missteps include (1) using investigators that lack sufficient training about how to conduct an investigation, and (2) failing to involve legal counsel at the right time.


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Earlier this month, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor reissued 17 opinion letters from the Bush administration.  The letters provide employers important guidance on a wide-range of issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The reinstatement marks the first publication of opinion letters since the DOL announced last June that it

The Sixth Circuit yesterday outlined narrow circumstances under which an employer can show good faith reliance on a Department of Labor opinion letter in setting wage-hour policy.  In Perry v. Randstad General Partner, No. 16-1010 (6th Cir. Nov. 20, 2017), the Court held the employer did not establish a good faith reliance defense despite undisputed evidence that the employer relied on a 2005 DOL opinion letter in determining that its employees met the administrative exemption of the FLSA. The opinion serves as a note of caution to employers relying on DOL opinion letters for wage-hour policies.

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On Monday this week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2017-07 to provide “second chance opportunities” for the 1.5 million Arizonans with criminal records.  The Order prohibits state agencies from initially questioning job applicants about their criminal records.  Arizona cities Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson already have similar laws for city job applications.

Importantly,

On October 3, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 306, dramatically limiting an employer’s right to defend itself against allegations that it retaliated against an employee for making wage claims.  In short, the law makes it far easier for employees and the California Labor Commissioner to obtain injunctive relief in

On September 28, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to review whether service advisors at auto dealerships qualify as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro.  The employer’s petition asks the Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the employees who advise customers about repair work

On August 31, a Texas federal court struck down the Obama-era Department of Labor rule that significantly increased the salary threshold for the white collar exemptions to overtime pay. The court temporarily enjoined the rule in November 2016, and this latest ruling makes that decision final (save for an unlikely appeal).

The court ruled that

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) held a public hearing on August 8 on its proposed rules under Arizona’s new paid sick time (PST) law of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. Those who attended had an opportunity to ask ICA representatives, including Labor Department Director Steve Welker, questions about the ICA’s interpretation of the law. Here’s a summary of information shared during the hearing:

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On August 2, Arizona’s highest court released a unanimous opinion explaining its March 14 rejection of several constitutional challenges to the state’s new paid sick time (PST) law. You may remember that, upon denying the requested injunction and special action relief, the Court said it would issue a written opinion further explaining its decision in

This week the Democratic Party announced a new economic agenda largely focused on employment issues affecting working families. Entitled: “A Better Deal,” the agenda consists of several proposals that aim to create jobs, raise wages, and lower household costs.

For example, the agenda sets a goal to create 10 million good-paying, full-time jobs within five