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Top labor and employment developments for April 2021

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

In case you missed the in-depth coverage of Labor & Employment Law Daily during April, here’s a recap of some key developments in the L&E community.

  • White House: Executive orders created the “White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment” and raised the minimum wage on federal contracts $15 per hour, while President Biden announced his “American Families Plan.”
  • Federal legislation: The “Paycheck Fairness Act” and “Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act” both cleared the House.
  • Federal regulations: The DOL delayed the effective date of three parts of the its 2020 final tip rule until December 31, which will give it more time to complete a separate proposal to withdraw and re-propose two portions of the tip rule, and conduct another rulemaking to potentially revise its dual jobs regulations.
  • Federal appeals courts: The Ninth Circuit reversed an order preliminarily enjoining enforcement of California’s AB 5 against any motor carrier doing business in the state; and the Eleventh Circuit ruled that ERISA’s fee-shifting provision does not provide for imposing fee awards on attorneys, and that providing workers’ comp benefits cannot absolve an employer of all obligations under the FMLA.
  • NLRB: The Board determined that the “contract-bar” doctrine will remain in place for now, reversed an ALJ’s finding that an employer violated Section 8(a)(1) by instructing witnesses to keep their investigative interviews confidential, and found judicial estoppel unavailable in any Board proceeding where its application could compel the Board to surrender its jurisdiction.
  • Amazon defeats union: The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union lost the election by a 738-1,798 vote, the union has filed 23 objections to the election, and Amazon has turned its attention to employees, emphasizing diversity efforts and boosting wages for 500,000-plus workers.