In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board has relentlessly attacked common sense policies found in many employee handbooks. I have been hoping that the U.S. Court of Appeals would correct these egregious decisions. I am delighted to report that, on July 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued an opinion in a case involving T-Mobile that did just that.MORE
As previously reported, North Carolina newspapers have been fighting to maintain the tremendous advantage they have enjoyed in Workers' Compensation legislation for the last 20 years, in the form of a legislative presumption of independent contractor status for newspaper carriers.
At the very end of the legislative session on June 28, a modified version of H.B. 205 passed in both Houses. This bill would have removed the legislative presumption. Fortunately, on July 17, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the new legislation.MORE
More than 20 press freedom organizations have joined together to launch the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a new nonpartisan website dedicated to documenting press freedom abuses across the United States.MORE
On Friday, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would increase its pursuit of investigations into unauthorized disclosures. In his statement, he said he would also revisit internal DOJ guidelines that address how and when federal prosecutors can use subpoenas and other tools to obtain the records of journalists as a part of these investigations.MORE
The DOL is inviting comments on the 2016 revisions to white collar exemption regulations. Here are specific questions that will be addressed.MORE
On Monday, July 17, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed legislation that would have removed the independent contractor presumption that the state's newspaper industry has enjoyed for the last 20 years. As previously reported, the presumption was removed on June 28 when a modified version of House Bill 205 passed in a midnight session of the Legislature.MORE
On June 28 President Trump formally nominated both Marvin Kaplan and William Emmanuel to fill the two Republican vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. At the present time, the NLRB has a 2-to-1 pro-union, Democratic majority. These two nominees, once confirmed, will then shift the Board to a 3-to-2 Republican majority.MORE
Passage of a new bill removes a tremendous advantage North Carolina newspapers have enjoyed in Worker's Compensation litigation for nearly two decades.
The bill removes a legislative presumption of independent contractor status for newspaper carriers under the state's Workers' Compensation law.MORE
The Lexington Urban County Council approved an ordinance recently that would require businesses to put unsolicited fliers and circulars on doorsteps or mail slots or face fines.
The 9-5 vote came despite a warning from the Herald-Leader that it would sue the merged government if the ordinance was passed.
Rufus Friday, president and publisher of the Herald-Leader, said after the vote that he will "aggressively defend the Lexington Herald-Leader's First Amendment rights, which does include any infringement on the press' distribution rights."MORE
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch does not have an extensive history of cases involving free speech, free press and freedom of information issues, but the opinions he authored or joined during his more than 10 years on the Tenth Circuit that do touch upon those issues reflect the application of well-established First Amendment principles in a consistent way, according to a report on his news-media related decisions released by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.MORE
Very recently, a daily newspaper in Tupelo, Miss., received a determination from the Mississippi Employment Security Department that its newspaper carriers are employees. The decision totally ignores the exclusion granted by the legislature in 2012. Needless to say, the newspaper vigorously protested, appealed this determination, emphasizing the provision. The State of Mississippi backed off completely, agreeing that the newspaper carriers are not eligible for benefits and the publishing company is not liable for unemployment taxes or payments made to newspaper carriers.More
This writer and many others predicted that the Department of Labor, under the leadership of Secretary Acosta would publish a new proposed rule in March 2019. The new proposed rule would increase the salary level threshold that must be met in order to be overtime exempt under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The new proposed rule, announced March 7, will increase that threshold from $23,660 per year (or $455 per week) to $35,308 per year (or $679 per week). This new threshold is far less than the threshold proposed by the Obama administration that was permanently enjoined nationwide by a federal court in Texas.More
On Jan. 25, the National Labor Relations Board, in a three-to-one decision, ruled that Super Shuttle drivers at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport were independent contractors and not employees.
This case is especially good news for the newspaper industry. The board in the new Super Shuttle case specifically referenced its decision in St. Joseph News-Press, a 2005 decision. In that decision, the NLRB found that home delivery carriers, single copy carriers and bundle haulers were all independent contractors.More