HR Headline Roundup for March 25-29, 2019

U.S. House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act, Politico

All 242 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted to send the legislation to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain. As summarized by Politico, the law would “strengthen the penalties for businesses that discriminate against women with unequal wages, and end the practice of pay secrecy in workplaces. It would also bar retaliation by employers against workers who discuss their salaries with other employees.” A recent analysis done for Glassdoor showed that across all sectors, U.S. women earn $0.79 for every dollar their male co-workers earn.

Court: Union Doesn’t Need to Reimburse Mark Janus for Fees It Unconstitutionally Collected, National Review

The March 18, 2019, decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois states that AFSCME acted lawfully during the years in which it collected fees from workers it represented. It is not yet known if this determination will serve as precedent for numerous similar lawsuits.

Justice Department Now Says Courts Should Strike the Entire ACA, Axios

A federal judge in Texas sided with mostly Republic state attorneys general in declaring every provision of the Affordable Care Act void after Congress removed the requirement for most adults to carry health insurance. Justice Department attorneys typically defend every national law. This break from standard practice could radically reshape the health care marketplace for all Americans, as striking the ACA altogether would eliminate rules for insurers to take all applicants regardless of preexisting conditions.

DOL Proposes Update to Regular Rate Requirements Under FLSA, HR Dive

Aiming to clarify which perks an employer can exclude when calculating how much to pay an employee who qualifies to receive overtime, the agency is spelling out a list that includes certain wellness benefits, unused paid leave settlements, reimbursed expenses and discretionary bonuses. The draft rule is online.

Highly Contagious Whooping Cough Found Among Texas Statehouse Staff, Texas Tribune

Tdap vaccines, which are routine but not universal, prevent pertussis. Lawmakers are discussing whether to require legislative pages, in particular, to show proof of vaccination before taking positions in the capitol.