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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 8, 2021 at 12:30 PM

In a year marked by federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies managed to finalize some non-pandemic legal developments in 2020: the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule and joint employer test both went into effect, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a handful of Obama-era precedents. With Joe Biden’s election as president in November 2020, the coming four years will likely bring some reversal of the impact of the Trump administration, particularly on the DOL and NLRB. The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was relatively busy for employment, including a major development for Title VII. Of course, much of the energy and resources of the federal agencies overseeing employment laws were spent on providing guidance to employers related to COVID-19 issues. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2021.

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By Heather Mehta on July 7, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Contraceptives_iStock_000029626228SmallIn Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court struck down the contraceptive mandate as applied to certain for-profit employers.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its regulations require group health plans to cover women’s preventive care without any cost sharing requirements. The Health and Human Services department issued guidelines that included all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods within the definition of preventive services.

In the two cases consolidated in the decision, the plaintiffs were closely held corporations – Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Mardel, and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. – and the Christian families that owned them. The plaintiffs objected to four types of contraceptive methods, which they considered abortifacients.

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By Kathi Chestnut on February 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

ACA Delay_Stethoscope_Flag_iStock_000028144508SmallOn February 10, 2014 the Department of the Treasury issued final regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that delay enforcement of the shared responsibility penalties for mid-size employers until 2016. Mid-size employers are employers with 50-99 full-time employees in the preceding calendar year. Full-time employees consist of employees who work 30 or more hours per week. Previously, in 2013, the Treasury Department delayed enforcement of the penalties for all employers from January 1, 2014 until January 1, 2015.

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