This week, we’re detailing the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) request for Starbucks to reopen shuttered stores; how big tech is retreating from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs; and why employers may start scrapping college requirements for certain positions in 2024.

Video: YouTube

Podcast: Amazon Music / Audible, Apple Podcasts, Audacy, Deezer, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pandora, Player FM, Spotify.

NLRB Wants Shuttered Stores Reopened

In its continued effort to increase enforcement, the NLRB is seeking what many would consider an extreme remedy by forcing the reopening of previously shuttered Starbucks stores. Starbucks argues that it closed the stores as "a standard course of business," though Starbucks workers allege the company closed stores to quash union activity. An administrative law judge will decide the matter this summer.

Big Tech Retreats from DEI Programs

Three years after pledging to increase equitable hiring and promotions, tech companies have cut DEI staffers, downsized programs, and slashed partnerships with some third-party DEI vendors. By mid-2023, DEI position job postings had declined 44 percent year over year. These reductions come amid increasing political and legal pressure on DEI initiatives, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling last term.

Employers Scrap College Requirements

According to a report from Intelligent.com, 45 percent of employers surveyed said they plan to eliminate bachelor's degree requirements for some positions in 2024. Employers cite several reasons for this decision, including wanting to encourage a more diverse workforce, increasing the number of applicants, and recognizing the value of experience as compared to education. One issue to watch for is the potential effect on the availability of the professional exemption from federal and state overtime laws for some of these roles.

Other Highlights

New York State Follows New York City in Enacting Freelance Worker Protections
Insights
Jeffrey H. Ruzal, Kamil Gajda, Jessica Hajdukiewicz

Reminder for New Jersey Employers: Review Employment Law Updates and Poster Requirements for 2024
Insights
Maxine Neuhauser; Eric I. Emanuelson, Jr.

The New Year’s Eve Ball Is Dropping, and New York’s Salary Thresholds Are Rising
Wage and Hour Defense Blog
Paul DeCamp, Alexandria Adkins, Jessica Hajdukiewicz

State and Local Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2024
Wage and Hour Defense Blog
Tammy Tran, Alexandria Adkins

About Employment Law This Week

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