Category Archives: Personnel Issues

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EEOC Giving More Thought to Mental Health Conditions

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) this week issued a publication addressing the rights of employees and applicants with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The publication, entitled “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,” can be found here.… Continue Reading

I’m Dreaming of a Risk-Free Holiday—Tips for Reducing Holiday Party Employment Claims

According to a recent survey, the number one reason employers have their tinsel in a tangle about office holiday parties is how much they cost.[1] But the cost of tinsel and treats is nothing compared to the expense of defending an employment lawsuit. The best way to keep holiday parties within budget—and a business out … Continue Reading

EEOC and DOL Active Last Week: EEO-1 Pay Data Rule and Federal Contractor Paid Sick Leave Rule to Take Effect

Last week, the EEOC issued its final rule regarding pay data to be collected with the annual EEO-1 reports. Covered employers will now need to submit pay data sorted by job group and demographic data in their annual EEO-1 reports. The final rule was implemented with no material changes from the proposed rule first issued earlier this … Continue Reading

New Illinois Law Bans Non-Competes for Low-Wage Workers

A new Illinois law soon will render invalid non-compete agreements with most lower-level employees. Governor Rauner has signed into law the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (IFWA), 5 ILCS 140/1, et. seq., which prohibits private employers from entering into non-compete agreements with “low-wage employees,” defined as $13.00 per hour or less. The law is designed … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Title VII Offers No Protection Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In the midst of a legal, political and cultural landscape expanding the rights of LGBT individuals, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held to prior precedent in reaffirming that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, __ S.Ct. __, No. 15-720 (July 28, 2016).  According … Continue Reading

Temporary Employees—Or Long-Term Bargaining Obligation?

The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has done it again, once more overturning existing precedent. In a decision issued July 11, 2016, the Board abandoned its 2004 Oakwood Care Center decision (343 NLRB 659) which stood for the proposition that a unit comprising the employees of a “supplier” employer (such as a … Continue Reading

Love It or Leave It: Leaves of Absence the Focus of EEOC’s New ADA Accommodation Guidance

It is a rare employer that has not fielded employee requests for time off to address a health concern. The requests can come in many shapes and sizes: weeks or months of leave, a few days of leave, sporadic days off here and there, taking certain hours off each day, rest breaks throughout the day, or any combination thereof. … Continue Reading

Summer Hours: Make Sure Summertime Flexible Hours Work

Summer is almost here! With longer days and warmer nights on the horizon, many employers may be thinking about offering shortened or altered work weeks to their employees.  Such arrangements can boost employee morale, improve productivity and efficiency, and create an attractive recruiting tool. A variety of approaches are available to employers interested in implementing … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Act: DOL’s New Rule Expanding Overtime Eligibility to Take Effect December 1, 2016

If you read most any national news feed this week you are likely to come across the federal government’s unveiling of the U.S. Department of Labor’s final overtime rule (the Final Rule), which approximately doubles the salary basis test for employees to be eligible for the overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). … Continue Reading

Intermittent Leave or Spring Break? Tips to Help Prevent FMLA Abuse

As spring turns into summer and the weather warms up, employers may notice an increase in employee absences. While spotty or unpredictable attendance can cause staffing issues and frustration for employers, certain absences, even irregular ones, may be protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA entitles eligible employees to twelve workweeks … Continue Reading

You May Want to Sit Down for This: California Supreme Court Clarifies Employer’s Duty to Furnish Suitable Seating To Employees

For decades, the California Wage Orders have required employers to provide employees “with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” Following passage of the California Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), so-called “suitable seating cases” have become a common feature of California’s employment litigation landscape, with plaintiffs’ … Continue Reading

New Regulations Implementing California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act Go Into Effect April 1, 2016

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace. Recent amendments to FEHA’s implementing regulations issued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing include significant new obligations for employers, and clarify a range of important issues. The amendments take effect on April 1, 2016. The full text … Continue Reading

This March, Will Employers Bench Office Betting Pools?

March inevitably brings the “madness” associated with the NCAA basketball tournament and office betting pools. Sports gambling is illegal in almost every state, and the NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. The American Gaming Association estimated that $9 billion dollars was wagered illegally on the tournament last year alone, and office … Continue Reading

Franchisor and Franchisee: Two Peas In A Pod (But What Will The NLRB’s Ruling Really Produce?)

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) long-anticipated decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No.186, will dramatically impact business for companies ranging from leased employee staffing arrangements to franchisor-franchisee models. The August 27, 2015 decision just turned 30 years of established precedent on its head. Since the mid-1980’s, the NLRB has followed a standard finding an entity … Continue Reading

California Legislature Issues Urgency Amendments to Paid Sick Leave Law

Only 12 days after California’s paid sick leave law took effect (AB 1522), the legislature amended the law to address some of its more challenging implementation aspects for employers.  The significant amendments include: Alternate Accrual Method AB 1522 required that employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours … Continue Reading

Employment Law Highlights from the Supreme Court’s Current Term

Employment law loomed large on the Supreme Court’s docket this term. In seven highly anticipated cases, the Court interpreted federal employment statutes from Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to FLSA and ERISA. While employers received favorable rulings in some cases, the Court’s decisions regarding religious discrimination and the accommodation of pregnant workers could impact … Continue Reading

Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use Held Permissible Basis to Terminate Employment

On Monday, employers were provided guidance on an issue of increasing interest: whether an employee’s off-duty marijuana use that is lawful under state law can serve as grounds for termination. In Coats v. Dish Network, Case No. 13SC394, the Colorado Supreme Court held that employers may fire employees who test positive for marijuana, even if … Continue Reading
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