A second federal appellate court has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation. The ruling is in line with the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, but at odds with the interpretation by the current administration’s Department of Justice.
With a growing number of states and cities implementing paid sick leave statutes, employers with PTO policies may be wondering whether it still makes sense to bundle different types of time off – sick, personal, and vacation – into a single bucket. The good news is that employers generally do not have to change their policies so long as they … Continue Reading
Recent events have underscored the difficulties employers face in managing diverse workforces in which employees hold a wide-range of political perspectives. The mere discussion of the news of the day can create divisive conflicts, especially since some employees might feel emboldened to express views once thought to be offensive or taboo, while others, in turn, believe they are compelled to … Continue Reading
As we alluded in our “Preparing for the Unknown: Open Enrollment 2018” blog post, employers that are finalizing their employee benefit plan designs in advance of the 2018 plan year would be well-advised to monitor the developments concerning the future of health care reform, the employee wellness program regulations, and mental health benefit enforcement activity.… Continue Reading
After a measles outbreak at Disneyland spread to 134 Californians and residents in six other states and two other countries, California adopted a law removing “personal belief” exemptions from vaccinating children in public or private schools or childcare centers. But employers faced with choosing between wanting a healthy work-site and respecting individual worker’s beliefs about vaccines lack such clear direction. … Continue Reading
Suppose you hire Kristin Chenoweth to be your new TV show host, and she shows up on the set with her dog Thunder, claiming she needs the dog for emotional support. Must you allow this distraction?
Or suppose her third cousin shows up at your restaurant with Thunder’s twin bearing a “service animal tag,” yapping away and disturbing servers and … Continue Reading
Figuring out what deductions from an employee’s wages are permitted and prohibited under the law is a quandary. May an employer deduct an employee’s wages for personal charges on the company’s credit card? What about the cost to replace company property the employee lost or damaged? And what if an employee resigns and never returns the company-issued laptop or other … Continue Reading
Employees who don’t want to disclose genetic information about themselves and their families to their employers may have to pay a stiff price for that privacy in the future. The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313), a GOP-sponsored bill currently under consideration in Congress, could dismantle the employee privacy protections of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).… Continue Reading
It’s ironic, isn’t it? While the EEOC could find an employer liable for tolerating racist or sexist remarks by employees, the NLRB has repeatedly found employers liable for failing to do so under the guise of protecting “concerted activity” by employees. Will the agency’s rulings against employers be supported by the courts? And will the pattern of protecting such employee … Continue Reading
With the growing list of states legalizing marijuana, are workplace drug policies up in smoke? As the new year begins, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota join the growing list of states that have legalized medical marijuana. Currently, 28 states* and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana use for certain medicinal purposes, and eight states** and the District of Columbia have legalized … Continue Reading
It’s flu season and many employers, particularly those in healthcare, want to require employees to be vaccinated to minimize the spread of illness. But what happens when an employee refuses on religious grounds?… Continue Reading
With 413 Zika virus cases reported in 34 of Florida’s 67 counties as of August 15, it’s clear that it is spreading. Employers should take steps now to prepare for the impact. … Continue Reading
Do you think you’ve complied with the Affordable Care Act mandates? Before you answer yes, you’d best take a close look at your Employee Handbook – a minefield for mistakes.… Continue Reading
The City of Chicago joined a growing list of cities requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to its employees. With no federal sick pay requirement, employers in the City of Broad Shoulders will now need to bear the burden of paying employees who miss work for qualifying reasons. … Continue Reading
Employers who sponsor employee wellness programs must plan now to comply with a new notice requirement that takes effect soon. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2017, employers sponsoring wellness programs that collect employee health information (such as through a health risk assessment or biometric screening) must issue a notice to employees before employees provide … Continue Reading
Does your company have employees who work remotely in a city, or a state, where your company does not maintain a physical location? Do you count those employees for purposes of determining whether the company has to offer leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Well, in what may come as a surprise, you must properly include all … Continue Reading
As we begin 2016, it is a good time to look back at 2015 labor and employment law developments that employers must keep in mind during the new year. 2015 was indeed a busy year.… Continue Reading
The National Labor Relations Board continues to infiltrate the workplace even where there are no unions. Standard workplace policies — including those relating to employee conduct, protecting intellectual property, use of personal electronics, and conflicts of interest — are unlawful, according to a recent memorandum issued by the NLRB General Counsel. Basic contract and policy provisions requiring employees to maintain … Continue Reading
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued revised pregnancy discrimination guidance setting forth a framework for assessing how far employers must go in accommodating pregnant employees, following the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Young v. United Parcel Serv., Inc. In that case, the Court held that, although a policy of providing light duty only to certain workers was … Continue Reading
In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the Supreme Court of Colorado upheld an employer’s decision to terminate the employment of a quadriplegic employee who worked as a customer service representative and who held a state-issued license to consume medical marijuana. Coats, who had been confined to a wheelchair since his teenage years, tested positive for marijuana during a random … Continue Reading
All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).… Continue Reading
Your employee handbook may be unlawful. That’s the takeaway from a 30-page report issued by the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel on March 18, 2015.
The report, entitled “Report of the General Counsel Concerning Employer Rules,” presents recent developments on employee handbook rules arising in the context of NLRB cases that address whether particular rules violate … Continue Reading
Employers should be aware of the new electronic cigarette fad, and the need to address workplace policies accordingly.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that heat up nicotine-laced liquid, turning it into a vapor that users inhale, or “vape,” and then exhale. Most look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, but some e-cigarettes resemble everyday items such … Continue Reading
What do 31 million employees have in common? They all participate in at least one (in many cases more than one) Fantasy Football league! For those of you who are unfamiliar with what has become a national obsession, Fantasy Football is an interactive online competition in which users compete against each other as general managers of virtual “fantasy” teams built … Continue Reading