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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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25 Jul 2016 Nevada’s High Court Won’t Get Out Its Pencil To Save Overbroad Noncompete

  In the highly state-law specific world of noncompete agreements, it is always newsworthy when a state’s supreme court weighs in on one of the two key areas where state laws vary. Indeed, we typically only see one or two such decisions per year. Here, the Nevada Supreme Court has answered the question, what color pencil does it use when it finds a noncompete agreement is overly broad?   In Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc. v. Islam, the court found that a one-year, 150-mile noncompete imposed on…

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25 Jul 2016 First Minneapolis, Now St. Paul – Another Earned Sick and Safe Time Mandate

  As explained in an earlier blog, the Minneapolis City Council passed the controversial ordinance that will require employers with at least one employee working in the city of Minneapolis to provide paid sick time. Now, the St. Paul City Council is considering passing a similar measure.   In early August, the city council will receive the proposed ordinance from a city-led task force that was appointed in February 2016 to examine the possibility of extending Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) to all employees…

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22 Jul 2016 North Carolina Governor Keeps ‘Bathroom Bill’ Mostly Intact, Pending Court Review

  As a follow-up to my previous post about transgender bathroom access in the workplace, earlier this week, on July 18, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a revised ‘bathroom bill’ that leaves intact the provisions that sparked national controversy by limiting protections for transgender people.   The bill was revised to restore workers’ ability to use state law, and not just federal law, to sue for employment discrimination. However, it leaves intact the provisions that require transgender people to use public bathrooms…

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21 Jul 2016 OSHA Announces Delay in Non-Discrimination Provisions, Higher Fines Still Coming in August

  As we have previously covered in a recent blog post, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new electronic recordkeeping rules also contain controversial anti-retaliation provisions which originally would have been effective on Aug. 10, 2016, for federal OSHA states (and up to six months later in state plan states). Last week, OSHA announced that it was delaying the enforcement until Nov. 1, 2016, of the new provisions which also include prohibitions on blanket post-accident drug testing policies and safety incentive programs.   One…

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20 Jul 2016 Classic Conundrum: Protecting Employees from Themselves

Last week, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against a furniture company in North Carolina for firing a pregnant employee, allegedly because her job involved using potentially dangerous chemicals.   According to the EEOC’s regional attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, “pregnant women have the right to make their own decisions about working while pregnant, including the risks they are willing to assume. Companies must not impose paternalistic notions on pregnant women, as doing so can result in unlawful discrimination.”   In the case filed against RTG…

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15 Jul 2016 10th Circuit ADA Ruling Drives Home the Importance of Written Job Descriptions

  A cancer survivor’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit against a prospective employer was rejected this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Kilcrease v. Domenico Transportation Co. The case involved a truck driver who, after successfully overcoming cancer, applied for work with a trucking company, Domenico Transportation. The job required applicants to (1) hold a Class A commercial driver’s license, (2) have three years of recent and verifiable mountain driving (the company is located in Colorado), (3) have…

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14 Jul 2016 Posting a Resume is Now Required in Illinois to Receive Jobless Benefits

  Jobseekers in Illinois who apply for unemployment benefits on or after July 17, 2016, will have to register for employment services and post at least one resume to the state’s job search website before they can receive unemployment payments (unless an exemption applies), according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).   Although the IDES is characterizing its announcement as a “reminder” that applicants for unemployment insurance benefits must show they are looking for work by registering for employment services, the requirement to post…

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11 Jul 2016 More Flu Vaccine News – EEOC Alleges Hospital’s Mandatory Flu Vaccine Policy Violates Title VII

  As summer temperatures soar, one might think the last thing to worry about is the upcoming flu season. And while that may be true in most respects, the flu is on the minds of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A lawsuit filed by the EEOC sheds light on the issue for healthcare employers who impose mandatory flu vaccine requirements on employees as a condition of continued employment.   The EEOC alleges in EEOC v. Mission Hospital, Inc. – a lawsuit that includes class…

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08 Jul 2016 Court Provides Roadmap for Managing ‘Intolerable’ Behavior From Employee with Disabilities

  What is an employer to do when a long-standing employee with a known anxiety disorder engages in a public display of suicidal gestures and disruptive behavior? Don’t act in haste, but if careful consideration of the situation leads to a termination, the decision-making process may withstand scrutiny in court.   That’s the outcome in a recent ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Felix v. Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation, which provides a thorough and detailed analysis of a challenging situation involving an employee…

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06 Jul 2016 Survey Says: 73% of Employees Taking FMLA Are Non-Exempt, and Other Tidbits

  The latest survey from our friends at Employers Resource Association of its members focuses on employers’ practices and employees’ usage. Here are some of the findings:   Employers have several options for how they count the applicable 12 month period. Not surprisingly, the great majority (63 percent) of employers use the rolling 12-month period. 9 percent of respondents’ employees have used Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave during the last year. This includes substantial numbers of employees taking intermittent leave and substantial numbers taking longer term…

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