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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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20 Jan 2017 Teachers File Proposed Class Action Suit Claiming Grants Were Illegally Converted Into Loans

  On Jan. 6, two teachers, Ashley Ford and David West, filed a projected class action against the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a Pennsylvania-based student loan servicer, which the teachers allege has been improperly converting federal teaching grants into loans for its own financial gain. Such fraudulent action is alleged to be in direct violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.   Ford and West claim that the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which is the only servicer of awards to teachers…

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18 Jan 2017 Writing Employee Policies to Address Different State and Local Laws: Three Strategies [VIDEO]

  We frequently report on the Currents blog about employment issues being addressed at the state and local levels, the two most recent examples being Ohio’s legislation on employees with concealed carry permits and efforts in Ohio to limit local minimum wage ordinances. This trend is likely to only grow with the expanding divisions in the country. This quick video discusses three different non-exclusive strategies for drafting policies to cover jurisdictions with different rules:   Have a single policy that complies with all laws (i.e. follow the strictest…

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13 Jan 2017 Are Employers Required to Predict Employee Behavior? Wrongful Death Suit Sparks Discussion

  On Jan. 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments involving a wrongful death suit that had been dismissed by an Illinois federal judge. The plaintiff, mother of the deceased victim, sued Home Depot USA Inc. and one of its garden suppliers for failing to protect her daughter from a series of abusive behavior directed at her by her supervisor, Brian Cooper, who allegedly used his superior position to coerce the victim into accompanying him to his sister’s wedding…

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09 Jan 2017 OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance on Controversial Non-Discrimination Provisions

  As we have noted in prior blog posts, the controversial non-discrimination provisions of OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rules have been challenged in court. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ultimately declined to issue an injunction preventing the implementation of the rule, but specifically noted “[t]hat the court has denied injunctive relief requested by Plaintiffs is not a comment or indication as to whether Defendants will ultimately prevail on the merits. This determination is left for another day.”   After the court’s…

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Overtime, Office Binder on Wooden Desk. On the table colored pencils, pen, notebook paper
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30 Dec 2016 The DOL’s Final Rule on Life Support?

  Earlier this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited final rule updating the salary level for workers who are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule, also commonly known as the overtime rule, was supposed to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016.   As readers of this blog are aware, the update was met with fierce opposition from business groups and employers. In September, a group of 21 states and various business groups…

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30 Dec 2016 75,000 Reasons Why Employers Should Timely Comply With Form I-9 Requirements

  Just in time for the holidays is a nicely wrapped reminder from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit about how important it is for employers to timely complete I-9 forms on all employees, and properly retain I-9 records in the event of a government inspection.   Before getting into the case, and for the benefit of those of you who still are suffering from a bit too much “holiday cheer,” here is a brief primer to bring you back up to…

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27 Dec 2016 EEOC and Hospital Settle Flu Vaccine Religious Accommodation Lawsuit

  Six hospital employees who refused influenza vaccines will be offered re-employment and will receive payments totaling $300,000 to resolve the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) religious accommodation lawsuit against their former employer.   The EEOC and Saint Vincent Health Center in Pennsylvania entered into a consent decree, filed Dec. 23, that includes the hospital’s agreement to terms requiring careful consideration of requests for accommodations based on sincerely held religious beliefs, practices and observances with respect to mandatory influenza vaccination programs. As part of…

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20 Dec 2016 EEOC Offers Compliance Tips for Small Businesses

  The EEOC has expanded its online resources aimed at small-business owners to assist with compliance with equal opportunity laws, highlighting its small business liaisons who can offer training and answer questions about the laws the EEOC enforces. But employers should keep in mind that the EEOC’s tips are not tailored to specific facts and circumstances.   The small business section of the EEOC’s website includes helpful information on basic equal employment opportunity issues, such as recordkeeping and notice posting, non-discrimination in hiring, and prevention…

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15 Dec 2016 Ohio Employers May Soon See Employees Packing Heat in Their Cars

  Ohio employees with concealed carry licenses may soon be legally allowed to bring firearms onto their employers’ property. Currently, Ohio law allows most private employers to ban firearms anywhere on their premises, including in their employees’ locked vehicles in the parking lot. However, Senate Bill 199 would prevent employers from prohibiting concealed handgun license holders from storing firearms in their locked vehicles, even if those vehicles are on company property. Senate Bill 199 has passed through the legislature and is on its way to…

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14 Dec 2016 A U.S. Supreme Court ADA Showdown Is A-Brewin’: Eleventh Circuit Contradicts Seventh Circuit Regarding Non-Competitive Mandatory Reassignments

  This past week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (encompassing Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) reignited an old-fashioned statutory interpretation duel. Ok, it’s not as exciting as the Earps vs. the Clantons at the O.K. Corral, but it certainly has more far-reaching ramifications for employers and employees alike.   The issue: whether, when an employee with a disability cannot perform the essential functions of his or her current job, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires mandatory reassignment of minimally qualified individuals…

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