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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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31 Jan 2017 EEOC’s Latest Guidance On Mental Health Accommodations Adds Little

  Employee mental health conditions often present some of the more challenging disability accommodation situations.  While no less real and potentially debilitating, we can’t see them, and some of them may be less predictable.  (Include fibromyalgia as another disability in this category.)  Mental health issues may also be stigmatized in ways that other health issues are not, presenting challenges in managing the conduct of employees other than the employee seeking accommodation.  Thus, even the most well-meaning and enlightened supervisors and colleagues may confront challenging scheduling…

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30 Jan 2017 Survey Says: About Half of Employers Offering Paid Sick Leave

  From time to time we share the interesting surveys our friends at Employers Resource Association take from their employer members on timely topics. This one is pretty straightforward:   53 percent of the employers surveyed offer paid sick leave, or PTO, that can be used for sick leave Generally this is for full-time employees only 30 hours is a very common cutoff to determine who is full time Most companies providing paid leave offer at least some at time of hire   Paid sick or…

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26 Jan 2017 Drill Deeper Than “Fit” as Reason For Termination

  It is common for employers to tell us “he is just not a fit here.” My recent article in another publication discusses how, while it is certainly true that some employees are not a good fit in your organization, it is almost always advisable to break down and articulate the more specific pieces that make up “fit” for liability prevention purposes. Read more here. Bill NolanWilliam A. Nolan serves as the Managing Partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Ohio office, which he opened in 2009. He is a…

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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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12 Dec 2016 Add Cleveland to The Mix: Cities and States Increasing the Employment Law Battlegrounds – With Video

  Earlier this fall, I reported in this video how the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance.  Cleveland has likewise enacted a minimum wage that exceeds state or federal requirements, the subject of a pending 2017 special election, and there is a bill pending in the Ohio General Assembly to strike down Cleveland’s law. A quick search of BT Currents shows the increasing level of municipal employment law activity. This trend seems likely to only continue, as we enter an era likely…

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17 Oct 2016 Job Descriptions: Define the Target to Minimize Liability

  Job descriptions can be critical to helping employers avoid liability. Here are a few of my key points from this recent article published by Successful Business News:   Job descriptions define the target for a number of legal purposes – setting forth duties to determine exempt (or not) status under wage/hour laws, accommodation analyses under disability discrimination laws (as Currents blogger Hans Murphy wrote about here), and really any employment dispute that might involve whether the employee was adequately performing duties communicated to her/him (i.e….

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19 Sep 2016 Does New Illinois Law Signify A Third Frontier of Noncompete State-by-State Variations?

  Recently, Jennifer Cerven wrote on Currents about a new Illinois law that prohibits noncompete agreements for low wage workers, i.e. those making less than $13/hour. There has been heightened dialogue about such restrictions since the publicity surrounding the Jimmy John’s noncompete requirement for some of its sandwich makers. I have suggested here before that most courts I know would be discinlined to enforce a noncompete with such an employee anyway, though as one parent of a summer camp counselor appropriately pointed out to me after that post,…

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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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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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13 Jun 2016 Survey Says: Significant Minority of Employers Provide More Pay, Benefits than Required on Military Leave

The latest survey results from our friends at Employers Resource Association cover how a sample of their members handle military leave. Though not required to do so, 35 percent of respondents pay employees on military leave the difference between their regular and military pay, and five percent continue to provide full pay for at least part of time spent on training obligations. Not surprisingly, many fewer respondents exceed their obligations for employees on active duty.   Regarding benefits, half of respondents continue to pay the employer portion…

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