Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
0 0

08 Dec 2016 OSHA Contemplates Workplace Violence Standard for Healthcare, Social Assistance Workers

  On Dec. 7, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Request for Information (RFI) as to whether a standard should be developed to address workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. The RFI specifically seeks information on issues that might be considered in developing a standard, including its scope and the types of controls that might be required.   In issuing this RFI, OSHA explained that workplace violence in the healthcare and service assistance industries is substantially higher than in all…

READ MORE
0 0

23 Nov 2016 EEOC Issues New Guidelines on National Origin Discrimination

  Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidelines on national origin discrimination. These extensive guidelines, which update those issued in 2002, define what constitutes national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and provide more than 30 examples as well as “promising practices” that can help employers avoid such discrimination. Title VII is wide-reaching, applying to employers with 15 or more full- or part-time employees.   The new guidelines offer the following definition of national origin discrimination:…

READ MORE
0 0

04 Nov 2016 Airline Employee’s Fraudulent FMLA Request Ensures His Claim Never Gets Off the Ground

  If I had to guess, there is probably no statute that brings more frustration or gives employers more fits than the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – with intermittent leave occupying a special pedestal in this pantheon of exasperation. What to do about the employee who seems to always need FMLA right before or after a planned vacation or a three-day weekend? Admittedly, sometimes there’s nothing that can be done. However, in a recent Fourth Circuit opinion, the court saw through Plaintiff’s request…

READ MORE
0 0

28 Oct 2016 Arbitration Agreement Enforced Based on Continued Employment

  According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, two University of Phoenix employees agreed to mandatory arbitration agreements by continuing to work after receiving, but purportedly not electronically signing, the acknowledgment of the agreements.   In the unpublished decision in Aldrich v. University of Phoenix, Inc., the court found that the employees each electronically received the arbitration agreements, which were contained in the employee handbook.  The court also found that the university’s records showed each employee completed the acknowledgment form electronically (both individuals deny…

READ MORE
0 0

21 Sep 2016 The Battle Is Joined: Two New Entrants in the Fight Over New Overtime Rules

  Two new sets of allied combatants have joined the fray looking to overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime regulations and halt the imminent effective date. The DOL’s new rules more than double the salary threshold (to $47,476) for workers to even be considered for the so-called “white collar” exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime premium requirements and are currently scheduled to take effect Dec. 1.   On Sept. 20, two complaints were filed in the Eastern District of Texas:…

READ MORE
0 0

30 Aug 2016 North Carolina Court Blocks ‘Bathroom Bill’ at UNC

  As an update to our previous posts (here and here) about bathroom access rights for transgender individuals, there are new developments in the North Carolina “bathroom bill” debacle. On August 26, a North Carolina federal court blocked the University of North Carolina from applying the state’s controversial bathroom bill. The bill requires transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than the gender with which they identify.   In a lengthy order filed in the U.S….

READ MORE
0 0

15 Aug 2016 Fifth Circuit Triples Down on the Legality of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

  On August 10, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – for the third time – rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) position that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are invalid under the National Labor Relations Act. In a short opinion, the Circuit said it was bound by its two previous published opinions directly addressing this issue and ruling that such waivers are valid pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act.    The ruling last Wednesday was the first time the Fifth Circuit has…

READ MORE
0 0

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…

READ MORE
0 0

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…

READ MORE
0 0

05 Jul 2016 NLRB Hits Ceiling in Continual Push to Expand Scope of Protected Concerted Activity

  Whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is issuing rulings invalidating employee handbook policies that encourage civil behavior among employees or attempting to get discharged employees reinstated after profanity-laced Facebook rants against their supervisors, the board seems determined to push the limits of what can be considered “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Regardless of whether an employer is a union shop or not, under the NLRA employers may not take adverse action if the employee’s conduct qualifies as protected…

READ MORE