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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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20 Sep 2013 SEC Proposes Disclosure of Difference Between CEO and Worker Pay

A hotly-divided Board of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a proposal this week calling for public companies to disclose compensation data allowing for a comparison of their Chief Executive Officer’s pay to the median pay of their rank-and-file employees. The release of this proposal, passed by a vote of 3-2 along party lines, is now open for public comment over the next couple of months. In order for the proposal to go into effect, the SEC will again vote on it after the…

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16 Sep 2013 CFPB Issues Guidance on Payroll Card Use

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency responsible for enforcing the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”) and related Regulation E (which apply to employers and institutions using or providing payroll cards), recently issued Bulletin 2013-10, found here), explicitly prohibiting the mandatory use of payroll card accounts at an employer-selected financial institution and otherwise discussing the requirements for such use.  Notably, the EFTA and Regulation E specifically preempt any state laws relating to EFTs, unless the state law offers more consumer protections. Of particular importance…

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17 May 2013 EEOC Offers Updated ADA Guidance Q&A’s Pertaining to Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy and Intellectual Disabilities

In a measure to keep up with the changes made by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) in relation to what employees and applicants must show to establish that they have a “disability,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revised its informal “Question and Answer” guidance forms pertaining to four categories of medical conditions – cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities – to provide clarification as to how employers should address such conditions and to confirm that individuals having each of the types…

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14 May 2013 Department of Labor Releases Technical Guidance For Employers Relating To Notice to Employees of Health Coverage Options under FLSA Sec. 18B, as Well as Updated COBRA Election Notice

The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) recently issued Technical Release 2013-02, in which it provides employers with temporary guidance regarding the notice that must be provided to employees in relation to health care coverage options that will soon be available pursuant to Section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to coverage through a private health insurance market (referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace),…

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03 Apr 2013 What Happens on Facebook Stays on Facebook…Or Else

A Magistrate Judge within the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently affirmed the significance of social media postings in litigation proceedings, finding deactivation of a plaintiff’s Facebook account to constitute spoliation of evidence and warrant the issuance of an adverse inference against him at trial. Specifically, in Gatto v. United Air Lines, Inc., found here, a plaintiff alleged to have suffered an injury while working at the airport claimed, among other things, that his injuries precluded him from working and…

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02 Apr 2013 Seventh Circuit Finds Menial Tasks, Isolation, and Allegations of Violence Provide Pipeline to Jury Trial

In reversing a district court’s grant of summary judgment on an employee’s hostile work environment claim under Title VII, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found a female plumber to have alleged sufficient facts to make it to a jury trial. Specifically, in Hall v. City of Chicago, found here, the only female plumber working within a particular division for the City of Chicago, alleged, among other things, that she was forced to do menial tasks (e.g., sorting of the exact same documents…

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21 Feb 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify FLSA’s Exemption for Donning and Doffing Time

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Sandifer v. U.S. Steel, Corp., No. 12-417, in order to consider what constitutes “changing clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The appeal was filed by a class of U.S. Steel, Corp. employees who alleged they were not paid for the time spent putting on and taking off their protective gear, in violation of the FLSA.  Though not addressing all aspects of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s dismissal of the employees’…

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18 Feb 2013 The Letter of the Law Proves Equally Applicable to Employees in FMLA Disputes

In many instances, it is the employer who is penalized for failing to strictly comply with the letter of the law in relation to FMLA leave and notices. Recently, however, an employee in the process of changing medical providers learned the hard way of the equal application of such requirements to both employer and employee, after the Court tossed her suit in finding such transition does not automatically absolve her of the requirement to submit a valid Certification of Health Care Provider (CHCP) to obtain…

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29 Nov 2012 Southern District of Indiana Limits Scope of Discovery Sought From Former Employers for Whom Plaintiff May Obtain Re-Employment Pursuant to Union Working Agreement

In an opinion issued earlier this week in Grant v. Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc., Cause No. 3:12-cv-44-RLY-WGH, Magistrate Judge Hussmann of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana affirmed the propriety of discovery from a plaintiff’s prior employers in the context of a Title VII discrimination/retaliation suit, while discussing the potential limits on such discovery under certain circumstances, and providing guidance to employers as to factors to consider when pursuing non-party discovery. Specifically, Judge Hussman held that information regarding a plaintiff’s prior…

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26 Nov 2012 Seventh Circuit Rejects EEOC’s Claim of Confidentiality Violations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

In its opinion issued in EEOC v. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, No. 11-2848, which can be found here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Thrivent), and rejected the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) arguments that Thrivent had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it had revealed information regarding a former contract employee’s migraine condition to a prospective employer. The Seventh Circuit’s rationale hinged on the fact that Thrivent had…

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