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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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05 Sep 2013 American Medical Association Recognizes Obesity as a Disease – A Windfall for the Plaintiffs’ Bar?

At the American Medical Association’s annual meeting in June of this year, the AMA passed a resolution which defined obesity as a disease. Since then, commentators have worried that this decision could adversely affect employers by leading to an increase in lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or even lead to Workers’ Compensation claims relating to obesity. Following the AMA’s decision, commentators have identified a new case filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern…

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26 Jul 2013 Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds the Enforcement of a Five-Year Non-compete Agreement

When Indiana employers draft non-compete agreements, they must weigh whether the Indiana courts will find their agreements’ restrictions to be reasonable, and therefore enforceable.  The Indiana Court of Appeal recently issued a decision which illustrates how restrictive these agreements can be.  In Mayne v. O’Bannon Publishing Co. d/b/a Corydon Instant Press, the court upheld the enforcement of a five-year non-compete agreement covering a two-county area. O’Bannon Publishing Co. employed Elizabeth Mayne as a manager at its facility in Harrision County, Indiana, which is directly across the…

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12 Jun 2013 Unanimous Supreme Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Decision to Allow Class Arbitration

On June 10, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter. A copy of the opinion can be found here. The opinion, authored by Justice Elena Kagan, upholds an arbitrator’s decision to allow class arbitration on the grounds that the Federal Arbitration Act bars the Court from substituting its interpretation of the contract for the arbitrator’s interpretation. A Barnes & Thornburg Employment Alert discussing this case in more detail can be found here. Oxford Health and the Court’s…

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03 May 2013 Three States Pass Legislation on Limiting Access to Social Medial Passwords

  Although Congress recently rejected legislation designed to bar employers from forcing employees to produce their social media passwords, advocates for such laws have been more successful in the state legislatures. Since March 2013, three states – Utah, New Mexico, and Arkansas – have passed laws barring the production of this information. These state laws often contain broad protections. The Arkansas law – which Governor Beebe signed on April 22 – prohibits employers from forcing the employees or applicants to produce passwords, change privacy settings,…

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22 Mar 2013 Federal Court Enjoins the Application of the Contraceptive Mandate to Company Owned By the Founder of Domino’s Pizza

On March 14, 2013, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued a preliminary injunction against the application of the contraceptive mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to a for-profit employer. District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled that Domino’s Farm Corp., a for-profit property management company owned by Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, did not have to comply with the contraceptive mandate because it violated Monaghan’s religious beliefs. Judge Zatkoff wrote, “It is in the best interest of…

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08 Feb 2013 Obama Administration Revises the Contraceptive Mandate, but Provides No Accommodations for For-Profit Companies with Religious Objections

On February 1, 2013, the Obama administration issued new proposed rules which would amend the contraceptive mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The proposed rules, which can be found here, provide no relief to for-profit companies with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate.  Instead, the new proposed rules provide some additional accommodations for religious employers.  For example, under the new proposed rules, an entity may qualify for the religious employer exemption even if it serves or hires people of different religious faiths. …

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28 Dec 2012 Supreme Court Denies a Request to Temporarily Enjoin the Contraceptive Mandate

On Dec. 26, 2012, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a order denying Hobby Lobby’s request to temporarily enjoin the application of part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the company while the courts considers whether the ACA infringes upon the free exercise of religion. A copy of this decision, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, can be found here. Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retail chainstore, and Mardel, Inc., a chain of Christian-themed bookstores, object to a provision of…

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16 Nov 2012 En Banc Sixth Circuit Strikes Down Portions of Michigan’s Constitutional Amendment on Affirmative Action

Yesterday (Nov. 15, 2012), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, voted 8 to 7 to strike down portions of the amendment to Michigan’s constitution that barred the use of affirmative action in the admissions to public colleges and universities. The copy of the decision can be found here. In 2006, Michigan voters passed a referendum known as Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to bar discrimination, as well as preferential treatment, toward “any individual or group on…

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16 Nov 2012 Second Federal Court Temporarily Enjoins Application of Contraceptive Mandate to a For-Profit Business

On Oct. 31, 2012, Judge Robert Cleland of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan temporarily enjoined the application of part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to a for-profit business while the court considers whether the ACA infringes upon the free exercise of religion. A copy of this decision, Legatus v. Sebelius, can be found here. Daniel Weingartz is the President of Weingartz Supply Company, a family-owned business that sells outdoor power equipment and employs approximately 170 individuals….

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21 Aug 2012 Federal Court Temporarily Enjoins Application of Contraceptive Mandate To A Local Business

On July 27, 2012, the Senior Judge John Kane of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado temporarily enjoined the application of part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to a local business while the business and its owners challenge whether the ACA infringes upon their free exercise of religion.  A copy of this decision, Newland v. Sebelius, can be found here. In Newland, several members of the Newland family own Hercules Industries, Inc. (Hercules), a Colorado corporation engaged…

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