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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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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…

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27 Jun 2016 What Ohio Employers Need to Know About Medical Marijuana

  Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law, making Ohio the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.  Those with HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, or one of several other medical conditions may qualify for medical marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation.  Many employers may be concerned that come September when the law goes into effect, employees will start coming into work under the influence, affecting both safety and productivity in the process.  They likely don’t need to worry, though –…

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24 Jun 2016 Minneapolis Employers Brace for Paid Sick Leave

At the end of May, the Minneapolis City Council passed a controversial ordinance that will require all employers with at least one employee working in the city of Minneapolis to provide sick leave. The ordinance will become effective on July 1, 2017.  Highlights of the ordinance include:   Eligibility:   – Eligible employees include any employee who works within the geographical boundaries of the City and works at least 80 hours in a year.  Eligible employees include full-time, part-time, and temporary employees so long as…

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24 Jun 2016 Chicago Workers to Earn Paid Sick Leave as Trend Continues in Big U.S. Cities

Employers who have a Chicago-based workforce will need to begin preparations for their employees to earn and use up to five paid sick days per year now that the Chicago City Council has taken action to require sick time benefits.   The new requirement, scheduled to go into effect July 2017, will allow workers within the city to earn one hour of sick time for every 40 hours of work, up to a maximum of five paid days per 12-month period.  Workers also will be…

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24 Jun 2016 EEOC Provides Additional Guidance on Employer Wellness Program Notice

In a recent press release, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered supplemental resources to assist employers in complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notice requirements associated with their use of employee wellness programs and collection of employee health information as part of the same. Specifically, the EEOC directs employers to its Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs and a Q&A discussion relating to such sample and required notice. These resources address how to comply with the employer’s obligations to inform employees what…

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23 Jun 2016 EEOC Critical of NLRB’s Investigation Confidentiality Concerns

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) task force has released a comprehensive report on its 18-month study on the issue of harassment in the workplace. The Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace consisted of a select group of outside experts impaneled to examine harassment in the workplace and was co-chaired by two current EEOC Commissioners, Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic. They recently published the “Report of the Co-Chairs of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.”…

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23 Jun 2016 OSHA’s New Mandatory Electronic Recordkeeping Rule The Hidden Requirements for Anti-Retaliation and Discrimination Require Action Before Aug. 10, 2016

As you may be aware, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a new final rule revising the recordkeeping and reporting requirements. OSHA’s summary of its new final rule can be found here and the full text of the recordkeeping regulations can be found here.   While a lot of buzz is occurring around the new electronic submission requirements that become effective Jan. 1, 2017, there are significant developments which are not explicitly referenced in the regulations which require action by Aug. 10,…

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22 Jun 2016 New Trend Alert – Websites Must be Accessible to the Blind to Comply with the ADA

A new trend seems to be emerging at the intersection of employment law, technology and e-commerce – companies getting sued for not making their websites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   In recent months, a spate of class action lawsuits have been filed against several online retailers, including H&M, Tory Burch, Hugo Boss and Urban Outfitters, for failing to design their websites so that they can be read by screen-reader software that allows websites to be understood by people who are blind…

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22 Jun 2016 Washington, D.C., Minimum Wage on the Rise

In recent minimum wage activity, lawmakers in D.C. have approved a plan to hike the hourly minimum wage for workers by 2020. The current hourly minimum wage of $10.50/hour (which is scheduled to rise to $11.50 by July 1, 2016, pursuant to earlier legislation) is slated to jump via a series of annual increases thereafter to $15.00/hour by July 1, 2020. Tipped employees’ minimum wage is proposed to progress from the current hourly rate of $2.77 to $5.00 over the same time frame. The bill,…

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17 Jun 2016 EEOC Addresses Women’s Issues at White House’s United State of Women Summit

As a participant in the White House’s United State of Women Summit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued three new documents addressing challenges that women face in the workplace: equal pay, pregnancy discrimination and pregnancy accommodation. The summit, which took place on June 14 and 15, aimed to bring leaders together to examine issues affecting women and girls and to consider best practices for action moving forward.   The first of the three new EEOC documents, “Equal Pay and the EEOC’s Proposal to Collect…

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