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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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06 Apr 2016 Don’t Call a Transgender Employee “It”

By now, most people know enough about the law to know that you can’t discriminate against a worker because of characteristics like race, sex, age and disability. Those are pretty obvious and those laws have been in place for as long as most of us can remember. However, society and laws are constantly evolving, and there are always new issues employers need to watch for, both to ensure all of their employees are protected from discrimination and to make sure they are protecting themselves from…

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05 Apr 2016 Ok…Are You Sitting Down?

More than five years ago, the California plaintiffs’ bar launched a series of lawsuits against various retailers alleging that they were violating a part of the California wage orders that require suitable seating to be available to workers. For the mercantile industry, the regulations require:   (A) All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.   (B) When employees are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature…

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01 Apr 2016 Survey Says: Telecommuting Increasingly Common But Somewhat Ad Hoc

  The latest survey infographic from our friends at the Employers Resource Association (ERA) looks at flexible work schedules and telecommuting among its largely Ohio-based membership. The survey indicates that telecommuting is very common, but fewer than 1 in 5 of respondents have a formal telecommuting policy. While a formal policy may not be necessary, it is usually advisable to have an individual agreement with telecommuting employees. Also, remember that telecommuting could be a reasonable accommodation for employees with a disability.

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31 Mar 2016 New Pregnancy Poster Available for California Employers

  The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released a new pregnancy poster for employers to use in satisfying posting requirements under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave law. This law applies to all California employers with five or more employees.   The new poster, which is directed toward pregnant employees, replaces the “Notice A” that California employers have been required to use until now. The two posters share the same title, “Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee.”  The effective date of…

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31 Mar 2016 University of Iowa Wins Trial Against Immigration Lawyer Claiming Age Discrimination

  A unanimous jury recently determined that the University of Iowa’s (UI) decision not to hire a 55-year-old man did not amount to age discrimination. In 2010, Donald Dobkin applied for a teaching position at UI’s College of Law. When Mr. Dobkin was not chosen for the position, he brought a lawsuit, claiming he was passed over because of his age. He also asserted that UI hired a less experienced person for the job because she was younger. Following a full trial, a jury returned…

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30 Mar 2016 Minnesota Lawmakers Consider Paid Family Leave Bill

  Earlier this month, a group of Minnesota DFL State Representatives introduced a bill that would create a paid family leave program for employees working for private employers. The bill, H.F. No. 2963, would allow eligible employees to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year under the following circumstances:   Serious health condition of the employee that renders him or her unable to perform the function of his or her position with the employer; Prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth…

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23 Mar 2016 EMPLOYERS BEWARE! – DOL’S FINAL OVERTIME RULE COMING SOON!

  As we have covered in the past blog posts last summer and updated in the fall, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a controversial change to the overtime exemptions for white collar workers which would drastically increase the amount of the minimum salary required to be qualify as an employee “exempt” from overtime. The big question on the minds of companies all over the country has been when will the rule be effective?   According to the Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda of Fall 2015,…

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21 Mar 2016 2015: EEOC Charges Rebound

  The EEOC charge filing statistics for 2015 are out. Last year at this time, we were looking at the trend of charges continuing to drop from their peak in 2010 and were hoping the trend would continue. Unfortunately, the drop in the overall number of charges stopped and troublingly is going back up:     As you can see, the chart tracks the number of filed EEOC charges going back to the late 1990s. For the most part, the number of charges ebbs and…

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18 Mar 2016 New York City Cares – “Caregivers” Become Protected Employees

  New York City is protecting those who care for others. Effective May 4, an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law will make “caregivers” protected employees. Under the amended law, New York City employers with four or more employees will be prohibited from taking adverse employment actions, including firing or refusing to hire, as well as from discriminating against an individual because of actual or perceived “caregiver status.”   The amended law is expansive for a number of reasons, in particular the…

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09 Mar 2016 EEOC Continues Visible Stance on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection

  As predicted by many, 2016 will likely be a year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will continue its push for the expansion of the rights afforded pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   This month, the EEOC filed its first two lawsuits accusing employers of gender bias for discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Specifically, both cases allege employee harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, in addition to retaliation. There are many local and…

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