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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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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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07 Mar 2016 Survey Says: Paternity Leave Significantly Lags Maternity Leave in Ohio (and other good information)

  Barnes & Thornburg’s Ohio office is a member of the Employers Resource Association (ERA). ERA has been doing a monthly survey of its member employers and publishing a nifty infographic of the results that they have allowed us to share with our readers. One recent infographic compares employers’ maternity and paternity leave policies, underscoring the marked difference.  Forty-two percent of companies reported offering a maternity leave policy, while only 15 percent had a paternity leave policy.  Likely, many of those companies not reporting a policy are…

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04 Mar 2016 Should Charging Parties Read Your Position Statement? EEOC Says Yes.

  The EEOC is implementing nationwide procedures that will disclose employer position statements – submitted in response to charges of discrimination – to charging parties and their attorneys upon request during the course of the EEOC’s investigation of the charge.   If the employer’s position statement is provided to a charging party, there is a 20-day period for the charging party to provide a response to the EEOC, but that response will not be provided to the respondent/employer during the investigation, according to a summary…

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01 Mar 2016 How to Respond to a Subpoena Regarding One of Your Employees

  From time to time, an employer will be served with a subpoena for information relating to one of its employees. Most commonly, this is in the context of a domestic dispute in which the employee is involved. A subpoena imposes a legal obligation on the organization receiving it and it is important that it be treated accordingly. Failure to properly respond can result in fines or other sanctions for contempt of court.   Here are some basic steps to help your company respond to…

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29 Feb 2016 Seventh Circuit to Review Wellness Program Under Americans with Disabilities Act

  Employers with incentivized wellness programs should keep a close eye on the Seventh Circuit’s treatment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of a plastic-maker’s policy that requires medical exams as part of its voluntary wellness program. Previously, a federal court in Wisconsin ruled that the employer’s policy – which required enrolled employees to answer medical history questions, have blood drawn, and have their blood pressure measured – came within the ADA’s “safe harbor” provision because the employees were not at risk of losing…

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29 Feb 2016 State Noncompete Statutes, Your Company, and the Economy: One Perspective

  We write a lot on Currents about noncompetes. Even if your company does not use them, you may find yourself hiring somebody who has signed one with a former employer, and as a Currents reader, you know that the rules about noncompetes vary widely from state to state and you need to have some awareness of how they vary before making decisions. For example, even if an Ohio noncompete specifies the application of Ohio law, if litigation is commenced in another state, the other state’s courts…

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