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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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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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14 Jun 2016 Flex-Time and Telecommuting Requests: Potential Traps for the Unwary Employer

Imagine this nightmare scenario for an employer: employee requests a “flexible schedule” where she could start and end her workday up to an hour later than usual and to take extra breaks (up to three per day) during the day following panic attacks. She says she will need this schedule “indefinitely.” You have no idea when your employee will come to work or how long she will work during the day and there is no end in sight to this accommodation. What do you do? The depression…

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13 Jun 2016 Survey Says: Significant Minority of Employers Provide More Pay, Benefits than Required on Military Leave

The latest survey results from our friends at Employers Resource Association cover how a sample of their members handle military leave. Though not required to do so, 35 percent of respondents pay employees on military leave the difference between their regular and military pay, and five percent continue to provide full pay for at least part of time spent on training obligations. Not surprisingly, many fewer respondents exceed their obligations for employees on active duty.   Regarding benefits, half of respondents continue to pay the employer portion…

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08 Jun 2016 What Employers must know about the Americans with Disabilities Act

A few weeks ago, we posted a blog concerning the aggressive, suit-filing tactics by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against employers and the expensive and public consent decrees that follow.   One of the EEOC consent decrees discussed was with Rock Tenn, a paper and packaging manufacturer with a facility located in Battle Creek, Michigan. The consent decree required Rock Tenn to pay $187,000 in settlement of the EEOC lawsuit to provide training to its employees and submit to EEOC oversight of the manufacturer’s…

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07 Jun 2016 Telecommuting as an ADA Accommodation

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: an employee calls in to work, states she has a medical condition and can’t come in to work but says she can still do her job from home.   You have your doubts about how much work will get done from home. But you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) obliges an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified, disabled employee that will enable her to perform the essential functions of the job. And…

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06 Jun 2016 Employers Need Not Tolerate Workers Screaming On the Electronic Street Corner Terminating Employees For Offensive Remarks On Social Media

Over the last few days, the news media have widely covered Bank of America’s decision to fire one of its employees for posting this on the employee’s personal Facebook page:   I hate Facebook for this reason you f***ing n****rs.  And yes, if [you] can call each that well I can too.  ‘F***ing n****r go back to Africa. Get over your pity party. You created this hatred and your own kind that brought your great-great-parents [sic] over here and sold them.  ‘Do something with your…

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