Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
0 1

15 Jan 2016 HR Note to Self: Accommodate Obvious Disabilities

  A recent case out of Connecticut federal court serves as a fine reminder that a good dose of common sense can be indispensable for staying out of trouble under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In the case in question, a call center employee was a top performer, consistently receiving sterling performance evaluations and even a special award for outstanding service. Unfortunately, a car accident led to disabling spine, hip, elbow, shoulder, and knee injuries. The employee’s performance suffered as her injuries made it…

READ MORE
0 0

12 Jan 2016 Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Really Sex Discrimination? The EEOC Wants Courts To Think So

  Although sexual orientation is not specifically listed as a protected class under Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is fighting to expand the law through judicial interpretation to protect sexual orientation. The EEOC’s latest efforts came in an amicus brief filed in Burrows v. College of Central Florida, an Eleventh Circuit case in which the plaintiff claims she lost her job because she is a lesbian.   The EEOC makes the following arguments in its attempt to persuade the court that sexual…

READ MORE
0 0

08 Jan 2016 What You Need to Know: Open Carry Law Brings About Changes for Employer Handgun Policies

  The Texas Legislature recently expanded the rights of licensed handgun owners to openly carry their firearms. This right is in addition to the already existing right of licensed handgun owners to carry concealed firearms. The so-called “open carry” law went into effect on Jan. 1 in Texas.   Texas employers who desire to prohibit all—customers, employees, contractors, or vendors— who enter their premises from carrying licensed concealed or open carry handguns and who post the statutorily required notices in English and Spanish (with the…

READ MORE
0 0

08 Jan 2016 Permanent Lifting Restrictions and the ADA

  Permanent lifting restrictions can be a headache for employers when navigating through the accommodation process under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In determining the reasonableness of accommodating these restrictions, employers should review the essential functions of the position, whether it has provided similar accommodations, and whether such an accommodation could be provided permanently. All of this can be time consuming and difficult and can result in litigation if done wrong. However, a recent decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals provides some…

READ MORE
0 0

06 Jan 2016 New York City Protects Caregivers Under Expanded Law

  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) signed a city council bill (Int. No. 0108-2014-A) on Jan. 5, which expanded the protections of the New York City Human Rights Law against employment discrimination to include “caregiver status” as a protected category. The bill prohibits any employee or job candidate who “provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient” from being subject to adverse employment actions by employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations (and any employees or agents of…

READ MORE
0 0

05 Jan 2016 New Year, New Laws: Welcome to 2016 in California

  In true California fashion, new measures that took effect on Jan. 1 will benefit millions of workers while posing additional challenges for employers. Some are broad, while others have a narrower focus. Below is a round-up of the notable New Year’s laws:   Minimum Wage The state minimum wage increased to $10 perhour. The $10 rate is the highest minimum in the nation—don’t worry Californians, Massachusetts also adopted this rate. For some comparison, the federal minimum is $7.25 perhour. Keep in mind that with the…

READ MORE
0 0

04 Jan 2016 New Year, New Wages

After ringing in 2016, employers may want to skip the eggnog and check their wages to make sure they are properly paying their employees.  On Jan. 1, the minimum wage rates in 14 states went up and all are higher than the federal minimum wage.  These states and rate increases include:   Alaska $9.75 per hour Arkansas $8.00 per hour California $10.00 per hour Connecticut $9.60 per hour Hawaii $8.50 per hour Massachusetts $10.00 per hour Michigan $8.50 per hour Nebraska $9.00 per hour New…

READ MORE
0 0

04 Jan 2016 Friend or Foe?: Terminated HR Director Can Bring Retaliation Case, Court Says

  Most readers are aware that an employee who complains – internally or externally – about wage/hour law violations, or virtually any violation of an employment law, has the statutory right not to have an adverse job action taken against him/her because he/she made that complaint. We have discussed such claims before in the Currents blog, including here. It is the protected class of “People Who Have Asserted Their Legal Rights,” and asserting retaliation claims has long been a growth area.   But what about an…

READ MORE
0 0

31 Dec 2015 What – This is MY Fault?!? Indiana Supreme Court Expands Employers’ Respondeat Superior Liability for the Acts of their Employees

  Earlier this month, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion in Knighten v. East Chicago Housing Authority which expands employers’ liability for acts of their employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior.   In Knighten, the East Chicago Housing Authority contracted with a security company to provide guards at its facility. One of the security guards was romantically involved with a resident of the Housing Authority. The guard got into an argument with the resident while he was on duty and shot her, paralyzing…

READ MORE
0 0

30 Dec 2015 CEO Personally Liable for Company’s Wage and Hour Violations

  As most companies are aware, running afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can prove extremely costly. What is likely less well-known, however, is that the company itself may not be the only one required to pay up.  As demonstrated by a recent case out of Pennsylvania, C-level executives may also be on the hook personally for a company’s FLSA violations.   In Perez v. American Future Systems, Inc., a federal district court granted the U.S. Department of Labor’s motion for summary judgment…

READ MORE