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 0

13 Mar 2015 Lyft is Facing the Ride of Its Life

  Earlier this week, a California federal judge reasoned the test in the state’s court by determining a jury must decide whether Lyft drivers are independent contractors or if they should get the same benefits as full-fledged employees in the state of California.   In September 2014, driver Patrick Cotter brought suit against Lyft, known for its cars adorned with pink mustaches. Lyft, like Uber, fashions itself as an economical app based rideshare program — meaning it does not directly employ drivers, but rather helps…

READ MORE
0 0

09 Mar 2015 More EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: Why No Disability Accommodation Angle?

As Jeanine Gozdecki posted here, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in the case involving the scope of an employer’s obligation, if any, to initiate religious accommodation discussions with an applicant who was wearing clothing that would violate the company’s apparel policy but that would seem to be being worn for religious purposes. The federal court of appeals that heard the case seemed to say the company had no affirmative obligation, it had not discriminated if the applicant did not raise the issue….

READ MORE
0 0

09 Mar 2015 Saks Settles Controversial Transgender Discrimination Case

As a reminder to employers that the threat of transgender discrimination lawsuits is alive and well, Saks & Company recently settled a controversial claim of discrimination where a former salesperson claimed she had been harassed and retaliated against on the basis of her transgender identity.  Saks previously argued in a Motion to Dismiss that transgender individuals were not covered by Title VII, which then sparked outrage from gender rights activists as well as both state and federal regulators.  As we have previously noted in a…

READ MORE
0 0

03 Mar 2015 EEOC’s Targeted Attack of Inflexible Leave Policies Under the ADA

Last November, I wrote a blog about a pattern of ADA lawsuits filed by the EEOC challenging what it sees as inflexible leave policies. Well, just like that song by a former famous pop singer – Oops, I did it again – or however it goes, we find another employer who has landed on the receiving end of an EEOC lawsuit for allegedly maintaining an inflexible leave policy. Whether it’s a bit of irony or a purposeful attempt by the agency to raise its profile…

READ MORE
0 0

26 Feb 2015 Who Knew? U.S. Supreme Court Justices Offer Employment Tips

It was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who offered the first tip: “So why can’t the employer just simply say, ‘We have a Look Policy that doesn’t permit beards? Can you comply with that policy?’”   Justice Samuel Alito refined the suggestion; instead of asking whether an applicant can comply, he said, “Just say ‘Do you have any problem with that?’”   These surprisingly practical strategies might be the best take-away from the legal battle of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the case where dress…

READ MORE
0 0

25 Feb 2015 Choose Your Expert Wisely: Fourth Circuit Rejects EEOC’s Choice on Background Checks

Fans of the Indiana Jones series will remember the scene near the end of the Last Crusade where our hero is looking over a multitude of chalices to select the one true grail, and the ancient knight beside him warns: “Choose wisely.” When the bad guy pushes his way forward to pick out a pretty – but ultimately incorrect – cup, we find out the grisly consequences of choosing poorly. The knight’s admonition to “choose wisely” not only is good advice for selecting grails, but…

READ MORE
0 0

24 Feb 2015 FMLA Final Rule: ‘Spouse’ Means Same-Sex Spouse (Even in Alabama)

Even for HR veterans, administering the FMLA still triggers occasional anxiety attacks. Within the last two weeks, I was asked, “How should we treat same-sex spouses under the FMLA?” On at least this cause for nervousness, the Department of Labor has finally issued clear guidance.   On Feb. 23, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced, in essence, that under the FMLA, “spouse” means “spouse,” even if you are living in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages.   The DOL’s Final Rule announced…

READ MORE
0 0

19 Feb 2015 Minnesota Proposed Family Paid Leave Battle Begins

Earlier this month, proposed legislation – House File 580 – was introduced in both the State House and Senate that, among other things, would provide for paid family leave in Minnesota. This proposed legislation has gained the support of several public interest groups and trade unions and objections from most employers.   If passed, Minnesota would join California, New Jersey and Rhode Island in providing for some form of compensation to eligible employees for parental or family caregiving leave. House File 580 would require both…

READ MORE
0 0

19 Feb 2015 Putting Out a Welcome Mat for Disabled Workers: Government Guide Provides Tips for Hiring and Retention

In a continuing effort to bolster employment prospects for individuals with disabilities, a number of federal agencies have joined forces to produce a guide that encourages employers to open their doors to more disabled workers.   The publication, entitled “Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities: A Resource Guide for Employers,” was published online earlier this month via the whitehouse.gov site.   The guide has a number of useful pointers and links for hiring managers and supervisors who work with individuals with disabilities.  In…

READ MORE
0 0

16 Feb 2015 Some HR Numbers That Should Be Zero In Your Organization LETTER OF THE LAW: CURRENT EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES A-Z

This week’s letter is Z, and Z is for zero. As I have written here before, there is a lot of gray in employment law, so some black and white answers are refreshing every now and then.  Here are some employment law related questions to which your organizations answer should be:  zero.   How many supervisors are handling information from medical providers relating to employee health information? (This should go through HR. Supervisors are on a need to know basis, such as knowing an employee’s…

READ MORE