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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

18 Apr DOL Issues New Opinion Letters on Wage and Hour Issues – Compensability of Health-Related Rest Breaks

  The DOL recently issued three new Wage and Hour opinion letters on its website giving employers additional guidance on compensation for travel time, pay for health-related rest breaks as well as whether lump sum payments are subject to garnishments. This demonstrates the commitment of the DOL to re-establish the opinion letter program which was eliminated during the Obama administration.  Back in January, the DOL re-issued 17 opinion letters issued by the Bush administration nine years ago but which had been withdrawn during the Obama…

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05 Apr Accommodate Much? Restrictive Seventh Circuit Leave Ruling Lives On

  Letter of the Law: A Revival!  No employment lawyer worth her salt would choose anything other than “Accommodation” for the Letter A.  And so it begins….   HR professionals know all too well that the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.   While accommodations often include overcoming physical obstacles such as inaccessible workplace areas and unwieldy equipment, they more commonly pertain to workplace rules. For example, employers are asked to change when or where work is performed, leave…

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13 Oct Attention Illinois Employers: 3 Handbook Policies to Revisit Now

  If you haven’t reviewed your attendance, sick leave, or pregnancy-related policies in a while, the time is right to ensure you stay up to date and prevent potential pitfalls.   Parental leave and pregnancy accommodation policies may need updates   Recent lawsuits, such as the one that the EEOC filed against Estee Lauder, claim companies’ parental leave policies violate sex discrimination laws if they provide male employees with less bonding leave upon the birth of a child than female employees receive. This serves as…

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29 Sep The Gradual But Decided Shift to a Much More Complex World of Employment Law

  On Oct. 4, my colleagues (and fellow Currents bloggers) Jeanine Gozdecki and Doug Oldham will be presenting a program focused on increasing complexity in the employment law arena. Employment law accelerated in the 1960s when Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was passed, as well as many similar state discrimination laws. At that time, things seemed pretty cut and dried – treat people equally to avoid liability. Many factors have made the world of employment law far more complicated since then:   The number of protected…

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18 Jul Sticks and Stones: When Texts and Emails Will Hurt You

  Sticks and stones may break my bones But words will never hurt me   Recent legal decisions painfully remind us that words, specifically words in a text, instant message or email, can derail an employer’s position or defense.  The informality of these electronic communications tends to create the mindset that they are less subject to exposure or scrutiny than a formal written letter or memorandum.   In a recent case, Martin v. Tall Brown Dog, LLC, the plaintiff was a recently hired leadership/business development…

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