For six years, Frank Woodward was a director of sales at Emulex Corp. Woodward, who worked remotely in Massachusetts, had an excellent performance record, but because of a series of Emulex decisions, Woodward’s sales significantly declined by 2009. In response, Emulex eliminated the jobs held by Woodward and his two assistants and terminated Woodward.
Laura Symczyk filed a lawsuit against her employer, Genesis HealthCare Corp., alleging that Genesis violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by automatically deducting pay for a 30-minute lunch break even if the employee worked during that time.
Peggy Young, a delivery truck driver for UPS Inc., was given lifting restrictions because of her pregnancy. UPS' policy did not permit Young to continue working with the lifting restriction, and she was ineligible for light-duty assignment because UPS only…
Wynona Harris, a bus driver employed by the city of Santa Monica, California, was fired on the same day she submitted a doctor's note to her supervisor stating that she could continue working through her pregnancy with limited restrictions. Harris sued, alleging pregnancy discrimination in violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been challenged in several recent cases. Its provisions require that employers provide contraceptive coverage. Several business owners and organizations have gone to the courts since they objected to providing health care to their employees that opposed the companies' religious beliefs.
Federal, state and local employment discrimination laws may not apply to religious institutions and their employees who play some role in disseminating the employer's religious message.
In a Jan. 3 decision, the NLRB ruled that "employers may not compel employees to waive their National Labor Relations Act right to collectively pursue litigation of employment claims in all forums, arbitral and judicial."
An employee's complaints about working conditions, even where made public such as on a Facebook post, may be protected by state law and form the grounds for wrongful discharge.
THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD will be approving a series of changes intended to streamline procedures for employee votes for union representation that will include: limitations on pre-election hearings; restrictions on post-hearing requests intended to facilitate prompt rulings; elimination of…
MELISSA MOORE, a nurse employed by Highlands Hospital Corp. in Kentucky, may pursue a wrongful discharge claim against her former employer based on claims she was fired for posting on her Facebook page complaints about high patient-to-nurse ratios at the…
Speech made by government employees who are acting in their government capacity is not protected under the First Amendment.
Employers should remain diligent in collecting work authorization documentation from employees.
Employers need to understand and abide by these major changes set forth in the EEOC’s final regulations.
Employers should be careful to investigate anti-discrimination claims, rather than simply relying on supervisor’s input, to avoid ‘cat’s paw’ liability.
Employers should carefully review overtime pay exemptions found in the federal and state overtime laws because incorrect classifications may result in substantial liability not only under those laws, but also under related state laws involving unlawful business acts or practices.
An individual who has worked for an employer for less than 12 months may still be eligible for FMLA protection if that company is considered a successor in interest to the employee's former employer and the employee's combined length of service for both employers is 12 months or more.
Because of the ADA Amendments Act's more expansive definition of a 'disability,' employers should be aware that workers with cancer or other diseases that are inactive or in remission may still be considered disabled, in which case reasonable accommodations must be considered.
Because break time requirements for nursing mothers do not pre-empt state laws that provide greater protections to employees, employers are advised to review the applicable state laws and to provide reasonable break time for nursing mothers to express milk in a private place.
Employers are advised to carefully evaluate applicable legal standards to determine whether a particular worker is an independent contractor or employee.
Employers are advised that stereotypes as to how men or women should look or act create a basis for challenging adverse employment decisions. It is recommended that employers include in routine harassment and other training for managers the issue of potential liability and the increase of litigation over this issue.
Business owners must always be on their best behavior toward employees and customers. It is recommended that employers consider policies and procedures to alert all managers of their obligations, and provide employees with an avenue for complaints.
Employers should consider engaging in the ADA interactive process for a range of employee illnesses and conditions, even for illnesses that appear to be in remission. Subsequent amendments to the ADA, which became effective January 1, 2009, provide that employees with medical conditions in remission may be covered by the act.
Employers are advised to verify that job applicants are eligible to work in the U.S. Although the Obama administration has made E-Verify the centerpiece of its workplace enforcement efforts, many employer groups, including the Society for Human Resource Management, criticize it as ineffective and inefficient. Despite DHS’ action and the ongoing debate over E-Verify, employers remain obligated to ensure that they do not hire or continue to employ individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S.
Employers must always engage in an interactive process with employees seeking job accommodations. Employers should not assume that an employee is no longer able to perform the essential functions of her job with or without an accommodation, without speaking with the employee and receiving a doctor's documentation of the impairment.