On June 22, the Department of Labor issued Administrator's Interpretation No. 2010-3, clarifying whether parents who have no biological or legal relationship with a child may still be eligible to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for him or her.
Unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADEA does not provide that a plaintiff may establish discrimination by showing that age was simply a motivating factor. Under Gross, an employer does not have to prove that it would have made the same decision regardless of age, even if the employee produces some evidence that age may have been a contributing factor in the decision.
Employers are advised to consider state law obligations to accommodate disabled employees due to pregnancy. If the employer has an alternative or interim work program for injured or disabled employees, state law may require the employer look into whether an open position exists for the pregnant employee under that program.
Impact: Employers are advised to engage in an interactive process with employees seeking job accommodation. Although the inability to drive is not a major life activity, it could create a disability if it caused an impairment of a major life activity like 'caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, learning and working.'
Employers should rely on opinions and recommendations of health care providers in considering possible accommodations, as well as in determining if an employee has the ability to perform essential job functions.
Employers are advised that job-related training is compensable if required as a condition of employment or continued employment. In determining whether time devoted to training must be paid, careful consideration should be given to applicable regulations.
Employers are cautioned that job decisions that are based on assumptions that a woman, because she is a woman, will neglect her job responsibilities because of childcare responsibilities can be evidence of sex discrimination.
When the completion of homework, including reading and preparing for future classes, programs or seminars is required, time spent by an employee completing assignments for such training is compensable.
An employer’s plant closing or mass layoff occurring before the conclusion of the WARN 60-day period may not violate the law if the closing or mass layoff is caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the notice would have been required.