Christopher Ward

Christopher Ward

Foley & Lardner LLP

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ABA Seeks to Combat Discrimination, But Clients May Hold the Keys to Progress

We normally devote our small corner of the internet to updating you on the latest developments with the goal of helping employers do the right thing, most often from a legal compliance standpoint, but occasionally from a...more

9/15/2016 - American Bar Association (ABA) Discrimination Ethics Sex Discrimination Young Lawyers

Chicago Adopts Paid Sick Leave Following Burgeoning National Trend

Late last month, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a new paid sick leave ordinance requiring virtually every employer in the city to provide at least some paid time off to employees for sick leave purposes. Cook...more

7/15/2016 - City Councils City of Chicago Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) FMLA Local Ordinance New Legislation Paid Leave Sick Leave Tipped Employees Wage and Hour

Obesity Not A Disability Without An Underlying Medical Cause

In June of last year, we pondered whether obesity is a mere physical characteristic or a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as now amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act...more

4/13/2016 - ADA ADAAA Conditional Job Offers Disability Disability Discrimination EEOC Hiring & Firing Medical Examinations Obesity Popular

Avoiding Non-Enforcement of Non-Competes

The use of non-competition agreements to protect a company’s relationships and sensitive information is a relatively common practice. What can be less common, however, is careful use of non-competition agreements, with the...more

11/18/2015 - Contract Drafting E-Commerce Enforceability Future Harm Multinationals Non-Compete Agreements

Separately Assessing Separation Agreements

Separation or severance agreements —which typically provide a terminating employee with some kind of cash payment, temporary salary continuation, or other gratuitous benefit in exchange for a release of claims — have their...more

8/18/2015 - Best Practices Hiring & Firing Professional Misconduct Risk Management Risk Mitigation Severance Agreements Severance Pay Termination

25 Years of the ADA: Five Tips for ADA Compliance

Last week – July 26, 2015, to be precise – marked the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The anniversary kicked off celebrations of, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the...more

8/4/2015 - ADA ADAAA Corporate Counsel Decision-Making Process Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA Reasonable Accommodation Young Lawyers

DOL Fires Across the Bow of Businesses Underway With Independent Contractor Manpower

Employee classification issues have been a recurrent topic of ours, and with all the class action litigation arising from independent contractor and other classifications, we have had no shortage of opportunities to remind...more

7/22/2015 - Administrative Interpretation DOL Employee Definition Enforcement FLSA Independent Contractors IRS Misclassification Self-Employment Tax Wage and Hour

"Equal" Means "Equal in Substance," Not "Equal in Form"

We noted several weeks ago that the Ellen Pao case reminds us that sometimes settlement is better than the airing of sensitive allegations, and sometimes outrageous settlement demands require an aggressive defense, media...more

5/6/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Equal Pay Equal Pay Act Wage and Hour

Common Sense Prevails: Working From Home Sometimes Will Not Work

Well, phew. We like when legal developments we believe raise troubling questions with problematic implications later develop into something seemingly more rational based on the intersection of law and logic. One such pleasant...more

4/22/2015 - ADA Attendance Reasonable Accommodation Telecommuting

NLRB’s New Quickie Elections May Allow for Union Ambush Tactics

The National Labor Relations Board certainly did not wait long to take the next step in changing the landscape of union organizing to promote the success of labor interests in representation campaigns. Only one day after its...more

12/17/2014 - Ambush Election Rules NLRB Quickie Election Rules Union Elections Unions

Open the Floodgates: "Reply All" Now Also Means "Easy Union Organizing"

Well we pretty much knew this day was coming. Your email system has just become a union’s most effective tool to organize your employees. In May of this year, we predicted the National Labor Relations Board would...more

12/12/2014 - Email NLRB Purple Communications Unions

Unanimous Supreme Court: Employers Don’t Have to Pay for Security Screenings

We noted in October that the U.S. Supreme Court recently held oral argument in a case considering whether time spent by employees passing through security screening lines on their way out of the employer’s facility...more

12/10/2014 - FLSA Integrity Staffing v Busk SCOTUS Security Checks Wage and Hour

EEOC Signals Intent to Process and Litigate Claims of Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Signaling its intent to pursue its viewpoint that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (including transgender identity), the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

10/22/2014 - Civil Rights Act Discrimination EEOC Sexual Orientation Discrimination Title VII

FMLA Stands for "Family and Medical Leave Avalanche"

We noted last year that 20 years after the original passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Department of Labor issued a survey report lauding the effectiveness of the law and the positive impact it has had...more

8/26/2014 - DOL Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

8/12/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Fast-Food Industry Franchises Franchisors Joint Employers McDonalds NLRB Restaurant Industry Small Business Unions Wage and Hour

Now I Have to Allow Insubordination and Verbal Abuse Too?

Several weeks ago, in both a tongue-in-cheek and concerned fashioned, we wrote about a federal court decision that concluded an employer had to tolerate an employee’s admitted theft as a reasonable accommodation for her...more

6/11/2014 - EEOC Employer Liability Issues Insubordination Policy Obscenity

Caught Snooping on Privacy Rights: Illinois Supreme Court Invalidates State Eavesdropping Law

Late last month, the Illinois Supreme Court essentially gutted the state’s long-standing eavesdropping law, placing the state into an unprecedented “no-mans-land” for the recording of private conversations. In two separate...more

4/9/2014 - Audio Recording Eavesdropping Invasion of Privacy Right to Privacy Surveillance

Making Your Termination Decision Count (Don’t Sleep on This One…)

The success or failure of an employer’s defenses in employment litigation often turns on what motivated a termination decision. My consistently subpar performance or my complaint about harassment? My taking of leave or...more

3/19/2014 - Disability Discrimination Discrimination Hiring & Firing Reasonable Accommodation Retaliation Termination

Faster Elections, Fairer Results, So They Say – But Employers Know Better

As the next step in a series of moves that will likely confer substantial advantages to unions in organizing campaigns, the National Labor Relations Board has resurrected proposed changes to its election rules. While the...more

2/17/2014 - NLRB Union Elections Unions

Back in Business: The NLRB Is Once Again a Party of Five

On Tuesday, July 30, 2013, the Senate voted to confirm all five of President Obama’s nominees to the NLRB to avoid a major showdown over Senate procedural rules regarding approval of executive appointments....more

8/7/2013 - Confirmation Proceedings NLRA NLRB Political Appointments

Are Confidential AND Enforceable FLSA Settlements on the Horizon?

For many years, the traditional practice has been that settlements of claims brought, and waivers of claims arising, under the FLSA required approval either from the Department of Labor (DOL) or a court. This rationale has...more

3/13/2013 - DOL FLSA Settlement

DOL Marks Two Decades of the FMLA With Finalized Rules and a Survey Report Lauding the Law’s Effectiveness

This week, the Department of Labor (DOL) marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by issuing a final rule (Rule) creating two expanded protections under the FMLA....more

2/12/2013 - Airline Employees DOL Flight Crews FMLA Military Caregiver Leave Paid Leave Veterans

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