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Google and Charlottesville Events Raise Questions for Companies Regarding Employee Political Views

Two recent major news stories again involve the intersection of politics with employment law. In the first matter, Google fired a programmer after he posted an internal document criticizing the company’s diversity...more

North Carolina Governor Signs Law Creating Division to Investigate and Prosecute Employee Misclassification Claims

In 2015, a Raleigh newspaper ran a series of investigative articles focused on construction industry members that classified a large portion of their workers as independent contractors instead of employees. The articles...more

Ninth Circuit Says Mortgage Underwriters are Production Workers Not Eligible for Overtime Exemption

The financial services industry has been a prime target for class and collective action claims for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and related state laws. For decades, banks and related institutions...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Telecommuting Not Reasonable for Accommodation for Litigation Attorney

Contrary to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) position discussed in last week’s EmployNews, federal courts continue to allow employers to require employees to actually come to work. Last month, the Fifth...more

DOL Halts Enforcement of Tip Pooling Rules

In 2011, the Obama Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a rule stating that service industry employers could not implement tip pooling rules, even if they did not claim the tip credit for minimum wage compliance purposes. Tip...more

Workplace Odors Can Provide Basis for Telecommuting Arrangement

As technology makes it more possible for employees to work from remote locations, employers are increasingly faced with requests from employees to work from home. When these requests are based on medical reasons, the employer...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Finds Medical Marijuana Users Protected from Adverse Employment Action

Beginning when the first states legalized use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, employers began speculating whether legislatures and courts in those states would continue to permit employers to exclude...more

NLRB Affirms Employer's Right to Terminate Employees Who Disparaged Company's Food Safety Practices

Over the past several years, we have reported on a seemingly never-ending series of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions proclaiming a variety of abusive employee practices as protected behavior under federal labor...more

Eleventh Circuit Decision May Prompt Supreme Court to Determine Coverage of Sexual Orientation Bias Under Title VII

On July 6, the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear the appeal of a case dismissing a sexual orientation bias claim under Title VII for lack of jurisdiction. This decision creates a split among the federal...more

OSHA Proposes Delay for New Injury Reporting Requirements

Late last month, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a proposed delay for implementation of its new injury and illness reporting requirements until December 1. The rule originally was...more

President Trump Loosens DOL Apprenticeship Qualifications

On June 15, President Trump signed an Executive Order streamlining the design and approval for apprenticeship programs funded by the Department of Labor (DOL). The Order is intended to entice more employers to begin...more

North Carolina Appellate Court Refuses to Lift Preliminary Injunction in Non-Solicitation Case Before Trial

When an employer believes that a former employee has violated post-employment restrictive covenants, it often seeks injunctive relief intended to prevent harm to its business pending a final determination on the merits of the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Small Government Subdivisions Subject to ADEA

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only applies to employers with 20 or more employees. For years, small local governmental units have understood that they are exempt from ADEA jurisdiction based on the actual...more

6/26/2017  /  ADEA , Appeals , Jurisdiction , Public Employees

Fourth Circuit Affirms "Mark of the Beast" Religious Discrimination Verdict

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) affirmed a $600,000 jury verdict in favor of a West Virginia coal miner who refused to use a new biometric hand scanner installed by his...more

Second Circuit Upholds NLRB Ban on No Recording Policy

Last year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) surprised many employers when it declared illegal Whole Foods’ policy that prohibits employees from video or audio recording in the workplace. The Board concluded that the...more

Seventh Circuit Title IX Ruling May Impact Transgender Employee Protections

The battles over transgender persons’ civil rights continue nationwide, especially when the controversy involves restroom access. Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a Wisconsin school district...more

Fourth Circuit Says FMLA Allows Reinstatement to Equivalent Position Even If Original Job Remains

Employees taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are entitled to be reinstated to their previous job or to an equivalent position. The equivalent position must be the substantially the same in terms of...more

EEOC Charge Does Not Need to Specify Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) divided sexual harassment claims into two distinct categories. Hostile environment harassment related to creation of an offensive work environment based on sexual...more

Can Employers Require Medical Confirmation of Pregnancy for FLMA Leave Purposes?

When an employee seeks Family and Medical Leave for a serious health condition, the company routinely gives the employee requesting the leave the DOL medical certification form to be completed by their healthcare provider. In...more

Expletive-Laced Facebook Rant Protected Under Federal Labor Law

Many people have fanaticized about telling their boss what they really think about him or her. Fortunately, most employees have the good sense not to write down what they are thinking about their employer....more

Sixth Circuit Says "Cat's Paw" Theory Applies to FMLA Retaliation Claim

Employers sometimes defend retaliation claims by responding that the person or persons making the adverse employment decision was not aware of the plaintiff’s prior complaint. In the employment discrimination context, the...more

Employer Not Required to Pay for Medical Treatment or Provide Teamwork Structure as ADA Accommodations

A recent decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates the limits of employers’ obligations to accommodate employee disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp....more

NC Court of Appeals Says Attempted ADA Accommodation Can Be Terminated Based on Effects on Coworkers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) encourages employers to engage in an interactive process with disabled employees to determine if there are reasonable accommodations that allow the employee to perform the essential...more

Employer Potentially Liable for Supervisor's Off-Duty Murder of Employee

Most employers know that they can be held liable in some situations based on negligent hiring or retention of an employee who harms a third party. A new decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals cautions employers...more

IRS Asks Employers to Report Phishing Schemes

Every tax season seems to bring with it new attempts by criminals to fraudulently obtain tax refunds. One popular “phishing” scheme involves fraudulent emails that appear to be from a company executive seeking personal...more

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