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Labor & Employment E-Note - April 17, 2014

In This Issue: - Employers Face Increasing Number of Religious Bias Suits - Small Business Owners Concerned About Overtime Pay Requirements - Rising Number of Wage Theft Lawsuits Highlight Enforcement Issues -...more

New Georgia Law Helps Protect Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On April 13, 2014, Georgia's governor signed SB 365 to, in part, protect employers that hire and retain employees with criminal convictions. Under the new law, if the Department of Corrections issues a "Program and Treatment...more

Ventress III Provides Another Tool for Airlines: Ninth Circuit Says Federal Aviation Act Preempts Pilot’s State Law Employment...

On March 28, 2014, the Ninth Circuit strengthened its Federal Aviation Act (the “Act”) preemption jurisprudence, holding that state law claims for retaliation and constructive termination are preempted under the Act when they...more

Where the Whistle Blows: SEC Invites Circuit Split Over Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently weighed in on a whistleblower case pending in the Second Circuit, urging the court in Liu v. Siemens, A.G. to adopt the SEC’s interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Act’s...more

Firearms! Recent Legal Opinion on "Guns in Parking Lots" Law Places Tennessee Employers In A Crossfire

Earlier this week, the Tennessee General Assembly's Office of Legal Services opined that the "Guns in Parking Lots" law "effectively prohibits" employers from discharging an employee for conduct allowed by that law. ...more

Will The EEOC Back Off Its Position On Background Checks?

In a year filled with controversy, the EEOC outdid itself when it charged two employers with discrimination based on their use of routine criminal background checks. But now after some well-publicized losses, the EEOC may be...more

Texas Messes with EEOC

When Texans say “Don’t Mess With Texas”, they’re speaking directly to the EEOC these days. The State of Texas recently sued the EEOC, seeking to prevent the EEOC from enforcing its 2012 Enforcement Guidance on employer use of...more

Texas Files Suit to Strike Down EEOC Background Check Guidance

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) usually forces employers who are subject to Title VII to play defense. The State of Texas, however, has upended that approach. On November 4, 2013, Texas filed a federal...more

Read Before Whistleblowing: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know

In wake of ethics opinion, lawyers in New York — if not elsewhere — must think hard before considering whether to participate in the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award Program. A recent SEC whistleblower award of $14 million may...more

Courts Split On Whether Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage Violates Religious Freedoms Of For-Profit Corporations

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate, non-grandfathered group health plans must provide 100% coverage of contraceptives for women, subject to exemptions and safe harbors for...more

Supreme Court Decides Not To Decide Age Bias Circuit Split

This morning, on one of the first days of the 2013-2014 Term, the Supreme Court of the United States—as widely predicted—dismissed the writ of certiorari in an age discrimination case as improvidently granted. After hearing...more

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act: What are the changes for employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because...more

Employee’s Disclosure Of Customer Information In The Face Of Suspected Child Neglect Held Protected Activity Under CEPA, District...

In Stapleton v. DSW, Inc., 2013 WL 1137119 (D.N.J., March 20, 2013), a retail store employee observed a child whom she suspected was being neglected by her parent, a shopper in the store. The employee lodged a report with the...more

Legal Alert: DOL Agrees with Treasury on Same-Sex Spouse Recognition

On September 18, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in Technical Release 2013-04 that, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the terms “spouse” and “marriage” used in Title I...more

Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Florida Civil Rights Act Prohibits Pregnancy Discrimination

The Florida Supreme Court has granted review to resolve a conflict between two of Florida’s district courts of appeal on whether the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) prohibits pregnancy discrimination. In Delva v. Continental...more

U.S. Department of Labor Extends FMLA Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses in States That Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

As reported in the Wall Street Journal (“U.S. Extends Family Leave to Same-Sex Couples,” August 9, 2013, by Melanie Trottman and Kris Maher) and Employment Law 360 (“Labor Dept. Extends FMLA Coverage To Same-Sex Spouses,”...more

Fifth Circuit Creates Split on Scope of Retaliation Protection for "Whistleblowers" Under Dodd-Frank

Since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, a number of federal courts have grappled with the scope of the Act’s new protections for employee “whistleblowers.” Until recently,...more

What Happens in Connecticut to Discrimination and Retaliation Cases After U.S. Supreme Court Case?

Back in 1994 (in a case Levy v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities, for the lawyers out there) the Appellate Court in Connecticut made a seemingly innocuous pronouncement: “We look to federal employment discrimination...more

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC: Supreme Court declines opportunity to resolve split in the circuits over ADA job reassignment issue

The issue: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, can an employer force an employee with a disability to compete for an open position?...more

EEOC Makes Protecting Rights Of LGBT Workers A Top Priority

As the debate over gay marriage continues to intensify throughout the country, so does the issue of workplace rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. LGBT workers currently face substantial...more

Appellate Court: Tenured Teachers May be Terminated for “Disability” Without Violating CFEPA

The Connecticut Appellate Court yesterday released two notable employment law decisions. They won’t become “official” until April 30, 2013, so you have some time to digest them. I’ll cover one today and leave the other for a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears DOMA Case—Now What?

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, 12-307, a case that raises the question of whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional. Among the various groups that are...more

New York Appeals Court Applies Liberal Standard in Reinstating a Sex Bias Claim Under the City Human Rights Law

In a recent decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, a unanimous panel reinstated claims asserted by three plaintiffs under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The plaintiffs in Hernandez, et al. v....more

Third DCA Holds that Florida Civil Rights Act Does Not Prohibit Pregnancy Discrimination, Certifies Conflict with 4th DCA

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal is the latest appellate court in Florida to rule that the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) does not prohibit pregnancy discrimination. In Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc.,...more

Termination of Employee Based on her Marriage to an Undocumented Alien Does Not Violate VII

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court held in Thompson v. North American Stainless that an employer may violate Title VII by retaliating against an employee who is related to a worker engaged in conduct protected by Title...more

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