News & Analysis as of

The EEOC has been a busy bee this week. (It stings!)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been on a tear recently, suing employers right and left, and getting some “wins” including a couple of big settlements . . ....more

Major changes in store for Tennessee wrongful discharge law

Last month, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law legislation (Public Chapter 995) that will significantly amend the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”), the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”), and the...more

The “Program Accessibility” Exception for Public Entities Under the ADA

Public owners, as well as private owners and tenants of commercial and retail properties, are at risk of lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and related state law alleging that their...more

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), by a 3-to-2 vote of commissioners, issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (the "Guidance"), along with a question and...more

EEOC Issues Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination for First Time in 30 Years

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination for the first time in 30 years. The new guidance clarifies the EEOC's understanding of the law, as well...more

Employment Law - July 2014 #2

High Court’s Fall Docket Includes Major Employment Issues - Why it matters: While the 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court term may be over, the justices have granted certiorari in two major employment cases slated for the...more

Curb Appeal: Looks Matter When It Comes to the ADA

I’m frequently asked two questions by business owners and managers when it comes to ADA compliance and lawsuits. The first question is, “what type of businesses get sued most often?”...more

Week in Review

We hope you had a happy 4th of July weekend! Last week’s news included more employees making headlines for their misuse of social media. The links below highlight three cases in which employees’ social media activity or...more

How Important is Attendance at Work?

The answer seems obvious. The employer must decide what hours of work are best for producing its products or serving its customers, and employees must maintain regular and reliable attendance during those hours. In fact,...more

Is Telecommuting Now a Reasonable Accommodation?

The laws prohibiting disability discrimination impose obligations on employers which go far beyond the mere avoidance of discrimination. In addition to refraining from discrimination, employers must also provide reasonable...more

Eighth Circuit: “Satisfactory to Us” Plan Language Sufficient to Entitle Plan Fiduciary to Deferential Review

The Eighth Circuit recently held that language in Prudential’s disability policy requiring proof of disability that is “satisfactory to Prudential” was sufficient to grant the plan discretionary authority and entitled the...more

Court Enters Permanent Injunction Against American Tool & Mold in EEOC Disability Case

Clearwater Company Ordered to Pay $150,000 and Observe Non-Discrimination Provisions For Withdrawing Job Offer Because of Applicant's Old Back Injury - TAMPA, Fla. - In an order issued yesterday, a federal judge...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2014

Disability Accommodation Through Telecommuting More Reasonable In Modern Workplace - In EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, the federal Sixth Circuit appellate court (covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) recently...more

The 2014 Colorado Legislative Session in Review

The 2014 Colorado legislative session adjourned on May 7, 2014. The legislature tweaked several pre-existing employment laws but steered away from major changes to the employment relationship in Colorado. Below is a summary...more

Can A Failure To Hire Violate ERISA?

A recent decision of the federal district court for the southern district of Ohio raises interesting questions under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that might also affect employer liability under the...more

EEOC Sues Turner Machine Company for Retaliation

Manufacturing Company Fired Engineer for Filing Religious and Disability Discrimination Charge, Federal Agency Says - NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Turner Machine Company retaliated against an employee by firing him because he...more

New York Court Of Appeals Emphasizes Need For Interactive Process When Accommodating Employees’ Disabilities

Jacobsen v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., No. 2014-34 (N.Y. Court of Appeals, Mar. 27, 2014): New York’s highest court recently ruled that an employer’s failure to engage in a good-faith interactive process...more

Direct Optical to Pay $53,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

Farmington Hills Optical Store Fired Employee Because of Request for Service Dog, Federal Agency Charged - DETROIT - Direct Optical, Inc., an optical store in Farmington Hills, Mich., will pay $53,000 and furnish other...more

Expansion of Employment Protections for Employees Who Are Crime Victims, Including Obligations to Provide Reasonable...

Existing laws prohibit an employer from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault for taking time off from work in connection with court proceedings...more

Take 5 Newsletter: An Employer's "Top 5" Action Items for 2014

It's December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties. But the big question is this: What issues should get...more

New York City Employers Face Tougher Disability Accommodation Standards

In Romanello v. Intesa Sanpaolo, S.p.A., the New York Court of Appeals adopted the broad reading of an employer’s duty to accommodate a disabled employee under the New York City Human Rights Law (City HRL), as initially set...more

Employer Must Prove Indefinite Leave Is Undue Hardship Under NYCHRL, Says New York’s Highest Court

Can an employee state a claim for a disability discrimination termination when he advises his employer that his return to work date "is indeterminate at this time" and the employer, without further discussion with the...more

LAPD Reserve Officer Cannot Claim Disability Discrimination Because He Is Not An "Employee" Under FEHA - Court Rules That...

A California Court of Appeal recently held that a volunteer reserve police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department was not entitled to maintain a disability discrimination claim under the California Fair Employment and...more

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Company Now Known as RockTenn CP, LLC Fired Employee Because of His Disability, Federal Agency Charges - FLORENCE, S.C. - RockTenn CP, LLC formerly known as Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, discriminated against an...more

Expanding the Disability Rights Playing Field in California: New Regulations Broaden Protections for Disabled Employees

In December, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission approved an overhaul of California's disability discrimination regulations as one of its last acts before being replaced by the Fair Employment and Housing Council on...more

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