News & Analysis as of

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

Gavel to Gavel: What's in store for employers?

In 2014, the government’s employment agencies were aggressive and active in terms of investigations and lawsuits. Employers should expect this to continue in the new year and pay particular attention to the...more

Congress Acts To Help Employers That Are Compelled By State Or Local Laws To Exclude Employees With Certain Criminal Histories

Employers across a number of industries are required by state or local laws to exclude from their workforce employees with certain criminal backgrounds. For example, Ohio state law prohibits school districts from employing...more

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in Crosshairs of EEOC

Employers implementing new voluntary workplace wellness programs that are otherwise compliant with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nevertheless finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment...more

The Supreme Court May Soon Have the Final Say on an Employer’s Duty to Accommodate Pregnancy

2014 has been a big year for pregnancy protections in employment law. In May, Minnesota enacted a new pregnancy accommodation law, and in July the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an updated...more

EEOC Files Contempt Action Against Employer for Alleged Breach of Settlement Agreement

On December 3, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has filed a contempt action in Federal court against a Charlotte-based employer. In that action, the EEOC...more

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act – Granting Equal Rights to Being Treated Poorly?

In 1978 Congress enacted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Why then in 2014, over forty-five years later, is...more

Accommodation of Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

Several years ago a young woman wearing a black hijab applied for a retail job at a national chain in a Tulsa mall. The retailer, which caters to the young and fashionable, has a strict dress code which prohibits, among other...more

Court Holds Supervalu/Jewel-Osco in Contempt for Violations of EEOC Consent Decree in Disability Case

Federal Agency Obtains Relief for Three Jewel Employees Denied Accommodation; Extension of Consent Decree by One Year; Jewel to Pay EEOC Attorneys' Fees - CHICAGO - Federal District Judge Ronald A. Guzman has entered a...more

EEOC Casts Uncertainty on Popular Wellness Programs

Action Item: Employers with wellness programs that involve higher premiums or other increased cost-sharing for employees who do not participate should contact us immediately to discuss their wellness strategies and to assess...more

New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing to Pay $580,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Discrimination Suit

Companies Failed to Refer Applicants Based on Their Race/National Origin, Federal Agency Charged - MEMPHIS - Staffing companies New Koosharem Corporation and Real Time Staffing Corporation will pay $580,000 as part of...more

2014 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam

It’s time once again to test your employment and labor law knowledge with Nexsen Pruet’s fourth annual final exam. From new legal decisions to black letter statutory law, it’s your chance to show off your legal prowess....more

Responding to West-African Employees who Travel to Ebola-Affected Countries - Employee Rights vs. Public Health Concerns

Buried near the end of articles in the New York Times and The Washington Post about the first United States Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the observation that the quarantine being imposed on Mr. Duncan’s fiancée, her...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

EEOC Challenges Honeywell’s Wellness Program

The EEOC recently sued Honeywell International, Inc., claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although the EEOC...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

Well Servicing Companies to Pay $1.2 Million to Settle EEOC Suit for Race Harassment, Retaliation

Blacks, Hispanics and Indians Verbally Abused and Punished for Complaining, Federal Agency Charged - DENVER - A federal judge in Casper, Wyo., has approved a $1.2 million settlement in a case brought by the U.S....more

Transgender Employees: The New Protected Category?

By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Additional categories are...more

Four New Laws Within 40 Miles: The Washington, DC Area Accelerates the "Ban-the-Box" Movement

The Washington, DC area has become the leading edge of the "ban-the-box" movement, with four new ban-the-box laws applicable to private employers enacted in the past six months. Baltimore, Maryland, started the trend when...more

Paloma Blanca in Albuquerque Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit for $145,000

Employee's Firing Was Because of Disabilities, Federal Agency Charged - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Paloma Blanca Health Care Associates, LLC, d/b/a Paloma Blanca Health and Rehabilitation, which owns and operates a health...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 4: EEOC v. Honeywell and the Future of Wellness Programs

While my entries have focused principally on the employer shared responsibility rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every once in a while an item comes along that nevertheless grabs my attention. The treatment of wellness...more

Don’t Forget That 12 Weeks Really Doesn’t Mean 12 Weeks

I frequently receive calls from clients involving an employee who is about to use up all of his available medical leave (FMLA or otherwise), but who has little chance of returning to work anytime soon. Many times, the...more

Employment Law - November 2014 #2

EEOC’s Wellness Challenge Feeling Under the Weather - Why it matters: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to challenge employer wellness programs hit a snag when a federal court judge in...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - November 2014

Jury to Decide Adequacy of FMLA Recertification Notice Delivered by Email - A recent case allowing an employee to take claims under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to trial underscores the importance...more

EEOC Promises Guidance On Wellness Programs In February

Good news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced in its 2015 regulatory agenda that it will be issuing proposed regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic...more

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