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Make Sure FMLA Forms Mailed to Employees Can Be Traced

Here is a nightmare scenario for human resources: The company sends an employee absent from work the required Family and Medical Leave medical certification form via regular mail. The employee fails to return the form within...more

Federal Legislation Would Pre-empt State and Local Laws in Return for Guaranteed Paid Leave

On November 2, Republican congresswomen introduced legislation that would relieve employers from the growing patchwork of state and local paid employee leave laws in return for their guarantee of certain paid benefits. The...more

USERRA Requires Bonus Payment to Reservist Who Missed Training

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) imposes on employers the strictest requirements of any federal leave law. Reservists, National Guard members, and other employees who leave work for...more

Federal Courts Uphold Employer Notification Requirements for FMLA Absences

In its last round of Family and Medical Leave Act rule revisions, the Department of Labor recognized employers’ rights to establish notice procedures for employees who need to miss work due to intermittent and other legally...more

Employer Not Required to Provide Indefinite Leave for a Temporary Disability

Despite the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s more nuanced position, federal courts have generally rejected attempts by plaintiffs to claim that an indefinite leave of absence is a required reasonable accommodation...more

FMLA Care Leave Rights Expire Upon Relative's Death

The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for, among other things, care of a spouse, parent, or child with a serious health condition (SHC). What happens to these...more

Third Circuit Bats Away Employer's Flexible Time Break Policy

Department of Labor regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 C.F.R. § 785.18) state that any break time less than 20 minutes for nonexempt employees is considered compensable working time. Earlier this month,...more

Lack of Bonus Plan Explanation Does Not Violate Sarbanes-Oxley

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) prohibits publicly held employers from retaliating against employees who report illegal conduct that could have a material impact on shareholders. Since SOX was enacted, federal courts have issued...more

Employer Can Use Draw-On-Commissions but Cannot Require Repayment Upon Termination

On October 12, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals partially approved and partially rejected an unusual pay plan designed to satisfy federal minimum wage requirements. In Stein v. HHGregg, Inc., the employer placed retail...more

California Bans Salary History Inquiries During Hiring Process

On October 12, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prohibits employers from using salary history at prior jobs to determine starting pay for applicants. The law will also require California...more

Calling African-American 'Boy' and 'You People' Creates Hostile Work Environment

In a recent string of decisions, federal courts have concluded that use of racial epithets even on one occasion is sufficient to constitute a hostile work environment under Title VII. Thus, use of the N-word and other...more

Departments of Justice and State Announce Joint Effort Targeting Visa-Abusing Employers

The federal government’s intent to increase restrictions on legal and illegal immigration is no secret to any U.S. business. The Trump administration’s various proposals have included ones intended to deal with perceived...more

How to Answer Employee Questions About a Co-Worker's ADA Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with medical disabilities. The ADA also prohibits employers from disclosing information about an employee’s medical...more

Accommodations Beyond ADA Requirements Can Backfire on Employers

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employers to always allow disabled people to return to the job. In order to claim protection under the law, the disabled employee must show that he or she can perform the...more

Tenth Circuit Upholds EEOC's Authority to Sue in Relation to Non-Disparagement Provision

When an employer provides an employee with a release and settlement agreement, the document regularly includes provisions that prohibit the employee from criticizing the employer and related parties. Several years ago, the...more

DOJ Says Title VII Does Not Protect Transgender People

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. Attorneys announcing that the Department of Justice has reversed its position on the coverage of transgender people as protected under Title VII of the...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects DOL's Interpretation of Tip Credit Rule

Employees who receive gratuities may qualify for a special federal minimum wage set well below the standard $7.25 per hour. Employers are entitled to use the employees’ tips to reach the full minimum wage under the Department...more

Workplace Communications Policy Can Limit Later Discovery Burdens

Any employer that has been the subject of e-discovery requests can attest to the difficulty and expense encountered when compiling and producing company electronic communications. These burdens have been further exacerbated...more

EEOC Sues Employer for Mandatory Bible Study Meetings

From time to time, we encounter businesses described by their owners as managed and operated under Christian principles. The owners explain that they use their personal faith to guide their business decisions, including...more

Seventh Circuit Says Extended Post-FMLA Medical Leave Not Required Under ADA

Perhaps the most frequent question we receive with regard to employee medical leave involves the following scenario: An employee requests and is provided family and medical leave. Upon the expiration of the 12-week FMLA...more

Settlement Agreements With Employees Should Avoid IRCA Compliance Contingency

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), employers are prohibited from hiring persons not authorized to work in the U.S. In order to resolve some employment disputes, employers agree to reinstate an...more

DOJ Vows Criminal Prosecution of Employee "No Poaching" Agreements

A few years ago, several Silicon Valley employers made news when they were accused of agreeing among themselves not to solicit each other’s programmers and software engineering employees. These employees are in high demand,...more

U.S. Department of Labor Announces 2018 Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Increases

Unlike private sector employers, federal contractors are subject to an executive order that requires payment of a minimum wage in excess of the $7.25 federal level. In addition, that minimum adjusts annually based on cost of...more

Eleventh Circuit Says PDA May Require Accommodation of Breastfeeding Needs

For years, federal courts have held that pregnancy and sex discrimination laws do not require employers to affirmatively accommodate breastfeeding by employees. However, a recent line of cases has blurred this conclusion,...more

Failure to Complain About Sexual Harassment Over Long Period of Time Dooms Later Claims

In most cases in order to demonstrate a hostile working environment due to sex, a plaintiff must show multiple incidents of harassment over a period of time. However, in some situations, allegations of harassment that occur...more

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