Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: August 2016 #5

by Zelle LLP
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Last week, we were reminded of the impact of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division enforcement activities. The agency announced that National Freight, Inc. will pay more than $1,000,000 in back wages to 359 workers following a Division investigation of the company’s classification and overtime practices.  An investigation of a pay-to-work scheme affecting farmworkers from the Dominican Republic resulted in a finding that a Foley, Minnesota farm owes the workers $576,000 in back wages and other restitution.  In Nebraska, an investigation of wage violations and worker intimidation resulted in a payment of $250,000 to 89 farmworkers by Daniels Produce.

Discrimination
  • Illinois has passed legislation, effective January 1, 2017, that extends anti-discrimination protections to domestic workers.
  • In an unusual development, the EEOC has sued a Michigan employer for failing to abide by a voluntary settlement agreement reached in a suit alleging race and age discrimination and retaliation.
  • To settle a sexual harassment and retaliation suit brought by the EEOC, a Baltimore restaurant has agreed to pay $200,000 and allow an independent monitor to investigate harassment concerns.
  • Robin Shea reminded readers what can happen when an employer does a bad job of investigating a sexual harassment complaint.
  • The Department of Justice issued a new video warning employers not to discriminate against certain foreign workers with Temporary Protected Status, a special category of work authorization for immigrants.
  • Regis Corporation has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit based on the company’s alleged failure to accommodate a stylist’s claustrophobia.
  • Time examined the current status of women in the workplace—and showed that we still have a long way to go to achieve equality in the workplace for women.
  • Jezebel highlighted how the restaurant industry gets away with looks-based discrimination.
Technology:
In Other Developments:
  • Graduate students at private universities can unionize, according to a recent ruling from the National Labor Relations Board.
  • The National Labor Relations Board announced it will change the way it calculates lost wages in unlawful termination cases.
  • Lexology reported on new posters that the Department of Labor now requires. Employers must display new posters on the federal minimum wage and federal law prohibiting polygraph testing.
  • The Ninth Circuit contributed to a circuit split over the legality of class waivers in arbitration agreements, agreeing with the National Labor Relations Board that an arbitration provision in an employment contract violated federal labor law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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