What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to demonstrate protected activity and form the basis for a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  While this change altered over 20 years of precedent in the Second Circuit, it is consistent with how most other Circuits already interpret the FLSA retaliation provision. Continue Reading

Attention D.C. Employers: Notice Provisions of Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act Must Be Complied With By May 27, 2015

D.C. employers have until May 27, 2015, to comply with the notice provisions of the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 ( “WTPAA”), which became effective on February 26, 2015 (“Effective Date”).  The WTPAA amended several of D.C.’s wage and hour laws, including the Minimum Wage Act Revision Act (“Minimum Wage Act”), the Living Wage Act, the Wage Payment and Wage Collection Law, and the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.  Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Decides Mach Mining LLC vs. EEOC: A “Win” For Employers?

Last week, in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Title VII authorizes judicial review of the EEOC’s efforts to satisfy its statutory duty to conciliate before filing suit against an employer.  In the simplest of terms, Title VII requires that the EEOC try to remedy unlawful employment practices through “informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion” before it is permitted to file a lawsuit against the employer. Continue Reading

An Ounce Of Prevention…Does Your Voluntary Wellness Program Comply With Proposed EEOC Regulations?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued proposed regulations addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to corporate wellness programs.  These proposed regulations are intended to provide employers with guidance on how to encourage workers to participate in wellness programs without violating federal law.  Employers with wellness programs, or those who are thinking about instituting wellness programs, should become familiar with the proposed regulations if they wish to avoid litigation. Continue Reading

Amendments to CFRA Regulations Provide Some Clarity to Employers

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) has issued amended regulations clarifying the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  The amendments will go into effect on July 1, 2015, and are intended to clarify previously confusing rules and adopt regulations that more closely parallel the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Significantly, the amendments incorporate the March 2013 FMLA regulations, to the extent they are not inconsistent with the CFRA regulations.  The text of the new regulations can be found here.  Below is an overview of the major changes to the law, which also highlight some of the differences between the FMLA and the new CFRA regulations. Continue Reading

NYC Council Votes to Ban Employers from Conducting Credit Checks

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) prohibiting employers from requesting or using the consumer credit history of an employee or job applicant when making employment decisions (the “Bill”).  More specifically, the Bill would make it a discriminatory practice to request or use the consumer credit history of applicants or employees by amending the City’s Human Rights Law to include the following provision: Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Holds That Ford Motor Co. Was Not Required to Accommodate Telecommuting

On April 10, 2015, in an eagerly awaited decision interpreting the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled, en banc, in favor of Ford Motor Co., rejecting the EEOC’s claim that Ford violated the ADA by not allowing a disabled employee to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation.  EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., No. 12-2484.  Eight judges on the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Ford, while five dissented.  The decision highlights many of the thorny issues concerning telecommuting as a potential reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  It also underscores the importance of engaging in a good faith “interactive process” with a disabled employee requesting accommodation. Continue Reading

The NLRB’s Changes to Representation Case Procedures

Beginning on April 14, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or the “Board”) new representation case procedural rules will be applied to all representation petitions filed thereafter.  While the NLRB insists that the new rules “remove unnecessary barriers to the fair and expeditious resolution of representation cases” and “simplify representation-case procedures,” a closer reading of the rules makes it clear that they are designed to place a more onerous burden on employers during the representation case process.  Examples of the increased burden on employers include, but are not limited to: Continue Reading

New Illinois Laws in 2015: What Employers Should Know

Ban the Box

Joining the current “Ban the Box” trend, effective January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act prohibits Illinois employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record or criminal history until after the employer determines that the individual is qualified for the position and notifies the individual that s/he has been selected for an interview.  If an employer does not conduct interviews, then any inquiry into an applicant’s criminal background cannot take place until after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Crafts Modified McDonnell Douglas Analysis to Handle Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a long-awaited decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., wherein the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit’s decision to affirm UPS’s successful motion for summary judgment.  The plaintiff, Peggy Young, had worked as a part-time driver for United Parcel Service (“UPS”).  Part of her job required her to be able to lift packages of up to 70 pounds.  After becoming pregnant in 2006, however, Young’s doctor advised her that she should not lift more than 20 pounds.  UPS maintained a light duty policy (the “Policy”) which provided accommodations to employees who suffered on-the-job injuries or had disabilities covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Young requested an accommodation under the Policy for her lifting restriction, but UPS refused, causing Young to stay home for most of her pregnancy without pay.  Young eventually filed a discrimination lawsuit, relying on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, (“Title VII”), claiming that UPS failed to accommodate the lifting restriction stemming from her pregnancy while still “accommodat[ing] other drivers who were similar in their . . . inability to work.” Continue Reading

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