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Florida Poised to Become Next State to Outlaw Pregnancy Discrimination

On April 24, 2015, the Florida Legislature passed a bill banning discrimination against pregnant women at work and in public places. While passing unanimously in the Florida Senate and receiving near-unanimous passage in the Florida House of Representatives, Governor Rick Scott must approve and sign the bill before it becomes Florida law. The law would become effective July 1, 2015.  More ›

WDW Not the 'Happiest Place on Earth' for Some Disney Performers

When three Walt Disney World performers complained that their "Lion King" character costumes were too dirty to wear for their upcoming performance they were fired last summer, but an arbitrator has now ordered their reinstatement with back pay.   More ›

Supreme Court Permits Employers to Seek Review of EEOC's Conciliation Efforts

On April 29, in a relatively employer-friendly decision, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the EEOC's conciliation efforts are subject to judicial review. More ›

6th Circuit: Telling Supervisor to Stop Harassing Conduct Is Protected Activity Under Title VII

A company cannot fire an employee in retaliation for complaining to supervisors about sexual harassment, the Sixth Circuit recently held in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250 (6th Cir. April 22, 2015). This seems pretty straightforward, right? Not entirely. In this case, the employer argued that an employee who tells a supervisor to stop harassing her is not engaging in "protected activity" because she is not officially opposing an unlawful employment practice. Without the protected activity, there can be no retaliation, the employer argued. As discussed more fully below, and probably not as a surprise to many, this argument did not fly with the Court. More ›

Are Employee Wellness Programs OK Under the ADA? EEOC Says Yes, But...

Until recently, businesses looking to make sure that their employee wellness programs comply with the ADA were without much help from the EEOC—besides a series of surprisingly unhelpful opinion letters and a one-sentence answer in an online Q&A stating that voluntary wellness programs must not “require[] participation nor penalize[] employees who do not participate,” the EEOC has not made entirely clear how the ADA does or does not restrict such programs.  On April 20, however, the EEOC took an initial step towards clarity when it issued proposed ADA rules regarding these cost-saving measures—weight loss programs, smoking cessation efforts, health risk assessments, and so on. More ›

11th Circuit Upholds Bar on Claims by Jail Officer with Cancer

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that an officer at a county jail in Florida who was undergoing treatment for cancer cannot proceed with her Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") claim because she failed to identify a reasonable accommodation that would allow her to perform the essential functions of an available position. More ›

Applying for Other Jobs Kills an Employee's Stress-related Reasonable Accommodation Claim

A Southern District of Texas court recently issued an opinion which shows that an employee may take actions during a leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which preclude any future reasonable accommodation claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In Adetimehin v. Healix Infusion Therapy, Inc., the plaintiff failed to show she was disabled under the ADA because her medical provider's recommendation and her own actions negated her claim that her disability substantially limited the major life activity of working. Specifically, she had applied for other full-time jobs at the same time she was requesting an extended leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation from her employer. More ›

EEOC Not Required to Identify Aggrieved Individual in Title VII Race Discrimination Claim

On April 7, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") is not required to identify an aggrieved individual in order to pursue a race discrimination claim pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII").  More ›

Employer's "No Re-Hire" Provision May Violate California's Non-Compete Laws

Pretty much everyone knows that California courts do not favor covenants not to compete. We even have our own state laws that address this very issue (Business & Professions Code section 16600). But what about provisions in employment agreements, separation agreements, or even settlement agreements in which an employee agrees to give up his right to future employment with the company? Is that lawful? The Ninth Circuit just considered this very issue.  More ›

Even When NLRB Orders It, Employers Have Little Guidance on Work Authorization Procedures

Quick, employers: you make a job offer to a promising applicant, only to find out that his work authorization papers are less than perfect. He has a social security card and number but something seems… off. (“Is that a letter in the social security number? Is that even possible?”) What do you do? Withdraw the offer? Proceed with the hire and pretend you didn’t see any problem?

The answer is not a simple one and, in the end, the law leaves employers to use their own reasonable judgment. But what is “reasonable,” anyways? Guidance from the government on that question is scant. Add to this the fact that a wrong decision in either direction (i.e., denying employment to an authorized worker or granting employment to an unauthorized one) can lead to all sorts of troubles, and you’ve got a headache at best and, at worst, a potential lawsuit. More ›