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SCOTUS Aligns Application of Statute of Limitations in Constructive Discharge and Actual Discharge Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Green v. Brennan that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge begins to run on the date of resignation, not the date of the employer’s last discriminatory act, resolving a circuit split.  As a result, in determining the deadline for filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, constructive discharge cases will be treated the same way as actual discharge cases. More ›

EEOC Issues Final Regulations on Wellness Programs

Employers who provide employees with incentives to encourage healthy behavior must contend with an alphabet soup of federal law--ERISA, GINA, HIPAA, the ACA, the ADA, just to name a few.  Earlier this week, the EEOC weighed in and finalized its latest guidance on how employer wellness programs should be structured.  These final regulations largely adopt the proposed regulations that were issued in 2015. More ›

Overtime Exemptions Shrink

The hour has arrived. Last summer, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor announced substantial revisions to federal regulations delineating who is exempt from overtime pay. After almost a year of waiting (and over 290,000 comments to the draft rule), the DOL announced this week that it will be publishing the final form of its revised overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This final publication will occur on Monday, May 23, 2016, but the pre-publication version is publicly available now. More ›

Where Do I Pee? “The Bathroom Corresponding to Your Gender Identity Says the EEOC

Bathroom use by transgender individuals is today’s hot-button civil rights issue.  The often strong and disparate opinions about the subject creates a conundrum for employers: How do we make everyone comfortable while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment?  And how do we do that without violating the law? More ›

Knock-Knock, Who’s There? The EEOC: When the EEOC’s Can Investigate an Employer’s Premises Without Prior Consent

When the EEOC investigates a charge of discrimination, it may employ one of several investigatory methods, including site inspections.  In EEOC v. Nucor Steel Gallatin, Inc., a case of national first impression, a Kentucky district court considered whether to enforce a subpoena requiring the employer to provide on-site access to conduct witness interviews, examine the facility, and obtain additional information relating to the position the complainant applied for, or alternatively, to require the EEOC to obtain an administrative warrant.   More ›

NY Transit Agencies Escape Vicarious Liability for Contractors Alleged Discrimination

It is not uncommon for companies to contract their daily business operations to third-party companies.  In Motta et al v. Global Contact Services, Inc., the court addressed whether such relationships relieve the outsourcing company of any duties to address discrimination or harassment in the workplace. More ›

New Federal Trade Secrets Protections for Employers

Both the U.S. Senate and House have passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and it is expected to be signed by President Obama in short order. More ›

Employee’s Inability to Meet Job’s Attendance Requirements Divests her of ADA Protections Sixth Circuit Holds

The converging paths of the Family Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ranks among the most difficult legal issues for employers to safely traverse.  Employers should think twice before terminating an employee who cannot return to work after 12 weeks of FMLA leave.  This is because courts across the country have held that additional leave may be a necessary reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  The question then becomes, how much additional leave does one need to provide an employee before he or she is no longer protected by the ADA. More ›

Perception Is Everything: Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections for Public Employees

In a decision that may expand the "zone of interest" protected by the First Amendment via 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, strengthened free speech rights for public employees by holding a public employee may bring a suit premised on his engagement in protected political activities, even when the employee did not engage in those activities, and the employer was mistaken in its belief that he had.

The Case

The city demoted a police officer (Heffernan) after it believed Heffernan was holding a campaign sign supporting a mayoral candidate and speaking to the candidate’s campaign staff. The demotion was intended as punishment for Heffernan's "overt involvement" in the campaign. However, the city was mistaken about his political activity, because Heffernan was only transporting the challenger's sign to his sick mother, at her request. More ›

Department of Labor's Persuader Rule Convinces No One

Late last month, the Department of Labor published its "persuader" regulation final rule, which significantly strengthens a union's rights under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMDRA"). 

Generally, the LMDRA regulates the public reporting obligations of businesses seeking legal and non-legal counsel to oppose or manage relations with unions. A consultant, known as a "persuader," helps an employer navigate organizing drives and labor disputes. Before this final rule, The LMDRA required "direct" persuader activities to be reported, such as meetings between the persuader and employees, but exempted "indirect" activities, such as the preparation of materials for the employer to provide to its employees. More ›

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