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Commonsense Misconduct Not so "Common": Illinois Supreme Court Significantly Narrows Use of Commonsense Rationale in Employee Dismissal Cases for Misconduct under the Unemployment Insurance Act

In the absence of a rule prohibiting specific conduct, employers can no longer rely merely on what one would deem "commonsense"  to deny unemployment benefits. In Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Supreme Court narrowed application of the “commonsense exception” to the rule that employers must show an employee willfully and deliberately violated a reasonable rule or policy of which he had notice, to deny unemployment benefits.   More ›

Seventh Circuit Upholds Tip Credit Pay for Related, Non-Tipped Duties

As those in the restaurant industry know well, federal and state law allow employers to pay tipped employees less than the required minimum wage with the expectation they will receive enough tips to make up the difference. This is referred to as a "tip credit." There has long been a battle within wage and hour suits over whether and when an employee paid under the tip-credit can still be paid the below minimum wage rate while performing "side-work" or non-serving duties that do not directly result in tips from customers. In a decision issued on July 15, 2016, the Seventh Circuit helped clarify the line, finding that an employer did not violate wage laws by paying its servers under the tip credit for side work those servers performed. More ›

NLRB Makes it Easier to Unionize Temporary Workers

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board made it easier for unions to organize temporary workers in a 3-1 decision in the case Miller & Anderson. In doing so, the Board reversed its ruling in Oakwood Care Center, 343 NLRB 659 (2004) and returned to the standard established in M.B. Sturgis, Inc., 331 NLRB 1298 (2000).  More ›

EEOC Issues Sample Notice for Employers Offering Wellness Programs

Last month, we alerted you to some new guidance from the EEOC on wellness programs. One of the key requirements of this new guidance is that employers must give notice to participants about the information being collected through the wellness program and how that information is to be used. Yesterday, the EEOC issued additional guidance on this notice requirement, including a sample notice and a list of items employers should consider when dealing with the notice requirement.  More ›

DOL Updates Federal Contractor Regulations Prohibiting Sex Discrimination for First Time Since 1970

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to expand sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. The final rule updates—for the first time in over 40 years—the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' sex discrimination regulations to align them with current interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the realities of today's diverse workforce. More ›

Title VII Posting Violation Penalties Increase 150% Effective July 1, 2016

The EEOC has increased the maximum penalty for employers that violate the posting provisions of Title VII, the Americans with Disability Act ("ADA") and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA") from $210 to $525 per violation, more than doubling the prior penalty amount. They state the increase is due to inflation and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The increase goes into effect July 1, 2016. The last increase was in 2014 but this increase is the largest increase in history. More ›

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 ›

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