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Showing 5 posts from July 2014.

Prevention and Corrective Policies help Employer to Avoid Sexual Harassment Liability

Rhonda Simpson's manager first approached her in 2002 at a local fast food restaurant because he thought Ms. Simpson looked just like Farrah Fawcett. The manager suggested Ms. Simpson come see him at the national closeout retailer (the "Company") where he worked should she ever need a job. Ms. Simpson eventually did interview with the manager and was hired by the Company as a cashier and worked her way up to assistant manager. For most of the time she worked for the Company, she did not report to the manager who initially recruited her. More ›

Court Affirms Employer's Authority to Schedule Workweek under FLSA

A core management task for employers is to properly schedule the workweek for their employees. If done correctly, an employer can reduce its obligation to pay overtime wages to its hourly, non-exempt employees. But an employer that fumbles in its scheduling of the workweek for its hourly employees can sustain liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act for unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, and attorney's fees.  29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, recently affirmed a summary judgment entered in favor of an employer that permanently changed its workweek schedule for a group of employees which had the effect of decreasing the amount of overtime wages that would have otherwise been paid by the employer. The employees had filed a class action complaint. More ›

Court Vacates Summary Judgment Regarding Sex Discrimination and BFOQ Stating Reasons for Implementation were Arbitrary

Male sheriff's deputies were denied the right to supervise female-only housing within the city and county of San Francisco correctional facility. The policy, which was in effect since 2006, was put in place for the safety of the female inmates, as well as to curtail the sexual misconduct of the past. A group of sheriff's filed suit against the city and county of San Francisco alleging that the policy prohibiting male deputies from supervising female inmates in housing units of jails operated by the County violated Title VII and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. More ›

New Illinois law Limits an Employer's Ability to Conduct Criminal Background Checks of job Applicants

On July 19, 2014, Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, signed into law the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, 30 ILCS 105/5.855. The Act, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015, significantly limits an employer's ability to request or review the criminal background information of applicants as part of the hiring process and is a victory for "Ban the Box" advocates working in several states. More ›

EEOC Issues new Guidance on Pregnancy, Outlines Broader Accommodation Requirements for Pregnant Employees

On July 14, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The document, titled Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, is the first official update of the Commission’s position on pregnancy since 1983. The Guidance document is comprised of four parts: Part I, discussing equal treatment of pregnant and non-pregnant employees under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA); Part II, addressing treatment of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA); Part III, reviewing other federal and state laws impacting pregnant workers; and Part IV, setting forth the EEOC’s best practices for employers. While not rising to the level of new law or regulations, the EEOC’s Guidance will be looked to by the Commission’s own investigators and, most likely, by federal courts. As such, the Guidance is a significant new tool for employers as they seek to avoid claims of discrimination involving gender and pregnancy. More ›