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Showing 101 posts from 2015.

Seventh Circuit Reiterates Standard for Establishing Substantial Limitation on the Ability to Work

It goes without saying that an employee cannot prevail on a disability discrimination claim unless he is actually disabled. In the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this means that he must show that a disability “substantially limits” one or more of his “major life activities.”  Predictably, plaintiffs often allege that the “major life activity” that their disability has impacted is the activity of “working." Thus, an important question for employers is this: when does a disability actually limit an employee’s ability to work? More ›

New Jersey's Department of Labor Issues New Rules Regarding "Ban the Box"

On December 7, 2015, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “NJDOL”) promulgated a set of regulations to enforce and more specifically define the restrictions contained in the State's "Opportunity to Compete Act."  Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed the Act on August 11, 2014, following the lead of a handful of other states by requiring employers to remove criminal-convictions questions from job applications and defer background inquiries until the conclusion of the “initial application process”.  While the Act went into effect on March 1, 2015, the NJDOL's new rules are the first issued.  Among other important aspects, the NJDOLs new regulations define a first interview as any "live, direct contact” between the employer and applicant, whether by telephone, video conferencing, or in person. More ›

Tales of the FLSA: The case of the Complaining Manager

What can you do when your boss won't listen to you, the Manager/Director of Human Resources?

"Keep complaining," the Ninth Circuit said (not in those words). More ›

New IRS Initiative Highlights Trust Fund Tax Compliance Issues

The IRS has begun a new initiative focused on payroll tax compliance for employers, and specifically the timely deposit of withheld payroll and income taxes. Those taxes, which are withheld from an employee's paycheck and then turned over to the IRS by employers, are known as "trust fund" taxes. Employers who fail to timely submit their trust fund taxes may be subject to civil or criminal liability, as well as personal liability for those individuals who are responsible for collecting and depositing the trust fund taxes. More ›

The Threshold is Coming! The Threshold is Coming!...eventually: Final OT Exemption Rules Coming in July 2016

This blog has previously discussed the July 2015 proposed regulatory changes issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) that seek to significantly expand overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by more than doubling the salary threshold for this exemption from the current $455 a week to $970 a week. For the first time, the proposal also seeks to index the salary threshold in order to keep up with inflation, although the DOL sought input regarding the precise indexing mechanism. More ›

Federal Judge: Did Employer use Experience Requirement to "Weed Out" Older Workers? Maybe.

Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

I add: “Until your employer cares. Then it matters.” More ›

EEOC Clarifies when Employers may Offer Incentives to Employee's Spouses to Provide Genetic Information

Earlier this year, this blog brought you a look at proposed rules by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that provided some guidance on how to administer a voluntary employee wellness program without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Yet, one question remained open for years and was not clarified by those proposed rules — how the EEOC would handle employers offering incentives allowing them to collect certain genetic information of employees' spouses in connection with employer wellness programs. Recently proposed rules seek to clarify that issue. More ›

Amex Employment Arbitration Policy held Unlawful by NLRB

Amex Card Services Company ("Amex") operates a call center in Phoenix, AZ.  Amex required all new hires to sign an acknowledgement form acknowledging receipt and understanding of its Arbitration Policy as a condition of employment.  The policy mandated final and binding arbitration to resolve all employment-related disputes.  The policy also mandated that all claims subject to arbitration be submitted on an individual basis.  More ›

The EEOC's Battlecry: Cracking down hard on Religious Discrimination

On the heels of the biggest religious discrimination case in years, and in line with the EEOC's "hottest litigation trend" (according to David Lopez, General Counsel of the EEOC, pictured right), the EEOC continued its charge against religious discrimination in the workplace in EEOC v. Star Transport Co., Inc.. Last week, a Northern District of Illinois jury awarded two Muslim truck drivers $240,000 finding Start Transport fired them for refusing to transport alcohol despite their religious beliefs. More ›

Facebook “Like” Protected Speech Under the NLRA

We all have them. Friends and family who overshare on Facebook. Their food choices (complete with pictures), exercise routine, and relationship drama, all solidified in the form of a status update. Annoying maybe, but mostly harmless, right? 

But what about status updates about work? Particularly those that criticize a company, supervisor, or work environment? Can your friend’s employer terminate or take recourse against him? Or does social media fall into a category of protected speech the employer cannot touch? More ›