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Employee May Proceed with Claim Her Employer Led Her to Believe She Could Take FMLA Leave Before She Qualified

Employers cannot force employees to take medical leave before they become eligible for FMLA leave. Nor can they lull an employee into believing they will be granted leave despite being ineligible, then terminate when they take leave. This seems like common sense, right? Hopefully so, but a recent Wisconsin district court case reminds us common sense does not always prevail in the workplace. More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Holds the ADEA Applies to All Public Employers

In a recent 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to public employers of any size. More ›

Department of Labor Removes 80-20 Tipped Work Rule

The federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided updated guidance on its application of the “tip credit” rule for tipped employees who perform non-tip-generating tasks. More ›

Requesting an Accommodation After Violating a Work Rule Too Late Says Minnesota District Court

In a failure to accommodate claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“the MHRA”), a federal judge granted summary judgment for the employer, finding the employee’s after-the-fact explanation of his misconduct was not a valid request for accommodation under the MHRA. More ›

Seventh Circuit Requires Trial of Respondeat Superior Claim Over Sexual Assault

In Zander v. Orlich, No. 17-2792, (7th Cir. Oct. 30, 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided how to construe and apply Indiana state tort law regarding vicarious liability.  The plaintiff in Zander was sexually assaulted by Lake County Indiana Deputy Sheriff Orlich.

When Deputy Sheriff Orlich responded to a domestic disturbance call placed by Zander's husband, he directed Zander to leave the home where the disturbance was occurring and to stay at her second home. Orlich received permission from his supervising officer to take Zander to her second home, but the home's electric panel was dismantled in addition to a host of other problems. After Orlich turned on the electricity and water heater, he tried and failed to fix the furnace. While attempting to perform repairs, Orlich told Zander that she could not return to her home for several hours. Orlich then left Zander, but 10 to 15 minutes later he returned to where Zander was staying, removed his uniform, and sexually assaulted Zander.  More ›

Uniform Application of Employment Policies Leads to Positive Outcome in Employee’s Suit

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that an employee’s inconvenience from a neutral workplace policy or the employer’s discretionary denial of benefits cannot support a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”), or the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). More ›

Illinois District Court Weighs in on Essential Functions Under the ADA

A central tenet of the Americans with Disabilities Act is that an employee must be a qualified individual with a disability to receive its protections. A qualified individual with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without a reasonable accommodation. While an employer may modify the duties for an employee to accommodate medical restrictions, this does not mean the essential purpose of the original job must change. The Northern District of Illinois recently addressed this issue in a case involving a Chicago police officer. The officer had suffered several disabling strokes. For years, she worked in a light duty assignment taking police reports over the phone. More ›

Be Prepared: New Jersey's Broad Paid Sick Leave Law Effective October 29, 2018

Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law will require that all private sector employers, regardless of size, provide forty (40) hours of paid sick leave each benefit year to employees working in New Jersey. If the employer already offers a minimum of 40 hours of paid time off, the employer is in compliance with the law as long as employees can use the time for the purposes stated under the law, e.g., personal days, vacation days, or sick days. If the employer is not currently offering this benefit, here are some of the things the employer needs to know in order to fashion a compliant policy: More ›

Failure to Timely Report Race Harassment Not a Bar to Trial

Employers frequently raise failure to report harassment as a defense in Title VII and related state cases. After all, how can you end harassing behavior if you are not aware of it. As the Eleventh Circuit reminded us earlier this week, that defense breaks down if the employer is aware of the conduct. More ›

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