DOL Publishes Final Rule On Paid Sick Leave

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/30/2016
On September 29, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its Final Rule extending paid sick leave benefits to employees of certain federal contractors and subcontractors, and which essentially implements Executive Order 13706 from September 2015.  Here are some of the main features: Employers: The Final Rule will apply to any new contract (defined as new and replacement contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017).  Contracts and all...
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Wells Fargo: Together We'll Go Far... Into The Abyss of Audit Hell

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/28/2016
Unless you are a contestant who just returned from participating in the 33rd season of Survivor: Millenials v. Gen X (yes, I still watch this show -- Every. Single. Episode.), you have undoubtedly heard about the Wells Fargo credit card scandal.  Nearly 5300 employees were fired after it was uncovered that millions and millions of credit card accounts were fraudulently opened without customer permission because of intense corporate pressure to meet...
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OSHA Issues Whistleblower Settlement Guidance

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/20/2016
On September 15, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued new guidance on proposed whistleblower settlements.  The new guidance, which can be found here and here, makes clear that language that contravenes public policy and statutory protections cannot be included in any whistleblower settlement agreement between a complainant and an employer. Among other things, OSHA will not approve language that prohibits an employee from...
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Court Rules Against EEOC On Transgender Discrimination Claim

On August 18, 2016, a federal district court ruled that a Michigan funeral home did not violate Title VII by firing a transgender employee, who was transitioning from male to female, because the employee intended to “dress as a woman” at work.  EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Funeral Homes, Inc., E.D. Mich., No. 14-13710, 8/18/16 The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled the funeral home was entitled to a religious exemption...
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EEOC Rules That "Don't Tread On Me" Hat Might Be Racially Offensive

According to an article in the Washington Post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that an employee may create a racially hostile work environment by wearing a hat depicting the "Gasden Flag" (a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase "Don't Tread On Me").  Sheldon D. v. Brennan, 2016 WL 3361228. The Gasden Flag, which gained recent popularity as a symbol of the Tea Party movement, has its origins in the American Revolution, when it was...
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Court Strikes Down DOL's New Persuader Rule

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
06/30/2016
On June 27, 2016, in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Perez, et al., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Lubbock Division) issued a nationwide injunction preventing the  U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing  its revised "Persuader Rule," which had been set to take effect on July 1, 2016. The Court found that NFIB and other plaintiffs  established a substantial likelihood of success on...
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EEOC Settles One of its First Sexual Orientation Lawsuits

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/28/2016
On June 23, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and IFCO Systems settled for about $200,000  a Title VII case involving a lesbian work lift worker who alleged she was harassed and discriminated against based on her sexual orientation.  The case was  one of the first lawsuits filed by the EEOC alleging that a private employer violated Title VII  by treating an employee differently because of their sexual orientation. In EEOC v....
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EEOC Issues Proposed Guidance On National Origin Discrimination

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/08/2016
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a Proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC will take public comments on the proposed guidance until July 1, 2016. The EEOC has not formally addressed national origin discrimination since 2002.  Since that time, claims of Title VII violations based on national origin have increased.  In 2015,...
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Inadequate Conciliation? EEOC May Have to Foot the Bill, Says Supreme Court

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/01/2016
The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the EEOC may be ordered to pay an employer’s attorney’s fees if it fails to satisfy the conciliation requirement of Title VII.  In CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375 (May 19, 2016), the Court held that a favorable ruling on the merits of a claim is not required for an employer to be considered a “prevailing party” that may seek legal fees.  The opinion expands Mach Mining v....
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DOL Issues Final Rule Doubling the Salary Threshold for Overtime Exemption

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/18/2016
Later today, over two scoops of butter pecan, Vice President Joe Biden and United States Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez will appear at an ice cream parlor in Ohio to announce that the DOL has issued a Final Rule that will allow more workers to qualify for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The long-awaited final rule doubles the salary threshold at which a worker may qualify as exempt from receiving overtime. ...
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