Jury Awards $450,000 for Employer’s Termination of Employee After Receiving Notice About Anxiety Disorder

On March 31, 2022, a Kentucky jury unanimously awarded $450,000 to an employee, who was terminated following two panic attacks the employee suffered at work. The jury concluded the employee’s anxiety disorder was a disability and that the employee suffered an adverse action because of his disability. Brief Background In Berling v. Gravity Diagnostics, LLC,…

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DOL Overtime Claims Are on the Rise

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is recovering an increasing amount of damages in overtime claims as it goes after employers that are misclassifying workers or miscalculating overtime. The Biden administration has signaled a shift in focus away from compliance and toward enforcement. One of the earliest indications of that shift was the termination of…

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Workforce Drug Test Positivity Climbs to Highest Level in Two Decades

The rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce reached its highest rate in 2021 since 2001, and was up more than 30% in the combined U.S. workforce from an all-time low in 2010-2012, according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. Employers face mounting…

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Government Vaccine Mandates

Executive Orders and Federal Rulemaking In addition to challenges to individual employer-imposed mandates, a wave of lawsuits have sought to invalidate Biden Administration efforts to increase the nation’s vaccination rate. These include President Biden’s executive orders for federal contractors (EO 14042) and U.S. government employees (EO 14043), Department of Defense (DOD) vaccine mandates for military…

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New Federal Law Bans Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.” The Act amends the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to prohibit the enforcement of predispute arbitration agreements against complainants for claims involving allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault, both outside and within the…

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When Might an Employer Question FMLA Certification?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification of a serious health condition must be complete and sufficient, but sometimes it’s neither. Employers rarely take a hard line but instead ask employees to provide more information to finish out the certification. Here are some tips on how to recognize something is wrong with the certification and…

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Not Every Complaint Is a Request for Accommodation

Employees need to provide sufficient information to the employer that a health issue could be a disability that is interfering with their ability to work, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently found. In Powley v. Rail Crew Xpress, LLC, the employee driver had back pain that interfered with her ability…

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