Obligations to Employees Under Severe Weather Conditions

With Hurricane Ivan wreaking havoc last week, our thoughts go to those who were in the path of the ever-strengthening storm. The first priority for all affected is safety, but severe weather does also raise numerous employment law issues. Employers are again reminded that weather can affect your workplace. With hurricane season underway, we have…

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Seventh Circuit Decision Affirms Walmart’s Win in Pregnancy Bias Lawsuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently delivered a win to employers under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (the “PDA”) in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart Stores East, L.P., Case No. 21-1690. Case Background The EEOC accused Walmart of engaging in sex discrimination under the PDA (an amendment to the Title…

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Retaliation Claims Can Drive You Nuts!

As many employers sadly know, those retaliation claims can be more problematic than a discrimination or harassment claim. Federal and state discrimination laws protect employees not only from discrimination or harassment, but also from retaliation for opposing discrimination/harassment, or making a charge/complaint, testifying, assisting, or participating in any way in a discrimination proceeding, such as…

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Gun Reform: How Employers Can Protect Employees from Workplace Violence

Congress recently passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, or gun reform legislation, that President Biden has now signed into law. Portions of this legislation may help reduce workplace violence that involves domestic abusers who pursue their partners at their workplaces. The gun reform legislation contains a provision that closes what is commonly known as the…

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Internship Laws In Review: Ensuring Your Next Internship Program Does Not Run Afoul of State and Federal Labor Laws

As internship season ends, now is a perfect time for employers to review their internship programs to ensure compliance with federal, state and local labor and employment laws. Overview of Internships Internships are generally intended to be educational opportunities for students or recent graduates to learn invaluable on-the-job skills, how to effectively work in a…

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Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

In August, Lone Star Ambulance, a critical-care transportation company in San Antonio, settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for alleged sexual harassment and retaliation. The company will pay $90,000 in damages and provide additional relief. “The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing anti-discrimination laws on behalf of all workers,”…

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Offensive Language May Be Protected Concerted Activity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the National Labor Relations Board sufficiently addressed the conflict between an employer’s obligations under federal antidiscrimination laws and employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act in finding unlawful an employee’s termination for writing “whore board” at the top of two overtime sign-up sheets.…

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Unlimited Time Off Presents Hidden Challenges for Employers

We have increasingly been fielding inquiries from organizations that are looking to implement some version of unlimited time off for their employees. They saw that employees continued to be productive while working remotely during the pandemic, and they want to give them the flexibility to take time off as/when needed – provided the work still…

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Employers: Be Careful What You Include In A Handbook

Most employers include provisions in their Employee Handbook giving them the right to modify the policies at any time. They also make clear that the handbook is not a contract and does not create contractual obligations. There are good reasons for both, but also consequences. If you are looking to enforce an obligation, it’s best…

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