Between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal, this seems to be the Summer of Trans.  Federal anti-discrimination laws were designed to prohibit disparate treatment based on immutable characteristics – things we were born with, such as gender, race, color, and national origin.  They were expanded to include other factors over which we had no c...
In the last month, high profile news events have demonstrated the power of symbols to inspire strong reactions - both positive and negative.  For example, the display of the confederate flag evokes feelings of "heritage" or "racism," depending on the background of the viewer.  The rainbow symbol of gay pride has been widely displayed to celebrat...
The NLRB issued on August 27, 2015 its long-awaited decision in Browning Ferris, 362 NLRB No. 186, which, as predicted, has greatly expanded the "joint employer" theory of employer liability under the National Labor Relations Act.  The new doctrine will increase the number of situations in which one company can be found liable for another company's u...
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) contains various protective provisions governing the binding nature of a settlement or waiver of a potential age discrimination claim.  The ADEA is somewhat unique in setting forth additional requirements that are not necessary for a settlement or waiver to be binding in any other discrimination claims,...
In celebration of Labor Day, President Obama on September 7, 2015 announced an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide minimum amounts of paid sick leave to their employees.  This rule follows others, such as the $10.10 mandatory minimum wage, that make a broad statement but apply only to employers who do business with the federal go...
The blows seem to keep coming from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) attacking common employer personnel policies.  The NLRB's philosophy is that any policy that could be read by an employee to prohibit legitimate union or other concerted activities is unlawful because it "chills" such union or other concerted activities.  Further, the N...
In our March newsletter, we discussed a provision in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing Form I-9, which deals with a situation where an employee informs the employer that his or her identity is different from that previously used to complete Form I-9.  The Guidance states that: "In that circu...
A recent case illustrates important principles concerning whether an employer has equally applied its attendance policies, as well as its other work rules.  Watkins v. EFP, LLC, 125 FEP Cases 1756 (N.D. Ala. 2014).  The African-American plaintiff first contended that the employer treated him differently than a similarly-situated white employee w...
A couple of recent cases from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) create additional issues for employers when unionized employees refuse to take drug tests, and/or demand some type of representation prior to taking such tests.  Some 40 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case involving a unionized employer that, when an employee is ques...
Jim Wimberly attended a presentation by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Richard Griffin, in San Diego, California, on November 11, 2015.  Griffin presented up-to-date election statistics on petitions filed for elections with the NLRB for the first six months under the new quickie election rules, running from mid-April to ...
During late November, at a conference at the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith, stated it was likely that the new white collar eligibility rules will not be issued until late 2016.  One of the reasons for the time frame is that DOL received approximately 270,000 comments about the pro...
 

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