Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: Federal

EEOC Takes Aim at Employers with “Voluntary” Wellness Programs Tied to Health Benefit Costs

On Tuesday, the EEOC commenced its second lawsuit in as many months targeting certain employer wellness programs for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In both of the pending cases, employers are alleged to have maintained wellness programs that required employees to submit to medical examinations (including blood work) and to disclose medical history … Continue Reading

DHS Announces New Rules To Facilitate Employment for Professionals in Efforts To Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Foreign Workers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced two major advancements today to help businesses attract and retain professionals working in the U.S. The first proposed rule change extends employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B visa beneficiaries. The second change would include workers from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and Australia (E-3) in the list of … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Embraces “Lower Bar” for Successor Liability under the FLSA

In Thompson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network, the Third Circuit adopted a standard of successor liability that will lower the bar for whether an employer can be held accountable under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the wage and hour violations of its predecessor. Read this alert to learn more about the decision.   Read … Continue Reading

EEOC Sues Over Common Release Language In Northern District of Illinois

The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit challenging CVS Pharmacy’s (the “Company’s”) separation agreement, which, it asserts, was distributed to more than 650 employees in 2012.  EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-00863 (N.D. Ill.).  The agency alleges that the separation agreement had the effect of interfering with Title VII rights by purportedly failing to … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Advisory Letter On Use of Forms In the ADA Interactive Process

Employers seeking to adopt standardized forms relating to the ADA’s interactive process need to familiarize themselves with a recently published EEOC advisory letter commenting on a sample policy, request for accommodation questionnaire, and health care provider questionnaire. While the advisory letter does not provide the exact policy and forms in question, the materials did provide … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against EEOC in Credit Check Suit

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that Kaplan’s use of credit checks disparately impacted African-American applicants in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2015

USCIS announced today that the FY 2015 H-1B cap has been reached. USCIS will be conducting a lottery of all those petitions properly filed between April 1, 2014 and April 7, 2014. This alert addresses this important development. Read the full text of this alert.… Continue Reading

Recent SDNY Rulings Provide Insight into the Value of Voluntary Title III Settlement Agreements with Governmental Agencies Against Future Claims

When considering whether to enter into a voluntary settlement agreement with a governmental agency regarding the accessibility a place of public accommodation, clients often ask how much protection is gained against potential future claims brought against the same location by other parties.  A recent series of rulings in a litigation brought under Title III of … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Justice Increases Civil Penalties For Violations of Title III of the ADA

On March 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a Final Rule increasing the amount of civil penalties available for violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The maximum civil penalty for a first violation of Title III increased from $55,000 to $75,000, with a new maximum for subsequent … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Severance Payments are Subject to FICA

On March 25, 2014, in a decision highly anticipated by employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that certain severance payments paid to employees who were involuntarily terminated were taxable wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., et al., No. 12-1408 (U.S. Mar. 25, 2014). The … Continue Reading

Raising Wages by Tightening the White-Collar Overtime Exemptions–The President’s Initiative

Last week, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor to revise and modernize the “white- collar” overtime exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act to extend overtime benefits to a broader range of workers. This alert summarizes the President’s Memorandum, outlines what employers might expect in the coming months, and reminds employers to remain proactive … Continue Reading

Employers To Face More Concurrent EEOC and Tort Suits after Second Circuit Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that an EEOC charge will not toll the statute of limitations on a state-law tort claim. This decision likely will lead to an increase in concurrent filings of state-law tort claims and Title VII federal administrative proceedings … Continue Reading

Background Check Guidance from the FTC

On March 10, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission jointly issued two short guides on the use of background checks in hiring and personnel decisions. This alert addresses the guides as well as the ongoing roles of these agencies in monitoring employment-related background checks and enforcing applicable laws. Read the full … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Guidance on Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace

As religious discrimination charges have increased steadily, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a new question-and-answer guide and accompanying fact sheet on religious dress and grooming in the workplace, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to improve employer awareness and compliance. The guide answers sample employers’ questions about how federal employment … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX’s Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company’s Contractors

The U.S. Supreme Court held that Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors and subcontractors in its March 14, 2014 decision in the case of Lawson v. FMR LLC. This alert provides background and analysis of this first case decided by the Supreme Court under Section 806 of SOX. … Continue Reading

DOJ and National Federation of the Blind Enter Into Consent Decree with H&R Block to Require Website and Mobile Application Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

On March 6, 2014, the National Federation of the Blind and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), as a plaintiff-intervenor, entered into a consent decree with HRB Digital LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc. (collectively, “H&R Block” or “Defendants”) to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), as asserted … Continue Reading

DOJ Releases Updated Guidance on Effective Communication

This winter, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released a new technical assistance guidance (the “Guidance”) elaborating upon the Effective Communication obligations set forth in the regulations governing Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the accompanying 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. The Guidance is available for download from the … Continue Reading

Air Carrier Access Act: Department of Transportation Finalizes New Rules Governing Accessibility of Airline Web Sites and Kiosks

The United States Department of Transportation recently issued a series of final rules geared to improve air travel accessibility for individuals with disabilities as part of its continuing implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, 49 U.S.C. 41705. This alert takes a close look at the rules, which go into effect on December … Continue Reading

USCIS Site Visits – Expanding to L-1 Petitioners

  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service plans to begin conducting unannounced, post-approval site visits of L-1 petitioners under its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP) in the beginning of 2014. This new phase of site visits comes in response to a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office … Continue Reading

Okay to Terminate Employee for Violating No-Alcohol Provision of Return to Work Agreement, Says Third Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed that an employer may discharge a driver sales representative who suffers from alcoholism for violating a return to work agreement (RWA) that prohibits the use of drugs or alcohol in Ostrowski v. Con-way Freight, Inc., No. 12-3800, 2013 WL 5814131 (3d Cir. Oct. 30, 2013). … Continue Reading

Joint Standards Proposed for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Dodd-Frank Covered Entities

 Last month the six federal agencies that are subject to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 released jointly-proposed standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate. This alert provides an analysis of the proposed standards, which were published in the Federal Register on October 25, … Continue Reading

More Practical Employment Law Issues Facing Government Contractors as the Federal Government Shutdown Continues

As the federal government shutdown enters its third week, it remains unclear when a deal will be forged. We have been helping government contractors navigate the difficult legal issues raised by the continued government shutdown and previously published an alert, Practical Employment Law Issues Facing Government Contractors in the Wake of the Federal Government Shutdown, … Continue Reading

Practical Employment Law Issues Facing Government Contractors in the Wake of the Federal

On October 1, 2013, the federal government shut down for the first time in seventeen years. Government contractors are already feeling the bite of the shutdown and facing immediate issues regarding how to handle impacted workers while the shutdown continues and their work is on hold. This alert discusses many of the most significant employment-related … Continue Reading
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