EMPLOYMENT LAW

Disability bias charges up 64% since 2000

10/20/2014
The EEOC handled 25,957 charges of disability discrimination in fiscal year 2013, up from 15,864 in 2000.

Is an easier commute a disability accommodation?

10/17/2014
A New Jersey woman is suing her former employer, contending she was fired after requesting different hours so she could avoid rush-hour traffic.

In pay case, Supreme Court asks: What is work?

10/16/2014
Does standing in line count as work? That was at the core of the Justice’s questions on Oct. 7 as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk (No. 13-433, U.S. Supreme Court, 2014).

Is mandatory retirement ever legal?

10/15/2014

Say you’ve got some older employees and you’re now wondering if they’re ever going to, you know, call it quits. Of course, you can’t give older workers a hard time so as to pressure them into leaving. That’s against the law. But could you maybe suggest—or even require—that they retire at a given age, say, 65 or 70?

What do we need to consider before offering extra pay for weekend work?

10/14/2014
Q. We have a short-term project coming up that is going to require some of our hourly, nonexempt employees to work some extra weekend hours. We are thinking we might pay them a higher rate to work on the weekends to encourage employees to volunteer and to reward them. Is there anything we should be keeping in mind before we do that?

How should we handle worker's upcoming transgender transformation?

10/14/2014
Q. We have a male employee in our accounting department. He recently told us that he plans to start presenting himself as female and is thinking of undergoing surgery to transform to a female. We think we will have employees who are really uncomfortable with this situation, so we are wondering if we can terminate our accounting employee or if this might get us into trouble?

EEOC says medical inquiry violated ADA, GINA

10/14/2014
Shoreview, Minn.-based Cummins Power Generation faces a suit from the EEOC after it fired an employee who had missed work for refusing to provide medical information in conjunction with a fitness-for-duty examination. According to the suit, the company sought medical information that wasn’t related to the reason for the employee’s absence.

DSW agrees to pay $900,000 to settle age bias complaints

10/14/2014
Ohio-based shoe retailer DSW has agreed to pay $900,000 to seven former managers who were let go during the recession. The settlement covers DSW activities at its home office and throughout its Midwest region, which includes Minnesota.

Enhanced pay report proposed for fed contractors

10/14/2014
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to collect pay data from federal contractors.

Izza Bending Tube & Wire settles retaliation suit

10/14/2014
Buffalo, Minn.-based Izza Bending Tube & Wire has settled a retaliation suit filed by the EEOC. The suit alleged an employee had her salary cut, was demoted, laid off and ultimately terminated after she refused to discriminate against a black employee.

EEOC can bring case without alleged victim

10/14/2014
When the EEOC gets wind of alleged discrimination, it is free to investigate that practice and sue the employer—all without naming an actual victim.

A few unpaid 'donning and doffing' minutes can add up to penalties worth millions

10/14/2014

With few exceptions, hourly employees are entitled to pay for all time worked. Paid time can include the time it takes to put on specialized equipment and clothing and walk to a workstation. If you rely on an inaccurate formula to calculate that time, a jury may correct your mistake for all similarly situated employees—and a judge may double the amount owed for unpaid time.

Feel free to discipline employees even if you discover wrongdoing during FMLA leave

10/14/2014
Some employees mistakenly believe that if they can just get FMLA leave approved, their employer can’t discharge them. Fortunately, that’s not true.

In Minnesota, encourage internal complaint process to protect against whistle-blower lawsuits

10/14/2014

Minnesota employees who believe they were punished for refusing to engage in illegal activities can sue under two distinct but related laws. First, they may have a claim under Minnesota’s Whistleblower Act. Second, they can sue under the state common law for wrongful discharge. Each law has a different standard.

Note time, circumstances of firing decision

10/14/2014

Employees may begin suspecting that their job is in danger before management has a chance to implement a discharge decision. That’s when you can expect them to complain about harassment or discrimination. Or, in Minnesota, they may request a copy of their personnel file to see what’s in it and prepare for a potential lawsuit. Beat that strategy by carefully documenting the discharge process.

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