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Employment Law

Expanded definition of sexual harassment may be wave of future

Laws recently enacted by the state of New York may signal a new standard for deciding what constitutes sexual harassment.

NLRB changes solicitation rules to favor employers

The National Labor Relations Board in June issued a decision that reversed a longstanding precedent by holding that employers may bar nonemployee union representatives or organizers from soliciting employees or promoting union membership in public areas within an employer’s facility.

State of NY bans bias on the basis of hairstyles

New York has become the second state to make it unlawful to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of the person’s hairstyle.

Classic ADA accommodation: Adjust work schedule

Schedule changes may be inconvenient, but they’re an easy way to accommodate many disabilities. Courts aren’t likely to sympathize with employers that refuse to adjust a disabled employee’s schedule.

Retaliation claim can stick even if bias claim fails

One of the worst mistakes an employer can make is to punish a worker for a baseless discrimination complaint. Retaliating may give that worker a winning lawsuit claim even if the original discrimination case had no chance.

Warn managers: Snide remarks, dismissive comments could trigger a lawsuit

Sometimes, a manager who doesn’t like an employee will find a way to lash out while staying within the letter of anti-discrimination laws. Example: Refusing to address an employee by name, but instead using a dismissive term, can be a big mistake.

Court rejects request to add novel claim

Good news at a time when employees are finding more ways to sue: A federal court has rejected a novel claim that could have spelled trouble for employers.

Timely documentation: Your best legal defense

What’s the best thing employers can do to win more lawsuits? Document every workplace decision contemporaneously, at the time you make it.

DOL: Highly compensated employee explained

A recent opinion letter interprets the Fair Labor Standards Act’s highly compensated employee exemption. The letter spells out exactly what an employer must show to claim the exemption, which currently only applies to workers earning a salary of at least $100,000 per year who perform nonmanual or office work.

ADA: Obesity isn’t a disability … or is it?

More than one-third of American adults—some 72 million people—are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But generally, obesity alone does not qualify as a disability under the ADA. A recent federal appellate court decision agrees with that premise.