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Employment Law

DOL continues crackdown on fast-food violations of child-labor laws

The U.S. Department of Labor is turning up the heat on fast-food businesses that expose teenage workers to dangerous conditions and try to thwart investigations of alleged child-labor law violations.

Supreme Court backs employers that suffer damages during union strikes

In a near-unanimous 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it won’t tolerate union misbehavior that damages employer property even when tensions run high.

How much could retaliation cost? Try $366 million

Employees frequently sue for retaliation if they experience backlash after complaining about race discrimination at work. If the victim is punished with a pay cut, demotion, transfer to a less desirable location or termination, employers can expect a retaliation lawsuit. In cases like that, employees don’t even have to prove they experienced discrimination. They just have to prove they were punished for complaining.

Caution! EEOC guidance puts employers on notice for AI liability

The EEOC has recently become quite proactive about the downsides of artificial intelligence, warning employers that using AI in the hiring process could lead to violations of anti-discrimination laws. The commission is rightly worried that certain AI programs may be designed in ways that either actively discriminate against members of a protected class or have an adverse impact on them.

Transfer after harassment complaint is OK if the new position is comparable

Employers can’t punish workers for filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. That would be illegal retaliation. But what’s less clear is what exactly constitutes punishment? Under the law, it isn’t punishment unless the employer’s action amounts to an adverse employment action.

Handle requests for religious accommodations by holding interactive talks about options

Title VII requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs and practices. Employers must handle requests for religious accommodations just as they do requests for disability accommodations under the ADA—through an interactive process in which the employee’s and the employer’s competing needs are discussed.

DOL offers PUMP Act compliance resources

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has released a suite of resources to help employers comply with the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act, commonly called the PUMP Act.

EEOC issues one last update to COVID-related anti-discrimination guidance

In response to the official end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, the EEOC has updated its guidance on COVID-related discrimination protections.

Cost of segregating jobs by sex: $1.25 million

Buying into old stereotypes about the kind of work men and women do can be a costly error. One employer recently found that out the hard way, paying $1.25 million when it was caught placing women in traditionally female roles and reserving more physically strenuous (and higher-paying) jobs for men.

Prepare to protect this summer’s unique corps of teen workers

If you plan to hire teens for seasonal jobs, brace yourself for a teen workforce like no other before it. Prepare to deal with more than the usual amount of teenage angst.