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Employment Law

Be alert to new legal risk: vaccine-status harassment

Harassing a co-worker because of his or her unvaccinated status might cross the line into unlawful protected-class harassment. In that case, an employer might have honest-to-goodness liability for allowing such harassment to continue uncorrected.

Paycheck Fairness Act stalls, lacking Senate votes

Legislation that would amend the Equal Pay Act to make it easier to sue for sex-based pay discrimination won’t become law this year, failing to win the backing of 60 senators necessary to overcome a filibuster.

Do your obligations follow digital nomads?

Many employees who worked remotely through the pandemic will soon begin returning to work in person this fall. Before then, however, many of your pandemic teleworkers are likely planning to hit the road this summer—and taking their laptops with them as they can continue to work remotely from some location away from home. Here’s what to consider before giving them the green light.

Highly paid contractors may be FLSA HCEs

One of the biggest risks of using independent contractors is the possibility they could challenge their status and argue they should be classified as employees. But there is a way to avoid that litigation risk: Pay those independent contractors enough so they would otherwise be classified as highly compensated employees under the FLSA.

HR pros gain broad Title VII protection

A recent federal appeals court decision may be good news for HR pros and bad news for employers that think they can get away with retaliation if they try to quash discrimination investigations.

Same-sex harassment may include nonsexual behavior

Don’t ignore a sexual harassment complaint just because the workplace consists of members of a single sex and there’s no claim that the harasser was seeking sexual favors.

HR can help prevent ransomware hacks

The cost of recovering from a ransomware attack has more than doubled in the last year, according to leading cybersecurity provider Sophos. HR is one of many functions that have a role to play in anticipating and preventing ransomware hacks.

Lawsuit claims retaliation for raising coronavirus concerns

The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a New York City community health center and its CEO after they suspended and later fired an employee who reported coronavirus-related safety hazards.

Fewer than 50 employees? FMLA could apply to you anyway

The FMLA provides job-protected, unpaid leave for employees who meet eligibility requirements. Eligibility depends on whether the employer is large enough to be covered by the law—with 50 or more employees. But there is another way an employer that isn’t big enough can be trapped into having to provide coverage.

Monitor all facilities for racist harassment

It’s hard to monitor everything that goes on when your company has far-flung operations, but it’s essential to keep tabs on—and put a stop to—conduct that could trigger a costly lawsuit. Two joint employers recently learned that lesson the hard way and will pay $2 million for their mistake.