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Employment Law

FLSA, religious bias cases on docket this fall

The U.S. Supreme Court returns for its new term in October and already has scheduled two cases affecting employers. One will address whether employers can ever pay a daily rate to an employee classified as exempt. The other will clarify whether an employer’s religious views can exempt it from state and federal nondiscrimination laws.

Ensure bosses don’t block accommodations

It’s important to train supervisors that they must honor approved disability accommodations and immediately refer all requests to modify accommodations to HR.

Don’t make this $10 million vaccine mistake

First, the bad news: An employer recently agreed to pay $10 million to a group of employees who refused to be vaccinated against covid-19 for religious reasons. The good news: The same fate won’t befall your organization if you follow some simple steps that balance religious objections against business and organizational needs.

Ensure exempt teleworkers are properly classified

If you have exempt employees who work remotely, be sure they really are exempt. It’s important because it is difficult to track teleworkers’ time. If they have been misclassified, you could violate the Fair Labor Standards Act in two ways: failing to pay overtime and failing to properly track all hours worked.

Beware forcing bosses into nonexempt work

Restaurant and retail managers who are classified as exempt often have to step in and perform non-managerial work when the need arises. Normally, that doesn’t destroy their exempt status. But when an employer purposely minimizes the number of hourly workers assigned to shifts, the risk of managers losing their exempt status rises dramatically.

Monkeypox could lead to bias, harassment complaints

While virologists and the general public are quickly learning how the monkeypox virus is transmitted, some employment lawyers are gearing up for the possibility of discrimination and harassment claims stemming from the virus’s link to sexual activity between gay and bisexual men.

New Calif. law could signal HR privacy trend

Protecting employee privacy has always been a priority for HR professionals, but a just-enacted California law has upped the ante on safeguarding employees’ personal data. The California Privacy Rights Act may become a model for legislation in other states.

D.C. Circuit to NLRB: Take a fresh look at joint-employer ruling

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the National Labor Relations Board to revisit its most recent, Trump-era ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries, a landmark decision that defined what it means to be a joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act.

Accommodating religion: 6 commandments for managers

The increasing religious diversity in the workforce is causing more managers to make legal mistakes. And a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may cause confusion about where managers can draw the line on religion and prayer in the workplace.

Always keep disability status confidential

The ADA requires employers to keep a worker’s disability confidential. That can put supervisors in a difficult position if, for example, employees complain about a colleague who seemingly gets a pass on performing some tasks or is allowed to take extra leave.