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Employment Law

Summer’s here and so are new employment laws

Summertime is often when new employment laws take effect, and this summer is no exception.

Biased bosses: Beware cat’s paw liability for discriminatory firing

Under what’s called the cat’s paw theory, employers can’t defend themselves against employment discrimination claims by saying they didn’t know a supervisor was biased.

Beware impact of Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision on DEI programs

The decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College said two universities’ affirmative action policies lacked sufficient focus and measurable objectives warranting the use of race as admissions criteria and involved their own form of racial stereotyping to make admissions decisions. For employers committed to diversifying their workplaces, the case offers lessons to avoid similar legal challenges.

Supreme Court raises the bar for denying religious accommodations

In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court on June 29 decided that the appropriate standard for rejecting or making a reasonable accommodation for employees’ religious needs is whether granting an accommodation would substantially increase costs in relation to the conduct of the organization’s particular business.

$25.6 million! Cost of scapegoating white manager for racial profiling

Back in 2018, a Starbucks manager approached two Black men waiting for a colleague and said they had to buy something or leave. An argument ensued and police were called. The two men were led away in handcuffs but released a few hours later without charges. What followed was a public relations nightmare for Starbucks, which was accused of racial profiling.

Supreme Court ruling streamlines process for resolving disputes via arbitration

In a move that may cut legal costs for employers that still use arbitration agreements, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 23 that questions about arbitration terms must be decided before a lawsuit filed in federal court can proceed.

Does USERRA require you to pay employees on military leave?

Does equal treatment extend to paying employees on military leave if your leave policy pays employees for other types of leave? USERRA says yes, if the leaves are comparable.

PRO Act passes Senate milestone, almost certain to die in House

A major piece of pro-union legislation has advanced in the Senate. On June 21, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions marked up S. 567, the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Ensure college recruiting materials don’t illegally exclude foreign applicants

If you recruit college students, make sure your recruiting materials don’t imply you won’t consider hiring noncitizens such as those holding temporary visas. Otherwise, you can expect an enterprising student to file a potentially costly claim with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dumping pennies in the driveway leads to even more FLSA charges

Don’t tick off the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. That’s the lesson learned the hard way by A OK Walker Autoworks of Peachtree City, Ga.