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Employment Law

Accommodating Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the workplace

If you have a worker who reveals a dementia diagnosis and requests reasonable accommodations, follow your usual ADA accommodations process. Determine if the employee is disabled and discuss possible accommodations using the ADA’s interactive process.

Child-labor violations cost $3.8 million, plus lost sales of compromised ‘hot goods’

One of the U.S. Department of Labor’s enforcement priorities is eliminating the illegal use of child labor. In 2023, the DOL stepped up enforcement, levying hefty fines.

NLRB takes on SpaceX in retaliation case

The National Labor Relations Board continues to exercise its power to regulate workplace conduct while enforcing the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB just told SpaceX that it acted illegally when it fired eight employees for raising sexual harassment concerns. The case shows that increasingly, employees feel emboldened to speak out against what they perceive as management and CEO behavior that violates evolving workplace expectations of how business is supposed to run.

Effective March 11, new ‘independent contractor’ rule favors classifying workers as employees

The Department of Labor has issued a new final rule that will make it harder for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, not employees. The rule, Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, will take effect March 11. That’s when employers must begin applying what the DOL calls an “economic realities test” to determine if someone is truly a contractor or if he or she should be classified as an employee.

A neat trick, if you can do it: Countersuing employees who bring an FLSA lawsuit to make them foot the bill

This is the first case we’ve encountered where an employer sued employees for money related to its own violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Cost of a one-sided investigation: $15 million

Ignoring a complaint or summarily dismissing it almost guarantees you’ll lose a lawsuit if the complaining employee decides to sue. But how you conduct that investigation is crucial. Lean too heavily towards supporting the alleged victim, and the alleged perpetrator may be the one who sues you.

Review compensation practices to identify potential sources of pay inequity

Your employees probably no longer consider it taboo to discuss salaries and benefits with their co-workers and friends. That means they can easily tell how your compensation system compares with that of other employers. It also means they can easily spot inequities in how you pay employees up and down your org chart. If they determine that wage gaps exist, don’t be surprised if they decide to sue you for discrimination.

Employers beware: Supreme Court could make it easier to sue for discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in an employment law case that may make it much easier for employees to sue their employers. If a majority of the justices agree with an employee who claims her transfer was motivated by her employer’s discriminatory policies, the decision may also open the way for more lawsuits contesting employers’ diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

States considering tax incentives for employers that adopt four-day workweek

Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about the benefits and desirability of a four-day workweek. If that came to pass, it would fundamentally change a standard set in 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act established a 40-hour workweek as the norm for American workers.

Think creatively about how to comply with PUMP Act milk-expression requirements

Many employers still struggle with how to provide the required breast-milk expression breaks required by the year-old Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act. PUMP Act compliance is especially challenging in unusual work environments. However, a recent lawsuit settlement involving an airline addresses best practices employers can adopt even in difficult circumstances.