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Employment Law

EEOC updates guidance on religious discrimination, accommodations

For the first time since 2008, the EEOC has updated its guidance on enforcement of Title VII religious discrimination cases. The new guidance reflects conclusions drawn from recent EEOC litigation, as well as its current thinking on accommodating religious beliefs and practices.

Injury? Offer FMLA, not just workers’ comp

The workers’ compensation system typically covers workplace injuries, but the FMLA may also apply. If someone is hurt at work, be prepared to notify the employee of her FMLA rights.

Title VII covers nontraditional beliefs, too

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on their religious beliefs. That sounds simple enough. Almost all managers know they can’t fire someone because they’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other mainstream religion. But Title VII also protects less well-known belief systems.

Exit checklist: When teleworkers terminate

You probably have a plan in place dictating what happens when an employee quits. But with so many employees working remotely, traditional exit interviews and the accompanying rituals may slip through the cracks. Here’s how to safeguard your intellectual and real property in a work-from-home world.

DOL guidance addresses retirement plan cybersecurity

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new guidance for retirement plan sponsors on best practices for maintaining cybersecurity, including tips on how to protect employees’ retirement benefits.

‘Hear no evil, see no evil’ is a manager’s worst possible anti-harassment strategy

Make sure your supervisors know that they have a direct obligation—both legally and for company policy reasons—to pass along to HR any complaints of harassing or discriminatory behavior that they hear about from their employees.

Pay employees for pre-shift COVID screening

To decide if you must pay employees for their pre- or post-work activities—such as putting on uniforms, waiting in a time-clock line, etc.—take a look at the Fair Labor Standards Act. The main issue is whether the pre- or post-activity is “integral” and “indispensable” to the employee’s principal activity.

Can you ask workers if they’ve been vaccinated?

The EEOC says employers can legally ask workers about their COVID vaccination status—and require proof—without sparking liability under federal employment laws like the ADA or Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act GINA. But you need to be careful with any follow-up questions.

White House infrastructure plan would bring changes for employers

The Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal—tentatively titled the American Jobs Plan—was unveiled March 31 and is still in draft form. Taken together, the proposals written into the AJP could affect how employers run their workplaces for decades to come. Here are some of the expected highlights.

ADA: You can make attendance ‘essential’

Some employers require timely and regular attendance as an essential job function. However, the ADA imposes limits on those expectations, requiring reasonable accommodations of some absences. Key word: Some.