In Shaffer v. American Medical Association, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reminded employers they cannot base a termination decision on an employee’s decision to take FMLA leave. Here are some of the lessons the case can teach employers.
Q. We’ve heard that federal employees’ FMLA rights have recently expanded. Can you tell us about this?
Q. Can you tell us how the recent amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act affects employers?
While the law concerning acceptable employee use of social media remains uncertain, the NLRB is starting to shed more light on what conduct is acceptable under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB has issued a decision in Karl Knauz Motors Inc., holding that Knauz did not violate the NLRA when it terminated an employee.
Q. We’ve heard the IRS recently announced a new program for employers to reclassify their workers. Can you tell us about it?
Q. We have an employee who wants to take a chunk of paid time off. She is eligible for FMLA leave. We want to start deducting the time off from her 12-week entitlement. Usually we require employees to provide a medical certification. But in this case, we are more interested in making sure she doesn’t take unpaid FMLA leave later after her paid leave bank is exhausted. Can we just do this?
Are pregnant employees who develop complications disabled and entitled to reasonable accommodations under the ADA? A federal appeals court considered the question for the first time in Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare LLC.
Q. What is the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule regarding notifying employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act?
Q. We’ve heard about the National Labor Relations Board’s focus on an employee’s right to post critical work-related comments on Facebook. However, we also heard that the NLRB has started to limit its view on whether such comments are protected concerted activity. What’s going on?
By now, every employer understands that Title VII prohibits discriminating against employees because of their race. A recent 7th Circuit case makes clear a subtle but important point about race bias: Employers can’t defend discrimination against some members of a protected class by claiming they don’t discriminate against all members of that class.
Q. You’ve written that we can’t fire employees for their “concerted activity,” like talking about pay or bosses, and we may have to live with certain complaining via social media. But are there limits?
Q. We have an employee who claims to belong to a religious sect I have never heard of. Their alleged holidays always occur on Mondays. Do I have to give her these holidays off?
Q. One of our employees secretly did an audio recording of his performance review meeting with his iPhone. Is that legal?
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor has renewed its focus on combating employee misclassification, and there has been a recent significant increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits. In many of these cases, workers are challenging their designation as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Q. We are a union shop. We’ve heard the NLRB has new rules about unions. What do they involve and what do they require us to do?
Today’s tight economy has prompted many employers to try to reduce costs—including overtime—by classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. That hasn’t escaped the notice of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has stepped up efforts to deter misclassification.
Q. We are requiring some hourly employees to take additional training. Those who work the day shift can attend the training in lieu of work. But employees who work the night shift will have to come in during the day. Must we pay extra for the night shift employees to attend the training?
Q. We are considering hiring a new RN. She is requesting an extra week of vacation above what our company policy offers. Would we be discriminating against our other full-time employees if we grant her request?
Everyone knows employees can use FMLA to care for minor children who have serious health conditions. But what about adult children who need a parent’s care? It’s a difficult issue that straddles the complex intersection of the FMLA and the ADA, plus definitions of “disability” and “care.”
Q. I heard something about a new wage-and-hour smartphone app that the Department of Labor has announced. What does it mean for our company?