HDR thirdshift

Historic settlement of sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it had settled one of its first lawsuits alleging sexual orientation discrimination. The settlement—in the form of a consent decree—requires Pallet Companies, doing business as IFCO Systems (IFCO), to pay $202,200 in addition to a number of nonmonetary requirements. This landmark decree comes less than a year after the EEOC first concluded that discrimination on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation amounted to sex discrimination.

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Asking about family medical history costs employer over $300,000

I know, I know. I’ve already blogged about this subject—about how employers shouldn’t be asking about family medical history. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has once again charged an employer with violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). And the employer also asked questions about the disabilities of applicants in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Dept. of Labor issues new overtime regulations

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) issued its new overtime rules. These new rules primarily address the trigger amount for exempting executive, administrative, professional, and computer employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These exemptions are frequently referred to as EAP exemptions or white-collar exemptions.

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Employers are limited in use of social media to oppose “unionizing” efforts

As discussed in a previous post, employers cannot terminate employees for using social media to exercise their right to engage in protected concerted activity (typically seen as “unionizing”). Holding that employers cannot fight fire with fire, a recent court decision has now limited the extent of the employer’s ability to use social media to oppose “unionizing” activities.

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Another reason not to misclassify workers as independent contractors

As I have previously pointed out, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Treasury Department have been pursuing cases of misclassification of workers—that is, the practice of classifying a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Employers typically resort to this approach as a means of reducing the employer’s share of withholding taxes—and several other “benefits.” See this previous discussion.

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