Some Employers Likely to See Increased Litigation Costs in EEOC Cases

Employers in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin are likely to see their legal fees increase as a result of a Seventh Circuit decision that allows the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file suit immediately instead of first trying to negotiate a settlement with the employer.   Continue reading

NLRB Stands Behind Swearing Salesman

Employers beware: the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) decided that an employer, a car dealership, unlawfully discharged an employee after his lewd outburst in a meeting. On remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Board reapplied the four-factor Atlantic Steel balancing test to determine if the employee’s outburst was concerted activity or whether he in fact sacrificed his protection under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Continue reading

President Obama Calls for Revisions to FLSA’s Overtime Regulations

On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum that directed Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to review the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)[1]  and revise the  regulations that define who qualifies for overtime protection.  The Memorandum was spurred by what President Obama sees as the degradation of the spirit of FLSA—if you work more, you are paid more—leaving millions of low-paid salaried workers without overtime protection.[2]  “I’m directing Tom Perez, the secretary of labor, to restore the commonsense principle behind overtime,” Obama said.  “If you go above and beyond to help your employer and your company succeed, then you should share a little bit in that success.” Continue reading

BYOD: Where the Employee and the Enterprise Intersect

The proliferation of bring your own device programs – or “BYOD” as it is commonly referred – has drastically changed today’s corporate workplace environment. Employees are availing themselves of smart phones, tablets, and other personal handheld devices to perform the duties that encompass their employment. With more prevalent use of personal devices for work related activity, “an organization must think beyond technological challenges; it must address business policies, management processes and governance as well.”[1] Continue reading

The EEOC Loses Background Check Battle In The 6th Circuit

The Sixth Circuit issued a much anticipated ruling on April 9, 2014 related to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC’s”) systemic targeting of employer background check policies.  The very first sentence of the Court’s decision very poignantly foreshadows how the EEOC was to fare in the seven page decision authored by Justice Raymond Kethledge, and also points out the difficulty the federal agency will face in light of its own background check policy in which it runs credit checks on applicants for 84 of the agency’s 97 positions:  “In this case the EEOC sued the defendants for using the same type of background check that the EEOC itself uses.”  (emphasis added). Continue reading

Justices Scoff at Payment for Don and Doff

Employees who spend time putting on and taking off protective clothes, including flame-retardant outerwear, gloves, boot and hardhats, do not have to be paid for that time when it occurs before and after the work day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The Court ruled this week that Section 203(o)  of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to pay for the time it takes employees to change clothes, otherwise known as “donning” and “doffing”  unless the employees have negotiated otherwise in a labor agreement.  In doing so, the justices resolved a question that had split lower courts and made it difficult for employers to know how to act. Continue reading

How to Stay Legal and Avoid Risky Drivers

In November 2012, Benesch and Avatar Fleet hosted a webinar titled, “EEOC vs. FMCSA: No One Wins, But You Don’t Have to Lose.” We recently released a white paper recapping the webinar, “How to Stay Legal and Avoid Risky Drivers: Guidance for Practicing EEOC-Compliant Hiring in the Transportation Industry.” Please click here to take a look.