What is a Protected Class?

Certain laws are meant to protect people against employment discrimination. When an employment discrimination case goes before the court, however, the court asks if the plaintiff was a member of a “protected class.” If they are not, they can have a much harder time winning their case. But what is a protected class, and why does it matter? Continue reading “What is a Protected Class?”

Five Potential Signs of Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is one of the most common kinds of discrimination faced by employees in the workplace, but it is also one that often takes a variety of different forms. While most people know to look for issues like non-consensual physical contact or the use of gendered slurs towards women, other sex discrimination issues can easily go unnoticed. Look for these five signs of potential sex discrimination at your workplace: Continue reading “Five Potential Signs of Sex Discrimination”

What Happens When an Employee is Misclassified?

Employee misclassification is a surprisingly widespread problem across many industries, and yet it is poorly understood by most workers. And yet, whether an employee is properly classified can have a massive impact on their taxes, income, and benefits. So, why is it that some employees are misclassified, and what can you do to deal with it? Continue reading “What Happens When an Employee is Misclassified?”

When Are Opioid Users Protected by Anti-Discrimination Law?

Addiction to opioids is a prevalent problem that affects people from every economic class and social background, and which remains a major public health problem. In addition to issues with physical and psychological health, people who are dealing with opioid addiction often face problems at work when their problems become revealed. To address these issues, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance to employers and healthcare providers about potential implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on handling employees dealing with current or past opioid addiction. Continue reading “When Are Opioid Users Protected by Anti-Discrimination Law?”

NY Federal Court Strikes Down Rule Limiting COVID Paid Leave

A New York federal court has struck down a United States Department of Labor (DOL) rule that limited who could benefit from a law that granted paid leave due to the coronavirus. The court stated the DOL overstepped its authority by issuing the limitation and said that there was no basis in law for the rule it issued. Additionally, it struck down an interpretation of the law that expanded an exception for “health care providers,” and partially vacated other interpretations of the law which limited people’s ability to take time off. Continue reading “NY Federal Court Strikes Down Rule Limiting COVID Paid Leave”

Employers Can Discipline Newly Unionized Employees According to NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a ruling making it permissible for an employer to discipline newly unionized employees for violations of the company’s disciplinary policy. The ruling overturns a 2016 decision which made it illegal for an employer to discipline a newly unionized employee due to concerns of potential abuse. However, the Board has ruled that employers have no legal obligation to consider whether an employee has been recently unionized before disciplining them. Continue reading “Employers Can Discipline Newly Unionized Employees According to NLRB”

Ten Percent of American Workers File for Unemployment in Three Weeks

In less than a month, more than a tenth of the American workforce has been forced out of their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The job losses represent the single greatest increase in unemployment since the housing bubble burst in 2008, with jobless numbers expected to increase to as high as 20%. Despite some efforts by federal and state legislatures to curtail the effects, workers are feeling the job losses hard, and it’s not clear when people will be able to return to work. Continue reading “Ten Percent of American Workers File for Unemployment in Three Weeks”

DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, bringing with it a slew of changes to various labor laws. Among the most significant of these changes were those rules regarding intermittent leave and telework, two practices that are substantially more important now that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Employers who intend to have their employees work from home, as well as employees intending to work from home, should familiarize themselves with these provisions to understand how they might affect their business. Continue reading “DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework”

NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban

Many employers have attempted to initiate rules against employee cell phone use during work hours to curtail texting, using social media, or browsing the internet. Given the importance of the devices in most peoples’ day-to-day lives, courts have generally frowned upon broad bans on cell phone use. However, in at least one narrow case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been willing to approve an employee cell phone ban. Continue reading “NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban”

DOL Issues Final Rule on Joint Employment

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule for joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule helps to clarify an area of employment law that has long been a source of contention between employers and employees, ending contention that goes back at least sixty years. In particular, it creates clear criteria for what a “joint employer” is and what responsibilities they have to their employees. Continue reading “DOL Issues Final Rule on Joint Employment”