The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — encompassing Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee — recently affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which alleged that an employer’s use of credit checks to screen potential employees for certain positions unfairly discriminated against African-Americans. This was a major victory for employers, who, as we discussed in a previous blog, are in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when it comes to background checks.
The West Virginia Legislature’s 2014 regular session concluded last month. Like in many states, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill to increase the state minimum wage this year. In addition, following the lead of several other state legislatures, the West Virginia Legislature also passed a bill relating to pregnant employees. Both laws have significant implications for West Virginia employers.
Employers frequently deal with issues touching on employee privacy rights, and in the world of smartphones, social media, Google Glass, and B.Y.O.D., the application of relevant laws in this area is getting more – not less — complex. Want a primer on all workplace-related privacy issues this Easter? Look in the right margin or click here to download our free Workplace Privacy Toolkit as a gift to you from the Employment Essentials Team this holiday season. Grab it and put it in your basket today because – like the Easter Bunny – it may disappear soon. If you like the Toolkit, don’t forget to spread the word, and tell us in the comments below, as well!
Employers are often understandably flummoxed about what to do when an employee’s employment ends while the employee still has custody of the employer’s property. For example, an employee may wear his or her employer-provided uniform home at the end of the employee’s final shift. What’s the employer to do?
Imagine this scenario: One of your employees is taking leave under the FMLA. You suspect the employee has misrepresented the state of his or her condition to fraudulently obtain protection under the FMLA and is really using the time off for personal reasons unrelated to any illness or injury. In fact, several of the employee’s co-workers have reported to you that they have observed the employee out shopping on days when he or she had supposedly used FMLA-protected leave. They’ve also told you that some of the employee’s Facebook posts and photos portray activity which seems inconsistent with their alleged illness or injury. Since the FMLA prohibits employers from interfering with an employee’s FMLA rights and from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights to leave, there’s nothing you can do unless you care to find yourself in court, right?
Now that the National Labor Relations Board is at full staff – three Democrats and two Republicans – it has begun to act in earnest. In addition to starting to issue a litany of pro-union decisions, the NLRB “re-issued” its proposed new union election rules on February 6, 2014 for notice and comment. These rules were previously issued for the same purpose back on June 22, 2011, but after the Board adopted a portion of them in December of that year, the modified rules were struck down by federal courts on procedural grounds.