The closer in time an adverse job action occurs to an employee's discrimination complaint, the more likely it is to be considered retaliation. And, a retaliation complaint can succeed even if the initial discrimination claim was baseless, a federal court recently ruled.
With a major whistleblower story in the news recently, now is a good time to educate your managers and supervisors about whistleblower protection laws. There are more than two dozen federal laws that protect whistleblowers in various situations, including the Whistleblower Protection Act, most anti-discrimination laws, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Dodd-Frank Act and others.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), covered employers with at least 50 employees are required to provide non-exempt, breastfeeding mothers with:
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of American households with children, around 20% have a child with special needs. Now, the Department of Labor has ruled that attending meetings about a child's individual education plan (IEP) is an acceptable use of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
Federal law requires most employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities and religious needs. A reasonable accommodation is generally a change in the way the work is performed. It could include schedule changes, technology changes or even allowing the person to work remotely. The accommodation is considered reasonable if it would not create "undue hardship," meaning significant cost or disruption, for the employer.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 2 million U.S. workers each year are victims of workplace violence. While no one can predict or prevent every incident, employers do have a duty to take reasonable steps to keep their workers safe from workplace violence.
Companies like Lyft, Uber and the like have been using a new model for delivering their services to customers. Instead of hiring employees, they rely on contract workers -- even for their core business. This is often called the "gig economy" model.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently took a new position on the timing of leave taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Many employers allow or even require workers to use up their sick time and other paid time off before initiating an FMLA leave. In a March 14 opinion letter, the DOL said that practice is improper. FMLA leave must begin to run within five days of the employer learning that leave is being taken for reasons covered by the FMLA.
"When you get cultural change on civil rights, it happens because industry leaders do the right thing," said the commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently.
Employers with more than 100 employees will soon be required to submit detailed reports on how their workers are paid, broken down by gender, race and ethnicity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission passed a rule requiring the reports in 2016, but the rule was halted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Now, a judge has ordered the rule to move forward. What remains unclear is whether companies will have to begin submitting the reports by the original deadline of May 31.