Monday, August 8, 2016

Legal News & Knowledge: August 2016 Edition

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Section Topics:

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Employment Law

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Federal Court Blocks DOL's New Persuader Rule

By Amanda S. Smith, Esq.
 
On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final version of its "Persuader Rule." According to the DOL, the Persuader Rule "realigns the [DOL's] regulations with the text of a law passed by Congress, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA)."

Full Article
 



EEOC Enters Historic First Settlement in Sexual Orientation Case

By Carlos Arévalo
 
In the case against Pallet Companies, doing business as IFCO Systems North America, the EEOC alleged that the company discriminated against a woman by terminating her for complaining about harassment associated with her sexual orientation.

Full Article
 



Student Interns Do Not Equal Free Labor

By Noah A. Frank
 
Fall is around the corner, and with it comes student interns bolstering their resumes. Interns can benefit companies by cutting down some of the workload; however, employers need to be aware that wage and hour laws can apply to interns.

Full Article
 



Another Day, Another Reversal by the NLRB

By Jarad Lucan
 
Now, after a ruling in Miller & Anderson, temporary workers provided by staffing agencies do not need an employer’s permission to join unions that include its full-time employees as long as they share a "community of interest" with full-time workers.

Full Article
 



Attack on waivers of class action claims

By Philip Bruce
 
A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that waivers of class action claims in non-employment settings were enforceable. That led to a big push by employers to add waivers of class or collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment laws to their employee arbitration agreements.

Full Article
 


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FMLA, ACA, and ADA

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The ACA Makes My Head Hurt!

By Norma Shirk, Esq.
 
Imagine the following scenario: Stephanie is the HR Director for her company and she's spent years trying to figure out how to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for large employers. She works for a company that provides janitorial services to businesses.

Full Article
 



A jury will hear the ADA claim of a diabetic cashier, fired for drinking live-saving juice from a store refrigerator

By Eric B. Meyer
 
...a Tennessee federal court ruled here that a jury will hear the Americans with Disabilities Act claims of a diabetic cashier, who twice committed grazing violations by taking bottles of orange juice from the store cooler without immediately paying for them, and for which she was fired.

Full Article
 



When the FMLA and ADA Intersect: Double Trouble for Employers

By James D. Holman, Esq.
 
Most employers agree that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the most annoying of the federal employment acts: inconvenient, difficult to administer, with substantial penalties if you get it wrong.

Full Article
 



Does an FMLA Leave Request Double as a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation? Should Employers Care?

By Jeff Nowak
 
There is a hot debate brewing over the tantalizing question, "Does a request for FMLA leave also constitute a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA?" The worlds of FMLA and ADA clash!

Full Article
 



FMLA notice’s failure to include job restoration rights might be interference if employee prejudiced

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
 
The FMLA notice a federal reserve bank sent to an employee failed to inform him of his right to job restoration, the Fourth Circuit found. And because there was sufficient evidence to show he would have structured his leave differently had he known his job was protected, the court vacated the grant of summary judgment against his FMLA interference claim.

Full Article
 


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Immigration

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What Does a Divided Court Mean for Deferred Action Programs?

By Greg McLawsen, Esq.
 
In a recent decision that disappointed millions of immigrant families, the Supreme Court issued a tied decision in United States v. Texas. This decision means that executive program created by the Obama administration--which might have benefited at least 4 million undocumented immigrants--is now on hold.

Full Article
 



I-9 Compliance: When the Way We've Always Done It Isn't Good Enough

By Kathleen Gasparian, Esq.
 
Say the words "I-9 compliance" in a room of business owners or human resource specialists and listen for the small groans and watch for the inevitable eye rolls. I-9 compliance isn't sexy or exciting; it's frustrating and tedious. It is meticulous and deceptively simple paperwork that goes against our instincts of human interaction, but it is also one where an empty field can equal a fine.

Full Article
 



U.S. Employers Facing Increased Fines for Form I-9 Violations

By Michael W. Stevenson
 
Harsher financial penalties come as part of the federal government’s recently-expanded efforts to ensure that employers comply with strict verification, recordkeeping, and document retention requirements...

Full Article
 


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Workers' Compensation

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OSHA says "negative" to post-accident testing

By Jon Hyman
 
Buried in OSHA’s impending final rule on electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses is this little nugget. OSHA believes that you violate the law if you require an employee to take a post-accident drug test. Let me repeat. According to OSHA, you violate the law if you automatically drug test any employee after an on-the-job accident.

Full Article
 



Willful Misconduct in Workers' Compensation Cases

By Charles W. Snyder, Esq.
 
The Claimant in Burdette was employed as a cell tower technician, and was seriously injured when he fell from a cell tower. The Employer controverted the claim on the grounds that Burdette had attempted to come down from the tower using a "controlled descent," i.e., rappelling.

Full Article
 



Workers’ Compensation Claim May Lead to Other Claims, Too

By Jon Rehm and Emily Wray Stander
 
Workers’ compensation claims can lead to claims of negligence by third parties and/or develop into claims against employers for retaliating against employees.

Full Article
 



Work comp drug spend is going down

By Joe Paduda
 
On average payers’ drug spend dropped 6.5% from 2014 to 2015. And the bigger payers saw bigger reductions, with several cutting spend by double digits.

Full Article
 



Is "Light Duty" Really Light Duty?

By Jon Rehm, Esq.
 
Light duty refers to a job done by an injured worker while they are on work restrictions. However "light duty" isn't always light duty if the employee physically struggles with doing their light-duty job. To me, light duty can be a misleading description of what injured workers go through when working alternate-duty jobs.

Full Article
 


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Real Estate and Property Management

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Inspection Program vs. the Fourth Amendment: What Will Prevail?

By Kelly Schwab, Esq.
 
Various local municipalities and cities throughout the State of Wisconsin are sparking controversy among landlords and tenants with their proposed rental inspection programs. The landlords are facing serious financial burdens as a result of these programs, and . . . tenants are concerned about the cities and municipalities interfering with their constitutional rights.

Full Article
 



Helping Tenants and Profiting from the Rental Crisis

By Dean Graziosi
 
There are now more renters in the U.S. than ever before in history, and the situation is still developing. Not only are more people wanting to rent instead of buy homes, there is a shortage of inventory. When demand is high and supply isn’t keeping up, rents rise, and they’re doing that aggressively right now.

Full Article
 



Reasonable Accommodation/Modification Medical Verification Checklist: Is the Resident Disabled?

By Scott M. Badami
 
As discussed regularly in this space (and elsewhere), the number of reasonable accommodation and/or reasonable modification requests continues to significantly increase each and every year.

Full Article
 



Sexual Harassment Can Occur in Commercial Land Transactions

By Eric Nord, Esq.
 
In a case of first impression, the Montana Supreme Court determined that a commercial tenant could prevail against a landlord on a claim of sexual harassment.

Full Article
 



A Closer Look At The Long-Term Of Commercial Real Estate

By Jennifer Lynn
 
There is a current urge for commercial real estate investors to seek out yield, but yet they face challenges. However, as we look at the long-term outlook, commercial real estate investors are "feeling upbeat."

Full Article
 


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