Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Legal News & Knowledge: March 2016 Newsletter

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Section Topics:

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Law and Politics

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The Impact of Justice Scalia's Passing on Pending Supreme Court Cases

By Tamar N. Dolcourt
 
Aside from the historical and political ramifications of Justice Scalia's passing, there are also practical implications to consider on labor and employment issues. Several key labor and employment cases are scheduled to be heard this term, while others have been argued but the decisions have not yet been issued. What will happen to those cases?

Full Article
 



The Next Data Breach Could Be You: Confronting Cyber Security Risks

By Kristina Brines, Esq., PHR, SHRM-CP and Kerin Stackpole, Esq., SPHR
 
Cyber security breaches are no longer only the concern of major retail businesses and government agencies. If you retain any information relating to the public, or if you have trade secrets and valuable business information that you don't want in the hands of the wrong party, you should be taking steps to protect your business from cyber security threats.

Full Article
 



President Obama pens post for nation's leading law blog

By Kevin O'Keefe
 
If you are the president of the United States and you want to state in writing your position on a matter regarding the United States Supreme Court, where do you go?

Full Article
 



The Wave of Website and Other ADA Accessibility Claims--What You Should Know

By Gavin Appleby, Peter Petesch, and Mark Phillis
 
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing for equal access for persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation, has made the country far more accessible. Yet, given its highly technical (and often ambiguous) design, plaintiffs' firms and disability rights advocates file claims over unlawful barriers and technical violations against even the most conscientious places of public accommodation . . .

Full Article
 



The FBI v. Apple: What Does the Law Actually Say?

By Joseph Steinberg
 
Regardless of the effect of the order on American businesses and of its potential impact on the freedom of future generations of Americans, however, a judge's order is a judge's order. It is not something to be taken lightly.

Full Article
 


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Employment Law

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Same Pay for the Same Day? EEOC Wants To Take a Look

By Eric Gabrielle
 
Beginning next year, employers with 100 or more employees--whether or not those employees are federal contractors--would be required to submit data on employee W-2 earnings and hours worked, broken down by race/ethnicity and gender.

Full Article
 



The changes in the FLSA may be here sooner than we think

By Michael Haberman
 
Johnny Cash's song Folsom Prison Blues starts off with the lyrics "I hear the train a comin' It's rolling round the bend." Those are lyrics that are appropriate for the coming changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Full Article
 



Return of the Beast: Religious Accommodation Redux

By Fiona W. Ong
 
[In] . . . the case of EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., the employee refused to use a biometric hand scanner because he was afraid it would reveal or imprint the mark of the beast.

Full Article
 



Is Your Employee Handbook A Ticking Time Bomb?

By Adair Buckner
 
Reviewing your handbook periodically is always a good idea to be sure it has kept pace with changing laws. Right now, however, if your employee handbook has not been updated in the past six months or so, it is not only out of date, it may have become a source of liability.

Full Article
 



Would Yelp Get a Favorable Review from the NLRB for Blog Post Termination?

By Jason Shinn
 
Last week a former employee working for Yelp's food delivery unit, Eat 24, was fired for violating the company's internal "terms of conduct." The termination came after the customer-service rep, Talia Janes, wrote a critical blog post about her low pay and working conditions in an open letter to Yelp's CEO.

Full Article
 


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ADA, FMLA, and Related Issues

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Employers Feeling Good About Win in EEOC Wellness Case

By Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.
 
Last year, the EEOC published proposed regulations detailing how and when employers can maintain wellness incentives for employees under group health plans without running afoul of the ADA's voluntariness requirements for medical exams.

Full Article
 



Employee's mother was assessed by social worker, not health care provider; no FMLA entitlement

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
 
Stating that it was not its role to expand the scope of FMLA coverage, a federal court in Washington granted summary judgment against the interference claim of an employee denied leave to take care of his mother who was suffering from dementia.

Full Article
 



What caused this employee to claim disability discrimination on her second day of work?

By Eric Meyer
 
When was the last time that you trained your managers and supervisors on how to address disability accommodation requests? Or, how about the last time that you reminded your supervisors and managers that an employee with a disability needs to be treated respectfully?

Full Article
 



Medical Marijuana Need Not Be Accommodated by New Mexico Employers

By Little V. West
 
When Rojerio Garcia interviewed for a management position at a New Mexico Tractor Supply store, he was up front about having HIV/AIDS. He also explained that he used medical marijuana under the state's Medical Cannabis Program as a treatment for his condition upon recommendation of his doctor.

Full Article
 



Seven Policy Provisions To Curb FMLA Abuse

By Carmen N. Couden
 
Most employers are aware of, and comply with, the requirement to include information about employees' rights and obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in employee handbooks or other written policy documents. However, employers often fail to take advantage of the opportunity to use written FMLA policies as a way to combat FMLA abuse.

Full Article
 


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Workers' Compensation

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Oklahoma Commission Declares Workers' Comp Alternative Unconstitutional

By Hoard Berkes
 
An Oklahoma law that lets employers opt out of state-regulated workers' compensation has been rejected and declared unconstitutional by state regulators . . . The unanimous ruling by the commission, issued Friday, is expected to be appealed.

Full Article
 



Illinois Court Says Flight Attendant is Not a Traveling Employee While "Commuting"

By Thomas A. Robinson
 
In what at first blush might appear as a counter-intuitive ruling, an Illinois appellate court has held that a flight attendant who injured her knee on a flight from Denver to New York on the day before she was scheduled to work on a separate flight from a New York airport was not a traveling employee . . .

Full Article
 



Workers' Compensation System Should Serve Workers: Research Study Looks at 'Work-Injury Impact on Wealth of U.S. Workers'

By Rod Rehm
 
The costs of workplace injuries for workers and their loved ones are discussed pretty frequently on this blog, in general terms. Those costs are often not absorbed by the businesses where worker injuries occur, or by the insurance companies that represent those businesses and often present denials and roadblocks for injured workers to get prompt, effective treatment.

Full Article
 



North Carolina Relocates Deputy Commissioners to Regional Offices

By Emily S. Goodman, Esq.
 
Research on fiscal years 2008 to 2013 showed that 93% of all Industrial Commission hearings could be held within 50 miles of six strategically-located cities. As a result, the Industrial Commission began to relocate Deputy Commissioners to those six cities as a means of eliminating significant costs, lost productivity, and safety risks . . .

Full Article
 



Future of Work Comp Healthcare Delivery

By Kimberly George and Mark Walls
 
Reform is changing healthcare delivery models, but there is a large gap between the healthcare related to workers' compensation and the group health approach.

Full Article
 


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Real Estate and Property Management

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Deal or No Deal: Can Airbnb and Multifamily Firms Work Together?

By Chris Wood
 
Negotiations on a formalized operating framework between the apartment industry and Airbnb hinge on manageability, screening, and the slow pace of multifamily innovation.

Full Article
 



What Happens at an Eviction Hearing?

By Timothy H. Baland, Esq.
 
Landlords often ask me what happens at an eviction hearing in Minnesota. The simple answer is that one of four things can happen, depending on what the landlord wants to happen and whether or not the tenant shows up.

Full Article
 



How Technology Can Fix the Package Delivery Problem

By Tim Blackwell
 
Multifamily housing leaders have said that some automated and digitally-enabled package systems are helping their communities manage hundreds of daily packages they receive during peak periods throughout the year.

Full Article
 



When It Comes To Apartment Vacancy Rates, Whose Numbers Are Right?

By Mark Di Vincenzo
 
Apartment vacancy rates made headlines last month, when Reis reported that rates rose slightly for the final two quarters of 2015--the first time that has happened since 2009.

Full Article
 



Does Restricting Rentals Make Sense for Your Association?

By Jason Van Steenwyk
 
The issue of restricting residents' ability to rent out their homes or condos is always a hotly contested one in HOAs and COAs because the interests of owner-occupants and investors are directly at odds

Full Article
 


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Top Shared Articles

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Six Options for Complying with New DOL FLSA Salary Rules

By Ron Flowers, Esq.
 
It is rare for an employee's salary to double with one raise, yet, under the Department of Labor's proposed rule, employers will need to double some employees' salaries to continue to pay them salaries without overtime.

Full Article
 



Should Employers Ever Ask About Job Applicants' Criminal History?

By Carolyn Pratt, Esq.
 
The use of criminal background checks in hiring decisions has been one of the hottest employment law topics for several years running, so now is the perfect time to ask yourself: Do I know what the law is in this area?

Full Article
 



North Carolina Relocates Deputy Commissioners to Regional Offices

By Emily S. Goodman, Esq.
 
Research on fiscal years 2008 to 2013 showed that 93% of all Industrial Commission hearings could be held within 50 miles of six strategically-located cities. As a result, the Industrial Commission began to relocate Deputy Commissioners to those six cities as a means of eliminating significant costs, lost productivity, and safety risks . . .

Full Article
 



Appellate Court Reinstates Sex-Discrimination Claim of Transgender Worker

By Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.
 
A federal appellate court reinstated the sex-discrimination claim of a transgender auto mechanic. Credit Nation Auto Sales fired Jennifer Chavez less than three months after she notified it of her gender transition.

Full Article
 



More Than a Pet: Emotional Support Animals in Rental Properties

By Steven J. Krueger, Esq.
 
An emotional support animal is not a pet but rather a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability, such as depression or posttraumatic stress disorder. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal is not specifically trained to perform tasks. An emotional support animal's primary purpose is to provide companionship.

Full Article
 


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