Latest Trendy Leave Requirement Forced On Employers Is Domestic Violence Leave

In August, 2014, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed new legislation entitled “An Act relative to domestic violence.” The new law was effective immediately and required that employers with 50 or more employees provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for addressing issues related to domestic violence or abusive behavior.

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City of Oakland Increases Minimum Wage and Requires Paid Sick Days

On November 4, 2014, voters approved Measure FF, which sought to raise the minimum wage in the city of Oakland to $12.25 and require employers to offer at least five days of paid sick leave to all employees; employers with larger businesses are required to provide nine days of paid sick leave.  The new law will go into effect on March 2, 2015.

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Class Action Highlights FCRA Compliance Issues

The Eastern District of Virginia recently certified two related classes in a case involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  The claims were raised by former applicants alleging that the defendant company violated both the notice and authorization provisions of the FCRA and failed to provide copies of the applicants’ background reports and summaries of their rights prior to rejecting their applications.

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Anti-Discrimination And Harassment Protections Extended to Unpaid Interns and Volunteers

On September 9, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1443, which amended the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to extend its anti-discrimination and harassment protections to unpaid interns and volunteers.

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Paid Sick Leave Cropping Up Quickly

All over the country, city and state legislators are taking steps to enact paid sick leave laws.  Here are some recent developments:

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Sixth Circuit Rejects Application of “Honest Belief” in FMLA Interference Claims

The Sixth Circuit recently narrowed the circumstances under which an employer can make use of an “honest mistaken belief” as a defense to FMLA claims.  In Yontz v. Dole Fresh Vegetables, the Sixth Circuit held that an employer “may not use an honest mistaken belief that [its employee] misused FMLA leave as a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for his termination.”

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Fifth Circuit Finds That PIPs Alone Do Not Support Constructive Discharge Claims

On October 20, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that performance improvement plans (“PIPs”) do not constitute an intolerable working condition sufficient to support a constructive discharge claim.

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California Employers Now Share Liability With Staffing Firms

On September 28, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1897, which requires “a client employer to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers’ compensation coverage.”

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$10.2 Million Awarded to States to Fund Worker Misclassification Detection and Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a press release announcing that $10.2 million had been awarded to 19 states to implement or improve worker misclassification initiatives.

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Maryland Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect October 1st

Maryland’s newest anti-discrimination law goes into effect October 1, 2014.  The Fairness For All Marylanders Act outlaws discrimination against transgender individuals within the state of Maryland.  The law prohibits discrimination against those individuals in employment and housing situations, as well as public accommodations.  Nicknamed the “Bathroom Bill”, the law also permits transgender persons to use the public bathroom of the gender with which they identify, regardless of the individual’s present physical characteristics.  The law does, however, include an exemption for religious organizations, private clubs and educational institutions.

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September 2014 Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent jury verdicts and settlements.

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September 2014 EEOC Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent EEOC verdicts and settlements.

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California Enacts Paid Sick Leave and Paid Time Off Legislation

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), requiring California employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  The Act goes into effect on July 1, 2015, and, with a few exceptions, covers employees who work at least 30 days within a year of commencing their employment.

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Telling Terminated Employee To Get Job As Wal-Mart Greeter Was A Bad Idea

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_SmallIn a recent decision, the Eastern District of Louisiana found that a supervisor’s comments suggesting that a terminated employee should take a position stereotypically filled by older workers was direct evidence of age discrimination.  During the summary judgment proceeding, plaintiff presented evidence that after his termination meeting, a supervisor told him to “go get a job as a Wal-Mart door greeter”.  Further, the plaintiff presented evidence from another employee who overheard the same supervisor comment on the termination the following day.  The supervisor allegedly commented that he “got rid of the old bastard” to a colleague.  The case will go to trial now.

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Are You The Employer of That Corporation’s Employees?

“A corporation with no employees owns a corporation with employees.  If the corporation with no employees exercises some control over the corporation with employees, it also may be the employer of the employees of the corporation it owns.”  That was the holding from the California Court of Appeal in Castaneda v. Ensign Group, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 15, 2014, 2D CIV. B249119) 2014 WL 4536995.

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