Melissa Legault

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Employment Law in the Metaverse (US)

The metaverse is poised to reshape the way we live and work. Employment law in real life is vexing enough, with US employers required to navigate the complex federal, state and local laws and regulations that impact the employment relationship. Now some employers and businesses are making the leap into the virtual world, where employment … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance on the Interplay between the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Employment Decisions and the ADA (US)

Many businesses use artificial intelligence (“AI”), algorithms, software, and other forms of technology to make employment-related decisions. Employers now have an array of computer-based tools at their disposal to assist them in hiring employees, monitoring job performance, determining pay or promotions, and establishing the terms and conditions of employment. As such, many employers rely on … Continue Reading

US Employers Must Submit 2021 EEO-1 Data to the EEOC by May 17, 2022 (US)

Each year, all private employers that are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that have 100 or more employees must file EEO-1 Component 1 data, which consists of demographic information – such as race, gender, and ethnicity information – of the employer’s workforce by job category with the U.S. … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance to Employers Regarding Title VII and Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (US)

UPDATE (10/29/21): On October 28, 2021, the EEOC supplemented its updated guidance on religious accommodation from employer vaccine mandates by making public its own internal accommodation request form. The agency explained: “Although the EEOC’s internal forms typically are not made public, it is included here given the extraordinary circumstances facing employers and employees due to the … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Employers Required To Ensure Employees Are Vaccinated Or Regularly Tested – President Biden’s Sweeping COVID-19 Action Plan: What Employers Need to Know (US)

It has been nine months since the first person in the United States received the COVID-19 vaccine, and ever since then, employers have been weighing the pros and cons of whether to require that employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. On September 9, 2021, President Biden narrowed the options for many employers when … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Says Favoritism Towards A Sexual or Romantic Partner Is Not Unlawful Sex Discrimination Under Title VII (US)

Workplace romances are a tale as old as time. According to a 2020 study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) and the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak Panel surveying 696 American workers, 27% admitted to having romantic relationships with their work colleagues, and about 27% of those workers indicated that they dated someone … Continue Reading

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks, But What Does This Mean For Employers? (US)

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or practice social distancing in any setting. Specifically, fully vaccinated people can now: Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, … Continue Reading

DOL Returns to the Practice of Seeking Liquidated Damages in Settlements in Lieu of Litigation, Rescinding Trump-Era Policy (US)

On April 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2021-2, which provides updated guidance to Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) field staff regarding the practice of seeking liquidated damages in settlements in lieu of litigation. In so doing, the DOL rescinded a Trump-era policy aimed at reducing the imposition … Continue Reading

EEOC Announces New July 19, 2021 Deadline for Employers to Submit 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Data (US)

On March 29, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that data collection for 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 filing will open on Monday, April 26, 2021, and that employers will have until Monday, July 19, 2021 to submit their data for those years. Each year, employers with 100 or more employees (and federal … Continue Reading

Considerations for Employers Contemplating Incentive Programs to Encourage Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine (US)

As we discussed in a previous post, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published guidance in December 2020 on employer mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. That guidance explained that subject to a few exceptions, employers can require that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in the workplace.  However, … Continue Reading

Biden’s DOL Withdraws Trump-Era Opinion Letters Regarding “Gig Economy” Workers and Sleeping Truck Drivers (US)

On February 19, 2021, the US Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) withdrew two Trump-era opinion letters.  The first, FLSA2019-6, discussed whether a service provider for a virtual marketplace company (“VMC”) is an independent contractor or an employee subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The second, FLSA2019-10, involved the compensability … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Issues Timely Reminder Regarding the Importance of Employers Maintaining Accurate Wage Records (US)

A recent decision from a federal appeals court highlights the perils for employers associated with lax recordkeeping of employee work hours and wage information. It is well-established that every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is required to keep certain records for each covered non-exempt worker (i.e., those that are paid on an hourly … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision On WARN Act And COVID-19 Could Signal Problems For Larger Employers (US)

UPDATE: On January 21, 2021, the defendants filed a motion with the district court for permission to take an interlocutory appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on the following question: “What causal standard is required to establish that a plant closing or mass layoff is “due to any form of natural disaster” under … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Clarifying Standard for Independent Contractor Versus Employee Determination Under FLSA (US)

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule clarifying the standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. This distinction in critical under the FLSA, as employers must comply with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for employees, … Continue Reading

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance to Include Alternatives to 14-Day Quarantine Recommendation (US)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been one of the primary resources providing the public with recommendations on all aspects of the virus, and it has closely monitored the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of its  recommendations. As a result of those ongoing efforts, … Continue Reading

Arizona and Three More States Approve Recreational Marijuana Use: Hashing Out What This Means for Employers (US)

For citizens of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, 11/3 may become another 4/20, as on Election Day, voters in those states approved initiatives to joining 11 other US states that previously decriminalized recreational adult use of marijuana.[1] Employers in those states however may not be as enthusiastic, since approval of recreational marijuana use … Continue Reading

Remember Vacations? Considerations for Employers When Addressing Employees’ Personal Travel During COVID-19 (US)

It’s been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, and during this period, most of us have remained either in, or very close to, our homes. Although a second wave of infections now appears to be starting, the colder temperatures of winter, the approaching holiday season, or the … Continue Reading

A Guide for Employers Considering A Mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy (US)

As if 2020 hasn’t already presented more than its fair share of challenges, flu season is now rapidly approaching. Combined with the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employers are more concerned than ever before with ensuring that their employees stay healthy and productive. As a result, many employers are weighing the pros and cons of encouraging, … Continue Reading

FLSA Compliance Update: Employers Must Exercise Reasonable Diligence In Tracking Hours Worked By Remote Workers (US)  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have implemented teleworking and other remote work arrangements for their employees. Because these employees are not physically present in the workplace, there has been some uncertainty surrounding what obligations employers have to under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to monitor and track hours worked by non-exempt, hourly … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance Clarifying When Opioid Users are Protected From Disability Discrimination Under the ADA (US)

Opioid abuse is widespread in America and the opioid epidemic impacts people from all walks of life, which presents unique challenges for employers who want to limit the potentially adverse effects opioid use may have on their employees and their workplaces. Given the severity of the crisis, it is tempting for employers to want to … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of the “Ministerial Exception,” Protecting Religious Schools Against Employment Discrimination Claims (US)

The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission. Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those … Continue Reading

DOL Update: COVID-19-Related Guidance and New Opinion Letters (US)

During the week of June 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued three Field Assistance Bulletins, each providing guidance to WHD field staff regarding three unique compliance issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on June 25, 2020, the DOL released five fact-specific opinion letters discussing various … Continue Reading

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Prohibits Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity-Based Discrimination In Employment (US)

“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable … Continue Reading
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