Melissa Legault

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Obesity Continues to Divide Courts: Washington’s High Court Says Obesity Qualifies as an Impairment (US)

As we previously discussed here and here, courts are split regarding the extent to which obesity qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that obesity must be accompanied by an underlying physiological disorder for it to constitute a disability, … Continue Reading

DOL Offers New Wage and Hour Compliance Advice (US)

On July 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued a trio of fact-specific opinion letters offering employers guidance on various pay practices, specifically relating to calculating overtime pay as part of nondiscretionary bonuses, exemptions for paralegals, and rounding practices for calculating hours worked.… Continue Reading

Growing Trend Towards Unlimited Paid Time Off: Best Practices (US)

Unlimited paid time off (“PTO”) is one of the new “it” workplace policies.  Adopted as both a means to attract and retain employees as well as to avoid having to coordinating and track specific grants of paid PTO or vacation– a task which can be arduous, particularly for smaller businesses – some employers have done … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Obesity Alone Is Not A Disability Under the ADA (US)

As we previously reported here, the issue of whether obesity is a legally-protected impairment is complex, and jurisdictions differ on the extent to which they consider obesity to be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  On June 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Second, … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Developments in Wage and Hour (CO, MA, ME, WA), Non-Compete (WA), Commuter Benefits (NJ), Sexual Harassment (DE), and Sick Leave (Dallas and Minneapolis) Laws. (US)

It’s been an active few weeks since our last State Law Round-Up in mid-April 2019, with a number of bills being signed into new laws and case developments impacting employers in many US states over the past few weeks. Colorado Failure to Pay Wages as Theft Effective January 1, 2020, an employer’s failure to pay … Continue Reading

EEOC Will Begin Collecting 2017 and 2018 Pay Data from Employers in Mid-July 2019 (US)

A federal judge recently ordered that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) collect two years of Component 2 EEO-1 data, including employees’ hours worked and W-2 compensation information, from employers with 100 or more employees (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) by September 30, 2019 (see our post here).  The agency was given … Continue Reading

Title VII And LGBT Discrimination: The Path To The High Court (US)

Expanding on her previous post on the subject, on May 1, 2019, Law360 published the following expert analysis authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorney Melissa Legault. After 11 private conferences during which the U.S. Supreme Court justices debated whether to hear the cases, the Supreme Court granted certiorari[1] in three cases involving the extent of protection — if … Continue Reading

Federal Court Confirms September 30, 2019 Deadline for Employers to Submit EEO-1 Pay Data (US)

As we previously reported here, on April 3, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia proposing a September 30, 2019 deadline for the EEOC to complete collection of the required 2018 EEO-1 pay data forms. The brief was filed … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Rules That Agreement to Class-Based Arbitration Procedures Must Be Explicit  

The Court’s ruling in Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Varela is the latest in the Court’s ongoing pro-employer, pro-arbitration jurisprudence As we first reported here, the United States Supreme Court’s docket this term includes three significant cases interpreting various aspects of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  Earlier this year, the Court ruled in the … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Title VII Prohibits LGBT Discrimination

After considering the petitions at eleven separate private conferences, on April 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases involving the extent of protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – if any – against employment-based discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  As we … Continue Reading

Does Obesity Qualify as a Disability Under the ADA? – It Depends on Who You Ask (US)

According to the most recent data from the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third of American adults are obese.  A person is considered obese when their weight is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height.  With obesity impacting such a large portion of the American public, employers are … Continue Reading

EEOC Proposes September 30, 2019 Deadline for EEO-1 Pay Data Collection (US)

As we previously reported here, on March 4, 2019, a federal court issued an order lifting the stay implemented by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) regarding the pay data collection component of the EEO-1 report, finding that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for the stay.  The order left many … Continue Reading

More DOL Letters Needed For Clarity On Enforcement Strategy (US)

Expanding on their previous post on the subject, on April 3, 2019, Law360 published the following article authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorneys Laura Lawless Robertson and Melissa Legault. The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a trio of opinion letters offering employers guidance in implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor … Continue Reading

DOL Opinion Letter Clarifies Employer Responsibilities Regarding FMLA Leave Designation (US)

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, released an opinion letter, FMLA2019-1-A, stating that employers cannot delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave.… Continue Reading

Federal Judge Reinstates EEO-1 Pay Data Collection Requirement – Impact on Employers Still Unclear (US)

On March 4, 2019, a federal court issued an order lifting the stay implemented by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) regarding the pay data collection component of the EEO-1 report, holding that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for the stay. As we previously reported here, in 2016, the U.S. … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Minimum Wage Hikes (IL, NJ, CA, NM); Michigan Paid Sick Leave; New York Employee Rights, New Jersey Leave and Benefits Expansion (US)

Minimum Wage Updates On January 17, 2019, New Jersey’s governor and state legislators agreed to a deal that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024. The current minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.85 an hour.  Under the new law, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 an hour on July … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Says Employers Are Not Required to Pay Tipped Employees the Full Minimum Wage for Non-Tipped Activities (US)

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employers are required to pay non-exempt employees a minimum hourly wage of $7.25.  However, employers with “tipped employees” are able to pay such employees a cash wage of $2.13 per hour and take a “tip credit” toward their minimum wage obligation to make up the difference between the … Continue Reading

Arizona Court of Appeals Strikes Down Law Restricting Local Governments From Requiring Private Employers To Provide Benefits That Exceed State Law Requirements (US)

In 2006, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure which resulted in the passage of the Arizona Minimum Wage Act and established a state-wide minimum wage (currently $11.00/hour).  This law also permitted individual Arizona counties, cities, and towns to regulate both the minimum wage and the employee benefits to be provided by private employers located within … Continue Reading

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Procedural Pitfalls in Employment Litigation (US)

Would-be plaintiffs in two employment decisions – one from the Fifth Circuit, one from the Ninth Circuit – were recently reminded that, no matter how solid the facts of their case, they can still lose on a technicality. The first case, Lee v. Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, considered whether a plaintiff’s Title VII claim was … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Workers, Holding Trucking Company’s Arbitration Agreement Exempt From Federal Arbitration Act

On January 15, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that a trucking company could not compel its drivers, which it classified as independent contractors, to arbitrate their wage and hour claims against the company because Congress intended to exempt all interstate transportation workers from the Federal Arbitration Act … Continue Reading

Ninth and Eleventh Circuits: Reporting To Work Impaired, Failing Drug Test, And Failing To Request Accommodation Doom Employees’ ADA Discrimination Lawsuits

As most readers of this blog are aware, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and analogous state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against qualified employees (and applicants) based on known physical or mental disabilities, and also require employers to provide those employees with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities.  Although broad in their protections, these laws … Continue Reading

Healthcare Worker’s Vaccine Refusal Not Immunized by Americans with Disabilities Act (US)

On December 7, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously held in Hustvet v. Allina Health System that an employer did not unlawfully terminate an employee who refused to receive a rubella vaccination.  The plaintiff, a healthcare specialist working with potentially vulnerable patients, requested an accommodation exempting … Continue Reading

Snooping Employee Dooms Her Title VII Claims By Unauthorized Disclosure of Personnel Files (US)

On November 15, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously held in Netter v. Barnes that an employee did not engage in “opposition or participation” activity protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when she reviewed and duplicated confidential personnel files without authorization.  … Continue Reading
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