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Inability To Perform A Specific Job Is Not A Substantial Impairment On Ability To Work, Says Second Circuit In ADA Case (US)

In Woolf v. Strada, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in February 2020, the court considered whether the plaintiff’s inability to perform his particular job as a result of migraines and stress arising from the circumstances surrounding his job gave rise to a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

Key Provisions of “Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) # 36” (US)

COMPS Order 36 (“Order 36”) is scheduled to go into effect March 16, 2020 and makes major changes to wage regulations affecting Colorado employers. Order 36 applies both to hourly and salaried employees and requires significant compliance adjustments for employers. The key changes of Order 36 are summarized below. Colorado employers should carefully review Order … Continue Reading

More Handbook Guidance: NLRB Shows When It Will Uphold Policies Regarding Confidentiality, Cell Phones, and Email Usage

Since the National Labor Relations Board issued the precedent-changing Boeing Company decision in late 2017, the Board has continuously illustrated when employment policies will survive scrutiny under the National Labor Relations Act.  Recently, in Argos USA LLC, the Board clarified its position about three common types of employment agreements or policies, i.e., those concerning confidentiality, … Continue Reading

Update: Obesity as a Disability in the Ninth Circuit (US)

As we previously reported here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Washington Supreme Court have been wrestling with whether obesity qualifies as a disability under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”). The dispute involves an applicant for a position with a railway company who sued in 2010, alleging that the … Continue Reading

Pandemic or Pandemonium? Employers Brace for the Coronavirus (US)

You can’t escape the panic spreading through mass and social media regarding the 2020 Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, a virus that has resulted in fatalities in China and infected thousands worldwide. Symptoms mimic that of influenza (fever, cough), but can include difficulty breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death in severe cases. Despite the panic, there are … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Updates: Temporary Ban of Foreign Nationals Traveling From Mainland China Per Novel Coronavirus Outbreak; Additional Countries Added To Travel Ban 3.0

By Presidential Proclamation, dated January 31, 2020 and effective on February 2, 2020 at 5pm EST, the United States is suspending the entry of “foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus.” As a result, foreign nationals (of any nationality), other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and certain … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Multiple Advice Memoranda Covering a Range of Hot Button Topics (US)

Memos provide guidance on a variety of topics, including employer confidentiality policies and arbitration agreements As you may recall from our previous blog posts, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) advice memoranda are issued by the agency’s Division of Advice, which is part of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel (the “General Counsel”).  … Continue Reading

US Department Of Labor Issues Final Rule On Joint Employer Status Under The FLSA (US)

Rule establishes standard under which two employers will be deemed jointly and severally liable under the Fair Labor Standards Act as of March 16, 2020 In January 2016, we posted about an Administrator’s Interpretation issued by the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) then-Wage and Hour Division Administrator that provided guidance for when two or more … Continue Reading

NLRB Must Consider An Employer’s Obligation To Maintain A Harassment-Free Workplace When Evaluating An Employee’s Allegedly Protected Conduct (US)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently refused to enforce a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that involved a conflict between an employer’s obligation to maintain a harassment-free workplace under federal and state equal employment opportunity laws (such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, … Continue Reading

Can an Employer Implement a Nicotine-Free Hiring Policy?— It Depends on State Law (US)

Nicotine products are highly addictive and have been linked to a variety of serious health issues, including lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.  In addition to the numerous health risks associated with nicotine use, there is also a causal connection between employee nicotine use and lower productivity in the workplace, as well as higher healthcare … Continue Reading

California’s New Arbitration and Independent Contractor Laws Stayed, Conditionally and Temporarily For Now (US)

January 10, 2020 Update to AB 5 Challenges Trucking Industry:  On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, a California state court ruled that AB 5 does not apply to the trucking industry because the state statute is preempted by federal law.  This state court ruling lays a solid foundation for the federal court hearing on the trucking industry’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues New Rules and Several Key Precedent-Changing Decisions (US)

The National Labor Relations Board issued a slew of precedent-changing decisions this month, as well as significant changes to its rules and regulations. These new rules and decisions will change labor law in several key ways for both union and non-union employers, including during union elections, during internal investigations, when employees seek to use work … Continue Reading

EEOC Withdraws Policy Against Mandatory Arbitration of Workplace Discrimination Claims (US)

On December 17, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) rescinded its 22-year-old policy statement disapproving of mandatory employment arbitration agreements for workplace bias claims.  The agency’s 2-1 decision to retract this policy was in direct response to numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings that support the use of such agreements. … Continue Reading

Genetic Mutation Is Not A Disability under the ADA, Says Ohio Federal Court (US)

In Darby v. Childvine, a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Court considered whether a genetic mutation can constitute a “disability” as that term is defined under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In that case, the employer terminated the plaintiff/then-employee Sherryl Darby two weeks … Continue Reading

Title VII Pay Bias Claims Do Not Require Evidence of Unequal Pay for Equal Work (US)

On December 6, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (which hears appeals from federal district courts located in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) unanimously held that employees can allege gender-based pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act even if they cannot show that a … Continue Reading

ELW Contributors Dan Pasternak and Melissa Legault named National Law Review “Go-To Thought Leaders”

Congratulations to Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorneys and long-time Employment Law Worldview contributors Dan Pasternak and Melissa Legault, both of our Phoenix, Arizona office, for being selected by the National Law Review (NLR) as 2019 “Go-To Thought Leaders” for their consistent coverage of emerging employment and labor law issues.  The award spotlights 75 exceptional legal … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit:  ADA Does Not Prohibit Discrimination Based on Future Impairments (US)

On October 29, 2019, railway operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (“BNSF”) prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit – which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin – in a case in which the company argued that its refusal to hire an obese candidate due to an unacceptably high risk that … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Leaves Standards of Website Accessibility Ambiguous, Vexing Businesses

Employers already are (or should be) familiar with their obligations not to discriminate against and to reasonably accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which requirements are addressed in Title I of the ADA.  But the ADA also imposes additional non-employment obligations on governments and municipalities (Title II) and … Continue Reading

EEOC Must Continue Collecting Pay Data Until January 31, 2020 (US)

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the EEOC must continue to take all steps necessary to complete EEO-1 Component 2 data collection for calendar years 2017 and 2018.  As we recently discussed here, the EEOC filed a motion on October 8, 2019 asking the court to … Continue Reading

Update on EEOC Pay Data Reporting:  EEOC Asks Court to End EEO-1 Component 2 Data Collection (US)

As we most recently reported here and here, as of September 30, 2019, employers with 100 or more employees  (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) were required to report to the federal government pay data for 2017 and 2018 for their workforce (known as “Component 2” data), broken down by race/ethnicity, sex, and job … Continue Reading

US District Courts Start Applying Kisor v. Wilkie; Is Auer Deference Now a “Paper Tiger”?

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) recently provided an update to his prior post addressing the US Supreme Court’s then-pending decision in Kisor v. Wilkie.  In that case, decided in late June 2019, the Court addressed the Auer standard of deference that is applied by courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations … Continue Reading

California Passes Slew Of Worker-Friendly Laws, Most Notably Banning Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Claims

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a new batch of worker-friendly laws sponsored by Democrats in the California Assembly and Senate.  These laws cover a range of topics from arbitration agreements to workplace safety. AB 51 will garner particular attention because not only does it substantially prohibit arbitration agreements, it criminalizes them.  The new law … Continue Reading

A Divided U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Trio of LGBT Employment Discrimination Cases (US)

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in three employment discrimination cases involving what protection, if any, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of, among other things, sex – affords against sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.  As we previously discussed … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Decision Upholds “Race-Conscious” College Admissions Policy at Harvard University, Affirming Affirmative Action Plan (US)

On October 1, 2019, a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Harvard University in a closely watched case examining whether the college’s admissions process, which takes candidates’ race and economic circumstances into account, results in race-based animus against Asian-Americans. The suit, filed by an anti-affirmative action advocacy group, … Continue Reading
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