California Federal Court Says Employers Need Not Approve Multiple Leaves of Absence Where an Employee was Totally Disabled and Could Not Provide a Definite End Date to the Leave

Executive Summary: The Southern District Court of California, in Ruiz v. ParadigmWorks Group, Inc., held that an employer was not at fault for failing to grant an employee’s request for multiple medical leaves of absence where the employee was totally disabled and she could not provide a “finite end date to [her] total disability.”

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US Companies Doing Business in the EU or Impacting EU Individuals Must Comply with the EU GDPR by May 25, 2018

Executive Summary: Companies with people in the EU or doing business in the EU need to be thinking about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and whether the regulations apply to them. In approximately two months, the EU’s GDPR will take effect. The deadline for complying with this considerable change in law is May 25, 2018. If your company is covered by the GDPR, it is urgent that you pay attention to the new requirements, considering the monumental size of potential penalties for failing to comply.

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Sixth Circuit Holds Transgender Status Is Protected by Title VII and Rejects Religious Freedom Restoration Act Defense

Executive Summary: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest to weigh in on the heated debate as to whether sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status and/or gender expression are protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Following on the heels of the Second Circuit’s February 26, 2018 en banc ruling in Zarda v. Altitude Express that Title VII protects sexual orientation, on March 7, 2018, in EEOC v. R.G., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5720 (6th Cir. March 7, 2018), the Sixth Circuit became the first to hold that Title VII also protects transgender status. In doing so, the Sixth Circuit rejected the employer’s defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

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Ninth Circuit Creates More Uncertainty in 80/20 Rule for Tipped Workers

Executive Summary: On February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, 869 F.3d 1108, creating a new layer of uncertainty for hospitality employers. The previous decision by a three-judge panel on September 6, 2017, had rejected what is commonly called the “80/20 rule,” which states that hospitality employers may not reduce a tip-earning employee’s hourly pay below the minimum wage when that employee spends more than 20 percent of his or her workweek on non-tip-earning tasks. The case will now be reconsidered by a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit, with oral argument scheduled for the week of March 19, 2018. The grant of en banc review suggests an intention to reconsider the panel’s prior holding or analysis.

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Webinar! – Winning on the Front End: Implementing Wage-Hour Policies to Best Defend Against Class and Collective Actions

Calendar - social-02This webinar was recorded on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

About the Program 
Join FordHarrison attorneys Jeff Mokotoff and Pat Ryan, members of our Wage & Hour Practice Group, for the first installment in a series of wage and hour presentations aimed at understanding and defending against claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). During this one hour presentation, Jeff and Pat will discuss practical ways that employers can limit the risk of FLSA collective actions (and corresponding state law class actions) prior to any lawsuit being filed. The presentation will provide policies and procedures that constitute “best practices” under the FLSA—including providing recommendations regarding timekeeping procedures, remote working, travel time, and other topics. Additionally, Jeff and Pat will provide participants with sample documents that they can modify and implement, as needed, at their respective companies.

Continuing Education 

  • FordHarrison is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This course is approved for 1 hour of PDCs.
  • This program is also pre-approved by HRCI for 1 hour of PHR, GPHR, and SPHR recertification credit.

Registration
To view a recording of the this complimentary webinar, please click here.

Getting “PAID” Just Got Easier: The DOL Rolls out a Pilot Initiative to Streamline the Resolution of Wage and Hour Violations

Executive Summary. On March 6, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division (W&HD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rolled out a new nationwide pilot initiative, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program—or “PAID.” This initiative is designed to streamline the resolution process of potential overtime and minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Such potential violations as “off-the-clock” work violations, failures to pay overtime wages, or employee misclassification would expressly fall within the ambit of PAID. According to the W&HD, PAID’s objectives are expeditious resolution of FLSA claims without litigation, improved employer compliance with its overtime and minimum wage obligations under the law, and a fast delivery of owed back wages to workers.

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Public Accommodation of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Executive Summary: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination in places of public accommodation, which includes businesses that are open to the public – like shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, medical offices, recreational facilities, etc. As such, these entities are required to modify practices, procedures, and policies that infringe upon disabled individuals’ rights in certain circumstances. Service animal and emotional support animal accommodation has become an issue for businesses – and the media – as an increasing number of individuals have begun using emotional support animals. With that in mind, below is an analysis of the ADA public accommodation requirements for service animals, including general guidance for properly evaluating an individual’s use of service animals on or in the business premises as well as issues of accommodation for emotional support animals.

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