Employment Law Changes 2013-2014

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An overview of new developments in employment law. It's important that employers stay up to date on employment law changes. This presentation will break down several important new laws and legal decisions.

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Employment Law Changes 2013-2014

  1. 1. Employment  Law  2014   The  Fast  and  the  Furious  
  2. 2. Were  you  paying  a-en.on?   •  If  you  blinked  for  very  long  in  2013-­‐2014  you                                 missed  out  on  a  lot  of  new  employment  law   developments.   •  I  am  going  to  give  you  a  quiz  to  see  how  well    you  were  paying  a-en.on  to  what  was  going    on  in  the  world  of  employment  law  in  the  last                  year!!  
  3. 3. I.    Minimum  Wage  Issues   •  New  Minimum  Wage  Laws  in  Many  States  and   Ci.es   •  Status  of  A-empts  to  Raise  Federal  Minimum   Wage  
  4. 4. The  World  of  Wage  and  Hour  Law   •  What  is  the  new  highest  minimum  wage  in    the  country?    *  Sea-le    *  New  York    *  California    *  Colorado  
  5. 5. New  Minimum  Wages  Set  in     Many  Loca.ons   •  The  Sea-le  minimum  wage  is  ini.ally  $11.00  per  hour,  effec.ve  April  1,   2015,  followed  by  incremental  increases  according  to  the  .melines  from   either  2-­‐1/2  years  to  4-­‐1/2  years  depending  on  the  size  of  the  employer  to   reach  $15.00  per  hour.    Those  that  can  claim  a  sufficient  credit  for  .ps   and/or  qualifying  employer-­‐paid  medical  benefits  have  an  addi.onal  two   years,  and  also  benefit  from  a  lower  ini.al  effec.ve  minimum  wage  rate  of   $10.00  per  hour.   •  Washington    $9.32   •  Oregon    $9.10   •  California    $9.00   •  Vermont    $8.73   •  Connec.cut    $8.70   •  New  Jersey,  Illinois,  District  of  Columbia    $8.25   •  Rhode  Island  ,  New  York,  Colorado  $8.00   •  26  states  are  above  $7.25/hr.  now—including  Michigan,     Minnesota,  Delaware,  West  Virginia,  Hawaii,  Maryland  
  6. 6. ATTEMPT  TO  RAISE  FEDERAL  MINIMUM  WAGE—   FAIR  MINIMUM  WAGE  ACT  OF  2013   (Bill  was  introduced  in  2013  by  Senator  Tom  Harkin  (D-­‐IA))   WHAT  WOULD  THIS  BILL  DO?   •  Bill  would  raise  the  federal  minimum  wage  to  $10.10  per  hour   over  2-­‐1/2  years  in  three  steps  of  95  cents  each.   •  Would  adjust  the  minimum  wage  annually  therealer  to  keep   pace  with  rising  cost  of  living-­‐-­‐-­‐indexing”.   •  Would  also  raise  minimum  wage  for  .pped  workers  to  70%  of   full  minimum  wage  instead  of  $2.13/hour.  
  7. 7. WHY  RAISE  THE  MINIMUM  WAGE?   Arguments  in  support:   •        Current  minimum  wage  of  $7.25/hr.  yields  just  $15,080/yr.   for  full-­‐.me  worker—near  poverty  level.   •  Federal  minimum  wage  has  lost  more  than  30%  of  its  value  &   would  be  more  than  $10.70  per  hour  if  it  had  kept  pace  with  cost   of  living  over  past  40  years;  $10.86  would  be  current  wage  if  it   kept  up  with  pace  of  COL.  
  8. 8. WHY  RAISE  THE  MINIMUM  WAGE?   (Page  Two)   •  Of  Those  Earning  Minimum  Wage:    88%  are  adults  over  the   age  of  twenty,  55%  are  women,  and  nearly  50%  are  workers   of  color.   •  More  that  14  million  children  have  a  parent  who  would  get  a   raise.   •  More  that  27.8  million  workers  would  receive  a  raise  if   minimum  wage  raised  to  $10.10/hr.   •  71%  of  .pped  workers  gesng  raises  would  be  women.  
  9. 9. WHAT  IS  STATUS  OF  FEDERAL  MINIMUM  WAGE   RAISE?   CONGRESS  IS  NOT  BUYING  THE  ARGUMENTS  FOR  RAISING  MINIMUM  WAGE   •  The  Fair  Minimum  Wage  Act  of  2013  has  been  rejected  by   Congress  to  date   •  Businesses  have  fiercely  opposed  hike—especially  those  in   the  fast  food  and  restaurant  industries  who  say  the  raise   would  require  them  to  sharply  increase  prices  and  would   result  in  laying  off  employees.  
  10. 10. WHO  OPPOSES  FEDERAL  MINIMUM  WAGE  RAISE  BILL?   –  The  Na.onal  Retail  Federa.on  spent  $1  million  in  1st  3   mos.  of  2014  lobbying  Congress  in  opposi.on  to  raise  of   minimum  wage   –  The  Na.onal  Federa.on  of  Independent  Business  sent   senators  le-er  asking  them  to  vote  against  bill  as  “job    killing”  
  11. 11. WHAT  IS  PUBLIC  OPINION  ON  RAISING  MINIMUM   WAGE?   Surprisingly,  very  recent  CNN  Money’s  American  Dream  Poll  found  that   71%  of  people  surveyed  favor  a  hike  in  federal  minimum  wage.   •  90%  were  iden.fied  as  Democrats  BUT   •  54%  OF  Republicans  also  agreed  that  minimum  wage  should   be  raised—how  much  is  the  issue   To  What  Rate  do  Most  Think  Minimum  Wage  Should  be  Raised?   •      36%  to  $10.10   •  19%  something  lower  that  $10.10   •  16%  to  higher  that  $10.10  
  12. 12. SO  IS  HIGHER  FEDERAL  MINIMUM  WAGE  DEAD?   •  Not  if  you  are  a  federal  contractor  or  subcontractor— Obama  adopted  Execu.ve  Order  for  wage  to  go  to   $10.10/hr.  effec.ve  Jan.  1,  2015  for  employees  of   federal  contractors,  with  annual  COL  adjustments   aler  2015   •  DOL  just  published  rule  implemen.ng  this  Execu.ve   Order  
  13. 13. WHO  DOES  THIS  EXECUTIVE  ORDER     APPLY  TO?   •  “Federal  contractors  and  subcontractors”   •  The  obliga.on  to  pay  the  new  minimum  wage  will  be   imposed  by  requiring  all  federal  contracts  to  contain   a  clause  that  requires  a  cer.fica.on  as  a  condi.on  of   payment  that  workers  have  been  paid  the  new   minimum  wage.  
  14. 14. EXECUTIVE  ORDER  WILL  APPLY  TO  THE  FOLLOWING   TYPE  OF  FEDERAL  SERVICE  CONTRACTS:   •  Procurement  contracts  for  services  and  construc.on   •  Contracts  or  contract-­‐like  instruments  for   concessions  to  furnish  food,  lodging,  souvenirs,  etc.,   on  federal  property;  and   •  Contracts  to  provide  services,  such  as  child  care  or   dry  cleaning,  in  federal  buildings  for  federal   employees  or  the  general  public  
  15. 15. II.    Con.nued  Prevalence  of  FLSA   Lawsuits  and  Enforcement  Ac.ons   •  Sta.s.cs  on  cases  filed   •  Prime  issues  in  Recent  Cases  and  Trouble   Areas  for  Employers  
  16. 16. STATISTICS  ON  CASES  FILED   HOW  MANY  CASES  WERE  FILED  IN  LAST  YEAR?     FEDERAL  JUDICIAL  CENTER  (WHICH  MAINTAINS  STATISTICS  ON  FILING  OF   FEDERAL  LAWSUITS)  RELEASED  FIGURES  ON  FLSA  LAWSUITS  FILED  IN  2013   shows:   •  Total  of  7,700  FLSA  lawsuits  filed  in  2013-­‐-­‐Up  10%  na.onwide  from    2012;  8,216  filed  from  March  2013—March  2014   •  This  is  4X  number  of  FLSA  lawsuits  filed  in  2000   •  Almost  1/3  were  filed  in  the  Eleventh  Circuit  (Florida,  Georgia  and    Alabama)   •  And  this  is  only  federal  lawsuits—no  #’s  are  available  on  suits  filed  under    state  laws  such  as  California’s  private  a-orney  general  ac.ons  (of  which    there  are  many)   •  Many  employment  a-orneys  think  we  are  s.ll  seeing  only  the  .p  of  the    iceberg!!  
  17. 17. WHAT  ARE  THE  BIG  $  CASE  WINNERS  FOR   THE  LAST  YEAR?   •  Walgreen’s  Collec.ve  ac.on  for  California-­‐-­‐$29  million   (including  $6  million  a-orney’s  fees,  costs)—For  not  paying   for  .me  in  mandatory  security  checks  and  not  paying  for   breaks  which  were  not  free  from  work  properly,  among  other   things   •  Tyson  Foods—Almost  $19  million—”Donning  &  doffing  .me”   not  paid  
  18. 18. WHAT  ARE  THE  TOTAL  $  BEING  PAID  OUT   ON  FLSA  CLAIMS?   Seyfarth  Shaw’s  Annual  Workplace  Class  Ac.on  Li.ga.on  Report   examined  51  cases  se-led  in  the  first  three  quarters  of  2013-­‐-­‐  for   total  of  approximately  $215  million  (and  497  cases  that  se-led   for  $2.95  billion  total  since  January  2007)     •  On  average,  employers  paid  $4.5  million  to  resolve  a  case  in   2013;  slightly  below  the  2012  average  and  well  below  the   average  for  2007  –  2012  ($7.5  million)  
  19. 19. HOW  MUCH  IS  AVERAGE  RECOVERY  PER   EMPLOYEE?    HOW  LARGE  ARE  CLASSES?   •  Despite  lower  overall  average  se-lements,  the  per-­‐claimant   average  se-lement  value  was  up  to  about  $7,000  in  2013   (compared  to  $5,800  for  2007-­‐2012).   •  The  propor.on  of  cases  involving  large  classes  declined  for   2013  –  a  trend  that  has  held  steady  each  year  since  2007;  in   2013  more  that  half  of  the  cases  had  fewer  than  1,000   plain.ffs.  
  20. 20. WHERE  ARE  THE  MOST  SUITS  FILED  AND   ON  WHAT  GROUNDS?   •  California  is  s.ll  fer.le  ground  for  wage  and  hour  li.ga.on   (accoun.ng  for  48.5%  of  se-lement  dollars;  up  from  38.4%  in   2012).    New  York  is  the  next  contender,  even  with  a  sharp   decline  (17.2%  in  2013,  versus  40.6%  in  2012).   •  Unpaid  over.me  remains  the  most  common  allega.on  (45%   of  cases).  
  21. 21. WHICH  INDUSTRIES  DREW  MOST  FLSA   CLAIMS?   •  The  financial  services  and  retail  industries  remain  at  the  top   (accoun.ng  for  19%  and  29%  of  cases,  respec.vely).     •  The  propor.on  of  healthcare  and  healthcare  services   defendants  is  on  the  rise  with  12%  of  the  se-led  cases  in  2013   versus  only  6%  in  2012.   •  Restaurants  are  being  looked  at  closely  for  minimum  wage/ .pping  issues.  
  22. 22. Breaking  News—Big  Texan  Restaurant  DOL  Inves.ga.on   Shows  Focus  on  Restaurant  Tipping  &  Minimum  Wage   Issues   •  Big   Texan   agreed   to   pay   $650,000   in   back   minimum   wages   and   $150,000   liquidated   damages   for   illegal   .p   pooling   arrangements   •  Restaurant   withheld   from   .ps   for   business   costs     such   as   menus,  glassware,  trays,  and  contest  prizes,  and  uniform  and   disciplinary   deduc.ons   brought   total   pay   below   minimum   wage       •  Tips  plus  $2.13  .p  credit  must  equal  minimum  wage  of     $7.25/hr.   for   .me   worked   or   employer   has   to   make   up   the   difference   •  Recordkeeping  issues  too  
  23. 23. WHAT  ARE  THE  PRIME  ISSUES  IN  FLSA   SUITS  AND  TROUBLE  AREAS  FOR   EMPLOYERS?   •  Not  paying  for  .me  employees  spent  checking  into  work,  changing   clothes,  or  on  breaks  during  which  they  are  s.ll  doing  work   •  24/7  nature  of  work  where  employees  respond  to  e-­‐mails,  texts,  social   media,  etc.—”Off  the  clock”  work   •  Misclassifica.on  as  exempt—s.ll!!  (employers  need  to  be  con.nuously   audi.ng  exemp.ons)   •  Healthcare  ins.tu.ons  not  including  shil  incen.ve  pay  in  over.me  rate   ($4  million  DOL  se-lement  with  Harris  Health  System  in  Houston)  
  24. 24. Efforts  in  Congress  to  Revise  FLSA   Regula.ons  on  Exemp.ons  
  25. 25. WHAT  IS  GOING  ON  HERE?     •  First  Proposed  Revision-­‐-­‐Salary  Basis  Test   One  issue  raised  is  that  the  $455/wk.  salary  is  too  low  to  jus.fy  exemp.ng   many  workers  from  receiving  over.me  for  many  so-­‐called  “white  collar”   workers.    This  wage  amounts  to  $23,600.00  per  year.    This  baseline  figure  has   not  been  updated  since  2004.   President  Obama  issued  a  direc.ve  to  the  Secretary  of  Labor  to  modernize  and   simplify  over.me  regula.ons.    This  legisla.on  goes  hand-­‐in-­‐hand  with  the   Obama  administra.on’s  efforts  to  raise  the  basic  pay  for  many  Americans  by   raising  the  minimum  wage.    DOL  says  it  hopes  to  have  new  proposed  rules  by   November,  2014.  
  26. 26. WHAT  ARE  NEW  SALARY  BASIS  TEST  LEVELS   BEING  PROPOSED?   Numerous  state’s  wage  and  hour  laws  already  have  in  place  a   higher  minimum  salary  requirement.   •  For   example,   California’s   minimum   salary   requirement   is   currently   $640/wk.   and   will   increase   to   $800/wk.   in   2016.   New  York’s  minimum  salary  requirement  is  currently  $600/wk.   and  will  increase  to  $675/wk.  in  2016.   •  DOL  would  likely  use  these  states’  minimum  salary   requirements  as  a  star.ng  point  in  any  revisions  it  makes  to   the  current  salary  basis  requirement.  
  27. 27. WHAT  IS  THE  JUSTIFICATION  FOR  REVISED   SALARY  BASIS  TEST?   President  Obama  stated  his  administra.on’s  view  that   the  exemp.ons’  $455/wk.  salary  threshold  means  that   “millions  of  Americans  aren’t  gesng  the  extra  pay  they   deserve“   because   “an   excep.on   that   was   originally   meant   for   high-­‐paid,   white-­‐collar   employees   now   covers  workers  earning  as  li-le  as  $23,660  a  year.”  
  28. 28. WHAT  IS  THE  AIM  OF  DOL  IN  NEW  SALARY   BASIS?   •  DOL’s  aim  is  that  the  salary  be  sufficiently  large  to  ensure  that   the  employee’s  salary  provides  at  least  minimum  wage  (or   some  other  minimum  regular  rate  of  pay)  for  all  hours  worked   in  a  workweek.   •  President  Obama  remarked  that  the  current  salary  basis  rule   “actually  makes  it  possible  for  salaried  workers  to  be  paid  less   than  the  minimum  wage”  because    “if  you’re  working  50  or  60   or  70  hours  –  your  employer  doesn’t  have  to  pay  you  a  single   extra  dime.”  
  29. 29. WHAT  OTHER  REVISIONS  TO  THE   EXEMPTIONS  ARE  BEING  PROPOSED?   •  Another  an.cipated  change  is  likely  to  include  more  of  a  bright-­‐line   test  for  the  du.es  por.on  of  the  white  collar  exemp.ons,  especially   the  execu.ve  exemp.on  that  applies  to  managers  and  supervisors.   The  current  “primary  duty”  test  may  be  re-­‐defined.   •  The  Secretary  of  Labor  has  said  that  under  the  current  primary  duty   test,  “somebody  can  work  1  percent  of  their  .me  on  management   issues,  99  percent  stacking  the  shelves  and  doing  other  work  that   has  nothing  to  do  with  management,  and  you’re  considered  a   manager,  and  you  are  no  longer  en.tled  to  over.me.”  
  30. 30. IS  GOING  BACK  TO  OLD  %  OF  TIME  STANDARDS   FOR  PRIMARY  DUTY  THE  SOLUTION?   •  DOL  likely  will  a-empt  to  make  the  “primary  duty”  test  for   each  of  the  exemp.ons  more  black  and  white  and  will  likely   require  that  employees  spend  certain  percentages  of  their   weekly  .me  engaged  in  certain  exempt  du.es  in  order  to  be   exempt.       •  This  is  the  %  of  .me  spent  in  ac.vi.es  approach  the  DOL  took   prior  to  the  2004  revisions!  
  31. 31. WHAT  IS  THE  LIKELY  IMPACT  OF  THESE   CHANGES?   •  All  of  these  an.cipated  changes  are  likely  to  have  a  significant   impact  on  employers  across  all  industries,  par.cularly  those   employers  with  a  lot  of  front-­‐line  managers  and  assistant   managers  classified  as  exempt  and  those  employers  that  use   the  professional  and  administra.ve  exemp.on  for  many  of  their   entry-­‐level  posi.ons.   •  The  an.cipated  increase  in  the  minimum  salary  requirement  for   exemp.on  could  mean  that  employees  making  as  much  as   $40,000  to  $45,000  may  fall  below  the  new  minimum  salary   requirement.  
  32. 32. III.    Con.nued  Intrusion  by  NLRB  into  Non-­‐ Unionized  Employer’s  Workplace  and   Policies  
  33. 33. NOW  WHAT  IS  THE  NLRB  PURSUING?   The  NLRB  con.nues  to  come  down  on  anything  an  employer   does  that  it  construes  as  interfering  with  exercise  of  Sec.on  7  of   the  NLRA’s  “Protected  Ac.vi.es”.    No  end  is  in  sight.   Test  Ques.on  One:   •  Can  employer  fire  employee  for  outburst  in  which  employee   used  profanity  and  personally  a-acked  the  owner  of  the   business?    (I’ll  read  you  the  specifics—too  graphic  to  print,  but   you  need  to  hear  them  to  get  the  full  flavor.)    (Hint—the   outburst  was  preceded  by  employee’s  complaint  about  pay   prac.ces,  aler  which  he  was  called  into  mee.ng  with  owner.)  
  34. 34. ANSWER:    BIZARRE  RULING   •  The  NLRB  sued  the  employer  saying  it  violated  the  NLRA.    The   test  for  such  conduct  is  whether  it  was  so  “egregious”  to  lose   protec.on  under  Sec.  7.   •  The  NLRB  in  Plaza  Auto  Center,  Inc.,  recently  held  employer   violated  the  NLRA  by  firing  the  employee.    It  found  the   outburst  was  protected  because,  in  part,  the  subject  ma-er   concerned  the  employee’s  protected  conduct;  and  the   employee’s  conduct  was  provoked  by  the  employer’s  unfair   labor  prac.ce  of  invi.ng  the  employee  to  quit  if  he  did  not   like  the  employer’s  policies.  
  35. 35. Test  Ques.on  No.  2:    Can  having  an  at-­‐will  employment   policy  violate  the  NLRA?   This  is  the  language:   (1)   “   I   acknowledge   that   no   oral   or   wri8en   statements   or   representa<ons   regarding  my  employment  can  alter  my  at-­‐will  employment  status,  except  for   a   wri8en   statement   signed   by   me   and   either   Hya8’s   Execu<ve   VP/Chief   Opera<on  Officer  or  Hya8’s  President.”   (2)  “The  at-­‐will  employment  rela<onship  cannot  be  changed  without  the   signature  of  both  the  employee  and  either  the  execu<ve  VP/president  or  chief   opera<ng  officer  of  the  Red  Cross.”                                                                                             •  Answer:   •  The   NLRB   said   language   in   the   at-­‐will   policy   of   two   different   employers   violated   Sec.on   7   because   it   “could   dampen   converted   ac.vi.es   if   employees  believe  that  union  representa.on  could  not  alter  their  at-­‐will   status.”  
  36. 36. BUT,  WHAT  ABOUT  THIS  LANGUAGE?   •  “No  representa<ve  of  the  company  has  authority  to  enter   into  any  agreement  contrary  to  the  foregoing  ‘employment  at   will’  rela<onship”.   This  “At  Will”  Policy  Was  Approved  By  the  NLRB  
  37. 37. IV.    EEOC’S  Most  Recent  Areas  of  Focus   and  Hot  Topics   •  What  is  the  EEOC  Looking  at  Now?  
  38. 38. Test  Ques.on  One:    Is  Allowing  Employee  to   Telecommute  a  Reasonable  Accommoda.on  Under  the   ADA?   The  facts:    The  employee,  Jane  Harris,  began  missing  work   frequently  because  of  irritable  bowel  syndrome.    This,  in  turn,   affected  her  job  performance.    Ford  Motor  Co.,  her  employer,   said  this  was  not  reasonable  because  her  job  required  group   mee.ngs  and  problem-­‐solving,  at  which  she  needed  to  be   physically  present  for  face-­‐to-­‐face  mee.ngs.  Ford  offered  to   move  her  cubicle  closer  to  the  bathroom  or  to  let  her  apply  for   another  job  that  might  be  suitable  for  telecommu.ng.    Harris   rejected  these  offered  accommoda.ons.    Ford  fired  her.    Did   Ford  need  to  allow  her  to  telecommute?  
  39. 39. Answer  to  Ques.on  No.  One   •  Recent  case  seems  to  say  “Yes”  under  the  facts  in  that  case.   •  The  6th  Circuit  sided  with  Harris  that  Ford  Motor  Co.  should   have  been  required  to  seriously  consider  whether  her  physical   presence  was  essen.al  to  the  job  and  that  telecommu.ng   may  have  been  a  reasonable  accommoda.on  given  today’s   technology.   •  Bo-om  line—Physical  presence  at  job  loca.on  may  not  be  a   necessary  job  requirement.  
  40. 40. So,  How  Do  You  Decide  If  Telecommu.ng  a   Reasonable  Accommoda.on?   ●     Conduct   a   serious,   non-­‐biased   analysis   of   whether   the   employee’s   actual   physical   presence   truly   is   an   essen.al   requirement   of   the   job.     If   the   employee   can   perform   the   essen.al   func.ons   of   the   job   from   somewhere   else,   refusal   of   telecommu.ng  will  probably  be  improper.   •   With   Skype   or   Face-­‐.me,   and   all   the   other   technology   available  today,  actual  physical  presence  at  the  job  loca.on  may   be  less  and  less  important,  even  in  work  “groups”  where  face-­‐to-­‐ face  exchange  is  a  job  component.    Telecommu.ng  may  have  to   be   considered   as   a   means   of   accommoda.ng   many   disabled   employees.  
  41. 41. Test  Ques.on  Two:    Is  A  Six-­‐month  Addi.onal  Leave  Of   Absence  A  Reasonable  Accommoda.on?   The   Facts:     During   her   employment,   the   plain.ff   was   a   well-­‐ regarded   professor.     When   she   fell   ill   prior   to   beginning   the   school’s   fall   term,   she   sought   and   received   a   six-­‐month   paid   leave  of  absence.    At  the  end  of  that  period,  her  doctor  advised   her  to  seek  more  .me  off.    The  school  denied  her  second  request   and  terminated  her  employment,  based  on  a  policy  allowing  no   more  than  six  months’  sick  leave  under  any  circumstances.    The   plain.ff   then   filed   suit   contending   that   this   effec.vely   terminated   her   employment   in   viola.on   of   the   Rehabilita.on   Act.      The  district  court  dismissed  her  complaint,  and  the  plain.ff   appealed.    Was  employer  required  to  grant  addi.onal  six-­‐month   leave?  
  42. 42. Answer  to  Ques.on  Two:    No   Tenth  Circuit  in  Hwang  v.  Kansas  State  Univ.,  No.   12-­‐3070,  2014  WL  2212071,*1  (10th  Cir.  May  29,  2014)   •  This   court   reasoned   that   in   nearly   all   cases,   an   employee   who   cannot  return  to  work  within  six  months  (and  poten.ally  sooner)  is   not  capable  of  performing  the  essen.al  func.ons  with  a  reasonable   accommoda.on   and,   therefore,   cannot   sustain   a   claim   for   discrimina.on.     •  Opinion   includes   strong   pro-­‐employer   language,   “[R]easonable   accommoda.ons…are  all  about  enabling  employees  to  work,  not  to   not  work.”  
  43. 43. So  When  Must  Employer  Grant  Extended  Leave   As  an  Accommoda.on?   Employers  should  con.nue  to  take  the  following  steps  when  an   employee  seeks  leave  under  a  policy:   •  Review  the  essen.al  func.ons  of  the  employee’s  posi.on;   •  Assess  whether  a  temporary  leave  of  absence  will  allow  the   employee  to  return  to  work  and  also  to  perform  the  essen.al   func.ons  of  the  posi.on,  with  or  without  a  reasonable   accommoda.on;   •  Assess  whether  other  accommoda.ons  might  shorten  the   dura.on  of  the  requested  leave  
  44. 44.                      Extended  Leave?         •  Assess   whether   the   proposed   dura.on   of   the   leave   is   reasonable  in  the  light  of  the  employee’s  specific  posi.on  (i.e.,   conduct  an  individualized  assessment  under  the  ADA  as  to  the     reasonableness  of  the  length  of  the  leave);  and   •  Document   with   department   management,   the   impact   that   the  employee’s  leave  of  absence  will  have  on  the  department,   if  granted,  (e.g.,  who  will  take  over  certain  essen.al  func.ons,   are  temporary  employees  needed,  etc.)  in  order  to  have  this   informa.on  should  the  employee  request  addi.onal  leave.  
  45. 45. Test  Ques.on  Three:    Can  Fast  Food  Franchise  Pay   Lower  Wages  To  Female  Workers?   The  facts:    Checkers  fast  food  restaurant  franchise  paid  female   workers  a  lower  hourly  wage  that  male  workers  who  held  the   same  jobs.    In  addi.on,  the  employer  reportedly  gave  women   unfavorable  job  assignments  and  fewer  hours  than  men.   Answer:    A  “No-­‐Brainer”   •  EEOC  gender  discrimina.on  claim  was  se-led  for  $1,000,000   paid  to  current  and  former  female  workers  as  part  of  se-lement,   and  the  franchise  agreed  to  increase  the  wages  of  the  female   employees  and  to  provide  an.discrimina.on  training.  
  46. 46. Follow  Up  On  Unequal  Wages    for   Employers   •  Because  the  NLRB  clearly  prohibits  employers  from   preven.ng  employees  from  discussing  wages,   employees  may  becoming  more  aware  of  gender-­‐ based  pay  inequity.   •  Employers  should  review  their  pay  structures  to   assure  there  is  not  gender-­‐based  pay  discrimina.on.  
  47. 47. Test  Ques.on  Four:    Can  An  Employee  Who  Is  Denied   Lacta.on  Breaks  And  Space  Pursue  Sex  Or  Pregnancy   Discrimina.on  Claims?   The  facts:    Houston  employer  rejected  an  employee’s  request  for   lacta.on  space  and  suggest  the  employee  stay  at  home.    When   the  employee  complied,  the  company  terminated  her  for  job   abandonment.   The  Answer:   •  Prior  cases  have  held  that  the  employee  would  have  no  claim   under  Title  VII  because  lacta.on  was  not  a  medical  condi.on   related  to  pregnancy  and  that  pregnancy-­‐related  medical   condi.ons  ended  the  day  the  employee  gave  birth.  
  48. 48. The  Filh  Circuit  Says  “Lacta.on”  Issues  Clearly   Related  to  Sex  and  Pregnancy  Discrimina.on   •  The  Filh  Circuit  Court  of  Appeals  (which  covers  Texas),  in   EEOC  v.  Houston  Funding  II,  Ltd.,  ruled  that  the  employee’s   request  was  clearly  related  to  her  physiological  needs  as  a   lacta.ng  employee,  not  to  a  paren.ng  decision,  and  thus  was   hormonally  related  to  pregnancy  and  child  birth  and  she  was   en.tled  to  Title  VII  protec.on.   •  Even  in  states  without  clear  laws  requiring  lacta.on  breaks   and  private  lacta.on  space,  Title  VII  may  require  that  they  be   offered.    The  cost  is  likely  to  be  minimal  in  rela.on  to   poten.al  risk  of  an  adverse  discrimina.on  claim.  
  49. 49.    V.    Expansion  of  Defini.on  of  “Spouse”      for  Employment  Law  Compliance—What’s   Employer  to  Do?   •  The  U.  S.  Supreme  Court  ruled  in  2013  in  United  States  v.  Windsor  that  the   por.on  of  the  Defense  of  Marriage  Act  (DOMA)  which  denied  recogni.on   of  marital  status  to  couples  of  the  same  sex  under  federal  law  was   uncons.tu.onal.       •  This  ruling  expands  poten.al  FMLA  coverage  as  a  result  to  same  sex   spouses.    Employers  will  have  to  fine  tune  administra.on  of  FMLA  leave  to   determine  whether  leave  related  to  a  same  sex  spouse  issue  should  be   granted.    The  employer  will  have  to  grant  FMLA  leave  to  an  employee  for   legi.mate,  covered  requests  for  a  same  sex  spouse,  if  the  affected   employee  resides  in  a  state  that  recognizes  same  sex  marriage.       •  For  Texas  employers,  it  may  not  be  an  issue  unless  you  have  employees   who  reside  in  a  state  that  allows  same  sex  marriages,  but  an  Execu.ve   Order  may  change  this  too.  
  50. 50. Supreme  Court  Ruling  Also  Will  Widely  Affect   Tax  Issues  and  Benefits  for  Same-­‐Sex  Spouses   •  Aler  this  ruling,  employees  can  claim  a  income  tax  status  as  a   married  couple  and  this  may  affect  how  benefits  such  as   employer  sponsored  health  care  insurance  are  reported  by   employers  and  how  taxes  are  paid  on  them   •  Qualified  re.rement  plans  must  treat  same-­‐sex  spouse  as   spouse  for  all  purposes  under  the  plan  if  married  in  a  state   that  authorizes  legal  same-­‐sex  marriage,  even  if  the  marriage   is  not  recognized  in  the  state  where  employee  resides.  
  51. 51. STAY  ON  YOUR  TOES!!  

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