An Overview of Recently Enacted  Federal and State Legislation and Related Issues Presented by: Michelle E. Phillips, Esq....
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act <ul><li>Who is Lilly Ledbetter?  </li></ul><ul><li>Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co ., ...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Who is Lilly Ledbetter?  </li></ul><ul><li>Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubb...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Lilly Ledbetter Goes to Washington:  Fair Pay Act Introduced in Congress </l...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>First  Piece of Legislation Signed by President Obama </li></ul>
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Does it Do?  Makes it Easier for Plaintiffs to Sue Employers for Past P...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Does it Do?  Makes it Easier for Plaintiffs to Sue Employers for Past P...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Should Employers Do Now? </li></ul><ul><li>Audit Current Pay Practices....
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Should Employers do Now? </li></ul><ul><li>Revise Document Retention Pr...
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Questions?  We Have Some . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Retroactivity :  What happe...
Paycheck Fairness Act  <ul><li>What is It?  </li></ul><ul><li>Passed in the House on January 9 th  by a vote of 256 to 163...
Paycheck Fairness Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>If Enacted, What Could it Do? </li></ul><ul><li>Make it more difficult for employer...
Stimulus Bill Increases Employers’ COBRA Responsibilities  <ul><li>American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—COBRA Am...
What’s Next? <ul><li>The Employee Free Choice Act </li></ul><ul><li>If enacted, would require  mandatory   certification b...
New FMLA Regulations  <ul><li>What Remains Unchanged? </li></ul><ul><li>General concepts of FMLA remain unchanged. </li></...
Employers’ Notice Requirements Expanded <ul><li>General Notice Obligations Enhanced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covered employer...
Employers’ Specific Notice Requirements <ul><li>Employer Specific Notice Requirements Modified </li></ul><ul><li>Two new n...
Employers’ Notice Requirements (cont.) <ul><li>2) DOL WH-382 -- Designation Form </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confirms employ...
Changes to Employee Notice Requirements <ul><li>Employees must explain reasons for leave so as to allow an employer to det...
New Rules Governing All Medical Certifications <ul><li>Employers “shall state in writing what additional information is ne...
Changes:  Initial Medical Certification <ul><li>Time to request medical certifications increased from 2 to 5 business days...
Changes:  Medical Recertification <ul><li>In all instances, certifications can be requested once every six months </li></u...
Changes:  Fitness for Duty Certifications <ul><li>Employers may demand more than a “simple statement” of the ability to re...
New and Improved FMLA Forms  (Excluding Military Servicemember Leave) <ul><li>New certification of health care provider fo...
Intermittent Leave Issues <ul><li>Not Required to Utilize Payroll System Accounting  </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum Duration Mu...
Clarification of Other Employee Leave Entitlements <ul><li>Leave calculation for employees with fluctuating work schedules...
The ADAAA: How Did We Get Here? <ul><li>The ADA was enacted on July 26, 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court narrowly ...
Americans With Disabilities Act of 2008 (ADAAA) <ul><li>Major expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. </li></ul>...
  ADAAA – EFFECTIVE JAN. 1, 2009  <ul><li>Congressional Findings and Purpose : </li></ul><ul><li>“ The question of whether...
The ADAAA’s “New” Disability Definition <ul><li>A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more majo...
Changes to “Disability” Definition <ul><li>Substantially limits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer can consider impact of mit...
Other ADAAA Changes  <ul><li>The “Substantially Limits” Standard </li></ul><ul><li>The ADAAA rejects  restrictive standard...
Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>The “Mitigating Measures” Standard </li></ul><ul><li>The ADAAA also rejects the Supreme Court’...
Other ADAAA Changes  <ul><li>The New “Major Life Activities” Definition </li></ul><ul><li>(A) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of ...
Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>“ Regarded As” Having An Impairment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plaintiff’s evidentiary proof to est...
New York Mini-WARN <ul><li>Effective February 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant differences with federal WARN Statute. <...
 
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First 30 Days

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First 30 Days

  1. 1. An Overview of Recently Enacted Federal and State Legislation and Related Issues Presented by: Michelle E. Phillips, Esq. Joseph J. Lynett, Esq. Jackson Lewis LLP Jackson Lewis LLP One North Broadway One North Broadway White Plains, New York 10601 White Plains, New York [email_address] .com [email_address] .com (914) 514-6147 (914) 514-6146 April 16, 2009
  2. 2. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act <ul><li>Who is Lilly Ledbetter? </li></ul><ul><li>Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co ., 550 U.S. 618 (2007): </li></ul><ul><li>Lilly Ledbetter worked as a manager for Goodyear from 1979 to 1998. Her salary was determined annually based on performance rankings. By retirement, there was a large pay gap between Ms. Ledbetter’s compensation and that of her male coworkers. </li></ul><ul><li>Ms. Ledbetter files a charge with the EEOC in July 1998 alleging Goodyear unlawfully discriminated against her on account of sex. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Who is Lilly Ledbetter? </li></ul><ul><li>Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co . </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court affirms 11 th Circuit in 5-4 ruling. Says pay-setting decision, like a termination or demotion, is “a discrete act” forming the basis of a Title VII claim and triggering the 180-day period to file a charge. </li></ul><ul><li>Justice Ginsburg authors dissent. Says unlawful practice under Title VII is the “current payment of salaries infected by gender-based (or race-based) discrimination,” even if the “infection” occurred long before the plaintiff filed a charge. She invites Congress to correct the Court’s “parsimonious reading of Title VII.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Lilly Ledbetter Goes to Washington: Fair Pay Act Introduced in Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Ms. Ledbetter campaigns for President Obama and appears in commercial supporting his candidacy. </li></ul><ul><li>During its first week back in session, House rushes through Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (H.R. 11). </li></ul><ul><li>Senate passes Fair Pay Act (S. 181) on January 22, 2009. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>First Piece of Legislation Signed by President Obama </li></ul>
  6. 6. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Does it Do? Makes it Easier for Plaintiffs to Sue Employers for Past Pay Discrimination! </li></ul><ul><li>Amends Title VII to provide that the time limit for plaintiffs to file claims alleging pay discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex or national origin with the EEOC commences when an individual is affected by the application of a discriminatory compensation decision or practice, “including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid.” </li></ul><ul><li>Also amends Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Does it Do? Makes it Easier for Plaintiffs to Sue Employers for Past Pay Discrimination! </li></ul><ul><li>Applies retroactively to pay discrimination claims pending on or after May 28, 2007, the day before the Supreme Court issued Ledbetter decision, breathing new life into previously time-barred claims. </li></ul><ul><li>Like current law, Ledbetter Act limits back pay awards for successful plaintiffs to two years prior to filing date. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Should Employers Do Now? </li></ul><ul><li>Audit Current Pay Practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Specific Criteria for Initial Compensation Recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Review Compensation Recommendations Before Finalizing Decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Implement or Revise Internal Complaint Procedures to Specifically Address Pay Issues. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>What Should Employers do Now? </li></ul><ul><li>Revise Document Retention Practices to Memorialize Pay Decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Periodic Statistical Analyses of Compensation Data. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Privilege Issues in Internal Audits </li></ul><ul><li>Train Managers and Supervisors. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>Questions? We Have Some . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Retroactivity : What happens to pay discrimination claims that were dismissed as time-barred after the Ledbetter decision? </li></ul><ul><li>Who Can Sue: The law provides that an unlawful employment practice occurs when “a person” is “affected” by a discriminatory pay decision or other practice. Does this broad language sanction pay discrimination charges filed by non-employees, such as spouses of deceased workers, so long as those individuals claim they have been affected by the discriminatory practice? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Paycheck Fairness Act <ul><li>What is It? </li></ul><ul><li>Passed in the House on January 9 th by a vote of 256 to 163.  The Senate has not yet considered the bill. Paycheck Fairness Act has previously passed in the House but not the Senate.  </li></ul><ul><li>If enacted, the legislation would alter key provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”).  The EPA amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit employers from paying women less than men for performing the same or “substantially equal” work in the same “establishment,” with some exceptions. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Paycheck Fairness Act (Con’t.) <ul><li>If Enacted, What Could it Do? </li></ul><ul><li>Make it more difficult for employers to prevail on the EPA’s “any factor other than sex” defense. </li></ul><ul><li>Make punitive and compensatory damages available without requiring proof of discriminatory intent. </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easier for plaintiffs to bring class action lawsuits. </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the definition of “same establishment.” </li></ul><ul><li>Impose additional obligations on the EEOC and Department of Labor for monitoring and remedying pay inequality. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Stimulus Bill Increases Employers’ COBRA Responsibilities <ul><li>American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—COBRA Amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Provides temporary federal subsidy of COBRA premiums. </li></ul><ul><li>Who is eligible for federal subsidy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Assistance eligible individuals” include employees who are or were otherwise eligible for COBRA continuation coverage, who lost coverage under their employer-sponsored group health plan due to an involuntary termination of employment between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Act suggests that any type of involuntary termination qualifies for the subsidy, including an involuntary termination for cause, unless it amounts to a COBRA gross misconduct situation. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. What’s Next? <ul><li>The Employee Free Choice Act </li></ul><ul><li>If enacted, would require mandatory certification based solely on majority of employees signing cards or petition. </li></ul><ul><li>Contract Negotiation Provisions : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90 days to negotiate entire first contract; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30 days of mediation; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mandatory interest arbitration for a two-year contract. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employer Penalty Provisions : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Triple back pay for discharge violations committed during the organizing and negotiation process ; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$20,000 civil damages for willful or repeated violations by an employer. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. New FMLA Regulations <ul><li>What Remains Unchanged? </li></ul><ul><li>General concepts of FMLA remain unchanged. </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 12 weeks of leave in set 12 month period for covered reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>To be eligible must meet the 12 months of service and 1,250 hours requirement and be 1 of 50 employees within a 75 mile radius. </li></ul><ul><li>Health insurance must be continued during leave. </li></ul><ul><li>Reinstatement generally guaranteed. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to document leave entitlement. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Employers’ Notice Requirements Expanded <ul><li>General Notice Obligations Enhanced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covered employers must post a general FMLA notice even when they have no FMLA-eligible employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each employee entitled to general FMLA notice unless employer publishes handbook or other summaries of leave rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posting requirements may now be satisfied through electronic posting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Preamble to Regulations state employees must have access to all FMLA electronic postings </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Employers’ Specific Notice Requirements <ul><li>Employer Specific Notice Requirements Modified </li></ul><ul><li>Two new notice requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>1) DOL WH-381 -- Eligibility/Rights and Responsibilities Form </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send within 5 business days, absent extenuating circumstances </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Details specific expectations and obligations of employees, explaining consequences of failing to meet the obligations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates need to provide a “preliminary” designation of FMLA leave </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possible ambiguity in instances where “eligible employees” have previously exhausted all FMLA leave </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Employers’ Notice Requirements (cont.) <ul><li>2) DOL WH-382 -- Designation Form </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confirms employer’s leave determinations and designated leave amount </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Due 5 business days after employer receives satisfactory medical certification of need for leave </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retroactive notice is permissible if it does not cause employee harm or injury </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Changes to Employee Notice Requirements <ul><li>Employees must explain reasons for leave so as to allow an employer to determine whether the leave qualifies under the Act </li></ul><ul><li>“Calling in sick” – Insufficient to trigger FMLA obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Leave may be denied if employee fails to adequately explain </li></ul><ul><li>For further FMLA leave, employees must specifically reference the qualifying reason or need for FMLA leave </li></ul><ul><li>Employees can be required to comply with customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances </li></ul>
  20. 20. New Rules Governing All Medical Certifications <ul><li>Employers “shall state in writing what additional information is necessary to make the certification complete and sufficient”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Incomplete” and “insufficient” certifications defined </li></ul><ul><li>Employees have 7 calendar days to cure deficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Clarification: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employers need not retain a health care provider to obtain clarification … but employee’s supervisor may not contact health care provider </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will demand greater effort in administering FMLA leave </li></ul>
  21. 21. Changes: Initial Medical Certification <ul><li>Time to request medical certifications increased from 2 to 5 business days </li></ul><ul><li>Certifications may be required for paid leave </li></ul><ul><li>If condition extends beyond a leave year, certifications can be requested annually </li></ul>
  22. 22. Changes: Medical Recertification <ul><li>In all instances, certifications can be requested once every six months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even for ongoing, or lifetime serious health conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Absent showing of “changed circumstances” or reason to doubt the continuing validity of the leave, recertification still may not be required until the initial period of leave has elapsed </li></ul>
  23. 23. Changes: Fitness for Duty Certifications <ul><li>Employers may demand more than a “simple statement” of the ability to return to work </li></ul><ul><li>Fitness for duty certifications for intermittent leave may be sought if reasonable safety concerns exist </li></ul><ul><li>No second or third opinions permitted </li></ul>
  24. 24. New and Improved FMLA Forms (Excluding Military Servicemember Leave) <ul><li>New certification of health care provider for employee’s serious health condition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WH-380E Form </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New certification of health care provider for family member’s serious health condition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WH-380F Form </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Intermittent Leave Issues <ul><li>Not Required to Utilize Payroll System Accounting </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum Duration Must Be Consistent With Other Leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum Duration Cannot Exceed One Hour </li></ul><ul><li>Clarification of Calculation Where Starting Work is Physically Impossible During Middle of Shift </li></ul><ul><li>Employer’s Obligation to Track Intermittent Leave and inform employees of amount of leave available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But not more than once every 30 days </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Clarification of Other Employee Leave Entitlements <ul><li>Leave calculation for employees with fluctuating work schedules based on previous 12 months of work rather than 12 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Required overtime counts against FMLA leave entitlement </li></ul><ul><li>Light duty does not count toward FMLA entitlement </li></ul><ul><li>Disqualification for bonuses permitted so long as employer does so consistently </li></ul><ul><li>Increased damages for interfering with FMLA leave rights: “any other relief tailored to the harm suffered” </li></ul>
  27. 27. The ADAAA: How Did We Get Here? <ul><li>The ADA was enacted on July 26, 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court narrowly construed the ADA’s disability definition. – Sutton , Kirkingburg and Toyota </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals were disabled enough to be disqualified from jobs but not disabled enough to qualify for ADA protection </li></ul>
  28. 28. Americans With Disabilities Act of 2008 (ADAAA) <ul><li>Major expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Overturns judicial precedent and redefines/broadens the term “disability.” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadens the definition of “major life activities.” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadens the definition of “substantially limits.” </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibits courts and employers from considering mitigating measure when determining disability. </li></ul><ul><li>While Act will have enormous impact in various parts of the country – and will turn the focus to the accommodation process – in states with expansive state disability laws, much less of an impact is expected. </li></ul>
  29. 29. ADAAA – EFFECTIVE JAN. 1, 2009 <ul><li>Congressional Findings and Purpose : </li></ul><ul><li>“ The question of whether an individual’s impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The definition of disability shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA” </li></ul>
  30. 30. The ADAAA’s “New” Disability Definition <ul><li>A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; </li></ul><ul><li>A record of such an impairment; or </li></ul><ul><li>Being regarded as having such an impairment (as defined in paragraph (3)) . </li></ul>
  31. 31. Changes to “Disability” Definition <ul><li>Substantially limits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer can consider impact of mitigating measures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major life activities specified </li></ul><ul><li>Regarded as prong of disability definition changed </li></ul>
  32. 32. Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>The “Substantially Limits” Standard </li></ul><ul><li>The ADAAA rejects restrictive standard for “substantially limited” requiring an individual to have an impairment that prevents or severely restricts the individual from doing activities that are of central importance to most people’s daily lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Congress does not define “substantially limited,” but </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concludes that current standard is too high; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructs the EEOC to set new standard consistent with its Findings and Conclusions. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>The “Mitigating Measures” Standard </li></ul><ul><li>The ADAAA also rejects the Supreme Court’s decision in Sutton that a determination of disability requires consideration of the mitigating measures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The determination “shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures”; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exception made for eyeglasses or contact lenses. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>The New “Major Life Activities” Definition </li></ul><ul><li>(A) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of paragraph (1), major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. </li></ul><ul><li>(B) MAJOR BODILY FUNCTIONS.—For purposes of paragraph (1), a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. </li></ul><ul><li>The impairment need only limit one major life activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Episodic impairments may be a disability. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Other ADAAA Changes <ul><li>“ Regarded As” Having An Impairment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plaintiff’s evidentiary proof to establish “regarded as” claim is lowered. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no need to demonstrate that an impairment is “substantially limiting” under the “regarded as” prong; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plaintiff needs prove only adverse action was taken as a result of employer’s mistaken belief about the individual’s ability to perform his or her job. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some Good News For Employers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regarded as” claims cannot be based on transitory and minor impairments where the impairment is expected to last less than six months. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employers are not required to reasonably accommodation individuals who are “regarded as” disabled, an issue over which the federal courts of appeals were previously split. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. New York Mini-WARN <ul><li>Effective February 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant differences with federal WARN Statute. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal WARN : Employers of 100 or more covered employees must provide 60 days notice of plant closings or mass layoff (generally must be 50 or more affected employees). </li></ul><ul><li>NY Mini-WARN : Applies to NY employers with 50 or more full-time employees and requires at least 90 days notice of mass layoffs (generally must be only 25 affected employees). </li></ul><ul><li>NY Mini-WARN also imposes a 90-day advance written notice requirement in event of a 50 mile relocation of all or substantially all of operations. </li></ul><ul><li>NY Mini-Warn otherwise generally tracks federal WARN. </li></ul><ul><li>Many unanswered questions. </li></ul>

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