No-Fault Points-Based Attendance Policy May Violate Employee ADA Rights

An Illinois federal district court has ruled that AutoZone may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in establishing a no-fault points-based attendance policy, despite its exceptions for absences related to disability. More specifically, in denying most of the employer's summary judgment motion, the judge found that the AutoZone policy might have violated the employees' right to reasonable Read More

EBSA’s $1.4B Federal Benefits Law Enforcement Recovery Lowest in Five Years

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the benefits arm of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), recently announced that it had collected $1.4 billion in federal benefits law enforcement recoveries during the fiscal year 2022. This sum represents the lowest amount that EBSA has collected in the past five years. EBSA’s 2022 recovery amount is a decrease of about 42% from its 2021 recovery and 54% from its Read More

Circle K Agrees to Pay $8 Million After EEOC Investigation into Disability, Pregnancy, and Retaliation Charges

Circle K Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $8 million and comply with the terms of a four-year settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) amid charges that it failed to offer reasonable accommodations to and retaliated against disabled and pregnant workers. An EEOC investigation found that the company had placed affected employees on involuntary unpaid leave, retaliated against them, required that Read More

Maryland Employers Could Face Difficulties Defending Harassment Claims Under New State Laws

The Maryland state legislature has enacted two bills that may make it harder for employers to defend against harassment claims. The two employee-friendly bills, which took effect on October 1, 2022, lowered the legal standard required to establish a harassment claim and extended the period during which a person may file a civil action alleging an unlawful employment practice. Senate Bill 450 allows employees to Read More

SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decisions Could Impact Workplace DE&I Programs

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in two college affirmative action cases. In both cases, Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit group, argues that affirmative action policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina unfairly favor Black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants over white and Asian American applicants. The implications of the high Court’s decisions in these cases Read More

Top Legal Issues for Employers in 2022

Among the subjects contributing to the top legal issues employers faced in 2022 were COVID-19 vaccination requirements, a potentially new overtime rule from DOL, the economic downturn, new state laws, and post-Dobbs abortion access for employees. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements Employers became uncertain of their legal options when some employees refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations. As a result, the EEOC Read More

4th Circuit Allows FMLA Claims to Proceed Based on Worker’s Leave Notices Sent Via Facebook Messenger

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has given the green light for an assembly line worker’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claim to proceed despite using Facebook Messenger to communicate his notice of leave to his employer. The case is Roberts v. Gestamp West Virginia LLC, 4th Cir., No. 20-2202 (Aug. 15, 2022). Roberts worked on an assembly line at Gestamp, a West Virginia auto parts manufacturer. Gestamp Read More

Instacart Settles San Diego Worker Misclassification Suit for $46.5M

Instacart has agreed to settle a suit covering about 308,000 workers whom the company misclassified as independent contractors in violation of California’s labor code for a total of $46.5 million. The affected individuals worked for the grocery delivery service as “shoppers” between September 2015 and December 2020. The case is The People of the State of California v. Maplebear Inc., case number Read More

DOL Issues Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule to clarify the distinction between employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule would replace a 2021 rule in which two factors, i.e., control over the individual's work and the worker's opportunity for profit or loss, carried greater weight than other factors in making this distinction. Under the standard in Read More

CA Joins Other States with Paid Leave Laws

California has joined a steadily increasing list of eleven states and the District of Columbia in expanding paid leave programs for employees. Another five states have widened the range of paid time off by expanding paid sick leave policies. In addition, while select states allow paid time off for employees to care for family members, a growing number of states, including California, have extended paid leave Read More