Location Doesn’t Matter

By Bill Wright The Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that where an employee provides care for a family member with a serious health condition does not matter under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The employee was the principal caregiver for her mother. As an end-of-life wish, a charity gave the mother […]

Clothes or Equipment

By Bernie Siebert The Fair Labor Standards Act permits employers and unions to agree to exclude from compensable time, the time spent washing and changing clothes. Does this include agreeing about putting on and taking off “protective clothing?” The U.S. Supreme Court has given us the answer: whether time spent “donning or doffing” “clothes” or […]

EEOC’s Attempt to Revisit Undue Hardship Defense Rejected

By Heather Vickles Last year, we reported on EEOC v. JBS USA, LLC No. 8:10CV318 (D. NE.). (Click here to read both blog posts.) The case includes the EEOC’s pattern or practice claim that JBS failed to accommodate its Muslim employees’ religious practices at its Grand Island, Nebraska beef processing plant. Last May, after a ten-day […]

Broken Bones

By Bill Wright Cases under the ADA Amendment Act are finally reaching the courts of appeals. In what might be the first case to reach the appellate level on an issue other than whether the statute applied retroactively, the 4th Circuit has determined the following: A plaintiff can plead a sufficiently severe impairment and substantial limitation […]

NLRB Standing (read “Expanding”) Ground on D.R. Horton

By Lori Phillips In the controversial 2012 decision D.R. Horton, Inc., the NLRB held that mandatory arbitration agreements requiring all employment disputes to be resolved through individual (as opposed to class) arbitration violate NLRA § 8(a)(1).  That statute forbids an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7.”  The D.R. […]

RLA: A Duty to Unionize?

By Bill Wright Aircraft service employees threatened to close Seattle’s airport. They were disgruntled about the suspension of a co-worker, and they banded together with a community organizer (not a union agent) to threaten a strike. The employer sought a federal injunction against a strike, arguing that, because the employees and employer were covered by […]

The Employee’s Asking For It

By Lori Wright Keffer When an employee applies for, and gets, a job transfer, the employer has not subjected the employee to an adverse employment action – or has it? In a recent case, the plaintiff claimed he suffered an adverse employment action under Title VII and the ADEA when his employer transferred him to […]

Time to Begin Preparing H-1B Visa Petitions for Foreign Professionals

By Carol Hildebrand Employers recruiting foreign students from U.S. universities or professionals from elsewhere in the world should begin planning for March 31, 2014. That is the date H-1B “professional” visa petitions should be filed to pursue limited federal fiscal year 2015 H-1B quota slots under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Please contact Carol Hildebrand […]

Employer’s Final Paycheck Deductions Upheld

By John Alan Doran The Ninth Circuit just held that an employer is entitled to deduct from an employee’s final paycheck money an employee owes to the employer. Ward v. Costco Wholesale Corp. Costco issued Ms. Ward a company credit card, but required her to sign a contract allowing Costco to deduct any remaining credit […]