Georgia RFRA Vetoed

By Bryan Stillwagon At a press conference this morning, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that he will veto HB 757, the “Free Exercise Protection Act” that Georgia’s legislature passed less than two weeks ago.  Deal has faced intense pressure from Georgia’s business community, which warned of the severe economic consequences that would follow passage of […]

Class Averaging

By Bryan Stillwagon The Supreme Court ruled today that Plaintiffs’ use of average donning and doffing times was proper and sufficient to affirm a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146 (Mar. 22, 2016). Plaintiffs (employees in a pork processing plant in Iowa) relied at trial on an industrial relations expert’s […]

OSHA UPDATE: Revised Procedures

By Rod Smith, Chuck Newcom, Pat Miller, and Matt Morrison On March 4, 2016, OSHA issued new procedures to deal with reported injuries and illnesses. These new procedures deserve attention from employers facing a reportable injury or illness. Under the new procedures, OSHA will ask employers to conduct and provide a detailed internal investigation. Despite a new […]

GA “Free” Exercise

By Bryan Stillwagon On Wednesday, the Georgia legislature passed the “Free Exercise Protection Act” (HB 757), which combines aspects of a proposed Pastor Protection Act and Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Many Atlanta-based companies and industry groups oppose the bill and have urged Governor Nathan Deal to veto it. Sponsors claim the bill is necessary to […]

Arbitration Agreement Snafu

By Bill Wright A federal trial court in California rejected an employer’s attempt to compel arbitration over an employee claim; the employer didn’t keep its own policy exceptions in mind. In 2009, the employer’s job application provided that any significant change in the terms and conditions of employment had to be approved by the Director […]

California Rules!

By Bill Wright California’s new regulations concerning employment discrimination come into effect soon. Briefly, they require beefy policies and supervisor training concerning reporting discrimination and harassment. Naturally, they include protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. General “abusive conduct” is also covered. Also of note, however, is how California is dealing with the application of […]

Groundbreaking Discrimination Lawsuits

By Joe Hunt The EEOC filed two lawsuits yesterday alleging – for the first time – that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title VII. As you know, sexual orientation is not expressly protected under Title VII, so these suits mark the EEOC’s expansive interpretation of its statutory authority. One EEOC complaint, filed in Pennsylvania […]