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ten most recent federal employment law articles Ten Most Recent Federal Articles

"Sugar Bear" Unleashed: Employee with Emotional Disabilities May Be Entitled to Bring Comfort Animal to Work

Franczek Radelet P.C • September 22, 2014
A federal district court in Hawaii has ruled that the branch manager of a rental car company may have been discriminated against on the basis of his depression and adjustment disorder disabilities when he was terminated for an angry outburst directed at a subordinate after having been warned about similar misconduct on past occasions. Assaturian v. Hertz Corp. The final incident occurred about four months after the manager was told by his employer that he could no longer bring “Sugar Bear,” a Shih Tzu, to work with him unless he provided medical documentation establishing his need to do so. According to the manager, “Sugar Bear” was a licensed service animal that helped him control his emotions and reduce his stress. The manager had not complied with his employer’s request for documentation by the time of the incident that led to his termination, but claimed during discovery in the lawsuit that he had not had sufficient opportunity to do so. According to the managers’ co-workers, the dog was not leashed and regularly urinated on the floor.

Wisconsin Certified Nursing Assistants and Housekeepers Seek Pay for Meal Breaks

Krukowski & Costello, S.C. • September 22, 2014
A federal judge in Milwaukee has conditionally certified a collective action covering 322 hospital housekeepers and certified nursing assistants who claim they are entitled to pay for meal breaks.

White House Announces New EEOC Nomination

Ogletree Deakins • September 22, 2014
On September 15, the White House announced that President Obama’s nomination of Charlotte A. Burrows to the post of Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had been sent to the U.S. Senate. The announcement came just a few days after President Obama expressed his intent to nominate several individuals, including Burrows, to key posts in the current administration. According to a White House press release, President Obama nominated Burrows, who is the current Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to the Commission for a term expiring on July 1, 2019.


Shaw Valenza LLP • September 22, 2014
It is said that employees are an employer’s most valuable asset. Unlike most assets, however, employees can pick up and leave when “opportunity knocks.” Employee turnover not only causes higher payroll and recruiting costs, but also risk disclosure of trade secrets and other confidential, intellectual property. One solution? Employers have entered into “no-switching” agreements, under which they agree not to recruit each other’s employees. In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation illustrates why these agreements are a bad idea. Employers seeking to avoid a talent drain and significant financial liability must look elsewhere for an effective solution.

New OSHA Regulation Requires Employer Reporting of Nearly All Fatalities, Hospitalizations, Amputations and Eye Losses to OSHA

Krukowski & Costello, S.C. • September 22, 2014
A new OSHA regulation requires employers to notify OSHA when an employee is fatally injured on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The new regulation, that also updated the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping requirements, goes into effect on January 1, 2015, for all workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

Restriction of job responsibilities – even without diminished salary or benefits – may constitute an “adverse action” under Title VII.

Ogletree Deakins • September 22, 2014
Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to hire or to discharge an individual or otherwise to discriminate against such individual “with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” because of a protected characteristic, including race.

Airline Industry Legal Alert: Ninth Circuit Hears Argument on Strike Injunction Against Non-Union Employees

FordHarrison LLP • September 22, 2014
Yesterday, Douglas Hall, a partner in the Airline Group of FordHarrison, appeared before an en banc panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to defend an injunction obtained on behalf of Aircraft Service International, Inc. against a strike threatened by some of its non-union employees at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The employees threatened to strike if the company did not immediately revoke the investigatory suspension of an ASIG employee and address alleged safety concerns. The strike was enjoined on the grounds that it would violate the RLA; that was affirmed by a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. The defendants petitioned for rehearing en banc, arguing that the RLA's dispute resolution procedures did not apply to non-union employees, and thus the Norris-LaGuardia Act prohibited the injunction.

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on EEOC Reform Legislation

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 19, 2014
On September 17, 2014, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing to discuss legislative proposals to increase transparency and accountability at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In his opening statement, Chairman of the Subcommittee, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), said the EEOC “has spent a great deal of time and resources advancing a deeply flawed enforcement and regulatory agenda” and that “[e]mployers have fallen under EEOC’s intense scrutiny without any allegation of employment discrimination.” Chairman Walberg also criticized the agency for “pursuing a regulatory scheme that is making it more difficult for employers to protect employees and consumers.” Walberg urged his colleagues to support legislation that would “help shine more sunlight on EEOC activities, compel the agency to work with employers in good faith to resolve complaints, force the commissioners to do their jobs and oversee the agency’s enforcement actions, and provide a safe harbor to employers complying with federal, state, and local mandates, such as laws requiring criminal background checks during the hiring process.”

The EEOC has been a busy bee this week. (It stings!)

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • September 19, 2014
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been on a tear this week, suing employers right and left, and getting some “wins” including a couple of big settlements . . .

Workplace Safety and Health Update

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 19, 2014
We are pleased to bring you our Workplace Safety and Health Update. With experienced OSHA and MSHA attorneys located strategically throughout the nation, Jackson Lewis is uniquely positioned to serve all of an employer’s workplace safety and health needs.

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