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

Recent Survey Sheds Additional Light on the Gig Economy

Fisher Phillips • April 25, 2018
The gig economy continues to be a popular topic of discussion—for policymakers, politicians, lawyers, the media, and others. However, getting a good handle on the scope of the gig economy can be difficult at best. Traditional labor market data has not kept pace with new trends in the economy. As a result, getting good, hard demographic data can be challenging.

Administration Pushes to Add Extreme Vetting to All Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 25, 2018
Proposed changes to Form DS-160 would include aspects of “extreme vetting” in all nonimmigrant visa applications. The public has until May 29, 2018, to submit comments to the Trump Administration proposal.

What Is OSHA? When Might OSHA Pay a Visit? And What Is at Stake for Employers?

Ogletree Deakins • April 25, 2018
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct inspections at worksites within its jurisdiction to enforce the safety and health laws promulgated pursuant to the OSH Act. With the U.S. Senate still not confirming President Trump’s nomination of Scott Mugno as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, we do not yet know the future direction of OSHA’s enforcement strategy. Thus, for now, it is best to assume no change in direction.

Frustrated, Angry, or Discouraged? Tips for How to Treat Former Employees’ “Vent Letters”

Ogletree Deakins • April 25, 2018
Sometimes departing employees are more comfortable expressing their concerns in writing rather than communicating them verbally. These written messages may take the form of what’s often called a “vent letter,” which could range from an informal email to something that looks more like a formal complaint. Employers and human resources (HR) professionals are tasked with appropriately addressing such communications. Here are some tips and answers to commonly asked questions about vent letters.

Dear Littler: How Should We Approach an Employee Showing Signs of Cognitive Decline?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 24, 2018
Dear Littler: We have an employee who is exhibiting signs of dementia or some other sort of cognitive impairment. He has fallen asleep at work a few times recently and seems confused by tasks that did not pose any problem for him in the past. His performance was solid for years but started declining in the past several months, along with his attention to detail. How do we handle our concerns about his well-being and performance? Should we ask him what’s going on with his health?

eLABORate: Fifth Circuit Rules That Threat of Workplace Violence Trumps FMLA Retaliation Claim

Phelps Dunbar LLP • April 24, 2018
An alleged threat by a former Southwest Airlines employee, “that he wished he could order a black trench coat so that he could bring his shotgun to work,” was enough to derail the claim that his employer terminated him in retaliation for taking intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). In affirming the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Southwest, the April 18, 2018 opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed the airline had established a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for discharging the employee, and that he had failed to prove that the reason was pretextual or false.

Banks Cannot Skirt Contract Remedies in Data Breach Suit Against Retail Merchant

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 24, 2018
Attempting to advance a novel theory of law, several banks filed a class action in Illinois federal court against a grocery store chain arising out of a data breach that resulted in the theft of 2.4 million credit and debit cards. Community Bank of Trenton v. Schnuck Markets, Inc. After the breach, and based on the terms credit card user agreements, the banks were required to issue new cards and reimburse its customers as required by federal law for financial losses due to unauthorized purchases. In the suit, the financial institutions sought to recover some of their costs from the grocery store chain that was allegedly responsible for the loss of the data. The losses were estimated by the Plaintiffs to be in the tens of millions of dollars. As discussed below, the banks were not successful.

USCIS Releases Improvements to E-Verify System

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 24, 2018
After gathering feedback and extensive testing, USCIS has unveiled an updated and modernized E-Verify system to improve the user experience, efficiency, and reduce errors.

Eleventh Circuit Highlights Importance of Safety Training in Affirming Willful Violation of OSHA Standard

Ogletree Deakins • April 24, 2018
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently had the opportunity to remind employers not to ignore training employees on safety. Martin Mechanical Contractors, Inc. v. Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, No. 17-12643 (March 27, 2018).

EEO-1 Filing Deadline Extended to June 1, 2018

Ogletree Deakins • April 24, 2018
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee has now extended the deadline for filing the 2017 reports to June 1, 2018. Based on modifications to the EEO-1 survey, employers initially had until March 31, 2018, to file their 2017 EEO-1 reports.