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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 . . .

Yes, employers, you can win a transgender discrimination suit

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • September 19, 2014
A recent decision from a federal court in Georgia provides an excellent illustration about how employers can win summary judgment (dismissal before a jury trial) even in cases as sensitive as those alleging discrimination based on gender identity.

Not Just Minimum Wage: Proposed Paid Sick Leave Laws on the Rise, Too

Fisher & Phillips LLP • September 19, 2014
Earlier this month, we told you about California’s new statewide sick leave law, which Governor Brown subsequently signed. While minimum wage increases seem to be getting the lion’s share of the press right now, proposed paid sick leave laws are on the rise nationwide, too. Connecticut is the only other state that grants paid sick leave (since 2012) and just passed more tweaks to it to guarantee at least some annual paid sick leave for most full and part-time employees. Overall, California’s law is the tenth in the nation when you count those at the state or local level that requires employers to provide paid sick leave, but that just scratches the surface of what is happening.

OSHA Announces Final Rule On Recording Requirements

Fisher & Phillips LLP • September 19, 2014
On September 11, 2014, OSHA released its final rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements. The rule, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, makes two important changes that tighten OSHA’s presently relaxed reporting requirements.

U.S. Attorney General Holder Calls for Increased Bounty Awards for Financial Whistleblowers

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 19, 2014
In an ongoing effort by the federal government to encourage Wall Street whistleblowers, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called for greater awards for those who report financial fraud. Speaking on Wednesday at the New York University School of Law, Holder stressed that limits on the amount a whistleblower receives could be preventing many individuals from reporting illegal activities.

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.”

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.

Medical Cannabis Implications for Employers in Minnesota

Ogletree Deakins • September 18, 2014
On May 29, 2014, Minnesota signed into law Minnesota’s medical cannabis bill (SF No. 2470), which passed the House 89-to-40 and the Senate 46-to-16. The law establishes a registry program for Minnesota residents to legally use medical cannabis for a qualifying medical condition. According to the new law, medical cannabis may only be delivered in limited forms: liquid, pills, vapor with the use of liquid or oil (but which does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form), or any other method, excluding smoking. While the bill is now law, the sale of medical cannabis won’t happen for several months; once it does it will have impact on employers.

Deputy Sheriff Protected by Whistleblower Retaliation Law, California Court of Appeal Rules

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 18, 2014
The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014).

California Adds ‘Abusive Conduct’ to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors

Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 17, 2014
Employers subject to California’s mandatory “AB 1825” sexual harassment training requirement for supervisors will need to revise their programs to include prevention of “abusive conduct,” following an amendment (AB 2053) to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
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