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Sexy ADA issue: Bad breakup may not justify employer-mandated medical exam

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • August 22, 2014
Rarely does one get a case that involves a cutting-edge Americans with Disabilities Act issue combined with wild, crazy, passionate, irrationally exuberant, tempestuous, adulterous romance. Well, folks, today is your lucky day.

Russian Employment Law: Terms of Employment and Separation

Fisher & Phillips LLP • August 22, 2014
This article is the second in a series of articles regarding Russian employment law. Terms of Employment. Under Russia’s Labor Code, there is a maximum 40-hour work week for employees, and less than that for certain types of jobs and workers, such as for employees working in dangerous environments or employees under eighteen years of age. The law also contains provisions pertaining to flexible job arrangements, such as virtual work and flexible working hours. Russia’s Labor Code was amended in April 2013 to set forth a number of new statutory provisions recognizing the growing existence of employees working in virtual locations. These amendments address many matters specific to remote workers, such as working hours and discharge reasons, as well as the communication of the employer’s hiring, termination and other decisions.

An Estimate is Just That - The Seventh Circuit Highlights Several Important Lessons for Employers Navigating Intermittent FMLA Leave

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 22, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled on two important intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave issues in Hansen v. Fincantieri Marine Group.1 First, the court determined that the FMLA does not require a plaintiff to present expert testimony to prove he was incapacitated for each day for which he requested FMLA leave. Second – and perhaps more important for employers – the court decided that an employer should not summarily deny intermittent FMLA leave when an eligible employee exceeds the estimated length or duration provided by a doctor in an FMLA medical certification form.

No Coverage for the Cantankerous? The Ninth Circuit Goes "Retro" In Finding "No Disability"

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 22, 2014
In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit waxed nostalgic by reversing a jury and lower court finding that a police officer with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had a “disability” within the meaning of the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Ninth Circuit held that the former officer was not disabled, because his ADHD – and associated abrasive behavior toward colleagues – did not substantially limit him in the major life activities of working or interacting with others. Before the amendments to the ADA, this decision might not have been noteworthy. Given the far more expansive interpretation of “disability” under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), however, the Weaving case assumes the aura of a “Man Bites Dog” story by resisting the tendency of courts to err on the side of finding threshold protection under the ADAAA.

EEOC Releases Demanding New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 22, 2014
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues describes the agency’s view of prohibitions on discrimination against pregnant workers and how the EEOC sees employment laws enacted in the past 30 years, such as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), apply to these workers.

RISING HEAT MEANS NEW RULES FOR EMPLOYERS

Shaw Valenza LLP • August 22, 2014
In recent years, Cal-OSHA has taken an aggressive stance against “heat illness” that can affect employees’ wellbeing. Employers who fail to provide adequate drinking water, shade, training, and/or “cool-down” periods to employees working in high heat conditions may be cited by Cal-OSHA and subjected to financial penalties. On January 1, 2014, the California Legislature amended Labor Code section 226.7 to increase penalties for an employer’s failure to provide “Cool Down Recovery Periods” to prevent heat exhaustion or stroke. This amendment likely will bolster Cal-OSHA’s enforcement of its heat illness prevention regulations. Employers therefore should be aware of when heat illness prevention laws apply and what they are required to do.

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Health Insurance Waiting Periods

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 22, 2014
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a “waiting period” is defined as the period that must pass before coverage for an individual who is otherwise eligible to enroll under the terms of a group health plan can become effective. The ACA prohibits group health plans and group health insurance issuers from imposing a waiting period that exceeds 90 days after an employee is otherwise eligible for health coverage. Generally, an individual is “eligible” to enroll in a health plan if he or she has met the plan’s substantive eligibility conditions, such as being in an eligible job classification, earning a certain level of commission, or satisfying a reasonable and bona fide employment-based orientation period. Once an individual is determined to be eligible for coverage under the terms of the health plan, the ACA’s final rule provides that a waiting period cannot exceed 90 days, including the enrollment date, weekends and holidays.

Employees in Maryland Can Now Get Treble Damages for Overtime Claims

FordHarrison LLP • August 22, 2014
Executive Summary: On August 13, 2014, the Maryland Court of Appeals held in Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc. that unpaid overtime wages are recoverable under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (MWPCL or "Wage Payment Act"). The ruling increases the potential liability for Maryland employers who misclassify their employees as exempt under the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL) and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees who prove an entitlement to overtime pay can now seek an award of treble damages or three times the amount owed to them in unpaid overtime wages. Although an employer can avoid a treble damages award by proving that there was a good faith "bona fide dispute" over the validity of the employee's overtime claim, the court in Peters held that the employer has the burden of proof on the "bona fide dispute" issue.
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