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Judge Rules That HR’s Assurances Before Employee’s One-Year Anniversary May Give Rise to FMLA Claim

Ogletree Deakins • November 18, 2018
Employees are not eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) unless, among other things, they have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months. It is also a matter of common sense that only employees who are actually eligible for FMLA leave can assert a claim for interference with those rights. Or is it? What if human resources (HR) tells an employee to take leave before he or she is eligible, not to worry about his or her job, and that it would approve the FMLA leave? The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin recently confirmed that HR assurances like these can give rise to a viable FMLA interference claim, even before an employee is eligible for leave. Reif v. Assisted Living by Hillcrest LLC d/b/a Brillion West Haven, No. 18-C-884 (November 6, 2018).

Beltway Buzz, November 16, 2018

Ogletree Deakins • November 18, 2018
Congress Returns. While New York has an awesome duck, Washington, D.C., has a lame duck. Yes, Congress returned this week for its post-election lame-duck session. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are scheduled to be in session until December 14, 2018 (with the week of Thanksgiving off), but that targeted adjournment date can always be moved up or extended.

5 Common Issues Multinational Employers May Encounter When Implementing Leave Policies

Ogletree Deakins • November 18, 2018
For the purposes of talent acquisition and retention, multinational employers with U.S. parental leave policies may wish to roll out the exact same policies at all locations. However, this can easily turn into a tale of “no good deed goes unpunished” because certain provisions may run afoul of local laws and customs or inadvertently grant additional benefits. Below are several common issues multinational employers may want to keep in mind when drafting parental leave policies, as well as steps they can take to harmonize policies globally.

Appeals Court Rejects Retaliation Claim Based On Religious Accommodation Request

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
In a case of first impression, a federal appeals court just found that an applicant’s request for a religious accommodation did not constitute protected activity under Title VII for the purpose of establishing a retaliation claim. Under the 8th Circuit’s November 13 ruling, the appropriate avenue to challenge an employer’s denial of a religious accommodation request under Title VII is by filing a disparate treatment claim, not through a retaliation cause of action. What can employers take from the EEOC v. North Memorial Health Care decision?

Top 10 Things Employers Need To Know About Midterm Election Results

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
As many predicted, Democrats recaptured the House for the first time in eight years in yesterday’s midterm elections, while Republicans retained and strengthened their grip on the Senate. That will lead to a dynamic in Washington, D.C. that the Trump administration has yet to face: a fractured legislature and a tug-of-war at the federal level. What does this development mean for employers? Here are the top 10 things to expect in the labor and employment law arena given the results in yesterday’s historic elections.

Supreme Court: Small Public Employers Now Subject To ADEA

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
In a unanimous 8-0 decision, the United States Supreme Court issued its first ruling of the new term today and delivered a blow to small public-sector employers fending off age discrimination lawsuits. The Court ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to all states and political subdivisions regardless of the number of people the public entity employs. Today’s ruling in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido has implications for small public employers—who must now comply with the ADEA—but also raises the serious specter for individual liability under the ADEA for all employers.

IRS Publishes Pension Plan Limitations for 2019

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 18, 2018
On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for the 2019 tax year. These limits include both employee and employer contribution limits. The list below details some of the key limit increases and those limits that remain unchanged effective January 1, 2019:

Department of Education Unveils Proposed Title IX Regulations

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 18, 2018
On Friday, November 16, 2018, the Department of Education (DOE) released proposed Title IX regulations dictating the process by which colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct.

Medical Marijuana In Missouri: New Law Brings New Questions For Employers

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 on Election Day 2018, one of the three medical marijuana measures appearing on the state’s ballot. Amendment 2 adds an article to the Missouri Constitution legalizing medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients and allowing people who qualify to grow their own plants. With a new law comes new questions about how this development will affect workplaces across the state. Here are a series of the most common questions Missouri employers may have while adjusting to this new reality.

Missouri Voters Pass Minimum Wage Increase

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
As predicted, Missouri voters turned out in record numbers for the 2018 general election yesterday and overwhelmingly voted to pass Proposition B: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative. As a result, beginning January 1, 2019, the hourly minimum wage in Missouri will increase from $7.85 to $8.60, and will gradually increase by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023:

Kentucky’s Right-To-Work Law Upheld By State Supreme Court

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2018
A bitterly divided state Supreme Court upheld Kentucky’s right-to-work law by a 4-3 vote yesterday, cementing Kentucky’s status as one of 27 states in the country to have such a law on the books. Although the law was originally signed in January 2017 and immediately took effect, unions in Kentucky resisted accepting the reality of right-to-work and were banking on this litigation to overturn law. Now that the legal challenges have been denied, employers should ensure they are familiar with right-to-work, as the law could have an impact on your workplace.

The Other Shoe Drops: Court of Appeal Decision Narrows Use of Employee Non-Solicitation Provisions in California

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 18, 2018
It is well-established that restrictive covenants are prohibited by statute in California. Since the decision by the California Supreme Court that partial restraints like customer non-solicitation clauses were void under Business and Professions Code Section 16600, the courts have been strictly interpreting any covenant that impinges on employment opportunities.
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