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Oklahoma Case Serves as Reminder that Pregnancy Alone, Without More, Is Not an ADA Disability

A former employee’s claim that she was pregnant and subject to lifting restrictions failed to allege a valid claim under the Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. LaCount v. South Lewis SH OPCO, LLC, Case No. 16-CV-0545-CVE-TLW (N.D. Okla. May 5, 2017).

Workers' Compensation Opt-Out Law Struck Down by Oklahoma Supreme Court

In Vasquez v. Dillard's, Inc., the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a law that allows employers to opt out of the state workers' compensation system. The court held that the state Employee Injury Benefit Act (Opt Out Act) is unconstitutional because it allows for certain groups of employees to be treated differently when seeking compensation for work-related injuries. These opt-out plans have been backed by Walmart, Lowe's and Sysco Food Services as being instrumental in reducing costs, and continue to be implemented in Texas.

Oklahoma Bans Texting While Driving

Oklahoma has become the 46th state to ban texting while driving. An Oklahoma employer that uses commercial drivers or that requires employees to drive as part of their work assignments (e.g., traveling sales professionals) will need to update its driving policies to comply with this new law.

10th Circuit Holds That Guns In Company Parking Lot Are OK . . . In OK.

Where a state law stands as an obstacle to the execution of the clear objectives of a federal law, or where it is impossible for a party to comply with both state and federal requirements, that state law may be “pre-empted” by the federal statute. In a case that could have far-reaching implications for employers, a federal appellate court has held that two Oklahoma laws holding employers criminally liable for prohibiting employees from storing firearms in locked vehicles on company property are not preempted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (the OSH Act).