Recognizing that every business with employees faces challenges that can impact their growth and profitability, Sandberg Phoenix attorneys are committed to sharing their knowledge of, experience with and passion for employment law. Addressing current issues, recent case studies and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance, the Employer Law Blog provides expert advice and analysis of important aspects of employment law.

EEOC Must Try to Conciliate

Before suing an employer, the EEOC must first endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5. The MaEEOC may only file suit after determining that attempts to conciliate have failed.

Suspicions and Assumptions About an Applicants Religious Practices Can Lead to Title VII Liability for Employers

The Supreme Court recently ruled in E.E.O.C. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, that a job applicant only had to show that the need for a religious accommodation was a motivating factor in the prospective employer’s decision to not hire the applicant in order to prove a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and not that the employer had actual knowledge of the applicants need for an accommodation based upon one’s religious practice. Title VII prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire a applicant because of the applicant’s religious practice when the practice could be accommodated without undue hardship.

Employer Alert: OSHA Speaks Out on Transgender Bathroom Guidelines

On June 1, 2015, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released “A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers”. Under current federal law, employers are required to provide all employees reasonable access to restroom facilities. Now under OSHA’s “model practices” for employers to follow when providing access to restrooms by transgender employees, including:

Personnel Records 101

An employee (or former employee) wants to see their personnel records. Now what?

First step – read the Illinois Personnel Records Review Act (before the employee makes the request).
It is found at 805 ILCS 40.

Here are some highlights of that Act.

Who can ask?

A current employee

DOL Proposes to More Than Double Minimum Salary Requirement

To be classified as an employee exempt from overtime, an employee must perform certain exempt duties and responsibilities, such as those customarily performed by an executive, professional or administrative employee. In addition to performing the requisite managerial duties, an employer is required to pay the individual a minimum guaranteed weekly salary. If the employee does not receive this minimum weekly salary, the employee is treated as an hourly employee, regardless of their duties, and must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours during the workweek.

Reducing Employee Hours to Evade ACA Health Insurance Requirements Results in Suit

Berry, T

While ERISA has long regulated employer provided group health insurance plans, it had never in the past dictated which employees should be eligible to receive health insurance. When Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2013 (“ACA”), it required for the first time that an employer provide health insurance to all employees who work on average at least 30 hours a week. The failure to cover all eligible employees, as now defined by the ACA, would subject employers either to the increased expense for having to provide affordable health insurance to a greater percentage of employees than in the past or to the “employer mandate” financial penalties.

FMLA Worker Loses Claim on Technicality

On May 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in a case presenting an FMLA claim that a 14-hour hospital stay did not qualify as an “overnight” stay in order to provide the employee with protection under the FMLA.

Just Complain To Your Harasser – Good Enough

Is it enough that an employee who is being harassed complains only to the harasser? The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says yes, it is enough.

Leave My Tips Alone!

The California adult nightclub Paradise Showgirls will have to pay more than $6.5 million to dancers who were required to turn over a portion of their tips to their employer. The Court found that under California law, any money handed directly from a customer to a dancer belongs to the dancer. The nightclub required the dancers to give a portion of these tips to the nightclub.

The High Cost of Sexting

A New York court recently entered a judgment of about $700,000 against the owner of a limousine company for sexually harassing a female dispatcher. The judgment consisted of $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages, $167,478 in attorney fees and $3,168 in litigation costs. The case presents an almost classic example of sexual harassment.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2014 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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