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April 2016 Newsletter

Back in December, we wrote about a case involving the Chicago Police Department, in which officers alleged that they were owed additional overtime for time spent responding to calls and messages on their Blackberry devices, but which they failed to report in accordance with Police Department procedures. The court ruled for the City, holding that while the officers may have worked hours for which they weren't paid, the City was not liable...
A couple of clients have asked me recently whether a health care provider can use his/her own medical certification form or “doctor’s note” to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave, or can we require the HCP to use the employer’s form. Or what if the HCP charges a fee to complete the form?  What do you do then? I offer feedback originally provided by my colleague, Bill Pokorny, when he was my partner in crime on this little blog,...
We reported on the EEOC’s filing of the first LGBT discrimination earlier this month, but that was not the only activity at the agency. Employers should take note of the following new EEOC developments: Employers Be Careful What You File with the EEOC EEOC now will give the Charging Party the Employer Position Statement The EEOC made an official announcement of a change in their charge-handling procedures, making ‘official’ a practice which...
The gender pay gap is 22 cents on the dollar! Something must be done! . . . would you believe 15 cents on the dollar? . . . . . . er, how about a nickel? A new pay equity study conducted by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist for Glassdoor.com, has performed an invaluable service in taking the roughly 21-cent pay gap between men and women — the basis for new “comparable worth” legislation, and for the federal...
I don’t know what to make of the study, conducted by business professors from the University of Michigan and Temple University, that purports to find a negative correlation between political conservatism among some law firm partners and the advancement of the careers of female attorneys in reporting to those same partners. To put that in plainer English: According to this study, if you’re a female lawyer and your mentor is a...
The Supreme Court this week in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 577 U. S. ____ (2016), upheld a $2.9 million verdict for unpaid overtime owed by Tyson Foods to its employees for uncompensated time spent putting on and taking off (i.e., “donning and doffing”) protective gear before and after their shifts. Tyson paid workers for time spent at their workstations, but neither tracked nor paid the time workers spent donning and doffing their...
Much has been written about the Second Circuit’s recent decision, finding that a Director of Human Resources at the Culinary Institute of America (“CIA”) was individually liable as an “employer” for FMLA interference and retaliation. Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., No. 15-888-cv (2d Cir. Mar. 17, 2016). I agree this conclusion is noteworthy.  However, the decision also reinstated the FMLA suit against...
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