October 2017 Newsletter

The Obama overtime rule may be really dead. On August 31, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant followed up on his preliminary injunction ruling, issued last November, by rendering final judgment in favor of the business groups and state governments who had challenged the rule as invalid. Here is a copy of the Opinion and Order, and here is a copy of the Final Judgment. Background The overtime rule was published by the...
Navigating employee leave issues can be a daunting feat for in-house counsel and human resources departments. One challenging and oft-overlooked situation rife with the potential for legal issues involves contact between employers and employees who are out on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Below are four common questions and answers regarding communications with employees during their FMLA leave.   Q: Can an...
Consider the following allegations of sexual harassment levied by Pamela Daniels, a secretary in the Pike County Prosecutor’s Office, against her boss, County Prosecutor Charles Robert Junk. And then let’s answer the age-old question—lawful (but awful) bullying or unlawful harassment? (1) he permitted male diversion officers (excluding Jason Savage) to work hours other than 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;  (2) he did not strictly require male...
With President Trump in office for nine months now, it is hard to believe that none of his people are yet on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four current Commissioners, including the Acting Chair, Republican Victoria Lipnic, and former Chair Jenny Yang, were all appointed by President Obama. But that may change soon. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held hearings this week on the...
Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Texas and Louisiana who are in the dangerous path of Hurricane Harvey. Natural disasters like Harvey raise a host of issues for employers: how do you pay your employees during suspended operations?  Whether and to what extent should health benefits and other benefits be offered? The aftermath of the hurricane also will raise questions about an employer’s obligation to provide a leave of...
A recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit serves as a cautionary tale for employers quick to deny employees’ requests for accommodations after returning from maternity leave. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) prohibits discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” In light of recent trends as shown by this recent ruling, employers should be prepared to work with...