By Russell D. Chapman
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed its first lawsuit directly challenging the operation of a wellness program.
In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, the EEOC alleged that the employer imposed a wellness program on its employees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the complaint filed Aug. 20, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the EEOC claims that the defendant, Orion Energy Systems, administered a wellness program in which employees were asked to complete a health risk assessment, which included questions regarding medical history and blood work. Read more…
The other day our local paper ran a story about David Danon, a former attorney with the Vanguard Group who’s embroiled in a huge lawsuit over his claim that Vanguard bilked the federal government out of $1 billion and the state of New York out of $20 million by operating an illegal tax shelter.
My husband (who still reads the local paper every day, God bless him), brought the story to my attention, because he knows I’m into that stuff.
Even so, I usually avoid writing much about “that stuff” on TLNT, because there are writers/attorneys here far better equipped to do so than I. But heck, this case compelled me to say a few words. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
After more than a year of litigation (the filing which we reported here), former unpaid Gawker Media interns will be permitted to send notices to other unpaid or allegedly underpaid interns to inform those potential plaintiffs of the lawsuit and of the opportunity to join the proceedings.
The judge did not rule that the former interns’ claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are valid. Instead, she decided that the evidence presented to date suggests that other potential plaintiffs are “similarly situated” for FLSA collective-action purposes. Read more…
Human resources firms are among the top revenue-producing sectors on this year’s Inc. 5,000 list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S.
With an aggregate 2013 revenue of $12.13 billion, the 199 self-identified human resource firms cumulatively ranked sixth among the 25 business sectors on the Inc. list.
The group includes HR services firms such as Trinet, the largest company to make the list with reported revenue of $1.6 billion. Its 81 percent growth over three years ranked it 3,821 on the Inc. 5000 list. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on a number of protected classes. Sexual orientation isn’t one of those protected classes specifically listed in the statute.
So, if an employee complains about sexual-orientation harassment and is later fired because she complained, then that won’t create a claim under Title VII. Or does it?
In Bennefield v. Mid-Valley Healthcare, Inc., an employee allegedly complained to her supervisor that a co-worker was creating a hostile work environment by, among other things, calling the employee a “disgusting lesbian” and a “stupid lesbian.” Read more…
By Sara Richland
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a “waiting period” is defined as the period that must pass before coverage for an individual who is otherwise eligible to enroll under the terms of a group health plan can become effective.
The ACA prohibits group health plans and group health insurance issuers from imposing a waiting period that exceeds 90 days after an employee is otherwise eligible for health coverage.
Generally, an individual is “eligible” to enroll in a health plan if he or she has met the plan’s substantive eligibility conditions, such as being in an eligible job classification, earning a certain level of commission, or satisfying a reasonable and bona fide employment-based orientation period. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
File this under: Duh!
Let’s assume that you have an employee who commits a terminable offense. For example, in Martins v. Rhode Island Hospital, surveillance cameras and the Hospital’s employee ID swipe system suggested that Martins left work for approximately four hours and, later, he could not account for his whereabouts.
So, you schedule a termination meeting, which is exactly what the Hospital did with Martins. However, at the meeting, Martins told the Hospital that he suffers from bipolar disorder. Read more…
Question: What do you get when you combine “ban the box” compliance with utterly idiotic hiring practices? (I know I’m supposed to be diplomatic but no can do in this instance.)
Answer: Ask the city of Austin, Texas, who hired a six-time convict to work in their public library — and who just plead guilty to attempted indecency with a child.
Before we dig into the details, let me show you the resume (see: rap sheet) of said employee, Joe Heath, brought with him to the Austin Public library where he would come in regular contact with the public, including children. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
A bill that would have made it illegal for New Jersey companies to refuse to hire a job candidate because of his/her employment status is dead for now.
Last week, New Jersey banned the box.
However, Bob Jordan over at the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports here that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has put the kibosh on a bill that would essentially make “unemployment” a protected class, like race, religion, national origin and others protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims underscores important propositions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to the effect that:
- Failing to pay non-exempt employees the FLSA-required minimum-wage or overtime compensation by the next regular payday for the workweek (or by the next regular payday for the longer pay-period in which the workweek ends) after they can be determined violates the FLSA, and
- Such violations give rise to claims under the FLSA for “liquidated damages,” even if the employee is later paid the underlying required wages. Read more…