Thursday, July 23, 2015

The ADA’s Quarter Century Anniversary is Marked by New Enforcement Initiatives

There’s only a few more sleeps ahead of us before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 25 years old. The law was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you can find a video of the President’s signing ceremony here. As the ADA’s historic moment approaches, you can also watch for one of the various celebration events going on around the country and track the ADA Legacy Bus as it nears the completion of its year-long celebration and awareness tour.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday issued Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1, providing guidance on the classification of employees and independent contractors. The DOL identifies the misclassification of employees as independent contractors as a high priority enforcement issue, labeling it “one of the most serious problems facing affected workers, employers, and the entire economy.” The DOL’s guidance is intended to help employers in classifying workers and to curtail misclassification.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DOL Overtime Rule Could Add Overtime Pay for Nearly 5 Million White Collar Employees

On July 6th, the federal Department of Labor initiated a rule-making process designed to significantly increase pay for “white collar” managers, administrators and professionals by more than doubling the salary an employer is required to pay to classify them as exempt from overtime requirements.  Estimates are that the change could result in employers being required to pay overtime to some 4.6 million workers who are currently classified as exempt from the overtime rule. The rule, as proposed, would also mean that employers would have to re-examine the overtime exemption for these white collar workers every year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When it Comes to Employee Benefits, It’s Now Just “Marriage”

The U.S. Supreme Court announced another eagerly anticipated decision last Friday, ruling that gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to marry. The Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges follows decades of advocacy by groups favoring and opposing same-sex marriage, as well as ramped up legislative activity and court battles over the legality of same-sex marriage in recent years.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Subsidy Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court announced its much awaited decision today in the case of King v. Burwell. In its ruling, the Court upheld a key provision in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) that provides government subsidies for health care insurance for all Americans who qualify, regardless of whether the coverage is obtained through a federal or state run health care exchange. The Court’s decision affirmed an earlier decision in the case by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and endorsed the view of the Obama administration that subsidies should be available for all lower and moderate income individuals regardless of where they reside.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Employers Still Wading in the Weed(s) of State Marijuana Laws

As distribution of medical marijuana is set to begin in Minnesota on July 1, 2015, a new ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court further clouds the air for employers attempting to handle the employment ramifications of marijuana use in the twenty-four jurisdictions now permitting marijuana use.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Employers' Hiring Practices May Need New "Look" After EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch

A hiring policy based on looks is like nails on a chalkboard to an employment lawyer. So it comes as no surprise that the "Look Policy" of an Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) store caused A&F trouble before the Supreme Court last week when the Court found in favor of the EEOC on a charge of religious discrimination against the clothing retailer. However, the decision has implications that reach beyond image-based hiring and sets standards of proof for religious accommodation claims and Title VII generally.