Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Unintended Legal Issues with Spanking Employees

A Chinese employer made news last week for an unusual workplace discipline episode after a cellphone video revealed employees receiving public spankings for poor performance. The cellphone video shows a man with a wooden stick spanking eight employees four times each. The employer, a bank, claimed the spankings occurred during a team-building exercise facilitated by a corporate coach.

Corporal punishment is illegal in China, and, not surprisingly, a spanking policy or “team-building” endeavor of this kind would raise serious legal issues for U.S. employers as well. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

News Anchor Files Discrimination Lawsuit After Losing Her Job because of Comments Made on Social Media

A white news anchor has filed a race discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, a Pittsburgh television station. Wendy Bell made headlines earlier this year when she was let go from her anchor position after posting controversial comments on a Facebook page sponsored by the television station. Now, Bell is making headlines again for her unusual race discrimination claims.

Earlier this spring, the Washington Post reported that Bell was fired after she posted comments on Facebook about a mass shooting that Bell had recently covered on air.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The New DOL Overtime Rule - Does it Apply to Nonprofits?

As we reported last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-awaited Final Rule on white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which will go into effect on December 1, 2016. The Final Rule significantly increases the minimum weekly salary amounts required for the white collar exemptions. Many nonprofit employers are concerned about the impact the salary changes will have on their organizations.

Neither the FLSA nor the regulations provide an exemption from the overtime requirements for nonprofit organizations. However, some nonprofit organizations are not covered under the FLSA because they are not an “enterprise” under the law. Nonetheless, nonprofit organizations must be careful in determining coverage under the FLSA because individual employees may still be eligible for overtime pay.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Employee Wellness vs. GINA and the ADA: EEOC Rules Seek to Reconcile

On May 16th, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released final regulations designed to reconcile contradictory rules for employers related to employee wellness programs and non-discrimination laws. An EEOC summary of the final regulations is available here, and you can find the final rules here and other commentary and coverage here, here, and here.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) include clear restrictions on an employer’s ability to collect and use employee health information.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Paid Sick Leave Arrives in the Mill City

After ongoing discussions for more than a year, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously on Friday May 27, 2016, to become the first city in the Midwest and the 23rd city nationally to mandate paid sick leave for employees. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges first called on the Minneapolis City Council to pass a local sick leave ordinance in her April 2015 State of the City address. Since that time, numerous businesses, community members, and a fifteen-member task force named the Workplace Partnership Group have been studying and weighing in on the passage of a sick leave ordinance.