Monday, January 30, 2017

EEOC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Harassment Guidance

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed guidance document on workplace harassment. The EEOC is seeking public comment on the guidance through February 9, 2017.

Preventing systemic harassment is listed as a priority in the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021. In 2015, harassment charges represented over 30 percent of all charges filed with the EEOC. The same year, the EEOC created a task force to analyze workplace harassment and identify innovative and creative prevention strategies. The task force issued its findings and recommendations in 2016, leading to the recently proposed guidance.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Class Action Update: U.S. Supreme Court to Address Circuit Split on Whether Class-Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements are Enforceable

In our December 16, 2016, post, we reported that petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court were filed with respect to five U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals opinions concerning whether arbitration clauses requiring individual arbitration in lieu of class or collective lawsuits (class-action waivers) are invalid under federal labor law. There is a clear circuit divide on this issue, the resolution of which will impact thousands of employers and potentially millions of American workers.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Court Says Non-Minneapolis Employers Not Likely Required to Comply with City’s Paid Sick Time Ordinance; New I-9 Form Must Now Be Used

While the presidential inauguration is front and center, here are two quick items employers will want to take note of:
  1. A Hennepin County Court judge has issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Minneapolis’s new paid sick time ordinance against employers who are not located within the city limits.
  2. There is a new I-9 form that must be used starting this Sunday, January 22. Previous versions of the I-9 may not be used with new hires after that date.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bullying in the Workplace: Although Perhaps Not Illegal, it Certainly Comes with a Cost

I recently read an interesting article noting the increase of employees reporting that they have been treated rudely or uncivilly by a boss or colleague in the workplace. The topic of workplace bullying or the “bully boss” has received significant attention over the last few years. Some researchers have noted that even highly performing employees may face this type of negative behavior. It is a situation that can create frustration for employers, but which typically does not give a bullied employee a legal claim unless the workplace bullying is tied to unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, or prohibited retaliation.