Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Madness – How to Keep the Madness from Spreading from the Basketball Court to a Judicial Court

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments start this week. While these exciting college sports events bring exciting comebacks, underdog wins, and pride in employee alma maters, they also can usher in several weeks of reduced productivity, potentially contentious employee interactions, and – believe it or not - legal risk.

In 2016, 70 million tournament brackets were completed, many of which involved office pools. The first round of March Madness reportedly costs employers an estimated $4 billion in lost productivity. As part of this decreased productivity, employers may experience an up-tick in absences and the live-streaming of games on employer technology that can detract from work time and create a serious technology lag for legitimate business applications. For example, it’s being reported that perhaps as many as 12 percent of employees will watch a basketball game during a work meeting this month.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Supreme Court Declines to Provide Clarity on Transgender Restroom Access Rights

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed course and sent a case that it had previously accepted for review, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., back to the lower appellate court. The case involves the question of whether a Virginia high school must, under the anti-sex discrimination provisions of Title IX, grant a trans-male student bathroom access based on his gender identity rather than his anatomy. When the case was accepted for review by the Supreme Court, one of the legal questions up for review was whether a 2016 U.S. Department of Education (DOE) guidance document stating that Title IX prohibits transgender discrimination and requires restroom access based on gender identity was entitled to judicial deference. This guidance was issued under the Obama administration, and, under the Trump administration, was recently withdrawn. As a result, the Supreme Court remanded the Gloucester case back to the lower appellate court for further consideration.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Employment and Benefits Law Alert: Developments of the First 100 Days

Since the days of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the United States has closely tracked a new president’s first 100 days in office. Here at Gray Plant Mooty, our employment and labor law teams have been monitoring and will continue to track activity by the Trump administration in the employment and benefits law area. This alert is the first in what we intend to be a series of updates to our employer clients on key developments during the first 100 days.

Department of Labor Developments
When President Trump was elected in November 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) was fighting multiple legal battles over rules it had promulgated during President Obama’s term in office. With President Trump’s election, the DOL’s commitment to moving forward with those rules is uncertain. We expect to know more if and when Alexander Acosta, the nominee for Secretary of Labor, is confirmed, but here is where the DOL lawsuits and related rules stand: