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Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

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The New NLRB Takes Major Swings at "Obama Board" Initiatives

Last week was anything but dull at the National Labor Relations Board. The Board only recently shifted from having a Democratic majority under President Obama to a Republican majority under President Trump, and a new General Counsel has just been appointed. Further, the Chair appointed by President Trump, Philip Miscimarra, left the Board this past Saturday. Chairman Miscimarra—who was a Republican member of the Obama Board—was a major dissenter with respect to many initiatives of the Obama Board, initiatives which not only caused considerable consternation among those in the business community, but also reversed legal doctrines that had been in place for decades. Based on what happened last week, it appears that the sun, the moon and the stars are aligned to have many of those developments neutralized and have the law return to its prior and long-established norm. Read More ›

A Michigan Employer Avoids Sexual Harassment Liability Through Proper Investigation and Employee Discipline

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment as a form of discrimination based on sex. A recent spate of high-profile sexual harassment claims has brought increased public awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. As a result, many have predicted a sharp increase in sexual harassment claims in the near future. Whether or not this prediction comes to fruition, employers must have policies and measures in place which address complaints of sexual harassment and prevent further harassing behavior. Appropriate responses to sexual harassment claims serve to protect employees and help to defeat hostile work environment claims, as illustrated in Beauvais v. City of Inkster, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185577 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 9, 2017). Read More ›

Listen Closely, Managers Need Training on Family and Medical Leave Act Procedures

It is well known that the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) is a nuanced law with many technical steps and requirements within the governing regulations. One of the most complex issues is knowing when an absence may be or is FMLA-qualifying, and how to respond. This is a difficult determination for one who has worked with the FMLA and received training on the issue. It is an even more perplexing determination for many managers who have no idea that an employee may be eligible for FMLA leave based on a phone call notifying the company of an absence—whether that absence is for a few or several days.

The case of Boadi v. Center of Human Development, Inc. and Candy Pennington illustrates the consequences of a manager’s failure to properly respond to a potentially FMLA-qualifying event, and demonstrates the importance of training a company’s front-line managers on how to handle these situations. Read More ›

Two New California Employment Laws To Take Effect in January

On October 12, 2017, Governor Brown signed two new laws that take effect January 1, 2018, that will affect California employers. Senate Bill (SB) 63 mandates that small businesses provide 12 weeks of baby bonding to employees. Assembly Bill (AB) 168 bans employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history. Read More ›

Sixth Circuit Rules That Consistent Enforcement of Zero-Tolerance Policy Wins the Day

Earlier this week, a unanimous Sixth Circuit Court panel affirmed a district court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an employer and a union where two terminated employees asserted they had been selectively discharged under a strict company policy and their union failed to fairly represent them when declining to pursue arbitration. Read More ›

Seventh Circuit Confirms That Americans With Disabilities Act Does Not Require Extended Medical Leave as Accommodation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require employers to give workers more leave after their Family and Medical Leave Act allotment runs out, the Seventh Circuit said recently. The Court ruled that employers could fire a worker who requested an extended leave shortly before his scheduled return. It affirmed its prior holdings on this issue, holding that a multi-month additional leave is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. In this murky area for employers, the Seventh Circuit provided a degree of certainty regarding the interplay between the ADA and FMLA. Read More ›

New FLSA Regulations Dealt a Knock-Out Blow

As we reported in November 2016, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction halting the implementation of the proposed changes to the FLSA’s overtime exemptions just before they were to take effect on December 1. On August 31, 2017, the same court issued another decision definitively holding that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority in issuing those regulations and thereby permanently enjoining them. In doing so, the court clarified its prior holding and gave the new Administration a clear license to go back to the drawing board and draft new regulations consistent with the underlying law. Read More ›

Good News for Employers: Additional EEOC Reporting Requirement on Pay Information Has Been Put on Hold Indefinitely

The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) announced on August 29, 2017, that the pending deadline for covered employers to submit pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has been suspended indefinitely. Employers had been facing a deadline of March 31, 2018, to submit this additional pay information. In its memo to the EEOC, OMB stated that it would be “initiating a review and immediate stay of the effectiveness of [the pay data collection] aspects of the EEO-1 form.” Read More ›

Chicago City Council and Cook County Pass Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Ordinances. How Employers Should Prepare to Comply by July 1, 2017

On July 1, 2017, the City of Chicago and Cook County’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance takes effect. We previously blogged about this topic here.  

To recap, the new Ordinances would require most Cook County and Chicago employers to provide the following sick leave benefits: Read More ›

Is “Comp-Time” in the Private Sector Just Over the Horizon?

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a 229-197 margin, the Working Families Flexibility Act (HR 1180). The Act, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, will introduce the concept of “compensatory time” (a/k/a “comp-time”) to the private sector workplace. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, comp-time has existed in the public sector for many decades, but absent the passage of this Act, it is not permissible in the private sector. Read More ›