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Posts by Abad Lopez

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Showing 6 posts by Abad Lopez.

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 ›

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 ›

An Employer’s Pocket Survival Guide to the New Overtime Regulations

The overtime regulations are almost here and will affect more than 4 million employees across the country. Although a pending lawsuit seeks to halt the regulations, employers should prepare for the probability that they will soon be faced with new rules for paying white collar employees. The most significant change made by the overtime regulations will raise the minimum salary level for the white collar—executive, administrative and professional—exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) from $455 per week to $913 per week. After December 1, 2016, any employee earning below that threshold will no longer fall under the white collar exemptions from overtime pay. Read More ›

States Hopping on the Department of Labor’s Misclassification Bandwagon

On August 31, 2016, North Carolina became the latest state to join the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) expansive efforts to reduce the misclassification of employees as independent contractors—making it the 33rd state participating in the DOL’s collaborative effort to reduce what it views as rampant misclassification.  Through its administrator’s interpretation, the DOL has issued guidance in its renewed efforts to combat misclassification. The DOL's initiative is a concerted effort to investigate and pursue companies that misclassify employees as contractors to avoid various tax and/or benefit burdens. The initiatives have resulted in a significant number of companies being investigated by the DOL and the payment of significant back pay amounts to employees. Several states have formally adopted the DOL’s heightened scrutiny in this area and have agreed to work closely with the feds to reduce misclassification, thereby raising the stakes for employers who utilize these arrangements. Read More ›

Making It Count—When Employer Harassment Policies Make the Difference

The old axiom that “the best offense is a good defense” is especially true in the context of sexual harassment lawsuits, where an effective anti-harassment policy and complaint procedures are a potent tool in shielding employers from liability for supervisors’ misdeeds. Indeed, these measures can make the difference between a costly verdict or a victory at summary judgment. A recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Pullen v. Caddo Parish School Board, highlights the importance of effectively implementing and communicating an employer’s policies and procedures.

In Caddo Parish School Board, Pullen worked at the Caddo Parish School Board (the “Board”), first in the purchasing department and later in human resources. She claimed that her supervisor in the purchasing department verbally harassed her, touched her in an unwelcome manner, and showed her inappropriate photos. She also alleged that, even after she transferred to another department, her supervisor continued to visit her and made additional inappropriate comments. Pullen never reported her supervisor’s behavior to any other employee, but eventually filed a lawsuit claiming that her supervisor’s actions constituted hostile work environment sexual harassment.  Read More ›

Chicago City Council Passes Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Ordinance – What Employers Need to Know

In a first of its kind for Illinois,on June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council passed the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, making Chicago the latest in a wave of mandatory paid sick leave ordinances around the country.

Chicago’s Ordinance, which becomes effective next year on July 1, 2017, would require most Chicago employers to provide the following:

  • Employees accrue paid sick leave (“Paid Leave”) of at least one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per 12-month period.
  • Employees can carry over up to half of their accrued Paid Leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours, from one year to the next.
  • For employers that are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused Paid Leave. An employee who uses the carried over 40-hours of FMLA leave for FMLA covered purposesis entitled to use an additional 20 hours of accrued Paid Leave in the same 12-month period, increasing the employer’s Paid Leave obligation to 60 hours.
  • Covered “family members” includeindividuals related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Coverage

The ordinance would apply to any individual (including partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, or any person or group of persons) that gainfully employs at least one eligible employee and maintains a business facility within the geographic boundaries Chicago. The ordinance exempts employers who provide their employees paid time off in an amount and manner that meets or exceeds the ordinance’s minimum standards and requirements.

The ordinance defines “employee” to cover any individual permitted to work by an employer who works in Chicago for at least 80 hours in any 120-day period. The ordinance excludes a number of workers from coverage, including certain employees employed in agriculture or aquaculture, outside salesmen, members of a religious corporation or organization, and any employee working in the construction industry who is covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. Read More ›