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Being At Work Is An Essential Job Function

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

One of my colleagues recently wrote about an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that determined whether an employee is disabled. That determination was based on the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Rather than considering the actual duties being performed by the employee, the Court looked to the job description […]

Tasty Tax Morsel – The IRS Wants A Bite!

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

My colleague, Bryan Symes, posted the other day about including the value of employer provided meals when calculating overtime compensation. Employers often provide delicious edibles to promote healthy eating, improve morale, and foster collaboration over lunch. Employers, however, provide those meals, snacks, and beverages to employees without chewing over the tax implications. Meals provided by […]

Subrogation Under ERISA

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Mary Ellen Schill and I were talking about the e-alert that we posted April 19 on the right of reimbursement for self-insured group health plans under ERISA in light of the US Airways v. McCutcheon case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 16. A couple of points caught our attention. The scope of […]

Employers Must Saddle Up: Organized Labor Has a New Trojan Horse

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

This past month, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) caught the employer community off guard with an unexpected, union-friendly pronouncement, one that provides labor unions free reign to infiltrate non-union workplaces. On April 5, 2013, OSHA publicly announced [through a letter of interpretation/Standard Interpretation to the United Steelworkers Union dated February 21, 2013, […]

Employers are NOT Required to Notify of Union Rights

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

A federal district court decision has struck down an administrative rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board that would require all private sector employers to notify their employees of the right to join a union. The recent decision held that this rule was not lawful and constituted an unreasonable exercise of administrative rule-making powers […]

Supreme Court to Decide Validity of NLRB Appointments

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

President Obama has asked the United States Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision and hold that the President’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was constitutional and proper. These appointments took place in January, 2012 at a time when the Congress was in a recess between sessions of […]

Aggressive Investigation Strategies – EEOC

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws relating to the employment relationship, particularly in the area of discrimination. The EEOC recently issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan which gives employers a clear indication of what will be the focus of investigations by the EEOC. The EEOC said they have limited funds so they will […]

Employee Personal Devices and Work-Related Risks: Trying to COPE

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

BYOD (short for Bring Your Own Device) policies are all the rage these days. This is understandable given the ostensible BYOD benefits bounced around as conventional wisdom including, but not limited to: (1) organizational cost savings [BYOD proponents claim it’s cheaper for companies if employees purchase their own smart phones]; (2) fostering an environment of […]

Accommodation for Disabled Applicant?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

We are seeing more and more requests from an applicant to have some type of accommodation for the individual to be considered for a vacant position. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an informal letter to a public employer outlining the duties of an employer to make an accommodation for an applicant that suffers […]

What’s the Frequency Kenneth: How Often May Employers Solicit Updates from Employees on FMLA Leave?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Recently, while paging through a set of “boilerplate,” employer FMLA notification forms, I noticed a field/blank for employers to insert how frequently an employee seeking FMLA leave is to provide updates concerning return-to-work status. Believe it or not, my very next thought was about Dan Rathers’ 1986 mugging and the R.E.M. song Rathers’ mugging later […]