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Legal Concerns Regarding Mandatory Flu Vaccination Programs

Recently, many health care employers and other large corporations have implemented programs requiring their employees to get a flu vaccination. Some legal experts have suggested that these mandates may be problematic for employers.  Specifically, employers may face religious based objections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or disability based objections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it has filed lawsuits in recent years against employers under Title VII where employees were fired for objecting to a vaccination for sincere religious beliefs.  The EEOC has also stated that a company would likely violate the ADA, if it were to take adverse action against an employee who refused to get a flu vaccination for a disability related reason, such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

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Does Mandatory Individual Arbitration Violate the NLRA: Supreme Court Hears Argument

The new term of the Supreme Court began last Monday, October 2, and the first case up has the potential to affect millions of employers and employees across the country. The case, Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis (which was consolidated with two other cases, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA) examines whether employment agreements requiring employers and employees to resolve employment-related disputes through individual arbitration and waive class and collective proceedings are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), notwithstanding the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

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Seventh Circuit Rules That Title VII Covers LGBT Job Bias

On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit sitting en banc announced its decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, creating a circuit split and setting the stage for a potential Supreme Court battle over the scope of Title VII.

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The Madness of March

The annual NCAA Basketball Tournament, a/k/a March Madness, starts today. More on that below but there is another kind of “March” for employers to be concerned about.

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TAGS: Labor & Employment Law

Department of Labor Issues New Overtime Rule

As anticipated, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rules were issued on May 18, 2016. Effective December 1, 2016, these new regulations will impact all companies with salaried employees earning less than $47,476 annually. KMK will be offering training sessions to assist our clients in developing effective strategies to implement the new overtime rules. 

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TAGS: Employment Law, Labor & Employment Law, Wage & Hour

The Modernization of OSHA: Electronic Reporting of Workplace Injuries

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a finalized recordkeeping rule that becomes effective January 1, 2017.  Under the final rule, certain employers are required to electronically submit data regarding work-related injuries and illnesses.  Impacted employers are already required to collect and record this data under OSHA regulations.  However, now, this employer injury and illness data will be public.  Once OSHA removes personal identifying information of employees, the data will be posted on OSHA’s website.

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TAGS: Department of Labor, Labor & Employment Law, OSHA

EEOC and OSHA Ask: Is Your Workplace Transgender Neutral? UPDATE

I recently wrote about OSHA’s plan to develop and distribute information to ensure transgender employees have safe and adequate access to workplace restrooms.  This week, OSHA issued “Best Practices - A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers,” with the stated Core Principle that “[a]ll employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.”  The OSHA Guide notes the following:

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TAGS: Employment Law, Harassment, Labor & Employment Law, Transgender Issues

What Can Employers Learn From Deflategate?

Unless you’ve been out of the country or purposely avoiding news about sports, you’ve probably heard a lot about “Deflategate” and the punishment handed down by the National Football League (NFL) against the New England Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady.  The short version of the scandal is that during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2015, some of the New England Patriots’ game footballs were discovered to be underinflated, which could provide a competitive advantage to a quarterback by making them easier to grip. 

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TAGS: Employment Law, Investigation, Labor & Employment Law

EEOC and OSHA Ask: Is Your Workplace Transgender Neutral?

The widely discussed Bruce Jenner interview has been a media sensation but for employers there are more important recent stories on transgender issues in the workplace. Last month, the EEOC issued a ruling that Title VII was violated by the Army when it refused to allow a transgender, male-to-female, civilian employee to use the women’s common restroom.   

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Legal Alert: NLRB Holds Employees May Use Employer Email Systems for Non-Work-Related Communications

In a reversal of precedent, a divided National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held yesterday that employees have a right to use their employers’ email systems for non-business purposes, including statutorily protected communications regarding the terms and conditions of their employment and regarding union organizing efforts. See Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (December 11, 2014).  The NLRB’s ruling stemmed from a case brought by the Communications Workers of America union after it unsuccessfully attempted to organize employees of Purple Communications, Inc., a company that provides interpreting services for the deaf and hearing-impaired.  The union argued that prohibiting the company’s workers from using the company’s email system for non-business purposes and on behalf of organizations not associated with the company interfered with the CWA’s organizing efforts. 

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